MORE than 95 per cent of parents and primary heads in Perth and Kinross insist that the use of visiting specialists increases standards in the expressive arts and want to see more of them. They are highly satisfied with the touring specialists in music, physical education and art but at present there is no dance service, a common feature across Scotland.
Specialists are seen as helping with personal and social development and contributing to the ethos of the schools. Almost one in three pupils say there is not enough time with the specialists.
A best value review reveals that headteachers do not regard any one area of expressive arts as more important than others, even if music is slightly ahead. However, only one in four heas accept there is effective quality assurance over the 35 specialists, while the majority say quality varies considerably across subjects and in different schools.
More than half the parents in a survey said there was not enough feedback on children's performance in the expressive arts and that it was difficult to speak to visiting teachers.
Most heads do not believe timetabling for specialists should be devolved to a cluster. Lack of supply cover for them was highlighted by parents and teachers.
A similar review of the 21 staff in the instrumental music service in secondaries and primaries reveals "high levels of satisfaction", although 90 per cent of heads say there is no effective quality assurance system.