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Feedback from stakeholders on the future of inspection and review

​We consulted extensively with a wide range of stakeholders to seek out and gather views on how inspection and review should be carried out in the future.

We used the following questions to stimulate discussion:

  • Is inspection promoting a joined up, 3-18 planning approach to Curriculum for Excellence?
  • How do we ensure that we do not miss poorly performing establishments?
  • Are inspections securing improvement sufficiently?
  • How can we communicate our view on the performance of education authorities?
  • How do we promote joined up, cross-sectoral approaches?
  • How do we know the education system is improving?
  • Are there ways in which we can provide more focus on the real challenges to Scottish education?
  • How do we reduce the pressure that inspection can place on an establishment, and focus on improvement?
 

This is what stakeholders told us:

  • Practitioners want more and regular contact with inspectors (although not necessarily through inspection).
  • Some favour a period of notification prior to inspection with others favouring an unannounced inspection.
  • The 'one-size fits all model' is not the most appropriate way to inspect.  A more bespoke approach would be beneficial.
  • Some think that inspection teams should continue to make evaluations and share these publicly. Others think that inspectors should not make evaluations and could perhaps share confidence statements or statements around an establishment’s capacity to improve.
  • Inspectors should gather and use intelligence/data better to inform inspection.
  • The negotiation of an additional Quality Indicator or theme for focus between the establishment management, local authority and inspection team prior to an inspection would promote the 'inspect with' approach further. It would also enable an establishment/service to showcase better what it has been working on.
  • There could still be better coordination of inspection.
  • There could be even wider involvement of a range of stakeholders in inspection.
  • The inspection should be shorter and even more focussed than current approaches. 
  • There should be closer monitoring of improvements made and impact achieved following inspection.  
  • There should be greater transparency in sharing inspection evidence to support improvement.
  • Education Scotland should widen the ways in which it shares and promotes good practice following inspection.
  • There should be a higher profile for cross-sector partnerships in inspection.
  • There is an appetite for neighbourhood inspection although many had questions around this such as
    • what is meant by neighbourhood?; and
    • who will take on the responsibility of organising this within the neighbourhood and ensure that improvements are made following the inspection?
Following consideration of the results of the consultation, we tried out a few new approaches over the 2015-16 academic session. We continue to gather feedback and evaluate these new approaches against the core purposes of inspection, being to:
  • Provide assurance to users on the quality of education
  • Promote improvement
  • Provide evidence to inform national policy development.

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