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Trust, collaboration and professional learning: Assessment for learning in Scotland

Louise Hayward

Assessment for learning (AfL) is widely acknowledged in international research as an effective approach to supporting and promoting learning, but its use in educational settings is not as widespread as may therefore be expected.  In this paper we reflect on the impact of a government-funded programme in Scotland, Assessment is for Learning (AifL), and attempts that were made to move it from a small-scale pilot into all Scottish schools. In particular, we analyse approaches to changing professional thinking and consider the importance of the wider educational context on development activity. The final section discusses how far arrangements in Scotland meet emerging standards in assessment, and reflect on the importance of building trust and collaboration in professional learning at all levels in a national assessment system.

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