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Business as usual at Education Scotland until reform, MSPs told

Education Scotland will be stripped of its inspection powers by the Scottish Government (David Jones/PA)
Education Scotland will be stripped of its inspection powers by the Scottish Government (David Jones/PA)

It will be business as usual at Education Scotland until reforms are finalised, MSPs have been told.

The body will have its inspection powers stripped following a report from academic Professor Ken Muir, which also recommended the Scottish Qualifications Authority be scrapped and replaced.

The changes are due to come into effect in 2024, but until then Education Scotland will continue as it has previously, strategic director Patricia Watson told the Education, Children and Young People Committee at Holyrood.

“We welcome (reforms),” she said.

“Education Scotland is an organisation full of educators, a learning organisation – I’ve been 40 years in Scottish education, change has been the paramount thing that we’ve all had to work through.

“Change is a good thing, and change for Education Scotland, we don’t see that as a bad thing.

“We now know, in terms of the Cabinet Secretary’s response to Prof Muir’s report, that we have… at least two years before the organisation does change.

“So as far as we’re concerned, for the next two years – and the Cabinet Secretary has been very supportive of that too – it is business as usual in Education Scotland.”

When questioned by committee convener Stephen Kerr about her welcoming “being scrapped”, Ms Watson responded: “I wouldn’t use the word scrapped – I think reformed is the word.

“It isn’t just a name change, because the change to the organisation will create for us really important opportunities and, as you know, there has been a lot of discussion about the need to separate the inspection function from the improvement function, all of that will be to the good of the system.”