BBC Scotland has come under fire on social media after falsely claiming MSPs had voted to scrap standardised assessments for Primary 1 pupils.
Following a vote in the Scottish parliament, which witnessed the Scottish government narrowly defeated, newsreader Jackie Bird said: “MSPs vote to scrap primary one assessments. The education secretary says he’ll reflect on the decision.”
The false claim was also broadcast on the early evening radio programme Newsdrive. Listeners heard the newsreader say: “MSPs have voted in favour of scrapping standard assessments for primary one children in Scotland. By sixty three votes to sixty one, Holyrood agreed the system could be abandoned.”
However the motion did not in fact call for Primary 1 assessments to be scrapped or abandoned, but rather called for them to be halted pending a review of evidence by the Scottish government.
The motion, from Tory MSP Liz Smith 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.”
The motion calling for P1 assessments to be scrapped was lodged the previous week by Labour MSP iain Gray, but was not the subject of a vote. The Labour MSP’s motion had read simply: “That the Parliament believes that standardised assessments for P1 pupils should be scrapped.”
The false statement by Jackie Bird follows a similar false broadcast last month when viewers heard the presenter state that Scottish GDP had “roughly matched” the GDP of the rest of the UK for the first quarter of 2018.
She said: “Growth in the Scottish economy was stronger at the start of this year than previously thought. Figures published today show that it roughly matched the growth rate of the UK as a whole.”
In fact Scotland’s GDP was 0.4% for the first quarter, which was double the corresponding UK figure of 0.2%, and did not a ‘roughly match’ the UK figure.
The latest false claim from BBC Scotland on the P1 issue has prompted more accusations of bias against the broadcaster.
One critic said: “They hope people that know better aren’t watching so they can tell their lies.”
Another demanded BBC Scotland correct the false reports: “BBC needs to correct false information, the P1 checks have not been abandoned or cancelled. Please report accurately”
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