Call off inspectors

24th August 2007 at 01:00
OVER-INSPECTION OF councils and schools is drawing away scarce resources from the delivery of frontline services, headteachers and directors of education have warned.

If the pound;13.5 million cost of HMIE inspection alone was spent locally, councils could more than double their quality improvement services, claim the Headteachers' Associa-tion of Scotland, the Association of Headteachers and Deputes in Scotland, and the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland. They have made a joint submission to the review by Professor Lorne Crerar into inspection, regulation, audit and scrutiny.

The organisations call for a "fundamental restructuring from first principles" of the system of scrutiny, arguing that resources are being diverted to ensure "compliance" with inspection regimes as opposed to focusing on real priorities.

Councils and schools have to support a range of inspections:

* Care Commission inspection of nursery and pre-school centres;

* HMIE inspection of primary schools;

* HMIE theme or topic reports on aspects of the work of primary schools;

* HMIE inspection of secondary schools;

* HMIE theme or topic reports in secondary;

* HMIE inspection of education authorities, including psychological services and community learning and development;

* Joint inspection of child protection arrangements;

* SWIA inspection of aspects of children's services;

* Best Value inspections;

* Audit ScotlandAccounts Com-mission studies of specific areas of services.

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