Inspection Profiles

Each SICI member inspectorate has provided a profile of their inspection system. In some cases the member has included a description of their education system as well. The profiles were drawn up in 2008/2009. A number of members have updated their profiles in light of recent changes. As the profiles are the property of the inspectorates concerned, SICI takes no responsibility for the current validity of the information provided.

Albania

Albania

The inspection service, as an external structure of the assessment of the quality of services in the pre-university education was institutionalized in January 2003, with the setting up of the Inspection Directorate, as part of the Ministry of Education & Science of Albania.

Bulgaria

Bulgaria

Summary Profile: Bulgaria Education control is carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Education Law, Education Law Enforcement Regulations, the Education Level, General Education Minimum and Curriculum Law, VET Law, Instruction No 1 from 1995 on control activities, Ordinance No 3 from 2003 of the minister of education and science on the system of assessment.  The minister of education, youth and science is a specialized authority for education management and, executing his rightful obligations, controls the activities of all kinds of kindergartens, schools, education supporting bodies on all education levels. All details are given in the following link and in the sources given there.

Czech Republic

Czech Republic

Inspectorate Profile: Czech Republic The School Inspectorate of the Czech Republic has a long history – of course connected with the turbulent political history of the country. After the revolution in 1989/1990 the Czech Republic was the first Eastern – European country that developed and installed an inspectorate that did "full inspections" of schools – already in 1994/1995. That Inspectorate also was one of the eight founders – inspectorates of SICI in 1995. As in more Eastern – European countries, the development in this area of school inspection was not linear – due to political changes and the complicated change – processes in schools and education. In the Education Act of 2005 and accompanying documents the tasks and responsibilities of the CSI are crystallized now in a clear and stable way.  All details are given in the following link and in the sources given there.

Denmark

Denmark

Inspectorate Profile: Denmark The system of evaluation in Denmark is not centred around or built upon a type of "full inspection" of schools. On the contrary: it builds strongly on the own responsibility of the municipalities and the schools to carry out their own evaluations and to take measures to continually improve the quality of their education. For this education the government has given goals and objectives and broad guidelines as a framework; and also obligations to really do the evaluations.  For a correct understanding of the evaluation landscape in Denmark it is very important to keep in mind the difference between the general public system of schools and the system of "private, independent schools".All details are given in the following link and in the sources given there.

England

England

Inspectorate Profile: England The Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) is by far the largest organisation for inspection of schools - and of other providers of education, training and care - in Europe.  It is also one of the first inspectorates to have developed, from 1992 onwards, regular and systematic full inspection of schools.  With HM Inspectorate of Education (HMIE) in Scotland, Ofsted has had an important influence on the development of the new approach to school inspection, within Europe and in many other parts of the world.   All details are given in the following link and in the sources given there.

Estonia

Estonia

Inspectorate Profile: Estonia Since 1st September 2017 the organisation of inspection has changed. The inspection is exercised only by the Ministry of Education and Research (previously also exercised by county government officials). Since 1st September 2017 it is possible to control the activities of the educational institution’s owners. The objective of inspection has changed.  The main objective is to ensure the accessibility of basic and secondary general education, also organisation of education and schooling, its quality and efficiency on equal bases. The legality of educational institution and the owner’s actions are controlled when conducting the inspection.The inspectors are located in four regions. Their main tasks are to consult educational institutions, the owners, parents and local community; response to requests; build cooperation network; arrange information interchange between the ministry, educational institution and its owner. The inspection is conducted across the country by experts in case of schooling permits and inspection in individual matters. If necessary, it is possible to control the educational institutions’ activities in certain field (thematic inspection). All details are given in the following link and in the sources given there.     

Finland

Finland

Country Profile: Finland

Flanders

Flanders

Inspectorate Profile: Flanders The Inspectorate of Flanders (the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium) has a new 'Decree' (regulation) since May 2009 - after the decree of 1991 that introduced a sytem of Full Inspection of all schools.  Such an inspection was done in all schools, irrespective of their governance: public by national or regional or local governments; or private by religiously-based or other association; both types subsidized by the national government.  This principle of 'inspection of all schools' has been kept in May 2009.  All details are given in the following link and in the sources given there.    

France

France

Country Profile: France

German-speaking part of Belgium

German-speaking part of Belgium

Germany - Hamburg

Germany - Hamburg

Country Profile: Hamburg

Germany - Hesse

Germany - Hesse

Inspectorate Profile: Hessen  

Germany - North Rhine-Westphalia

Germany - North Rhine-Westphalia

Quality Analysis in North Rhine-Westphalia is an external school evaluation procedure, comparable to “school inspection” in other German states and other European countries. It was introduced in August 2006 and is compulsory for all public schools in North Rhine-Westphalia. Quality Analysis aims at providing public schools in North Rhine-Westphalia with data-based information on the progress of their development and to support the schools in their future decisions. Overall responsibility for the Quality Analysis program lies with the Ministry of School and Education of North Rhine Westphalia, department 414 – “Quality Analysis”. It defines policy, strategy and standards. The specific organisation of the inspections is delegated to the five district governments, where specific Quality Analysis departments (“Dezernat 4Q” / “Section 4Q”) were established in 2006. These departments are part of the School Supervisory Boards, which are responsible for controlling and supporting public schools. The Quality Analysis departments work independently, yet cooperate with the School Supervisory Boards. Since 2013, the procedure and the instruments of Quality Analysis have been updated and refined. Starting with the school year 2015/2016, all schools will be evaluated according to the newly defined procedure of Quality Analysis. In districts where all schools of a specific school type have been inspected, a second round of school inspection begins. Schools are involved in the process of Quality Analysis from the very beginning. They actively contribute to organising and designing their ‘own’ inspection. Since 2017 the Inspection Framework of North Rhine-Westphalia, which closely refers to the Reference Framework for School Quality North Rhine-Westphalia, serves as a basis for all inspections. In addition to the compulsory criteria of the inspection framework, optional criteria can be agreed on by the school and the school inspection team. A full inspection is carried out at the request of the school only. The newly defined procedure of Quality Analysis consists of a preliminary phase and a main phase. Both phases are characterised by transparency, participation and cooperation. Depending on the schools development stage, the main phase takes place within a maximum of two years after the “initiative meeting”, which is part of the preliminary phase. During the main phase, the actual school inspection takes place. On the basis of various sources of information, the inspection team compiles a quality report on the school. The quality report highlights strengths and potential weaknesses and explains the results regarding the compulsory and the agreed optional criteria. The aim is to provide a strong impetus to the sustainable improvement of school quality. The quality report will then be analysed by the various panels of the school. Binding targets are agreed with the responsible School Supervisory Board. This can lead to the conclusion of agreements with institutions offering further education for teachers.  

Ireland

Ireland

Inspectorate Profile: Ireland In Ireland, the Inspectorate is a Division of the Department of Education and Science, and the Department is responsible for the funding of the Inspectorate and its services.  The Irish Inspectorate is one of the oldest inspectorates of education: it was founded in 1831 when a comprehensive publicly-funded system of elementary education was established.  Subsequently, inspectorates of vocational/technical education and secondary education were founded in the early twentieth century.  All three branches – primary, secondary and vocational – were united in the 1990s.All details are given in the following link and in the sources given there. 

Lithuania

Lithuania

Country Profile: Lithuania

Malta

Malta

Summary Profile: Malta The Quality Assurance Department (QAD) was set by law under the Education Act of 2006 “to implement every inspection, evaluation and external audit of educational programmes and services, with the aim of ensuring that the curriculum is being followed in every school, that good practices are being promoted and that quality is ensured in all the education system and also to evaluate and assess the operation and the results of Colleges and schools and of any person teaching and working therein” (Part II Article 9 para.2 e/f).The QAD, which is a department within the Directorate for Quality and Standards in Education (DQSE), is still in its early stages and one of the main responsibilities is to set up a system of external review, in other words an inspectorate, to see that schools do provide a quality education.  A thorough review of the existing system and of past inspection experiences is therefore being undertaken.All details are given in the following link and in the sources given there.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland

Inspectorate Profile: Northern Ireland The Inspectorate of Northern – Ireland (ETI; Education and Training Inspectorate) has already a rather long tradition of "modern inspection" of schools in a form of "full inspection" of the institutions. The framework, the procedures, the guidelines, the permanent wish to learn and to improve is well –established.  All details are given in the following link and in the sources given there.

    Norway

    Norway

    Inspectorate Profile: Norway Supervision and inspections of the educational sector are relatively recent in Norway.  National inspections in 2006 indicated the start of coordinated inspectorate efforts for the educational sector.  During the period from 2006 to the present day, inspection activities have become more widely prioritised as an instrument for realising political goals for education and training.  The scope and extent of the Inspectorate's activities in this period has increased, and work is now being done to further develop inspection methods and operational models for inspections.  All details are given in the following link and in the sources given there.  

    Portugal

    Portugal

    Inspectorate Profile: Portugal IGE has a specific law that details its organisational framework and states its role within the education system. Inspection activities range from the supervision of legal compliance to school external evaluation. There are many other activities the Inspectorate can perform, such as monitoring schools’ performance, administrative and financial audits or even disciplinary proceedings against individual staff. Schools are inspected regularly (very often more than once in a year), although in the scope of different activities. The external evaluation of schools (a kind of full inspection) is among the most visible inspection activities.  All details are given in the following link and in the sources given there.

    Romania

    Romania

    Country Profile: Romania

    Scotland

    Scotland

    Inspectorate Profile: Scotland Over the last 15 years, there has been increasing international recognition of the success of "the Scottish approach" to accountability and improvement. HM Inspectorate of Education (HMIE) has played a vital role in developing this approach, which is built on an explicit combination of internal and external evaluation. HMIE receives frequent requests to contribute to thinking about quality improvement in countries across the world. HM Inspectors are frequently invited to participate in a variety of events and activities abroad. They also regularly receive international visitors who are interested in their work and, in particular, in their approaches to evaluation.  All details are given in the following link and in the sources given there.   www.educationscotland.gov.uk

      Slovak Republic

      Slovak Republic

      Inspectorate Profile: Slovak Republic The Inspectorate of the Slovak Republic in its present tasks and structure is rather young: from after the breakdown of Communist government in the early nineties.  Its main task is the inspection of all schools in Slovakia with a format of full inspections, like in most European countries.  These inspections are done every five years.  In some samples of schools where such a full inspection is done, there is a special interest in a particular theme, for example the teaching of ICT or reading literacy provision. Also other types of thematic inspections are done.All details are given in the following link and the sources given there.    

      South Tyrol - German Speaking Community - Italy

      South Tyrol - German Speaking Community - Italy

      South Tyrol is a German speaking area in the North of Italy. The approx. 120 German Schools are generally supported by three parts of the system:   ·       Institute of Advice and innovation” (Beratung und Innovation) ·       Inspectorate (Inspektorat – Schulaufsicht) ·       Evaluation (school visits and large scale assessments)   The “inspection” of schools (visits) by the evaluation team leads to measures, the autonomous school takes. These measures may consequently be controlled by the inspectorate through objective agreements with the Principal. If needed, schools are supported by the above mentioned institute. Schools are inspected every 4 years. Internal and external evaluation are combined and linked through the common reference framework concerning quality of schools (in the fields of context, resources, teaching and learning, collaboration, leadership, development, general competences). 

        Sweden

        Sweden

        Inspectorate Profile: Sweden Sweden has a highly decentralized school system, though the curriculum, national objectives and guidelines are decided by the Parliament and Government.  The Swedish Schools Inspectorate, SSI, plays an important role with its program for inspections to ensure that the national objectives become fulfilled.  The inspection program is based on the Education Act which also gives the SSI powerful tools in the form of, among other, injunctions, penalties and the right to withdraw license for running an independent school. Schools assessed to be “high-risk schools” receive a more comprehensive inspection.In addition to inspections, the authority is also working with quality control of defined areas within schools, assessment of complaints from individuals, and assessment of license to conduct or expand independent schools.  The Swedish Schools Inspectorate started in 2008   All details are given in the following link and in the sources given there.  

        Switzerland

        Switzerland

        Summary Profile: SwitzerlandThe intercantonal Conference on External School Evaluation incorporates all centres for evaluation services responsible for the external evaluation of compulsory schooling (grades 1 through 9) or its conceptual development in the German-speaking part of Switzerland.  Switzerland is a federally structured state consisting of 26 cantons, all of which have their own system of public schools.  Accordingly, every canton provides its own system of external school evaluation. All details are given in the following link and in the sources given there. 

        The Netherlands

        The Netherlands

        Inspectorate Profile: The Netherlands The Dutch Inspectorate of Education is one of the oldest (since 1801) state Inspectorates of education. Nowadays it uses a system of risk-based inspections to decide which schools should be inspected and which schools can be trusted to deliver good quality education. Every year the Inspectorate collects information on possible risks in all schools. The results of the risk analysis indicate whether a school needs to be investigated more extensively, or whether the school can be trusted to perform adequately during the next year. The Inspectorate publishes the outcome of the risk analyses, and of all further investigations that take place when risks have been detected in a school. In case a school performs inadequately, the Inspectorate states which shortcomings should be improved and subsequently monitors these improvements.  All details are given in the following link and in the sources given there. 

        Wales

        Wales

        Inspectorate Profile: Wales Estyn is the office of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education and Training in Wales. Estyn is a Welsh verb meaning ‘to reach’, ‘to stretch’ or ‘to extend’. This word characterises Estyn’s mission: the achievement of excellence for all in education and training in Wales.Estyn’s work contributes to improvements in learning in Wales through providing an independent and high quality inspection and advice service that is distinctive to, and serves the needs of, Wales. Estyn’s unique all Wales perspective assists the development and implementation of policy for education, training and lifelong learning. All details are given in the following link and in the sources given there.

        Wallonia

        Wallonia

        Country Profile: Wallonia