In my statement to Parliament on P1 standardised assessments on 25 October 2018, I announced the establishment of an independent review of these assessments. Following advice from Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education, I have appointed David Reedy to lead this review.
David Reedy was Co-Director of the Cambridge Primary Review Trust from 2013-17 and has served as both General Secretary and President of the United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA). He has also previously held the post of Principal Adviser Primary Schools in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. Mr Reedy has a wealth of relevant experience and also I believe the necessary distance from the recent debate on P1 assessments in Scotland to bring a fresh and impartial perspective to the review.
Mr Reedy will be supported by a small review team who are familiar with the Scottish context. The team will be assembled by the Chief Inspector and will include Scottish practitioners, representation from the early years sector and a member of the Inspectorate.
The review will consider and provide recommendations on the following issues:
- the compatibility of the assessments with the play-based curriculum model in the early level of Curriculum for Excellence;
- the alignment of the assessments to the benchmarks for the early level;
- the effect on P1 children of taking an on-line assessment;
- the usefulness of the diagnostic information provided to teachers and how it supports their professional judgement;
- the implications of the review for the ongoing implementation of the national Gaelic-medium education standardised assessments; and
- the future of the assessments, considering in particular whether they continue in line with the current continuous improvement model; be substantially modified; or whether they should be stopped.
The detailed remit and terms of reference for the review will be agreed with Mr Reedy and published early in the New Year, along with the details of the review team.
The review will start in January 2019, with a report being submitted to the Scottish Ministers by the end of May 2019. This will allow time for the recommendations of the review to be considered by the Parliament ahead of the Summer recess.