TEACHERS are threatening to boycott controversial classroom tests for primary and secondary pupils.

The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) teaching union is to discuss whether its members should withdraw from administering the assessments or reporting their results.

The move comes after the Scottish Government brought forward plans for new standardised assessments for pupils in P1, P4 and P7, as well as the third year of secondary.

The tests were introduced because the government does not believe the different assessments currently being used by councils provide sufficient national evidence of progress.

However, critics fear introducing any standardised assessment which compares pupils in different schools encourages teachers to ‘teach to the test’.

Members of the EIS are also concerned the publication of data which shows the curriculum levels pupils have reached will encourage unfair comparisons between different schools.

A motion from the union’s East Renfrewshire local association calls on the annual general meeting of the EIS in Perth to oppose standardised testing “which the EIS determines as detrimental to learning and teaching in schools”.

It goes on to call on members in primary and secondary schools to be balloted on a boycott of the “administration and reporting of the test results”.

The issue was also raised by Margaret Smith, president of the EIS, as part of a speech questioning current educational priorities.

Mrs Smith also voiced doubts over the introduction of a new £120 million fund to give schools in deprived areas more resources to close the attainment gap between rich and poor pupils.

She said: “The extra money given to schools is welcome, but is it going to close the gaps which exist? Are standardised assessments going to close the gap?

“If we were listened to, really listened to and our ideas put into action, investment in nursery teachers in all nursery classes, smaller class sizes throughout the school, more teachers and more support for learning assistants would certainly go a long way to help close the attainment gap.”

Mrs Smith also attacked the constant cycle of reform which has seen change to the curriculum, exams and the way schools are run.

She added: “I just wish they would give teachers time to embed changes before more changes are made. Education is not a football to be kicked around the playground at Holyrood.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said the new standardised assessments would replace existing assessments already used in most schools.

He added: “They will not increase workload for teachers or children, but they will help check progress in literacy and reading.

“They will automatically generate information for teachers on where a pupil is doing well and where further support may be required and they will remove the need to buy in local assessments.”