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Scotland - Heads happier on inspection

Primary heads in Scotland feel more positive about inspection compared with one year ago, according to new research.

A post-inspection survey completed by members of the Association of Headteachers and Deputes in Scotland (AHDS) has disclosed that nearly 80 per cent of heads reported a positive overall experience, and many praised the inspectors for their approach.

This contrasts with the 40 per cent who were positive about inspection in the report published last year on the recruitment and retention of headteachers in Scotland.

Greg Dempster, general secretary of the AHDS, said: "Inspection is still a very stressful experience for many headteachers, with a significant proportion telling us about marked increases in workload and stress levels in advance of inspection. Most say stress levels come down during the inspection week."

The turnaround in attitude emerged as the fatal accident inquiry into the suicide of Borders headteacher Irene Hogg exonerated HMIE and Borders Council from any blame for her death.

Sheriff James Farrell acknowledged that Miss Hogg's death was "inextricably linked" to the outcome of the inspection of Glendinning Terrace Primary in Galashiels in March 2008. But he made no recommendations for changes to the way in which the council supported her or HMIE carried out the inspection. ES.

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