EDUCATION: A fifth of pupils did not sit standardised tests

January 7, 2022

Across Scotland a fifth of pupils did not sit official standardised tests last year, despite government claims that they are useful to teachers, providing “nationally consistent, objective and comparable information”.

The tests for primaries one, four and seven (P1, 4 and 7) and third year of secondary (S3) were introduced in the face of significant opposition in 2017.

The government claims that they help inform teachers’ professional judgements about a child’s performance and also feed in to national literacy and numeracy statistics.

Although all pupils in the specified year groups are supposed to complete standardised tests – officially known as the Scottish National Standardised Assessments (SNSA) – documents, released under freedom of information, confirm that more than one in five pupils are not doing so.

Some schools – as well as one whole local authority area – have opted not to do the tests, the material reveals.

Official documents, obtained by The Ferret, state that just 79 per cent of all pupils sat the tests in 2020-21 academic year, with completion levels lowest amongst P1 and S3 pupils.

In previous years, overall completion rates were above 90 per cent, although data was not collected in 2019-20 due to Covid-19 disruption.

West Dunbartonshire’s SNP administration has refused to comment on this.


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