JOHN Swinney is due to update MSPs on changes to P1 tests this afternoon, but the Education Secretary is coming under increasing pressure to scrap the assessments entirely.

Last September, opposition parties in Holyrood joined forces, defeating the SNP administration 63 to 61 on a non-binding vote demanding a halt to the tests.

In April, the Scottish Government said the assessments would be modified as a result of feedback from education professionals.

LibDem education spokesman Tavish Scott said teachers had made clear that the tests “waste precious classroom time and don’t add anything to the knowledge they already have about their pupils’ progress”.

He continued: “It is simply arrogant for the Education Secretary to argue he knows better.

“The SNP have defied the will of Parliament on this issue for 10 months. In the meantime, tens of thousands of tests have been conducted against the advice of parents and professionals. That’s a scandal.

“John Swinney needs to put his pride aside, stand up tomorrow and tell Parliament that no more primary one children will be forced to sit these tests.”

Scottish Labour’s education spokesman Iain Gray agreed: “The SNP should ditch standardised assessments for P1s – parents don’t want them, teachers think they are not worth doing, experts say they do not provide useful data, but above all Parliament has already voted to instruct John Swinney to scrap P1 standardised assessments across Scotland.

“To simply defy the clear will of parliament would be an act of gross arrogance by the Education Secretary.”

Ross Greer from the Greens said it was “past time” the assessments were scrapped: “These tests were introduced in the face of widespread opposition from teachers, parents and education experts, parliament has already voted to scrap them at P1 and the Education Committee recently published a damning report into their introduction, detailing the lack of a clear purpose and the contradictory explanations from John Swinney himself. It’s past time the deputy first minister admits that everyone else might just have been right all along.”

The Scottish Government declined to comment.