23 SES 13 B, Governing by Inspection: School Inspecting as Brokering and Mediating Work
The focus of this paper is an examination of the founding, remit and function of Education Scotland, a new agency (2011) which inherited the functions formerly undertaken by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education (HMIE). Learning, partnership working and mediation are stated to be at its heart, which primarily has the role to create a learning education system; its remit is to support and foster the formation of professional peer learning communities by the inspectorate through their adopting the role of ‘the knowledge brokers, and knowledge managers, and knowledge transfer agents’ (interview 21.10.11). The paper will use the Scottish case in order to examine these developments and claims; it will enquire on the extent that inspection, and therefore perhaps the audit and external scrutiny of school performance, are being transformed from the older punitive and controlling mechanism, into a brokering device. Is this merely a discursive shift or not? If not, how is it done? What kind of knowledge is being mediated and brokered? Which actors are members of these newly-emerging ‘peer learning communities’? Why and how does this happen? Finally, if inspecting is indeed transforming into a collective, learning act, what does this might mean for governing education through inspection?
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