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Friday, March 28, 2008


The Scotsman reports on the suicide of Irene Hogg the elderly head of Glendinning Primary School. The suicide follows & is clearly related to the school inspectors giving it a negative report.

The comments, particularly mine speculate on whether their adverse report was actually anything about teaching standards (she was certainly well regarded by locals) or merely about her not being up to the current PC fashions of the education establishment. Just as I was putting up my 2nd comment on the thread the Scotsman deleted all comments so I am putting up my comments here. Why the Scotsman suddenly suppressed discussion is something on which we can only speculate:

There should be rigorous inspection of schools, the priority is to produce good schools not comfortable teachers.

But - this event does raise the question whether the inspection system as currently run is intended to find good schooling or merely whether it is being run on the latest politically correct lines.

We don't know & the report should be published immediately (& not re-edited) but the suspicion that she was being hammered not for results but for not being up on the latest PC fashion seems likely. The clear opinion of locals quoted suggests she was a very good teacher. The criticisms mentioned both seem petty & the "not filling in a complaint form" at best worthless.

I also note Post 24 from Christianna,(she said she knew of 2 schools which had been inspected & the worse 1 got better marks from the inspectors) which confirms that PCness is a more important factor than ability in passing their inspection.

I couldn't find any evidence online of results in the school but running costs are £1651 per pupil - very much on the lower end of costs - which suggests a well run ship (& which also suggests half of the education budget doesn't reach schools)
If my suspicions are correct this is a tragedy for Ms Hogg & a worse one for Scottish children. If so the inspectorate should be replaced wholesale.
Thanks Blue Light 45 (who provided the undernoted remark & appeared to have seen some files on previous inspections)

"for not pressing the local education authority hard enough for specialist staff to deal with "challenging" nursery pupils. One recommendation was that Mrs Hogg should develop "systematic monitoring & evaluation procedures" in consultation with the staff, parents and "children"!!!! FFS these are 3 & 4 year olds"

Definitely sounds like her problem was lack of PCness plus not seeking to empire build by getting more teachers for the presumably fairly few "challenging" pupils among her 100 3 & 4 year olds.

49 "But as long as the right box is ticked you are ok" also suggests the same.

The inescapable conclusion is that the inspectorate have little or nothing to do with encouraging good education & everything to do with maintaining the power, though enforcing PCness, of the bureaucracy.

They should be fired, the money sunk in the bureaucracy handed to individual schools on a pro rata basis & the public be allowed to see school results & choose what schools to send their kids to.

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