Assessment in Scotland

The reforms to National Qualifications and the ongoing implementation of Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) have had a serious and detrimental impact on the working conditions of teachers and school leaders in Scotland.

The NASUWT has taken the lead in raising these concerns and challenging their adverse workload implications for members.

The NASUWT continues to engage with the Scottish Government, Education Scotland and the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) to press for effective steps to address the assessment-related workload burdens that arise from CfE.

Until such steps are taken, the NASUWT has implemented specific action short of strike action instructions to protect teachers from unnecessary and excessive workload burdens.

You should use these instructions and seek further advice and support from the Union if necessary if you have concerns about the way in which assessment is undertaken in your school.

The NASUWT continues to engage actively with the Scottish Government on the introduction of the Scottish National Standardised Assessments, introduced as part of the National Improvement Framework. The Union’s priorities remain to ensure that the implementation of the Assessments does not add to teacher workload and the outcomes of the tests are used appropriately.

The NASUWT recognises that assessment is critical to effective approaches to teaching and learning. The forms that assessment takes, the uses to which assessment data is put, and the context within which assessment is undertaken are therefore critical aspects of educational policy and practice at national, local and school level.

Assessment in schools takes a number of different forms and serves a number of distinct purposes.

Assessment should be used by teachers to enable them to form valid and reliable judgements of pupils’ progress for the development of the curriculum.

Data from assessment has also become an integral feature of how schools and the education system as a whole are held to account for their performance.

It is likely that policymakers in Scotland will maintain their interest in the ways in which assessment information can be used to provide information about the effectiveness of schools and of the education system as a whole.