Education and care inspectors to team up for joint checks in Scotland

Joint care and education inspections are to be piloted in Scotland
in November and December across a sample of state and private
nurseries, special and residential schools for pupils with
difficulties, and secure units.

The joint inspections became a legal requirement under the new
Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001 and will be rolled out to
the rest of Scotland from April 2003.

Education inspectors and staff at the Scottish Commission for the
Regulation of Care are now drafting joint inspection and training
materials, with the help of an advisory group of service

Under the new format, every inspection – which will take place once
a year for day providers and twice a year for residential schools –
is to have an integrated element.

This would be a reduction from the current situation, where
residential establishments can be subjected to three inspections a
year – two for care and one for education. The new set-up could
involve local care commission inspectors calling on the advice of
government education inspectors during their routine visits, with
education-focused inspections being carried out more periodically.

“The aim is to introduce an element of rationalisation,” said the
commission’s regional manager for South East Scotland, Ronnie Hill.
“It is burdensome for service providers and confusing for parents
if there is a variety of bodies going in and out carrying out

Jane Arrowsmith, chairperson of the Association of Heads of
Residential Special Schools, added: “Joint inspections are a step
forward. Repeated inspections can make staff and pupils feel as if
they are in a goldfish bowl. Much of our educational activities
take place in the evenings, so joint inspections could look at our
curriculum delivery in its entirety.”

At the first of a series of consultations on the shape of a forum
to provide feedback on the commission’s work, the commission’s head
of operations, David Wiseman, told delegates that registration
applications were also to be simplified by the replacement of the
generic application form for all sectors with a shorter version for
individual sectors.

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