HMI under fire again over clash of loyalties;News;News amp; Opinion

19th November 1999 at 00:00
THE directors repeat the call made in August for a review of HMI to bring about a clear separation between its roles in forming policy and in judging the results. The national inspection regime also needs to be overhauled to ensure it complements school self-evaluation and audits by local authorities themselves.

The confusion between HMI's roles in quality assurance and policy development, the directors state, means that inspections "tend to concentrate on whether schools are complying with national advice and not to question whether that advice is soundly based".

There must be "a more transparently independent" source of policy advice to ministers, they say. Curricular advice should come from the much stronger body that unites the Scottish Consultative Council on the Curriculum and the Scottish Council for Educational Technology.

The ADES continues its pursuit of HMI by questioning its competence to inspect education authorities and pointing out that some have responsibilities such as children's social work, leisure and recreation and culture.

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