Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie has accused the Scottish Government of “trampling over democracy” in a row over school tests.
During First Minister’s Questions in the Scottish Parliament on Thursday afternoon, the North Fife MSP questioned why the SNP had chosen to ignore a vote taken last year which banned testing P1 pupils.
Mr Rennie highlighted experts and teachers were firmly against the idea of putting children through the stress of a formal test at such a young age, calling them “meaningless”.
Mr Rennie asked why 50,000 tests had been ordered for P1 pupils, in defiance of parliament.
Ms Sturgeon said: “I think that the assessments we have in place in our schools are proportionate and right.
“This is part of the process of making sure we have the information that allows us to determine whether our education system is delivering for the young people it serves.
“It’s absolute nonsense to suggest that David Reedy’s report provided anything other than a clear recommendation that P1 assessments should continue.”
Mr Rennie said: “When Boris Johnson tramples over parliamentary democracy, the First Minister is outraged. When her Education Secretary does exactly the same, she pats him on the back.
“Experts are against the tests, teachers have spoken out against the tests, Parliament voted against the tests.
“I know he’s not having a good day but will the First Minister finally listen and tell John Swinney he’s got to scrap the tests?
“It speaks extremely poorly of her Government that they have chosen to fly in the face of a clear parliamentary vote.
“This is devious and damaging behaviour from the SNP. Teachers are clear the SNP’s national tests for P1s tell them nothing they do not already know.
“They are exasperated by what a waste of time they are. The SNP should scrap the tests before another year of P1 pupils have to go through them.”