Scottish National Standardised Assessments


About the Inquiry

Call for views: Scottish National Standardised Assessments 

Inquiry to assess the evidence base and the alternative approaches 

The Committee has agreed to seek 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 is 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.


Written Views 

The Committee is seeking views from teachers about the Scottish National Standardised Assessments by 18th January 2019. Please find the submission form with the details of the information the Committee is seeking views on below.

Please send us your views by using the template below to format your submission. This includes the Data Protection Form. Fill this out and return it with your submission to  

The Committee is happy to accept anonymous submissions from individuals, please just check the relevant box on the submission form (and you can highlight it in your form wherever you wish too).

To find out how the Scottish Parliament treats your personal data please read the Privacy Notice for written submissions. 

More about what the Committee does, and why, is available here.  

And here is the link to our full guide on how to submit information to the Committee

If you have any questions about this work, please contact the clerks on 0131 348 5204. 

If you would like to comment further, please email the Committee on 

If you prefer, you could send a letter to: Education and Skills Committee
Scottish Parliament, Holyrood, Edinburgh, EH99 1SP

If you find it easier to communicate in a language other than English, that's fine. We welcome written evidence in any language. We also welcome calls using the Text Relay service or in BSL through

If you would like to receive this document in Braille, contact us and let us know. This policy is available in British Sign Language at

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 is not looking to repeat the work the Government plans that will focus 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 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 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.


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 responses from individuals and organisations are below.

Teachers/ Teaching Representative Organisations

Academics/ Individuals

Parent Representative Organisations

Standardised assessment providers

Other Organisations 

Evidence Sessions

9 January 2019 

The Committee held the first evidence session on 9 January 2019

You can view the meeting here.

Additional Information

How to engage with us?

Emailing us at:  

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:   


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




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.  




This website is using cookies.
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we’ll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this website.