Highlighting strengths;Letter

18th June 1999 at 01:00
IT IS a misrepresentation of the process of inspection and reporting to say as you do (TESS, June 4) that school staff are "left in the dark" about their strengths following an inspection. We highlight the strengths of a school and its staff as well as identifying points for action in all of our reports.

There is section in each report headed "Key strengths" which praises the work of the school and the staff. In addition, the appendix to the report sets out our evaluations of the effectiveness of the school, how well it is managed and the quality of the lessons observed, using performances indicators which are available in every school in Scotland.

There are also other sections within the report where we praise the work of the staff. For example, no fewer than seven strengths are highlighted in the published report to which you refer in the section "School and community" alone.

It is important to remember that a positive school ethos and the pursuit of high standards of attainment go together. A school which has a good ethos, high expectations, good quality learning and teaching and high attendance should be well placed to enable all pupils to reach the highest levels of attainment of which they are capable.

Archie McGlynn

HM Chief Inspector of Schools

Eastern Division, Edinburgh

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