HMI's right to enter a school

3rd July 1998 at 01:00
The announcement last week that HMI will turn up unannounced in schools where there have been complaints about the treatment of children will be widely welcome. Allegations must be investigated quickly: a common feature of cases that become notorious is that delays compounded the problem.

Usually HMI visits are signalled months in advance . The strain is more in the bureaucratic need to prepare masses of paper than in the event itself. Heads and their staff may not welcome the prospect of unheralded inspections, but speedy investigation, hopefully without publicity, is preferable to the sudden suspension of a teacher or care worker which at present signals official recognition of a complaint, with all the painful suspicion about smoke and fire that inevitably accompanies a sending home on full pay. HMI is in a good position to spot the empty accusation as well as to accumulate evidence where it really exists.

Education authorities have never been more watchful of HMI's ambitions. The balance of power between central and local government is bound to shift with the creation of the parliament, and Labour's repeated inability to discipline its councils plays into the hands of the centralists, not least those prospective MSPs who have overcome the selection hurdle. But directors of education suspicious of HMI intentions should none the less be content that outsiders are ready to help in the most challenging of management decisions, how to equate responsibility for children's welfare with the rights of employees.

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

Comments

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