Search Legislation

The Education (Northern Ireland) Order 1996


This is the original version (as it was originally made).

School inspections

33.  For Article 102 of the 1986 Order there shall be substituted the following Articles—

Inspection of educational and other establishments by Department

102.(1) Every relevant establishment shall be open at all reasonable times to inspection under this Article.

(2) In this Article and Article 102A “relevant establishment” means—

(a)a school;

(b)a college of education;

(c)a grant-aided institution or establishment; or

(d)an institution or establishment which is established, maintained or managed by a board or the activities of which are organised by a board.

(3) Inspections under this Article shall be conducted by—

(a)inspectors appointed by the Department; or

(b)other officers of the Department.

(4) Inspectors conducting the inspection of an establishment under this Article may be accompanied and assisted in the inspection by a lay person assigned for the purposes of that inspection under Article 102A.

(5) It shall be the duty of inspectors to promote the highest standards of education and of professional practice among teachers in relevant establishments which provide education by—

(a)monitoring, inspecting and reporting on the standard of education being provided in those establishments and the standards of professional practice among teachers on the staff of such establishments;

(b)advising the Department on any aspect of the curriculum of any of those establishments which the Department may refer to them or on which they think advice is appropriate.

(6) It shall be the duty of inspectors to monitor, inspect and report on the nature, scope and effect of advisory and support services provided by boards under Article 29 of the 1989 Order in relation to the curricula and staff of grant-aided schools.

(7) The functions conferred by this Article on inspectors shall not be exercisable in relation to any provision for religious education included in the curriculum of a school under Article 5(1)(a) of the 1989 Order except with the agreement of the Board of Governors of the school.

(8) The Department may give directions under Article 101 for the purpose of remedying any matter referred to in a report under this Article.

Lay persons

102A.(1) The Department may appoint a panel of persons to act as lay persons in inspections conducted under Article 102.

(2) A person shall not be appointed to the panel unless he is, in the opinion of the Department, without significant personal experience in the management of relevant establishments and the provision of education (otherwise than as a member of the managing body of such an establishment or in any other voluntary capacity).

(3) The Department may remove a person from the panel at any time.

(4) The Department may assign a member of the panel to be a lay person for the purposes of an inspection of any relevant establishment to be conducted under Article 102 but shall ensure that no person is so assigned if he has, or at any time had, any connection with—

(a)the establishment in question;

(b)any person who is employed at that establishment;

(c)any person who is a member of the managing body of that establishment;

(d)where the establishment is an independent school, the proprietor of the school,

of a kind which might reasonably be taken to raise doubts about his ability to act impartially in relation to that establishment.

(5) The Department may, with the approval of the Department of Finance and Personnel, pay to members of the panel such allowances and expenses as the Department may determine.

(6) In this Article “managing body” means—

(a)in relation to a school, the Board of Governors;

(b)in relation to an institution of further education, the governing body;

(c)in relation to any other relevant establishment, the body responsible for its management..

Back to top


Print Options


Legislation is available in different versions:

Latest Available (revised):The latest available updated version of the legislation incorporating changes made by subsequent legislation and applied by our editorial team. Changes we have not yet applied to the text, can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area.

Original (As Enacted or Made): The original version of the legislation as it stood when it was enacted or made. No changes have been applied to the text.


Opening Options

Different options to open legislation in order to view more content on screen at once


More Resources

Access essential accompanying documents and information for this legislation item from this tab. Dependent on the legislation item being viewed this may include:

  • the original print PDF of the as enacted version that was used for the print copy
  • lists of changes made by and/or affecting this legislation item
  • confers power and blanket amendment details
  • all formats of all associated documents
  • correction slips
  • links to related legislation and further information resources