Scottish primary IT facilities ‘would not cope’ with national online testing

This is an edited version of an article in the 16 October 2015 edition of TESS. To read the full article, subscribe to TES

Primary schools do not have the IT facilities or infrastructure to cope if the Scottish government goes ahead with plans to put national assessments online, key educational figures and teachers have warned.

Graeme Logan, the man leading the introduction of the tests, told TES Scotland that the new assessments in literacy and numeracy were likely to be internet-based.

However, this would be “difficult to manage”, according to Maureen McKenna, Glasgow director of education – especially if all pupils have to sit the assessments during May and June as outlined in recent draft plans.

Ms McKenna’s concerns were echoed by a computing expert and primary headteachers, who said the practical implications of putting entire cohorts of pupils through online tests could be “pretty horrendous”, with “significant investment” in IT facilities required.

Moray headteacher Robert Hair said that even putting just a handful of pupils through the government’s annual sample survey, the Scottish Survey of Literacy and Numeracy – which has online elements – was beyond the IT capacity of many Scottish primary schools.

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