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New education support body

14/10/2010

A new Scottish Education Quality and Improvement Agency will increase and improve the coordination of support available to schools Education Secretary Michael Russell said today.

The agency will initially bring together HMIe and LTS and improve the efficiency of the national bodies supporting education. It will be responsible for driving forward innovation in education by promoting best practice and providing support, resources and feedback based on inspections.

Education Secretary Michael Russell said:

"We have strong national bodies, delivering the support and resources that teachers and pupils need. I want those bodies to be even better.

"Scotland's education inspectors - HMIe - are one of the great strengths of our education system. While Learning and Teaching Scotland provide important support, practical materials and guidance to schools. They are two sides of the same coin: one supporting improvement, the other inspecting standards.

"The introduction of the new curriculum makes now the right time to bring these two halves together. An entirely new body - the Scottish Education Quality and Improvement Agency - will be created bringing the work of HMIE and LTS together in one place.

"If there are other functions - including those held by my own department - that can be better delivered by this new body, I will not hesitate to make further changes. Though clearly, the independence of the inspection system will continue under the new Agency.

"It will be charged with leading the drive to complete the implementation of the new curriculum, improving our school education and encouraging innovation in our classrooms. It will do this with less bureaucracy, less red tape and with more resources freed to go to the frontline. That's why we will initially bring these two bodies into a new organisation - together to make Scottish education better."

The Education Quality and Improvement Agency will be an Executive Agency, which will initially bring together the work of both HMIE and LTS into a single Agency. Detail on the scope, functions and structure of the new agency will be determined between now and the end of December. It will be take effect on July 1, 2011.