Education Scotland has today announced plans to inspect the attainment-related aspects of the education functions of nine Scottish local authorities.
The Interim HM Chief Inspector of Education, Graeme Logan said the year-long programme of focused inspection will look at progress with improving learning, raising attainment and narrowing the poverty related attainment gap.
Making the announcement during a visit to Bellsmyre Education Campus in Dumbarton, Graeme Logan said: "We have a clear national priority to raise attainment and close the poverty-related attainment gap. We have chosen to inspect progress being made in the nine local authorities with the highest concentrations of children living in poverty.
'Each authority has been working to improve the educational outcomes in Scotland's most disadvantaged communities for many years, and is receiving significant additional investment through the Scottish Attainment Challenge. Through the inspections we want to identify good practice and highlight areas for further improvement. While there have been improvements in children's progress in literacy and numeracy across Scotland, it is still too variable. Until this variability is addressed we will not achieve the national ambition of excellence and equity for all learners.'
Working with an external reference group, with support from the Association of Directors of Education (ADES), HM Inspectors have developed a bespoke inspection framework. This will be piloted with West Dunbartonshire Council before being finalised and used with other authorities.
Graeme Logan added: 'We have welcomed the support from ADES in establishing an external reference group and we will continue to work with this group.
'I am pleased that West Dunbartonshire Council has agreed to work in partnership with Education Scotland to pilot the inspection model and we look forward to reviewing their work in October.'
Laura Mason, Chief Education Officer at West Dunbartonshire Council said: 'We are pleased to welcome Education Scotland to West Dunbartonshire today and hope that the Interim Chief Inspector enjoys meeting the children and staff from Aitkenbar and St Peter's Primary Schools. We look forward to working closely with Education Scotland on our projects.'
The inspections will be completed by December 2018, and an evaluative report published for each.
The nine local authorities being inspected are:
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