Conservative MSPs anger as some Ayrshire schools haven’t been inspected for years

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Some schools in Ayrshire are waiting years before they are placed under the microscope by government inspectors.

In some parts of the region, it has been 15 years since they were last put in the spotlight.

The shock school inspection ‘gaps’ are revealed in a Freedom of Information request, obtained by the Scottish Conservatives.

In South Ayrshire, the likes of Girvan Primary School have not been inspected for 15 years while at Colmonell Primary, their last inspection was in 2008.

Alloway Primary was last inspected in 2009 while Coylton Primary was last scrutinized back in 2010.

In North Ayrshire, Woodlands Primary, Irvine, was last inspected in 2014 while inspectors have not been to Glebe Primary since 2007.



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In East Ayrshire, Willowbank School, Kilmarnock, has not been inspected since 2015 while Dalmellington Primary’s last one was in 2011.

Grange Academy’s last official inspection was back in 2013 with Muirkirk Primary last inspected back in 2009.

Two Conservative MSPs say the information backs up their claims that the SNP government is failing Ayrshire’s schools.

South Scotland Conservative MSP Sharon Dowey said: “The latest data on school inspections shows us that the standard of Scottish education is the last thing on the SNP’s mind. How are we able to improve our young people’s education if a school hasn’t been inspected in over 13 years?”

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A Scottish Government spokesperson said school inspections increased in 2018/19 and would have “increased further” had it not been for the pandemic.

The spokesperson added: “HM Inspectors of Education have continued to engage with schools in a range of ways to support the education sector during Covid recovery.

“Inspections are not the only method of scrutiny – schools and local authorities also have responsibility for evaluating performance.”

West Scotland Conservative MSP Jamie Greene added: “The fact that dozens of local schools haven’t been inspected for so long will be seriously concerning for parents and it’s a huge dereliction of duty by this SNP government.

“Education Scotland inspections are there to support schools and help them be the best they can. It beggars belief that some have not been inspected for over 15 years. We need the inspections program to restart urgently to get on top of this backlog.”

SNP MSP Elena Whitham, who represents the Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley constituency, said: “The SNP’s record on education speaks for itself.

“We are seeing high numbers of students going on to positive destinations in further or higher education, training or employment opportunities which given the challenging two years our students and teaching staff have faced, is a great achievement.

“And right across Ayrshire, the SNP continue to invest in state of the art education facilities with new schools for Cumnock, Netherthird and Bellsbank with more under construction in Maybole and Girvan.”

To view the full FOI, go to https://www.gov.scot/publications/foi-202200286424/

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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