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Education Act 2005

Chapter 6 – Other Inspections: England and Wales
Section 48: Inspection of religious education: England

90.This section re-enacts without modification section 23 of SIA 1996 in its application to England, providing for the separate inspection of denominational education and collective worship in schools designated under section 69(3) of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 by the Secretary of State as having a religious character. It sets out that it is the responsibility of the governing body of a school, or in the case of a voluntary controlled school, the responsibility of the foundation governors, to arrange an inspection under this section. Subsection (2) provides that, in choosing the inspector, the governing body or foundation governors must consult any person prescribed in regulations in relation to the religion or religious denomination of that school. The section allows the Secretary of State to prescribe in regulations the intervals between such inspections.

Section 49: Procedure for inspections under section 48

91.This section re-enacts procedures currently covered by Schedule 4 to SIA 1996. It allows the Secretary of State to prescribe in regulations the period within which an inspection under section 48 may be conducted. It also requires the person conducting the inspection to prepare a report in writing before the end of a period which is prescribed in regulations. Subsection (4) places a duty on the governing body to make the report available to members of the public and to ensure that all parents of registered pupils receive a copy of the report.

Section 50 and Schedule 6: Inspection of religious education: Wales

92.This section makes similar provision in relation to Wales to that made by section 48 in relation to England. New provision is made requiring governing bodies or foundation governors, before they choose an inspector to conduct an inspection of denominational education and collective worship, to have regard to guidance provided by the relevant body for the faith group to which the school belongs. These bodies will be set out in regulations made by the Assembly. The Schedule makes provision in relation to the procedure for, and conduct of, such inspections, and in relation to the preparation of inspection reports and action plans.

Section 51: Power of LEA to inspect maintained school for specific purpose

93.This section re-enacts without any changes section 25 of SIA 1996 giving local education authorities, for the specific purposes set out in subsection (1), the power to conduct visits to inspect provision in schools which they maintain.

Section 52: Provision of inspection services by LEAs in Wales

94.This section re-enacts section 24 of SIA 1996 in its application to Wales. It enables a local education authority to provide a school inspection service for schools within their area. It allows the service to be provided for both maintained and non-maintained schools and requires local authorities to recover costs through charges on those using the service. It provides that the Assembly may by regulations make provision as to the making of tenders and keeping of accounts by local education authorities.

Section 53: Inspection of child minding, day care and nursery education

95.This section introduces Schedule 7, which sets out amendments relating to the inspection of child minding, day care for children, and nursery education.

Schedule 7: Inspection of child minding, day care and nursery education

96.This Schedule makes amendments to Part 10A of the Children Act 1989 which was inserted by the Care Standards Act 2000 (child minding and day care); and section 122 of, and Schedule 26 to, the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 (nursery education).

97.Paragraph 1 expands the general duty of the Chief Inspector for England to keep the Secretary of State informed about child minding and day care provided in England. In addition to the quality and standards of child minding and day care, the Chief Inspector must also keep the Secretary of State informed about how far child minding and day care meet the needs of the range of children cared for, about the quality of the leadership and management of day care, and about the contribution made by child minding and day care to the well-being of the children for whom they are provided. Well-being is to be interpreted in accordance with section 10(2) of the Children Act 2004.

98.Paragraph 2 removes the requirement on the Chief Inspector to maintain a register of early years child care inspectors in England.

99.Paragraph 3 makes amendments as a consequence of the removal of the requirement to maintain a register of early years child care inspectors under paragraph 3. It places duties, formerly placed on registered inspectors, on the Chief Inspector in England to report as set out at paragraph 2. Sub-paragraph (6) inserts a new regulation-making power to require child minders and providers of day care to notify prescribed persons of an inspection.

100.Paragraph 4 amends the provisions in section 79R of the Children Act 1989 placing the responsibility for the production and distribution of child minding and day care inspection reports on the Chief Inspector of schools in England. It removes the requirement for a report to be prepared within a prescribed period. Paragraph 4(4) makes provision for regulations to require child minders and providers of day care, to whom the Chief Inspector is already required to send a report, to make a copy of the report available to other persons as may be prescribed (this will cover parents); to provide a copy of the report to other persons as may be prescribed; and allows them to charge a fee for providing copies of the report in prescribed cases. Paragraph 4(5) removes a reference to SIA 1996 and substitutes it with a reference to this Act, enabling inspection reports to be published by electronic means.

101.Paragraphs 5 and 6 amend sections 79T and 79U of the Children Act 1989, replacing references in those provisions to SIA 1996 with references to this Act for Wales and England respectively. In Wales, paragraph 5 enables the Chief Inspector for Wales to determine the manner in which inspection reports are published (see note to section 28). In England, paragraph 6 ensures that the rights of entry under the Children Act 1989 permit access to allow the inspection of computer records (see note to section 58).

102.Paragraph 7 amends section 122 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998, to reflect the retention of the requirement to keep a register of nursery inspectors in Wales but the removal of this requirement in England.

103.Paragraph 9 amends the definition of ‘relevant nursery education’ (and associated expressions) for the purposes of Schedule 26 (Inspection of nursery education) of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998. The definition now includes nursery education provided under arrangements made in pursuance of the duty to secure sufficient provision of nursery education for their area under section 118 of the 1998 Act. This is in consequence of the removal of the duty on the local authority to prepare an early years and childcare development plan.

104.Paragraph 10 makes changes which reflect the different approaches in England and Wales outlined below (see notes to paragraphs 13 to 19). This paragraph also defines the term “well-being” in accordance with sections 10(2) (England) and 25(2) (Wales) of the Children Act 2004.

105.Paragraph 11 expands the general duty, as set out in paragraph 3 of Schedule 26 to the School Standards and Framework Act 1998, of the Chief Inspector for England and the Chief Inspector for Wales to keep the Secretary of State and the Assembly respectively informed about relevant nursery education. In addition to the quality and standards of nursery education, and the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of the children for whom nursery education is provided, both Chief Inspectors must also provide information about how far relevant nursery education meets the needs of the range of children for whom it is provided, about the quality of the leadership and management of nursery education, and about the contribution made by relevant nursery education to the well-being of the children for whom it is provided.

106.Paragraph 12 makes changes to the nursery education inspection provisions in paragraphs 6 and 7 of Schedule 26 to the School Standards and Framework Act 1998. These changes are a consequence of the removal of the requirement on the Chief Inspector for England to establish and maintain a register of nursery education inspectors (see notes to paragraphs 13 to 19 below). It re-enacts paragraph 6 of Schedule 26 in relation to Wales, making provision for the Chief Inspector for Wales to secure the inspection of nursery education by HMI or registered nursery education inspectors. It also inserts a new regulation-making power to require the responsible person (to be prescribed) to notify prescribed persons of an inspection.

107.In relation to both England and Wales, this paragraph removes the references to inspections being carried out at any premises on which relevant nursery education is provided. The Chief Inspector will be able to inspect relevant nursery education without having to arrange an inspection visit to every set of premises.

108.Paragraphs 13 to 19 remove the requirement on the Chief Inspector for England to establish and maintain a register of nursery education inspectors, but provide for the retention of this requirement in Wales. They make a number of consequential amendments to paragraphs 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 of Schedule 26 to the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 to reflect this difference.

109.Paragraph 20 amends the provisions in Schedule 26 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 in respect of nursery education inspection reports in England. These make the Chief Inspector responsible for the production and distribution of all reports and remove the requirement for a report to be prepared within a prescribed period. It makes provision requiring the Chief Inspector to send a copy of the report to the responsible person (which will be prescribed in regulations to cover those persons in receipt of funding from the local education authority for the provision of nursery education) and to other persons as may be prescribed. It also makes provision for regulations to require the responsible person (to whom the Chief Inspector is already required to send a report) to make a copy of the report available to other persons as may be prescribed (it is intended that this will cover parents); to provide a copy of the report to other persons as may be prescribed; and to allow them to charge a fee for providing copies of the report in prescribed cases.

110.Paragraph 20 also re-enacts, in relation to Wales, the provisions of paragraph 13 of Schedule 26 to the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 which makes provision in relation to the reports of inspections. There is new provision (as in England) allowing regulations made by the Assembly to require prescribed persons, to whom the Chief Inspector for Wales is already required to send a report, to send a copy of the report to other specified persons.

111.Finally, paragraph 20 removes the reference to SIA 1996 and substitutes it with a reference to this Act, enabling inspection reports to be published by electronic means.

112.Paragraph 21 amends paragraph 14 of Schedule 26 to the School Standards and Framework Act in respect of the provisions for the annual reports of Chief Inspectors in both England and Wales to include an account of the exercise of their functions in respect of nursery education inspection, consequent upon the new legal basis for such reports in this Act.

113.Paragraphs 22 and 23 make consequential amendments to reflect the different provisions for nursery education in England and Wales, as outlined in the notes to paragraphs 13-19.

114.Paragraph 24 makes further consequential amendments to paragraphs 16, 17 and 18 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 reflecting the different provisions for nursery education in England and Wales, as set out at paragraphs 13 to 19, and replaces a reference to section 42 of SIA 1996 which relates to the inspection of computer records with an equivalent reference in this Act.

Section 54:  Inspection of independent schools

115.This section introduces Schedule 8, which contains consequential amendments of the Education Act 2002 relating to the inspection of independent schools.

Schedule 8: Amendments relating to inspection of independent schools

116.This Schedule contains a number of amendments to existing legislation, resulting from the removal of the category and responsibilities of ‘registered inspectors’ in England, which has a consequential impact on sections 163 and 164 of the Education Act 2002. This Schedule preserves the powers to inspect registered schools as currently set out in section 163 and rights of entry and related supplementary responsibilities in section 164. However, in amending these provisions, it also substitutes separate provisions for England and for Wales, to allow for the fact that in Wales, the role of registered inspector will continue, whereas in England it will cease.

Section 55: Inspection of careers services in Wales

117.This section makes new provision extending the remit of the Chief Inspector for Education and Training in Wales in relation to the inspection of careers services in Wales. Under section 8 of the Employment and Training Act 1973 the Assembly is under a duty to secure the provision of a careers service to certain persons receiving education, and under section 9 of that Act it has the power to provide careers services for others. The Assembly has made arrangements under section 10 of that Act to provide careers services in Wales. These are provided by a number of careers companies, limited by guarantee, which together make up Careers Wales. Although it is an all-age service its work is primarily directed towards provision of careers advice and guidance for young people and, in particular, young people aged 14-19 in education and making choices about learning and career options.

118.Careers services provided by the companies which form Careers Wales are currently inspected by the Chief Inspector for Education and Training in Wales under section 35 of the Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998. However these inspection arrangements are out of step with all other areas of inspection in Wales, particularly since the introduction of a new Common Inspection Framework from September 2004 by Estyn, and the existing legislation provides the Chief Inspector with only limited powers. In particular inspections of careers services can only be carried out at the Assembly’s request.

119.The provisions in this section will ensure that careers services in Wales are subject to a similar system of inspection as other education and training within the Chief Inspector’s remit.

120.Section 55 requires the Chief Inspector to inspect persons providing or arranging the provision of careers services in Wales at intervals which will be prescribed by regulations to be made by the Assembly.

121.Subsection (2) places a general duty on the Chief Inspector to keep the Assembly informed about the quality of the careers and related services provided in Wales.

122.Subsection (4) provides a power for the Assembly to make regulations governing the interval between the inspections of careers service providers.

123.Subsection (5) requires the Chief Inspector to provide the Assembly with such advice as requested on careers services in Wales, and, when asked to do so by the Assembly, to inspect any careers service provider.

124.Subsection (6) provides that the Chief Inspector may, of her own accord, give advice to the Assembly on matters relating to the provision of careers services or arrange for a careers services provider to be inspected at any time.

Section 56: Inspection of services related to careers services in Wales

125.This section makes new provision replacing that made under section 35A of the Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998 in relation to the inspection of education, training or advisory services provided by persons providing careers services, i.e. “related services” provided by careers companies in Wales. These related services are provided under arrangements made by the Assembly under section 2 of the Employment and Training Act 1973, or with the funding made available under section 12 (1) of the Industrial Development Act 1982.

126.Subsection (2) places a new general duty on the Chief Inspector for Education and Training for Wales to keep the Assembly informed about the quality of any such related services provided by persons providing careers services in Wales.

127.Subsection (3) requires the Chief Inspector to inspect these related services at intervals to be prescribed by regulations to be made by the Assembly.

128.Subsection (4) requires the Chief Inspector, when asked by the Assembly, to provide advice on the provision of these related services in Wales and to inspect any provider of these related services.

129.Subsection (5) provides that the Chief Inspector may, of his own accord, give advice to the Assembly on matters relating to the provision of these related services or arrange for the provider of any such services to be inspected at any time.

Section 57: Inspections under sections 55 and 56

130.This section makes new provision, setting out the procedures for inspections in Wales under sections 55 and 56. Such inspections have to be carried out by HMI or an additional inspector, in accordance with Assembly instructions or guidelines. Provision is made for rights of entry for inspectors, including rights to inspect records and documents and to take copies as required for the purposes of an inspection. Subsection (5) provides that it is an offence to obstruct an inspector or a person assisting him. Subsections (7) and (8) detail arrangements for the preparation of inspection reports.

131.Subsections (9) and (10) provide a new regulation-making power for the Assembly. In these regulations the Assembly will be able to require a person inspected under sections 55 or 56 to prepare a written statement in response to an inspection report, and to set out matters to be covered in the statement, the timescale for its preparation and publication arrangements.

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