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Education / Education inspectors plan third visit to Sandwick school

An image of Sandwick Junior High School taken from uphill. Photo © Mike Pennington (cc-by-sa/2.0)

EDUCATION inspectors are planning a third visit to Sandwick Junior High School as they feel it needs more time to take forward recommendations suggested back in 2019.

An improvement plan was put in place in 2019 following a less than satisfactory inspection report.

While a number of strengths were noted, the school was deemed ‘weak’ in three out of four categories after the Education Scotland visit.

Councillors previously heard that staff at the South Mainland school had an “absolute commitment to improve” and were working hard following the inspection.

A follow-up visit was put on the backburner due to the Covid pandemic, but inspectors returned last week.

They expect a report from that visit to be published in August.

The school said in a letter to parents and carers that the inspection team “commented on how welcome they have been made to feel in Sandwick Junior High School by children and young people, the staff, and parents/carers”.

But staff added that the school “needs more time to take forward the four recommendations from the 2019 original inspection, which related to strategic leadership, the curriculum, learning, teaching and assessment, and approaches to checking the progress of children”.

As such, inspectors will return to the school in early 2023 to focus on the four recommendations made in the initial inspection report.

The Sandwick Parent and Carer Council said in a statement that it has always worked together to support the school.

“We know how hard everyone at the school has worked since the previous inspection in 2019,” it said.

“We are disappointed the inspection team needs to return in six months’ time and along with the school, we are awaiting the full report which is due in August.

“The success of the school is very important to our local community and as parents we will continue to support the school going forward to help ensure SJHS [Sandwick Junior High School] can meet its targets.”