HC Deb 15 April 1991 vol 189 cc124-5W
Mr. Worthington

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what are the intended and actual frequencies of inspection by Her Majesty's inspectors of schools in Scotland for(a) nursery schools, (b) primary schools, (c) secondary schools, (d) further education colleges, (e) centrally-funded institutions, (f) community education services and (g) other services;

(2) how the frequency of inspection by Her Majesty's inspectors has altered for various categories of educational institution since 1979.

Mr. Michael Forsyth

[holding answer 4 February 1991]: Each year a management plan for Her Majesty's inspectorate is agreed with the Secretary of State. This establishes a programme of inspections which will provide the necessary information on an agreed range of issues from a balanced sample of schools. The inspections vary in nature, from full inspections which examine all aspects of the work of an institution and lead to a published report on the institution, to more limited selective inspections which focus on a particular issue and may contribute to a published or an internal report. The configuration of the inspection programme therefore varies in accordance with the issues under investigation.

Publication of reports on full inspections began in 1983 and the numbers of reports on institutions published since then are as follows:

Reports published
Session Nursery Primary Secondary-independent Special College Community Total
1988–89 9 82 20 6 2 2 125
1989–90 6 69 18 4 2 1 100

The reduction in the number of full inspections in 1988–89 and 1989–90 was to accommodate an increase in surveys of aspects of education and other priority work undertaken by the inspectorate. There has been a corresponding increase in the rate of publication of aspect reports in recent years. In 1988–89 16 of these were published, and 22 in 1989–90, compared to an average of six per session in earlier years.

Forward to