Education secretary says there could be ‘merit’ in scrapping inspection grades

Scotland’s chief inspector of schools has been urged by the education secretary to look into ending the current grading system because it forms too much of a focus of reports.

John Swinney said there could be “merit” in removing the six grades that inspectors now give to schools’ performance: unsatisfactory, weak, satisfactory, good, very good or excellent.

Speaking at a conference in Edinburgh organised by the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), Mr Swinney said any such decision was ultimately up to Education Scotland. However, the chief inspector of schools, Gayle Gorman, confirmed to delegates that the idea was already under consideration, albeit at an early stage.

Replying to a question from a Glasgow headteacher, Mr Swinney said the grade inspectors gave a school earned too much attention and that narrative conclusions would perhaps be more useful.

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