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Scottish LibDems back parent boycott of P1 tests

August 15, 2018 6:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today backed a campaign by children's charities, parents' groups and teaching unions inviting parents to withdraw their children from primary 1 tests of literacy and numeracy.

The campaign, organised by the Upstart Scotland charity will dispatch 30,000 postcards across the country providing parents with a clear means to withdraw their children from tests.

It comes after Scottish Liberal Democrats highlighted that the government had been deceiving parents about their right to withdraw their children. There was with no mention of it on a leaflet for all parents or the national testing website, while a freedom of information request showed parents who directly asked the government whether they could withdraw their child were repeatedly not given a straight answer.

Willie Rennie has also committed to push for a parliamentary vote on the abolition of national tests for P1s at the first possible opportunity.

Willie Rennie said:

"This campaign is the product of an unprecedented effort on the part of campaigners, parents and teachers to bring these damaging national tests to an end.

"It should never have been left to others to tell parents their rights and how to exercise them. However, the Scottish Government have studiously avoided telling parents whether and how their children could be withdrawn from these tests so it is important that we get this information out there.

"Teachers across the country have been warning that national tests for P1s are a waste of their time and energy and useless in assessing a child's level. How many teachers and parents have to boycott these tests before the Education Secretary finally listens?"