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Vote of faith for HMI

TWO OF the leading directors of education who volunteered to act as guinea pigs for the inspection of education authorities have denied there is a crisis in the relationship between the teaching profession and HMI.

Ronnie Smith, general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland, alleged at Christmas that the Inspectorate was operating "a climate of fear" and had moved from "a culture of support to a culture of blame".

In evidence to the Parliament's education committee last week, EleanorCurrie, director of education in East Renfrewshire, described Mr Smith's comments as "unhelpful". Mrs Currie said: "No teacher has said that to me or to any of my colleagues. The trade unions in East Renfrewshire have not articulated that to me."

Michael White, director in Aberdeenshire, said feedback from staff on the inspection of quality assurance arrangements had not revealed any such fears either. "The (HMI) report was professional and thorough and I did not detect a crisis," he said.

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