Sturgeon To Unveil New Standardised Assessments

6 January 2016, 06:37

The First Minister will confirm plans to introduce new standardised assessments for schools in a speech in Glasgow.

Nicola Sturgeon will outline the proposals as she launches a National Improvement Framework for education at a conference in the city.

Local authorities will test reading, writing and numeracy in P1, P4, P7 and S3 to evaluate pupils' progress and "ensure that every child gets the right support at the right time'', the Scottish Government said.

The assessments will be piloted this year before use in 2017.

Ms Sturgeon said the data will be used to set specific milestones for closing the gap in attainment between children from the least and most deprived communities in Scotland.

In an address to the International Congress on School Effectiveness and Improvement, the First Minister will say: "At the moment, nearly all of the 32 local authority areas in Scotland, conduct some form of standardised assessment to monitor children's progress. However those assessments aren't conducted on a consistent basis.

"As a result there is currently a lack of information about overall performance at both a national and local level.

"That's why today, after three months of extensive consultation, we are launching a National Improvement Framework for Scottish education. It is based on four key priorities for education - raising attainment, closing the attainment gap, improving health and wellbeing, and improving employability.

"From 2017 - following pilots later this year - teacher judgement will be informed by a system of new national standardised assessment which will provide better and more consistent data about our children's performance than we have ever had before.

"This teacher judgement data, underpinned by the new assessments, will be collected and published nationally each year to give us - for the very first time - a clear and consistent picture of how children and young people are progressing in their learning.

"The information will allow us over the next few years to set clear, specific and meaningful milestones on the road to closing the attainment gap.''