National publication of experimental school data
Highland Council welcomes today’s publication of experimental statistics (by the Scottish Government) showing local judgement of the level achieved by pupils at selected stages in school.
While it is clear there is not yet a consistent approach to the collection of this data across Scotland, the publication of this information will help build quality and understanding for all authorities.
This data relates to achievement in the Broad General Education, and is based on teacher professional judgements regarding literacy and numeracy against Curriculum for Excellence levels at P1, P4, P7 and S3. Comparison of the Highland data against average pupil baseline information shows consistency across most stages in numeracy, but less consistency in reading. This comparison provides guidance to support teacher judgement, and indicates that teachers in Highland generally err on the side of caution when making their judgements about the achievement of a level.
As the national report states, this national approach is new and experimental. Comparisons across schools and local authorities will need to take account of fuller information about their approach to assessment. It is not appropriate to compare schools with very different circumstances in different parts of the country.
Highland Council’s Head of Education, Jim Steven said:
“Teacher judgement is at the heart of Highland’s Education improvement agenda. This involves the moderation of data across Highland schools, to ensure consistency of approach within the authority.
“Our schools include this as a priority in their improvement plans, and we promote practitioner led training to achieve effective planning and the holistic assessment of children’s learning. Accordingly, Highland’s Schools undertake effective assessment, have a good understanding of assessment standards, and share best practice.
“I believe that today’s publication of this information will support all authorities and Scotland’s schools to have greater confidence in the validity and reliability of the professional judgement of teachers. That is extremely important, as we work to raise attainment for all and to close the attainment gap.”