Schools must collect their own data, not HMIE

18th July 2008 at 01:00
James Waugh raises important concerns about the burden of inspection on schools (July 4)

James Waugh raises important concerns about the burden of inspection on schools (July 4). During 2007, Lorne Crerar carried out an independent review of our system for "scrutiny" of public services. Of the 42 recommendations made, most aim to reduce the burden of scrutiny on public services.

But the Crerar review also concluded that service providers have the primary responsibility for engaging with their users, a view shared by the Scottish Consumer Council.

Schools should be collecting data on what parents and pupils think of the services provided, not HMIE. After all, it is school staff who will be responsible for analysing that information and turning it into service improvements. Many schools do collect this data only to find that, during inspections, it must be duplicated by HMIE as the data is not considered reliable enough.

Most, if not all, of those involved in the Crerar review agreed that inspection should be less burdensome and more proportionate. But inspectorates will only take the pressure off once they are convinced that services have performance management systems good enough to provide a critical eye on services.

To do this effectively, staff need support. This is why we are working with the Improvement Service to explore how local government (including schools) can be supported to measure the experiences of service users robustly. We hope this will become an approach which supports rather than stifles staff with compliance - surely the best outcome for children and teachers.

Jennifer Wallace, policy manager, Scottish Consumer Council.

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


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