Scottish National Standardised Assessments

 

About the Inquiry

Scottish National Standardised Assessments

Inquiry to assess the evidence base and the alternative approaches 

The Committee gathered views on the evidence base for the recently introduced Scottish National Standardised Assessments (SNSAs). These are assessments in literacy and numeracy completed by school children in P1, P4, P7 and S3. The inquiry specifically focused on: 

  • the evidence base for moving away from the Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy (SSLN) and introducing standardised assessments at P1, P4, P7, S3;
  • international comparisons to understand similar and differing approaches used elsewhere; and 
  • what information the Government’s assessments can provide that contribute to improving the educational outcomes of children and young people.

The Committees report on the Scottish National Standardised Assessments was published 23 April 2019, a link to the report is here.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills wrote to the Committee responding to the Scottish National Standardised Assessments report. Read the report response document below.

Responses have also been received from the following.

Independent Review of P1 assessments 

The Scottish Government plans to commission an independent review of P1 assessments covering:  

  • the compatibility of the assessments with the play based approach to early level of CfE
  • the alignment of the assessments to the benchmarks for early level; 
  • the effect of taking an on-line assessment on P1 children; 
  • the usefulness of the diagnostic information provided to teachers and how it supports their professional judgement;
  • the implications of the review for the ongoing development 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, whether they be substantially modified, or whether they should be stopped.  

The Committee’s inquiry has not lookesd to repeat the work the Government is planning that is focusing only on P1 assessments. The independent review is very likely to consult and so if you want to make specific comment on P1 assessments covering all the specific points above then please await the independent review.

The Scottish Government published a report from the P1 Practitioner Forum a link to the the publication is below. The P1 Practitioner Forum was formed to give P1 teachers a voice in the debate concerning the Scottish National Standardised Assessment (SNSA) for P1, and to generate practical advice to address the well-documented challenges and discussions that arose from SNSA’s first year of implementation.

Background

The Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy (SSLN) was an annual sample survey which monitored national performance in literacy and numeracy in alternate years, for school pupils at P1, P4, P7 and S2. Findings from the survey also informed resources for practitioners to facilitate improvements in learning, teaching and assessment at classroom level.   

The last SSLN took place in May 2016 and results were published on 9th May 2017.

Evidence  

The Committee issued a call for views running in December 2018. 

The responses from the Scottish Government and Education Scotland are below.  

Scottish Government

Education Scotland

The Scottish Government submission refers to a review of the SSLN in 2014:

Additional information was requested from the Scottish Government regarding the costs in relation to Scottish National Standardised Assessments. The reponse from the Scottish Government is noted below.

Supplementarty information was requested from the Scottish Government regarding the implications of SNSA's in relation to ASN Learners.

The responses from individuals and organisations are below.

Teachers/ Teaching Representative Organisations

The survey feedback referred to in the EIS submission is available here

Academics/ Individuals

Parent Representative Organisations

The survey feedback referred to in the Connect submission is available here

Standardised assessment providers

Other Organisations 

International Educational Assessment Network (IEAN)

The Committee has received submissions from members of the IEAN. These are noted below.

ScotCen- Growing up in Scotland study

The Committee sought information on the Growing up in Scotland study from ScotCen.

The Committee wrote to the Directors of Education in Local Authortities on the 22 December 2018,

The responses received from some of the Local Authorities are below.

Evidence Sessions

9 January 2019 

The Committee held the first evidence session on 9 January 2019

You can view the meeting here.

23 January 2019

The second evidence session was held on 23 January 2019

You can view the meeting here

30 January 2019

The third evidence session was held on 30 January 2019

You can view the meeting here

6 February 2019

The fourth evidence session was held on 6 February 2019

You can view the meeting here

20 February 2019

The final evidence session was held on the 20 February 2019. The Committee heard evidence from the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills. 

You can view the meeting here

Focus Group

The Committee held a focus group with teachers and union representatives on the 6 February 2019

Correspondence

The Convener wrote to the Directors of Education regarding the perspectives of Local authorities on the Scottish National Standardised Assessments.

The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills wrote to the Convener to update the Committee with the details of the establishment of an Independent review of P1 Assessments. This includes confirmation of who will be leading the review.  

The Convener wrote to the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills regarding the cost of implementing and running Scottish National Standardised Assessments.

Additional Information

How to engage with us?

Emailing us at: es.submissionsparliament.scot  

You can write to us at:  Education and Skills Committee, Scottish Parliament, Holyrood, Edinburgh, EH99 1SP 

You can find us on Twitter: @SP_EduSkills   

If you would like to receive this document in Braille, or British Sign Language, please contact us and let us know 

You can ask questions online through live chat: www.parliament.scot/live-chat   

 

The Scottish Parliament is a member of "Happy to Translate" 

Correspondence

 

 

Report

The Committee published its report on Scottish National Standardised Assessments on 23 April 2019, a link to the report is below.

 

Debate

 

 
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