FDA ‘very disappointed’ at failure to consult unions over HMIE and LTS merger

15 October 2010
For immediate release

The announcement that HM Inspectorate of Education and Learning and Teaching Scotland are to merge, despite no previous union consultation, has today been condemned by the FDA. The FDA is the union representing school inspectors and senior staff at HMIE.

The merger was announced - at yesterday's SNP annual conference - by Michael Russell, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning.

FDA Scottish secretary Jim Caldwell said:

"The FDA is very disappointed that there has been no consultation with unions in advance of this announcement. We are also concerned as to what this means for members' jobs, as well as their professional integrity.

"Members in the department have told the FDA of their shock, hurt and anger that HMIE is no longer to exist, after serving the Scottish people for 170 years.

"The FDA remains to be convinced that the creation of the Scottish Education Quality and Improvement Agency [the name of the merged departments] will produce improved education standards in Scottish schools. The union is also concerned that the merger is being undertaken to meet the cost-cutting agenda rather than to improve standards."

Notes for editors:

1. The FDA is the trade union and professional body representing 18,000 of the UK's senior civil and public servants. Our members include policy advisors, senior managers, government lawyers, tax inspectors, economists, statisticians, accountants, special advisers, diplomats, crown prosecutors and NHS managers.

2. The FDA (formerly the First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants' union".

3. For further information contact:

  • Jim Caldwell, FDA national officer, tel: 07967 126778.
  • Kay Hender, FDA communications officer, tel: 020 7401 5589.