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Caithness News Bulletins May 2003

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Education in Highland continues to go from strength to strength, according to the findings of a team of inspectors whose report is published today - 13 May 2003.

The Education Service in Highland was the first in Scotland to be subject to the Local Authority-style inspection in 2000.  Although then, Highland's report card was good in every aspect, there were recommendations to be followed up.  HMIE have just completed a follow up visit and they have complimented the Authority for the progress made.

Despite the significant changes within the council and the Service and the significant continuing national developments, HMIE report "considerable progress had been made to support improvement and add value to the work of the authority's schools".

Approaches to quality assurance and data management had been strengthened; pre-school provision had expanded and the quality enhanced; while Best Value reviews had resulted in improvements “Very good” progress had been made in responding to the points for action in the HMIE inspection report.

The report adds that the Authority "was very well placed to respond to future challenges”.  There was clear evidence of a strengthening service and an education authority improving from an already strong base.

HMIE did, however, point out that some aspects of pupil's attainment had improved in some key areas, but in others it still required to be sustained and improved.

Bruce Robertson, Director of Education, Culture and Sport, said: "We are very proud of this  excellent report.  Across the service, staff have been working hard to address the original recommendations of what was a first class report in 2000.  It is pleasing to have an external team confirm the great work on going in Highland.  However, we cannot rest on our laurels and we will continue to do our best to support our pupils and our schools."

H M Inspectorate Report February 2001