ANGER has been directed at Education Scotland after a planned inspection of Lossiemouth High School was postponed at the 11th hour.
It is understood two members of a nine-strong inspection team fell ill, prompting the cancellation on Sunday evening.
The new head teacher, Linda Brown, and staff had been geared up for the inspection – the first of the school since 2004, with the report published in 2005.
The team had been due spend the whole of the past weej inspecting the 600-pupil school and associated community learning team.
A number of parents and community representatives were also lined up to be interviewed during the week. Over 250 parents had already answered a questionnaire.
One of them was Liz Tait, chair of the Lossiemouth High Parent Partnership, who revealed there was great anger and frustration in the school community.
She described the mood among the school community as one of “extreme disappointment”.
“Lossiemouth High School is a school of ambition and one of its values is respect. I don’t think they can feel very respected when something like this is cancelled at the last minute. Surely there were other people who could have joined the team.
“At the very least we deserve an apology. It was nothing to do with the high school or Moray Council that it was cancelled,” she added.
A Moray Council spokesman said: “This was to have been a dual inspection of the High School and the community learning team which serves the school catchment area. We are very disappointed at the late cancellation and we have expressed our concerns to Education Scotland.
“Inspections can be stressful for staff, and a great deal of work had been done in preparation for the inspectors’ visit.
“A considerable number of people have been inconvenienced, not least those parents who were due to be interviewed as part of the inspection process, and we have urged Education Scotland to reschedule the inspection at the earliest opportunity.”
An Education Scotland spokesperson said: “In the case of Lossiemouth High School, two members of the inspection team fell ill very shortly before the timetabled inspection. In these circumstances, and with all other secondary school HM Inspectors fully deployed, we decided to postpone the inspection until an equally skilled team could be put in place.
“We have been in regular touch with Lossiemouth High School’s head teacher, Linda Brown, and with Moray Council to keep them fully informed. The inspection will be rearranged as soon as possible. Any papers the school has prepared, as well as the questionnaires completed by parents, teachers and pupils, can be used for the rearranged inspection."
To read more on this story see 'The Northern Scot' print version.