Under Inspection: LEA evaluation and monitoring

Wendy Keys, Karen Maychell

01 January 1993

This book is about LEA inspection and other strategies for monitoring schools in the crucial period prior to the introduction of the Government's new, 'privatised' inspections. It is based on an 18-month NFER study, involving two questionnaire surveys (LEAs and schools). It contains important findings concerning inspection and the role of LEA inspection/advisory teams. Some of the main findings arising from the research include:

  • Three-fifths of LEAs carried out a programme of full inspections, though numbers of schools inspected were generally much lower than the quarter per year planned by OFSTED.
  • Of the 830 schools in the survey, half had never experienced a full inspection.
  • Most heads and chief inspectors/advisers were in favour of introducing four-yearly, full inspections for all schools, but were overwhelmingly against private inspection teams being able to tender for those (90 per cent of heads disagreed with privatised inspections).
  • Only one in ten LEA respondents and one in five heads felt that separate advisory and inspection teams were in the best interest of schools.
  • The median cost per day of an LEA inspector (including travelling, office overheads etc) will be around £350, though estimates ranged from £195 to £626 per inspector per day.

Other findings reported on include: the involvement of parents and governors in school inspection; publication of inspection reports; involvement of outside inspectors; use of performance indicators; prevalence of school self-evaluation and LEA involvement in this; partial inspections and LEA surveys; and heads' views on, and funding for, advisory services. The report also compares full LEA inspection with the new inspection arrangements and outlines the views of both chief inspectors and heads on specific aspects of the Education (Schools) Act 1992, including the likely impact of the legislation on LEAs.

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