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Quality travels

The Scottish approach to raising school standards is heading across the Atlantic after a party of senior American educationists from Illinois completed a tour of schools.

Gary Elman, principal of Waubonsie Valley High, the state's largest high school with 3,500 students, said he hoped his visit, and that of 10 colleagues sponsored by the Illinois board of education, would help establish "more straightforward school improvement and quality assurance systems" to replace the current "cumbersome" process.

Dr Elman found the Scottish system of school inspection simpler and easier for parents and teachers to understand. He had already talked via the Internet with Mike Hay, headteacher of Tynecastle High, Edinburgh.

Archie McGlynn, head of the Inspectorate's audit unit, said the visit showed Scottish practice in a positive light. "Sometimes we need to celebrate what we are doing and emphasise that we are moving in the right direction," Mr McGlynn said.

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