Section 188: School Inspections and Schedule 16
357.Section 188 brings into effect Schedule 16 containing amendments to the SIA. The Schedule amends the duties of the Chief Inspectors for England and Wales to keep the Secretary of State and the NAW informed about schools. The duty in subsections 2(1)(c) and 5(1)(c) to advise about the efficiency of financial management is subsumed within a wider duty relating to management and leadership in schools. This amendment confirms the importance of high-quality leadership and management in the achieving and maintaining of high standards by schools.
358.The Schedule makes a similar amendment in the duty placed upon registered inspectors in respect of the scope of school inspections which they conduct under section 10. This amendment reflects the coverage of management and leadership in school inspections and reports.
359.The Schedule amends section 12 to provide the Chief Inspectors with discretion to use a member of the Inspectorate (defined in section 46 as HMIs and additional inspectors), rather than a registered inspector, to carry out an inspection under section 10, where they consider it expedient to do so. The existing position is that the Chief Inspectors may only do this where it is not reasonably practicable to secure a suitable registered inspector to carry out the inspection. This power will be used to enable inspections under sections 2(2)(b) and 3(1) in England, and sections 5(2)(b) and 6(1) in Wales, to be combined with, or take the place of, section 10 inspections, thereby reducing the number of separate visits by inspectors to the schools concerned.
360.The Schedule amends the provisions relating to membership of the teams which assist registered inspectors in school inspections under section 10. In addition to inspectors enrolled on the lists maintained by the Chief Inspectors under paragraph 3A of Schedule 3, members of the Inspectorate will be able to act as team members where authorised by the relevant Chief Inspector. This amendment will enable more flexible use to be made of the expertise available for inspection work in schools and will enable some inspections to be combined with the result that the burden on schools concerned will be reduced.
361.The Schedule amends the provisions in section 16 specifying those to whom copies of school inspection reports must be sent by enabling that duty to be extended to other recipients by regulations. This amendment provides consistency with provisions in respect of schools’ post-inspection action plans.
362.The Schedule amends the provisions in section 17 specifying those to whom copies of schools’ post-inspection action plans must be sent. Copies will be required by the Chief Inspectors only in respect of schools for which the inspection report stated that special measures are required or that the school has serious weaknesses. This amendment will remove an administrative burden from other schools.
363.The Schedule amends paragraph 1 and 2(3) of Schedule 1 to require the Chief Inspector for England when appointing staff, and when arranging for the employment of additional inspectors, to obtain the approval of the Minister for the Civil Service, rather than the Treasury. This change ensures that this provision is consistent with the Transfer of Functions (Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service) Order 1995. The position in relation to Wales, where the requirement is to obtain approval from the NAW, remains unchanged.