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Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by TFI The Weekend, Jul 6, 2011.
From very recent experience, 2 months from inspection to publication.
Thanks. Do you know what a RIF is?
"Record of Inspection Findings", I believe.
It's the detailed version of the report which only the school gets to see. The final public reports are limited to very brief statements which don't actually say much.
Hey thanks. Is it just SMT that sees the RIF or do we the ordinary teachers get to see it as well?
My experience is, initially, just the HT. From there, he/she can ask for changes to be made, agreed by both sides. I think the Chair of the Parents' Council gets to see the agreed, 'final copy' too. Once the document is publicly released, staff and parents get to see it. There's a summarised version for parental distribution.
I think that's up to your SMT.
In a primary school it is normally shared with the Head Teacher and the Chair of the School Council who are told not to share the information with anyone else.
Indeed the whole process appears to be unnecessarily secretive and designed to prevent staff challenging the content of the final report.
Of course, sometimes controversial findings do leak out and I know of one school recently where the inspector was 'persuaded' to change one of the key findings.
That seems to me to be totally inconsistent. Either the inspection process is open and fair for all schools or it is not.
There are just too many hidden agendas.
If I recall correctly, the RIF has a lot more detail than the final report and it would be possible to identify individuals and lessons. I think it is a strength of our inspection process that this kind of information is not made public as I would hate a system which graded individuals on a single observation as the English system does.
I can see your point. Hope the ordinary plebian teachers do get to see it though!
Whilst it may be possible to avoid identifying individual teachers in a secondary school of around 1500 pupils, the same protection isn't necessarily possible in a primary school with 200 or fewer pupils.
If a report says 'At Primary 4', and there is only one Primary 4 class, it doesn't take the brain of Britain to work out which teacher is being singled out for favourable, or unfavourable, criticism.
I very much doubt whether 'ordinary plebeian' classroom teachers will get a chance to see the RIF, or published, report in advance.
HMIe have a political agenda to push and it just wouldn't do if professional classroom teachers were allowed to constructively challenge their findings.
The advice from most LA QIOs is usually the same. Don't argue with anything HMIe say because, if you do, they'll get you!
They call it 'failing to engage'.
I have had a totally different experience of inspection to the one you describe. I suppose it does very much depend on who you get as an inspector and how open SMT are.
Yes, I think it does depend on which inspection team you get and whether there are certain 'issues' they wish to promote whilst assessing learning and teaching in a school.
Inspection teams are also quite adept at turning a blind eye to under-funding, staff shortages and unreasonable work demands because, of course, that is not their primary concern.