Children's services scrutinised

23rd March 2007 at 00:00
The latest version of the inspectorate's groundbreaking How Good Is Our School?, the third in the self-evaluation series started in 1996, has been published today and will apply to the scrutiny of all children's services for the first time.

It is being updated to take account of changes in the curriculum, assessment and flexibility, as well as HMIE's new responsibilities for child protection.

Graham Donaldson, senior chief inspector of education, has hammered home his message that self-evaluation is not an end in itself and "is worthwhile only if it leads to improvements in the educational experiences and outcomes for children and young people, and the maintenance of the highest standards where these already exist".

The number of quality indicators in HGIOS will remain the same, at 30, but the schools and other agencies dealing with children will be expected to ask themselves six broad questions:

* What outcomes have we achieved?

* How well do we meet the needs of the school community?

* How good is the education we provide?

* How good is our management?

* How good is our leadership?

* What is our capacity for improvement?

For the "joined-up" inspection of children services, these questions will be customised for health, social work and the police. The aim is to embed a "common language" about measuring quality, Mr Donaldson says. He chairs the group of chief inspectors and chief executives of all the inspection bodies dealing with children's services, including Audit Scotland.

The various inspectorates are under instruction from the First Minister to have an integrated approach to the inspection of children's services by 2008.

This is on hold until the completion of a "scrutiny review" of the inspection, regulation, audit and complaints handling of all public services in Scotland. Led by solicitor Lorne Crerar, it was set up in response to growing concern about the increasing burden of scrutiny piling up on public services from a host of agencies. He is expected to make his recommendations to ministers in June.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now