More useful originals in HMIE, please

18th January 2008 at 00:00
Headteacher Niall McKinnon ("Scrutiny on the Bounty," TESS, December 2128) may be the first brave enough to criticise publicly the HMIE inspection process and honest enough to highlight the glaring anomalies between the excellence of Assessment is for Learning applied in schools and the fault-finding, tick-list approach applied to schools.

Teachers are not complacent reactionaries; most are willing to try out, evaluate and adopt the best of new ideas in education. Teaching is an active, creative, vital job. If HMIE abandoned its dummies and came into schools with open minds and hearts, quick and generous in its praise of what is good in our schools, with helpful suggestions and practical advice on how to build on what is good, its visitations might be welcome and of real benefit to schools, staff and pupils.

Tick lists and ready-made "convenience" statements are, however, easier for the bureaucratic mind - and HMIE will doubtless prefer to defend an existence of entrenched ease than live the life of useful service envisaged by originals like Niall McKinnon.

H Wilson, Tor an Eas, Glenfinnan, Lochaber.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today