Lib Dems across West Scotland slam SNP plans for primary school exams


Liberal Democrats across West Scotland have hit out at SNP Government plans to impose standardised testing on primary school children.

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The policy, which has been criticised by teaching unions and parent groups, would force all local authorities to introduce standardised testing at primaries one, four and seven.

Giffnock Lib Dem Alex Mackie is the former Provost of East Renfrewshire Council. He said:

“Our primary schools are already performing well here. The only effect of these tests would be to take time and money away from real teaching.

Lib Dem Eileen McCartin MBE is the leader of the Lib Dems on Renfrewshire Council.  She said:

“We need real solutions for closing the attainment gap, which can only happen if changes are responsive to local needs.

“The SNP has admitted that they intend to push this new national model through the Scottish Parliament without local councils being given any chance to see the plans first.

“This is yet another example of the SNP arrogantly overriding local concerns. But the Tories also support national testing and Labour are even trying to claim credit for the idea. It’s clear that only the Liberal Democrats will challenge the SNP’s obsession with centralisation.”

West Scotland Regional Candidate Katy Gordon stressed:

“The SNP government claimed they had consulted in detail on their plans. But we now know this isn't correct. The only written evidence they received was from just two people, who both had reservations about nationally imposed testing. It took a Freedom of Information request to even find this out!

“The evidence that standardised testing will improve education just isn’t there. We agree with the main teaching union, the EIS, that there is a real risk of a ‘teach to the test’ culture harming our children’s education.

“Schools need more resources, not more tests. The Lib Dems want to implement a Pupil Premium in Scotland similar to the successful policy which we introduced in Government at Westminster, which means more cash targeted at the poorest pupils.

“By giving the cash directly to schools, we will trust headteachers to decide how best to use the money to improve education.”

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