Panel says consensus is encouraging

16th January 2004 at 00:00
The special panel set up to review the inspection of education authorities noted the "encouraging consensus of view" of councils' experience so far.

The panel, chaired by Mike Ewart, secretary of the Scottish Executive Education Department, suggested there was room for "significant changes", but not until the first round of inspections was completed in 2005.

Meanwhile, it has called for better dialogue between HM Inspectorate before the inspection starts and before the completion of the final report.

The Executive's own research (above) had pointed to excessive demands on council staff and the failure of the final inspection report to incorporate amendments suggested by some authorities where they disagreed with HMI's findings (60 per cent felt there were inconsistencies here).

None the less the panel underlines the fact that, while dialogue with senior council officials could be improved, "the fact that the responsibility for and ownership of the final report is HMIE and Audit Scotland's together should be clarified with authorities".

Peter Peacock, Education Minister, has endorsed the panel's recommendations and urged HMI and the authorities to resolve any ongoing difficulties.

The panel, whose membership includes only one director of education (John Mulgrew of East Ayrshire), also makes suggestions for the second round of inspections. These include a stronger focus on the progress the authorities are making in the five national education priorities.

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