Professor Chris Chapman from What Works Scotland and the Robert Owen Centre recently facilitated a seminar with key stakeholders from within the education system. The session involved in-depth ideas and knowledge exchange designed to support the development of the inspection strategy.

Around 25-30 representatives from the External Reference Group on future approaches to inspection co-ordinated by Education Scotland were present, bringing together diverse organisations, such as national parents’ groups, CoSLA, Educational Institute for Scotland and Association of Directors of Education Scotland.

It gave them the opportunity to share their knowledge and ideas about the advantages and challenges in creating a new inspection process that supports good practice and achievement in schools and other settings such as early years care, prisons, colleges and community education.

The day was organised to enable discussion on a number of key issues. The participants took part in facilitated conversations to gain a deeper understanding of each other’s different perspectives and contexts.

Professor Chapman, who is the professional adviser to the External Reference Group, said: “This event is an example of the new and unique way that What Works Scotland operates; as a neutral actor in the political and policy arenas we are supporting a range of stakeholders to co-produce policy, at both national and local levels.

“We’re playing an important role in creating safe spaces that enable people to have difficult conversations, present different perspectives and start to understand, negotiate and move from a theory to an effective policy, underpinned by knowledge, research and evidence.”

Each participant will receive a copy of notes and a report from the workshop, held in early October, to inform the next stage of the review.

What Works Scotland will also produce a future paper on public service scrutiny which will draw on this process.

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