Dozens of north and north-east schools have not been inspected for more than a decade.
Data obtained by the Scottish Conservatives shows that Education Scotland have not visited some schools for almost 20 years.
Two schools in Aberdeenshire – Aboyne Primary and Insch Primary – were last assessed way back in 2004.
In Aberdeen, Broomhill Primary was last checked over by Education in May 2007. In Moray, Portgordon School was last inspected in February 2006.
Rum Primary School, in Highland Council’s jurisdiction, was visited by officials in 2005. In the same year, Happyhansel Primary in the Shetland Islands was last inspected.
Papdale Primary School in Orkney was last inspected in May 2006.
School inspections largely stopped during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, but so-called recovery visits have begun.
We have created a searchable table of schools so you can check when your local school was last inspected. North east schools are below – scroll further down the page for the Highlands and Islands.
‘Deeply concerned’ by statistics
The shadow education secretary it was “absolutely appalling” that Aboyne and Insch primaries had not seen any inspectors for 18 years.
Scottish Conservative MSP Oliver Mundell described the figures as “deeply concerning” and wants the inspection system changed.
He said: “These figures are deeply concerning for parents, pupils and teachers.
“It’s absolutely appalling and completely unacceptable that two schools haven’t been inspected since way back in 2004. But, sadly, it’s in keeping with the long litany of education failures the SNP have presided over.
“The pandemic has clearly not helped but it does not excuse the decline in inspection rates prior to Covid or the SNP’s failure to meet its own targets on this.
“I’m pleased that the SNP Government finally listened to the Scottish Conservatives and recognised that it was wrong for Education Scotland to both govern schools and carry out inspections.
“We need the inspections programme to restart urgently, to get on top of this growing backlog. We need an independent inspectorate to carry out school assessments, to ensure transparency and trust in the process.”
Those Highlands and Islands stats in full:
Councils and Scottish Government response
Aberdeenshire Council said they are continually working to improve the standards of their schools.
A spokesman for the local authority said that the current inspection scheme is an “important” method.
He said: “All of our schools evaluate their performance on an ongoing basis, supported by quality improvement officers and overseen by three quality improvement managers.
“We also have an innovative approach to the development of self-evaluation tools, including involving head teachers in evaluating other schools.
“The inspection programme is an important method for assessing how well schools are doing and our efforts help to deliver on the standards set by this on an ongoing basis.”
We approached Aberdeen City, Highland, Moray, Orkney, Shetland and Western Isles councils to comment but they referred us to the Scottish Government.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “School inspections increased in 2018-19 and would have increased further had it not been for the pandemic.
“HM Inspectors of Education have continued to engage with schools in a range of ways to support the education sector during COVID recovery.
“Inspections are not the only method of scrutiny – schools and local authorities also have responsibility for evaluating performance.
“Last month, the Education Secretary announced that a new and independent inspectorate body will be created. It will develop new inspection models and help to assess the overall performance of Scottish education.”