An independent review of testing for primary one pupils has been announced.

It comes after the Scottish Parliament voted last month against the use of standardised national assessments to measure the development of four and five-year-olds.

Education Secretary John Swinney said the review would be “led by the evidence” and could conclude that the testing regime should be reformed or scrapped altogether.

He added that schools should continue with the tests this year to avoid “uncertainty.”

The Scottish National Standardised Assessments (SNSA) were introduced last year by the Scottish Government as part of its efforts to close the attainment gap in schools.

However, teaching unions claimed some P1 pupils have been reduced to tears as a result of the tests.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education (HMIe) will be consulted on who should carry out the review, with its conclusions expected by the end of May next year.

Mr Swinney said: “It is important to further evaluate how the assessments are working, which is why I have decided to commission an independent review of P1 assessments to reconsider the evidence. While an independent, evidence-based review could conclude that P1 assessment should be reformed, the review could also recommend a halt to the assessments.

“To properly inform it, the review will clearly need to see the assessments in operation, so I reiterate my previous advice that schools should continue with their existing plans in relation to the implementation of SNSA in 2018/19.

“By proceeding with the assessments this year, we will generate a larger evidence base to see how the improvements we have already introduced are working and what other changes could be made.”