Schools cooperating with inspectors despite teachers' action

Chief Inspector Noelle Buick

SCHOOLS are continuing to cooperate with inspectors amid industrial action by teachers, a conference has heard.

More than 500 principals yesterday attended the Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) conference in Belfast.

The ETI has been unable to complete more than 160 reports so far this year. All main teaching unions withdrew cooperation with ETI as part of action short of strike.

They have rejected a pay offer that would see staff receive no across-the-board pay rise for 2015/16, and a 1 per cent cost of living uplift for 2016/17.

Since the action began, inspectors have begun visits and reported as usual, but many reports have gaps and contain no overall inspection grade.

Chief Inspector Noelle Buick said the ETI's work was continuing.

"Even during the current period of action short of strike where teachers are not cooperating with school inspections, schools are still attending our events, engaging in professional dialogue with district inspectors and willing to share good practice with their colleagues," she said.

"Building on this type of collaboration will ensure that improvement endures. The central aim of the ETI is to promote improvement in the interest of all learners so that all children and young people get the best start in life and achieve to their full potential."

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