§ Helen Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what guidance he has given to Ofsted on the frequency with which school inspections should be carried out. 
§ Mr. Byers
[holding answer 16 January 1998]: HM Chief Inspector of Schools was given a legal duty to secure the inspection of all maintained schools in the 436W four-year period ending on 31 July 1997 in respect of secondary schools and 31 July 1998 in respect of primary and other schools. Thereafter, the Education (School Inspection) Regulations 1997 provide for schools to be inspected at intervals of no more than six years from the end of the school year in which their previous inspection took place. In the case of failing schools and schools with serious weaknesses, HM Chief Inspector secures more frequent inspections.