Inspectorate jobs to leave capital

MORE than 100 staff with the education inspectorate are to be moved out of Edinburgh as part of the continuing drive to disperse public sector jobs, it was announced yesterday.

The headquarters of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education will move from Edinburgh to Livingston, West Lothian, where "at least" 60 staff will be based. New offices will also be opened in Dunbartonshire and Ayrshire, each housing about a dozen.

The move was announced by education minister Peter Peacock, who said it would improve the education inspection system and transfer 100 jobs to areas of deprivation or recent job losses.

The education inspectorate currently employs 178 staff in Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Inverness, Glasgow and Dundee.

The offices in Aberdeen, Inverness and Glasgow will remain, but the Dundee office will be expanded and moved to another part of the city.

Mr Peacock said: "HMI plays a vital role in our education improvement agenda and it is important that inspectors are as close as possible to the schools, colleges and education authorities they inspect.

"This move will allow the inspectorate to further modernise its service and meet the challenging targets set by ministers."

He said that while many staff would stay in their jobs but work from the new offices, some might not want to, and this would create job opportunities for local people.

"Those who choose not to stay with HMI will not face redundancy - they will be eligible for other posts in the Scottish Executive," he said.

"This is an excellent relocation initiative which meets our objectives of organisational efficiency and jobs dispersal."