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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-18399: Tavish Scott (Shetland Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 28 August 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the accuracy of the information that it gave to Glasgow City Council on 29 March 2018, as published in its response to freedom of information request FOI/18/01458, in which it was stated "With respect to parental rights to withdraw, your parents is [sic] right that there is no legal requirement to sit the SNSA. On that basis the children can be withdrawn", and whether it has now retracted this statement.

Answered by: John Swinney 5 September 2018

This information remains accurate. As set out in the joint statement with ADES, the SNSAs, in common with virtually all aspects of the Scottish curriculum and its delivery, are not provided for in legislation. This means that they cannot be seen as compulsory, but also that there cannot be a legal right for parents to withdraw their children from the assessments, or indeed any other part of the school curriculum (with the exception of some parts of religious observance and instruction). In practice however, if parents or carers have any particular concerns about their child’s participation in the SNSAs, they should discuss this with their school with a view to reaching agreement on whether the child will undertake the assessments, as they would for any other aspect of learning, teaching and assessment.