In response to media enquiries about The Herald story “Scottish schools face ‘surprise’ inspections”, Voice Scotland commented:
“A long preparation period for inspections can be stressful for staff and a distraction from teaching so a shorter notice period could be beneficial.
“However, this needs to be balanced against the stress of facing an imminent inspection at any time with little notice and also problems such as staff absence.
“Voice Scotland will be requesting feedback from members on these new trial models of inspection.”
Background: New inspection arrangements
As part of an ongoing review of inspection approaches, Education Scotland inspectors will try out two new inspection and review models in Scottish schools in November 2015.
Firstly, they plan a series of shorter school inspection visits to a small sample of primary, secondary and special schools.
Some of the schools will be given two working days’ notice and the others will be given a fortnight’s notice, in order to evaluate the impact of the different notice periods.
The visits will involve a small team of HMIs visiting a school for two and a half days. They will have a specific focus on raising attainment and achievement, and how a school is addressing the need to close the equity gap, and will also look at teaching, learning and assessment.
Secondly, there will be a localised cross-sector thematic review relating to the senior phase and involving a local authority and associated secondary schools, community learning and development and further education.
Education Scotland will focus on one local authority to carry out a week-long review and aim to evaluate how well senior phase pathways are supporting young people to achieve appropriate positive destinations.
If any members find themselves in a school where these inspection models are used, we would love to hear from you. …