HM Inspectors of Education temporarily suspend inspection activity to provide support to schools

Scotland’s HM Inspectors of Education will temporarily suspend the early learning and childcare and school inspection programme to enable teachers and practitioners to concentrate on reopening schools.

HM Inspectors will focus on supporting schools when they reopen in August and take forward plans for recovery and continuity of education provision, with the delivery of a blend of learning in the school and at home. They will resume inspections during the school year 2020/21 when it is safe and appropriate to do so.

On 13 March 2020, Education Scotland took the decision to pause all inspection activity due to the Covid-19 pandemic to allow schools and education establishments to focus on providing support to their colleagues, pupils and local communities.

Under the plans announced today (Tuesday 2 June) HM Inspectors will engage with schools across Scotland from August to provide bespoke help and support, contributing to the overall recovery of the education system. This will enable schools to focus fully on recovery and delivering a blended approach to learning for children and young people.

Gayle Gorman, HM Chief Inspector and Chief Executive of Education Scotland, said: “Schools and education authorities have faced a huge challenge in adapting during the Covid-19 crisis, and we want to minimise any additional work that might be required for inspections to allow education establishments to focus on reopening schools.

“Empowerment, leadership and collaboration have been key in recent weeks with everyone across the system working hard to support learning at home, as well as supporting keyworkers’ children through the childcare offer in local authority learning hubs.

“Covid-19 presents early learning and childcare settings and schools with previously uncharted challenges, and it is vitally important staff working in education can focus on providing support to their pupils and colleagues when schools reopen.

“The plans we have announced today are part of a package provided by Education Scotland which aims to relieve pressure on the education system at this time, whilst providing bespoke support to schools and encouraging the overall recovery of the system as we move forward.

Janie McManus, Strategic Director, Scrutiny, with Education Scotland, added: “We are committed to ensuring that the work of the Inspectorate promotes improvement. HM Inspectors will have a vital role in supporting schools as they re-open and carry out their recovery planning.

“HM Inspectors have a wealth of skills and expertise which will be used to work with schools to help build capacity and support them as they take their priorities for recovery forward. They will hold discussions with schools and provide reassurance and encourage innovation.

“HM Inspectors will also share with the Scottish Government an overview of what is working, where there are challenges and what is needed for further support. We will develop further details of the support in the coming weeks which will be in collaboration with our stakeholders.”