P1 testing

Hi All,

I am getting increasingly concerned at the division between Scotgov and opposition parties, and a number of relevant civil society bodies about P1 testing assessments.

But there is also an issue here about the extent to which an Opengovernment approach has informed the development of this major policy. Keen for your views.

The P1 testing (as with most of the Scottish Government’s education agenda) is the definition of closed government. This policy work was produced without proper consultation with the academic community, the teaching community, parents or anyone in the NGO/think tank/campaign sector. It was a wholly ‘in-house’ policy cobbled together by staffers. I wrote about this a couple of weeks ago (https://www.commonspace.scot/articles/13125/robin-mcalpine-scottish-education-agenda-shows-bad-policy-making-makes-bad-policy) - if governments undertake bad, bad processes, they get bad, bad results. I find this to be one of the most dispiriting episodes in post-devolution government in Scotland and can see no positive lessons, only negative ones. I strongly oppose mandatory testing of five year old children on practical, philosophical and personal bases.



Ruchir - I think it is quite hard to know if there anyone on this list from the Education sector ?

We have lost a number of members who were on the forum after the recent change in IT provider, and so there may be limited representation.

You will know that the civic society members are relatively new, and by raising this particular policy area, could this policy and / or its formulation process be discussed further at the OGP meeting on 4th October ?

Is it an example of what OGP could be talking about and raising as an example of co production of the Agenda with SG ?

If this is the case, then will we be able to add it to the Agenda for 4th October ?

Thank you.




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Many thanks for this Alex

The good news is that we are growing again. Almost 80 members already and the forum is beginning to get active again.

I would support raising the P1 issue at the OGP meeting on the 4th Oct if nothing else to get clarity on how an Opengov approach might inform the development of similar policies going forward.

Thanks again to you and the OGP steering group members for your time and commitment to developing the new action plan with government.

Hi - this is my first step into this forum so just to introduce myself, I am chief exec of Connect. We work in the sphere of family/ parental engagement in education, providing membership benefits to parent groups as well as support and input to parents, educators and policy makers.

Our perspective on the whole business of standardised assessments has been one of opposition as it is not based on sound evidence of positive impact for this approach. There is a lot of smoke and mirrors in the messaging currently which is extremely unhelpful for those engaged with education.

Connect is aligned with the UpStart campaign against P1 testing but we are opposed to the entire standardised assessment programme as implemented.



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Following the DFM’s decision to launch a review of the P1 testing, the policy is now following a very similar track to the proposals around identity assurance a couple of years ago.

That led to an open process for development around identity replacing the previous closed process.

We have a precedent here and an opportunity to push for a similar open process to review the P1 testing approach before reintroducing the policy.