Education Scotland chief Bill Maxwell to retire in June

Written by Tom Freeman on 28 March 2017 in News

Scotland's chief inspector announces retirement only a day after publishing a major report highlighting inconsistencies in quality of education in Scotland

The leader of Scotland’s biggest education quango, Dr Bill Maxwell, will retire in June, the Scottish Government has announced.

Maxwell has held the position of chief executive of Education Scotland, which includes overseeing school inspections and curricular improvement, since 2011.

The announcement comes only a day after Education Scotland produced a report warning that the quality of education and pupil experience across Scotland was too “variable”.


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Maxwell said the ‘Quality and improvement in Scottish education 2012-2016’ report highlighted “many strengths in the quality of professional practice and provision across Scottish education” but that “the quality of education children and young people experience within and across sectors is still too variable”.

“Unless this variability is addressed, we will not achieve the national ambition of excellence and equity for all learners,” the report said.

Education Scotland was formed from the merger of Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education and Learning and Teaching Scotland in 2011 to focus on both evaluation and improvement.

Therefore while yesterday’s report provided feedback from inspection and evaluative intelligence, consistent improvement is also the responsibility of the agency.

Announcing the retirement, Education Secretary John Swinney said Maxwell could be proud of his “significant contribution” to Scottish Education.

“As Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education for Scotland, Bill has overseen our system of school inspection and has ensured a clear focus on improvement,” he said.

“He has been passionate about the fact that a good education unlocks potential for every child and young person and ‎his thoughtful and carefully considered advice has been greatly appreciated.”

On his retirement, Maxwell said it had been a "tremendous privilege" to lead Education Scotland.

“As the agency looks towards creating its next Strategic Plan later this year, Education Scotland will be considering how to adapt its role to capitalise on the new arrangements which we expect to emerge from the current Governance Review of Scottish education," he said.

“This is the right time for making a transition to new leadership and I wish my successor every success in ensuring the agency thrives through the next phase of its development.”

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