BBC Scotland continuing to mislead public over P1 assessment vote

BBC Scotland has continued to mislead the public over a Holyrood vote on primary 1 assessments.

Last month a motion lodged by Conservative MSP Liz Smith attracted support of all opposition parties.

The vote called on the Scottish government to “halt the tests in P1 and to reconsider the evidence and the whole approach to evaluating the progress of P1 pupils”.

However within hours of the vote result, which saw the Scottish government defeated, BBC Scotland was reporting that the vote was to “scrap” the assessments. The news reports led that evening’s Reporting Scotland.

The news report prompted a complaint from a viewer.  However a defiant BBC Scotland insisted the report was accurate and added: “… the intention of the opposition parties was clearly, from their own words, to bring the whole exercise in Primary 1 to a permanent halt or, in other words, to scrap them.”

The erroneous claim has now been repeated by BBC Scotland in several news bulletins.  Speaking on Radio Scotland today, political editor Brian Taylor claimed MSPs in the Scottish parliament had voted to “abandon” primary 1 assessments.


On Reporting Scotland later that afternoon, newsreader Laura Maciver told viewers the vote had been to “drop” primary assessments.

Following the vote, Scottish government minister John Swinney confirmed that he would, as requested by Liz Smith’s motion, reconsider the evidence around assessments.  The SNP MSP announced he is to set up an independent review to gather evidence on P1 assessments and would act on the recommendations which he expected to be ready by the end of 2019.

The continued refusal of BBC Scotland to report accurately on the P1 assessment issue will be seen by many as further evidence of the anti-SNP bias that exists within BBC Scotland.  The corporation denies bias and insists its political coverage is completely neutral.

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8 thoughts on “BBC Scotland continuing to mislead public over P1 assessment vote

  1. John

    They think if they repeat their drivel often enough it will become fact , that’s the BBC , make up any old tripe to demonize the SNP !

  2. Alasdair Macdonald

    This stushie about P1 assessments is substantially uninformed and has been used for blatantly opportunistic political gain, and, not just by political parties, but, mainly by the Educational Institue of Scotland.

    Those who entered the debate from the perspective of how early years education should be organised – mainly around play – had valid points to make. Unfortunately, they allowed themselves to be used by the unholy opportunists who had ulterior motives. Their well-intentioned (and I do not want that phrase to be interpreted as a condemnation of them) proposals were used as a smokescreen to cover the political opportunists. Indeed, they made a statement making clear what their position was. However, one party to their group is a well-known Labour activist, who wilfully tried to attach the group the the Parliamentary opposition.

    My personal view (I am a retired teacher, who taught for 39 years, was a head teacher for a substantial period, have a masters degree in education and have always been in the ‘child centred’ camp.) is that the assessments were reasonable and defensible, as part of a much wider strategy.

    The Education Secretary has announced that there is to be an academic evaluation. I think, in the circumstances, that is a reasonable approach to take. It removes the issue from being a political pickaxe, and allows for an objective evaluation.

    The Tories behaved abominably in this matter, and he other opposition parties nearly as bad. I was particularly disappointed by some the Green MSPs and by a few Labour MSPs.

    1. John

      Totally agree , the Tories changed their minds for nothing more than political opportunism, Labour joined their lead as they are prone to do on many issues , the Greens and Patrick Harvie in particular have gone to rock bottom in my opinion of them , and they have lost any second vote I might have given them . I fully support the assesments , how else are we to gauge progress , who dreamed up “traumatised children ” , at that age they haven’t a clue they are being tested , maybe the “traumatised teachers “are passing their vibes on ! .

    2. Susan Smith

      Couldn’t agree more – the emotive topic of education is being used by people with an ax to grid or to a political end. not for the good of Scottish education..

  3. Jon

    Yes Alisdair , I am becoming increasingly dissapointed with Opportunistic positions being taken by Green MSP’s siding with Unionist parties whose actions are intended to damage the SNP and little else.

    1. The Offensive behaviour at Football Act
    2. P1 testing

    1. Margaret Brogan

      The Scottish Greens were not following the unionist parties, unlike them, this was part of their manifesto.
      While I disagree with their position on this, it was not the political opportunism, which the Labour and Tory parties were displaying.

      1. Penguin

        Their manifesto promise was to scrap assessments and just let children develop into feral brutes unable to read, write of speak in anything other than grunts. Or Ross Greer as he’s known.

        The greens voted to halt assessments not scrap them so they actually voted against their manifesto purely in order to support the Yoon parties. Never ever vote Green. You can’t trust them. They hate democracy and are now demonstrably anti-Science.

        Also the greens voted for the tram which has bankrupted Edinburgh and led tot he council selling off and allowing every green field inside the city boundary to be concreted over. Well done them.

  4. Robert Graham

    A constant merry go round of Whack a Mole , no sooner are they pulled up for one thing then another pops up this goes on 24/7 its relentless unending propaganda .

    The SNP what to really get in their face and use any means , planning – health and safety – abuse of workers rights , explore every avenue to make it bloody awkward for them to operate be imaginative , shut down their site of operations for a fire risk assessment , using too much water , any bloody thing under the sun .

    you better believe that will be reported by every unionist media outlet

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