Thursday is full Council. Cllr Dominic Nolan (St Andrews) and I are putting a motion to Fife Council requesting a halt to Primary 1 assessments. (I will post the text of what I say to Council after the meeting)
This is based on the motion that Liz Smith MSP (Mid Scotland & Fife) put to Holyrood on 19th September and which was passed unanimously by all opposition MSPs (Labour, Lib Dems and Greens). The text has been slightly amended to fit with this being Fife Council.
We request that the will of the Scottish Parliament (representatives elected by us, the people of Scotland) is respected and a halt is called to these online tests which are unnecessary and damaging to youngsters.
The Curriculum for Excellence Early Years was supposed to have a play-based learning philosophy. I have read through many of the emails submitted (and released under an FOI) to the Cabinet Secretary and the SNSA calling for a halt - many make for harrowing reading both in terms of the upset to children but also the stress placed on teaching staff.
Here is the text of the motion.
That Fife Council believes although good-quality pupil assessment is an essential component of the drive to raise educational standards in Scotland's schools, it acknowledges the will of the recent Parliamentary vote and notes the level of concern which has been raised by teachers, education professionals, parents and MSPs regarding the introduction and delivery of new testing arrangements for Primary 1 pupils. The Council acknowledges that although formal, standardised testing is essential in Primary 4 and Primary 7, it believes that such testing is inappropriate in Primary 1 where it cannot deliver the same meaningful results. Council further questions whether the new Primary 1 tests are in line with the play-based learning philosophy of the early years provision in the Curriculum for Excellence and urges councillors to call on the Scottish Government to heed the will of the majority of MSPs and halt the Primary 1 tests in Fife. The Council further instructs Fife Council officers to explore, under delegated powers, the option of halting Primary 1 assessments in Fife.
Proposed by Cllr Kathleen Leslie
Seconded by Cllr Dominic Nolan