Study of HMI (1982)

The first government of Margaret Thatcher commissioned a series of studies 'to enable Departments to examine specific policies, activities or functions and in the process to question all aspects of the work normally taken for granted with a view to recommendations to achieve savings and increased efficiency and effectiveness' (page 1). The process was coordinated by Sir Derek Rayner (1926-1998) of the Cabinet Office.

This study of HM Inspectorate was undertaken by the Department of Education and Science and the Welsh Office.

The complete document is presented in this single web page. You can scroll through it or use the following links to go straight to the various chapters:

1 Introduction
2 Role of HM Inspectorate
3 Work of HM Inspectorate
4 HMI and local advisory services
5 HMI/DES relations
6 Organisation and management
7 Staffing and resources
8 HM Inspectorate (Wales)
9 Effectiveness and priorities
10 Recommendations
Appendices

The 1982 Study of HMI was prepared for the web by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 14 November 2017.


Study of HMI (1982)

London: Department of Education and Science/Welsh Office 1982
Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen's Printer for Scotland.


[title page]

Department of Education and Science
Welsh Office



Study of HM
Inspectorate in
England and Wales





London    Her Majesty's Stationery Office


[page ii (unnumbered)]

Crown copyright 1982
First published 1982

ISBN 0 11 270311 9






[page iii (unnumbered)]

Contents



Paragraph
Number

Chapter 1: Introduction
1.1Rayner Projects
1.3Terms of Reference
1.5Methods of Work
1.8Status of Report
1.11Cost of Study
1.12Aims of the Study

Chapter 2: The role of HM Inspectorate
2.1Statutory Position
2.4Present Role
2.7Independence

Chapter 3: The Work of HM Inspectorate
3.1Introduction
3.2Inspection of Schools
3.16Further and Higher Education
3.26HM Inspectorate and CNAA
3.31Dissemination:
3.34    Visits and Inspections
3.36    In-Service Training
3.38    Publications
3.39    Assessorships
3.43    Local Authority Advisory Services


[page iv (unnumbered)]

Chapter 4: HMI and Local Advisory Services
4.2Numbers and Costs
4.7Role
4.11A Partnership

Chapter 5: Relations between HM Inspectorate and the rest of DES
5.1Introduction
5.2The Range of Work
5.4Examples of Central Government Demand
5.12Possible Improvements

Chapter 6: Organisation and Management
6.1The Requirement
6.3Regional Structure
6.6National Structure
6.7Management
6.14Relationship between schools and FHE Inspectorate
6.1516-19 Education
6.17Advanced Course Approval

Chapter 7: Staffing and Resources
7.2Numbers and Costs
7.3Staffing of HM Inspectorate
7.5Size of HM Inspectorate
7.13The Support Services
7.30HMI and Computers

Chapter 8: HM Inspectorate (Wales)
8.1Introduction
8.5Role
8.11Assessorships
8.13Local Authority Advisory Services
8.16Relations with the Welsh Office
8.24Organisation and Management, Staffing and Resources
8.29Links with HM Inspectorate in England
8.31Size of Welsh Inspectorate
8.35Support Services in Wales
8.38Conclusions


[page v (unnumbered)]

Chapter 9: Effectiveness and Future Priorities
9.2Value of HM Inspectorate
9.6Future priorities

Chapter 10: Summary of Main Conclusions and Recommendations



Appendices:

A LIST OF BODIES WHICH SUBMITTED EVIDENCE

B HMI (ENGLAND) - INSPECTIONS LEADING TO ISSUED REPORTS

TABLE 1: Inspections of individual institutions and surveys of groups of institutions leading to issued reports, 1975-1980.
TABLE 2: Full inspections of maintained primary and secondary schools, 1970-1980.
C HMI (ENGLAND) - PUBLICATIONS SINCE 1973.
LIST 1: Publications by type
LIST 2: Numbers of copies distributed.
D HMI (ENGLAND)-ISSUES RECEIVING ATTENTION
LIST 1: A. Issues receiving attention across the board.
LIST 1: B. Selection of issues classified by subject and aspect.
LIST 2: Illustrative list of Government policies and initiatives and related DES operations requiring inspection and advice from HMI on determined timescales.
E HMI (ENGLAND)- LIST OF MAJOR EXERCISES OR SURVEYS IN THE FIELD OF SPECIAL EDUCATION.

F HMI (ENGLAND AND WALES) - NUMBERS AND DEPLOYMENT

TABLE 1: Complement and numbers in post, 1968-1981
TABLE 2: Staff in post on 1 June 1981.
TABLE 3: Regional deployment of HMI (England).

[page vi (unnumbered)]

G HMI (ENGLAND AND WALES) - COSTS OF HMI AND SUPPORT SERVICES

H HMI (ENGLAND AND WALES) - ORGANISATION AND STAFFING OF SUPPORT SERVICES

CHART: Organisation of support services in England
TABLE 1: Staffing of support services (England)
TABLE 2: Staffing of support services (Wales).






[page 1]

1 Introduction


Rayner Projects

1.1 This report is the result of one of a series of studies being carried out in each Department under the coordination of Sir Derek Rayner, Cabinet Office. The general purpose of these studies is to enable Departments to examine specific policies, activities or functions and in the process to question all aspects of the work normally taken for granted with a view to recommendations to achieve savings and increased efficiency and effectiveness.

1.2 Each report is the responsibility of the Department concerned and is addressed to the Minister in charge of the Department. The report is also addressed to Sir Derek Rayner for consideration of any wider issues affecting the Civil Service generally.

Terms of Reference

1.3 Terms of reference for the study were published on 10 December 1980 as follows:

'To consider and report on the role, organisation, staffing and effectiveness of HM Inspectorate of Schools in England and Wales, including the main priorities of work to be undertaken, and arrangements for collaboration between the Inspectorate and the rest of the Department of Education and Science and the Welsh Office, taking account in particular of the following:

1. the responsibilities and policies of the Secretaries of State;

2. the present and prospective needs of all components of the education service;


[page 2]

3. the role of local education authorities and their staffs and of other educational agencies;

4. Government statements of policy relating to the quality of education and to the Inspectorate; and

5. the Government's plans to reduce public expenditure and Civil Service manpower.'

1.4 Work on the study, which began on 12 January 1981 and was completed in July 1981, was directed by Lady Young, Minister of State, and was carried out by Mr NW Stuart (on a part-time basis) and Miss J Partington. A similar study is being undertaken on HM Inspectorate in Scotland by the Scottish Office and there has been close contact with the Scottish Office at all stages of the study.

Methods of Work

1.5 The report is based upon direct observation and discussion with members of HM Inspectorate at all levels, members of HMI support services, DES administrative staff, teachers, lecturers, local education authority administrative staff and advisers and a range of national representative bodies. During the course of the study:

(i) We held discussions individually or in groups with members of HM Inspectorate illustrative of all levels and aspects of the work of the Inspectorate.

(ii) In England, we joined HM Inspectors on inspections in two divisions. During these visits we were able to observe HMI at work and the process of inspection at five schools, one college of further education and one polytechnic.

We also visited three divisional and four local offices and talked to members of the support staff.

(iii) We visited two local education authorities, Devon and Bradford, for discussions with the LEAs' administrative staff, the local authority advisory service and with a number of headteachers. In addition, we had discussions with a number of individual Chief Education Officers and also with groups of primary school and secondary school headteachers in the ILEA.

(iv) Within the Department of Education and Science we talked with a range of administrative staff including all Deputy Secretaries, Under Secretaries and a number of Assistant Secretaries and Principals.

(v) In Wales, we held discussions with the Chief Inspector and four Staff Inspectors and joined HMI on visits to four schools. During these visits we were able to talk to individual HMls, to observe the process of inspection, and to talk to teachers and headteachers; we also had discussions with the Director of Education and Chief Adviser of one LEA.


[page 3]

The support services in Wales were examined for us by Mr D Beames of the Welsh Office Education Department. Within the Welsh Office Education Department we talked to the present Under Secretary and his predecessor, the two Assistant Secretaries and Senior Principal and several Principals.
1.6 We were conscious from the outset that the variety of the education system and of HM Inspectorate's activity within it makes it difficult, if not impossible, to construct within the time available a sample of visits and first hand information that would not tend to present a partial picture of the whole. As one means of moderating the view derived from the limited number of visits and discussions we invited written evidence from a number of national education bodies. A list of those from whom we received written evidence is at Appendix A. Beyond this we also had the advantage of the detailed work of the Management Review of DES which looked at HM Inspectorate in England in 1978 and published a number of conclusions in March 1979.

1.7 Finally, we commissioned a number of papers from HM Inspectorate in England and Wales and mounted two small sample surveys to investigate the nature of day-to-day contacts between the Department and HM Inspectorate.

Status of Report

1.8 Parts of the report have been seen in draft by those in HM Inspectorate and the rest of the Department principally concerned in order to ensure as far as possible the accuracy of the factual argument and general context. The judgements and conclusions are however our own.

1.9 At an early stage of the study we circulated a study-plan to the staff side. We subsequently discussed how we were proposing to undertake the study with the Inspectors' section of the FDA and other representatives of the staff side. A further meeting was held at the end of May to discuss a memorandum of evidence from the FDA. At that meeting we also outlined some of our likely recommendations and invited comments. The staff side have been promised consultation before any measures are implemented: the stage at which this might take place has not been specified.

1.10 The report in its present form is still a 'draft report': it is offered as a basis for consideration by Ministers at the DES and Welsh Office and by Sir Derek Rayner.


[page 4]

Cost of Study

1.11 The total direct cost of the study is set out in Table 1.1. below:

Table 1.1

There are also indirect costs associated with the time of those interviewed and the preparation by HM Inspectorate of the papers we commissioned. We estimate these indirect costs to amount to not less than 5,000.

Aims of the Study

1.12 We start with a few general and preliminary considerations:

(i) HM Inspectorate, although established some 40 years before the Board of Education and 60 years in advance of the first local education authorities, is not and has never been a static organisation. It has to reflect the changing nature and growing complexity of the education service with which it is closely interrelated and translate such change in terms of advice and assessment to Government, whose needs and requirements in turn reflect changing policy attitudes. We have noted during the course of this study continuous movement within HM Inspectorate in relation to its organisation, management and styles of inspection as it adjusts to new needs. A number of our recommendations seek to confirm the direction of existing activity rather than to blaze a new path.

(ii) The work of HM Inspectorate runs through the whole of the education service excluding the universities, save in relation to some aspects of teacher training and extra-mural departments. It has established a network of relationships which encompasses every aspect of education and which embraces every national education body and association of note in the country virtually without exception.

(iii) We have received widespread and virtually unanimous evidence of the high regard in which HM Inspectorate is held. This may appear


[page 5]

somewhat paradoxical given the job of assessing standards. Nevertheless, in general the demand from whatever quarter is for more, not less: more inspectors, more advice, more inspection, more involvement on national education bodies, more availability locally and nationally.

(iv) HM Inspectorate has no direct responsibility or powers (other than delegated powers for advanced course approval in higher and further education) except the right of access to institutions and the duty to inspect on behalf of the Secretary of State. It is not responsible for decisions about the organisation or the curriculum of schools; nor for standards; nor the standard of premises, equipment, staffing or other resources; nor for the deployment or promotion or appointment of teachers. Thus its influence within the system and on the system depends preeminently on the overall quality, timeliness and authority of its advice and writings; on a continuing regard for its professional independence and integrity; and on the maintenance of a delicate set of working relationships throughout the education system.

1.13 This study is therefore concerned with a relatively small but highly regarded group of well qualified professional people in an established position of longstanding which largely pervades the education service. Moreover it follows some eight internal and external reviews since the Select Committee report of 1968 culminating in the Management Review of the Department of Education and Science some two years ago.

1.14 Against this background fundamental changes in the role and structure of HM Inspectorate would require very powerful arguments indeed and even then would require careful consideration and handling if the fragile' balance of HM Inspectorate's relationship with the education system were not to be disturbed. It is nevertheless right that this study should review again some of the basic considerations in relation to HM Inspectorate among which are these:

(i) What is the right balance between the role of HM Inspectorate in giving advice to central government and its role in contributing to the development of the system? Beyond that the study as a whole seeks to answer the question whether the job being done by the Inspectorate is the job it should be doing and whether it needs to be done at all.

(ii) How effective is the Inspectorate in the discharge of its responsibilities?

Effectiveness is notoriously difficult to quantify in this field, but the study considers the nature and impact of the Inspectorate's output within Government and outside it; its capacity to respond speedily and effectively to the demands made upon it; and the value that others place on different aspects of its work.

(iii) Is the structure, organisation and management of HM Inspectorate best


[page 6]

geared to ensure a proper choice of priorities and the performance of the wide range of tasks demanded of it?

(iv) In the light of the Government's manpower policies, is there scope in view of what the Inspectorate is achieving or could achieve for a reduction in its overall size from a complement of 430 in England and 59 in Wales? A related point is how far, if at all, what is done by the Inspectorate could be or should be done by others within the education service.

1.15 These basic questions represent the underlying themes of this report which looks first at HM Inspectorate in England and then at the somewhat different considerations that apply to HM Inspectorate in Wales. We have sought to define the role of HM Inspectorate in Chapter 2 and to consider the balance between its different functions in Chapter 3. The report then examines relations between HM Inspectorate and the LEA advisory services (Chapter 4) and with the rest of the Department (Chapter 5). In the light of this analysis we consider questions of organisation, management and resources.

1.16 A summary of our main conclusions and recommendations is at Chapter 10.




[page 7]

2 The role of HM Inspectorate


Statutory Position

2.1 The statutory basis for the work of HM Inspectorate is section 77 of the Education Act, 1944, which requires the Secretary of State to cause inspections to be made of every educational establishment maintained by a local education authority at appropriate intervals. Neither the purpose nor the nature of such inspections are defined and the implication is that the inspections are to be such as the Secretary of State, in the circumstances, thinks fit. Indeed, HM Inspectorate has no function independent of that of the Secretary of State.

2.2 It should be noted that the Secretary of State may be relieved of his duty to cause the inspection of a particular establishment 'during any period during which he is satisfied that suitable arrangements are in force for the inspection of that establishment.' It is difficult to envisage there being 'suitable arrangements' in relation to a non-maintained school or such arrangements in relation to a maintained school other than those made by the local education authority under powers available in section 77. Parliament appears therefore in practice to have contemplated circumstances in which there might be some relaxation of the duty to inspect. We return to this aspect of the Secretary of State's powers in paragraph 4.10.

2.3 Neither the 1944 Education Act nor the legislation that preceded it clearly establish the role of HM Inspectorate. Indeed the earliest legislation, by emphasis on HMI's right to access, suggested that inspection was by definition no more than that which inspectors did on entering an educational establishment. Throughout its history, however, the function of inspection has been interpreted to contain these principal elements:

(i) a check on the use of public funds. For example, the Board of Education reported to Parliament in 1922 that the primary duty of HM Inspectorate

[page 8]

'is to ascertain whether educational value is obtained for the expenditure of state money and they are therefore required to report systematically on the educational standard of schools and areas';

Iii) provision of information to central government. Thus, for example, the first instructions to the Inspectorate in 1839 stressed the objective 'to collect facts and information and to report the results of their inspections to the Committee of the Council.' Matthew Arnold, writing in the 1860s, described the business of the inspector as 'to report on the condition of public education as it evolves ... and to supply your Lordships and the nation at large with data for determining how far the system is successful'. In 1902 the Board of Education stated that its administration would 'be largely guided by the expert advice given them in the full knowledge of local circumstances by the body of Inspectors';

(iii) provision of advice to those responsible for the running of educational establishments. The first instructions to HM Inspectorate stressed that inspection 'is not to be regarded as operating for the restraint of local efforts but for their encouragement'. From the outset, HM Inspectorate has been expected, in the course of its work, 'to use its influence and experience in suggesting improvements and stimulating developments in the work of the schools and local education authorities,. (Board of Education Annual Report 1922/23.)

Present Role

2.4 All those elements are present in the work of HM Inspectorate to-day. Our analysis, following upon the work carried out for the Management Review of DES in 1978, suggests the following definition of the role of HM Inspectorate:

(a) to assess standards and trends throughout the education system and to advise central government on the state of the system nationally on the basis of its independent professional judgment. This is its first and overriding duty; and at the same time

(b) to contribute to the maintenance and improvement of standards in the system by the identification and dissemination of good practice; by bringing to notice weaknesses which require attention; and by advice to those with a direct responsibility for the operation of the service including teachers, heads and principals, governing bodies and local education authorities.

2.5 The main purpose of this study has been to consider whether the present balance of effort devoted to these different functions is right in present circumstances. The 1968 Select Committee report implied that there would be advantage in shifting the emphasis so that HM Inspectorate became, in


[page 9]

effect, the main purveyor of independent professional advice on the standard of organisation, content and management of education at all levels. The report suggested, for example, that the statutory duty at present imposed on the Secretary of State should be replaced by a power; that full-scale formal inspections should cease, save in exceptional circumstances; and that a greater share of inspection should be left to the inspectorates of LEAs. Some to whom we have spoken, harking back to that report, have suggested that the role of HM Inspectorate despite some changes in the late 1960s, has lately become increasingly dominated by its functions in relation to central government. They argue that advice to central government should take a less pronounced place in the work of HM Inspectorate which should increasingly concentrate upon providing a national advisory service to teachers and others professionally engaged within the education service.

2.6 In our view such a change in the role of HM Inspectorate is neither necessary nor appropriate. In brief, our reasons, which are developed in greater detail elsewhere in this report, are these:

(i) HMI already contribute a great deal of advice throughout the education system. But the value of that advice and its distinctive quality is that it depends upon cumulative evidence and judgments derived from inspection. The quality of the judgment depends upon it being founded in the regular sampling of education provision using the full range of inspection styles, including the detailed formal inspection of whole institutions. We see a need to enhance the capacity of the Inspectorate to disseminate its findings based on inspection, but the starting point is that HM Inspectorate should inspect;

(ii) the purposes of inspection derive from the Secretary of State's functions and needs and are directed towards assisting him in the discharge of his statutory responsibilities. The direction and articulation of national policies for education depend now, every bit as much as they have done in the past, on the availability of reliable judgments on the effect of existing policies, the likely effect or practicability of proposed policies and the need for new policies. Such judgments require a national inspectorate to inspect and report to central government on the reality of education where it is;

(iii) a greater reliance on the advisory role of HM Inspectorate in the local context largely ignores the potential and actual contribution of the local authority advisory services and the teacher training agencies to individual teachers and institutions. The relations between the Inspectorate and the advisory services, which are stronger now than was the case a few years ago, should be further strengthened. But it would be costly duplication for the Inspectorate to subordinate its primary task of assessing national standards and trends to development work with individual institutions;


[page 10]

(iv) moreover, to make HM Inspectorate more substantially available as a source of general advice to institutions, local education authorities and teachers would be expensive in manpower terms. Given the size and range of the education service, such advice could never in practice be available to all on demand. It could certainly not be sustained on present HMI numbers with a ratio in England of more than one thousand teachers to each HMI. It would also need a substantial increase in the availability across the country of specialist HMI, since specific requests for advice are invariably specialist in nature. Thus, any extension of this role within existing manpower could only be limited or achieved by severely curtailing and reducing the ability of HM Inspectorate to arrive at general objective assessments of national provision and so the quality of its advice to central government.
Independence

2.7 Another aspect of the role of HM Inspectorate which has been emphasised in all the evidence submitted to us is the need to underline and reinforce its independence. It has even been implied that the decision to undertake a scrutiny of HM Inspectorate puts that independence at risk. What is clear is that the independence of HM Inspectorate is both highly valued and widely misunderstood. HM Inspectorate does not have a constitutional independence. As we have shown, the duty of causing inspections to be made of educational establishments in the maintained sector rests with the Secretary of State and inspections are carried out on his behalf. Moreover, the Permanent Secretary is responsible to the Secretary of State for the management of the work of the whole Department and, as accounting officer, is accountable to Parliament for expenditure on the Inspectorate as well as the rest of the Department.

2.8 The Inspectorate nevertheless has within this general and legal framework an established independence. The strands of that independence are threefold. First, the Senior Chief Inspector, in the capacity of senior educational adviser at the Department, has the right of direct access to the Secretary of State. Second, it has been long established that the Inspectorate has a professional independence whereby anything that is published - and it is for the Secretary of State to decide whether the Inspectorate's views are made public - will be as the Inspectorate wrote it. The duty of the Inspectorate is to report what they see and not what others might wish them to see. Third, it is for the Inspectorate, as a professional body, to decide how to go about the business of inspection and what to inspect as the basis for its advice. We are clear that this professional independence of judgment and reporting is essential to the effective performance of HM Inspectorate's functions and must be preserved and protected. Without it, the Inspectorate would lose its credibility within the education service and with that much of its value to central government.


[page 11]

3 Work of HM Inspectorate


Introduction

3.1 The remit of HM Inspectorate covers the entire education service except the universities (save in respect of teacher training and extra-mural departments) and private further education establishments. The system thus defined covers an enormous range and variety of institutions. Thus it contains 30,466 schools of which 596 are nursery, 20,482 primary, 1,396 middle and 4,044 secondary within the maintained sector; 2,351 are independent schools; and 1,597 are special schools; 530 establishments of further and higher education ranging from colleges concerned very largely with non-advanced further education to polytechnics; a multiplicity of youth groups to which some five million people are connected in some way; about 5,000 evening institutes; 12,000 courses run by responsible adult education bodies; over 100 penal establishments (on which HM Inspectorate cooperates closely with the Home Office), a similar number of community homes with education and some 120 observation and assessment centres (on which they cooperate closely with DHSS). In this chapter we look first at the inspection of schools and then at the slightly different relationship that HM Inspectorate has with the further and higher education system. Finally, we consider the various ways in which HM Inspectorate contributes directly to those with a responsibility for the operation of the service.

Inspection of Schools

3.2 It is inevitable that, given the relationship between the size of HM Inspectorate and the size of the education system, the work of inspection is a broad sampling process. Although it may have been the case in the last century that all schools in receipt of grant from central government were inspected formally on an annual basis, that was no longer true by 1902. Immediately before the first world war, the cycle of full inspections of


[page 12]

secondary (ie grammar) schools, already a much more detailed process than in the 19th century, was envisaged as every five years. That cycle had become ten years by 1922 and effectively got longer and longer until in the late 1950s it had no practical meaning for the purpose of planning HMI time. As for primary schools, no concept of a cycle of inspection, in the sense once implied for grammar schools has effectively existed for sixty years. The extent of the sampling process can be judged from the following figures:

Table 3.1 Total Number of Schools Visited by HMI in England, 1979 and 1980

3.3 These figures include inspection visits of all kinds ranging from half day visits for purposes of routine scanning on a territorial basis or in relation to a subject specialism; to small team inspections looking at a particular aspect of an institution's work; to formal inspections of a whole institution which might involve a team of as many as 15-20 HMI for a week or more. Appendix B. shows the number of inspections leading to issued reports from 1975 onwards (table 1) and the number of reporting inspections of maintained primary and secondary schools from 1970 (table 2). The latter fell to no more than 33 in 1970 following the Select Committee Report of 1968 compared to 134 in 1979 and 144 in 1980.

3.4 We examine in the following paragraphs some of the main features of HM Inspectorate's programme of work and the balance between its various activities.

3.5 A feature of HM Inspectorate's work in recent years has been a shift towards planned national surveys of educational provision leading to national publications. The publication of the national primary school survey in 1979 and 'Aspects of secondary education in England' in 1980 is to be followed by national surveys of first schools and middle schools. There has also been a range of published surveys relating to specific aspects of education provision. This development is in our view of fundamental significance and has had a number of advantages:

(i) Given the need for HM Inspectorate to be selective in its approach, it is

[page 13]

essential that the overall inspection effort should be focussed and directed towards aspects and areas of the system where an HMI view would be timely both for practitioners within the system and as a contribution to the policy needs of central government.

(ii) The national surveys of primary and secondary education have enabled HM Inspectorate to establish a clear baseline from which to draw comparisons and assess future changes in practice. The baseline will make it relatively more easy in the future to maintain an up-to-date picture of developments based on sample inspections.

(iii) National surveys have involved no diminution in the volume of inspection. In practice they are the aggregation of the results of many individual inspections organised around common themes and objectives. Indeed the available evidence suggests that the total volume of inspection including inspections leading to issued reports is as high now as it has been for many years.

(iv) For the future, it will be possible on the basis of these national surveys to plan and mount an increased number of inspections leading to reports issued to the institutions concerned and their LEAs. HM Inspectorate are at present examining the feasibility of mounting a programme of 100 inspections of primary schools and 50 secondary schools each year designed to follow up the national surveys. These 'dipstick' exercises, at least in relation to secondary schools, are not envisaged as full inspections of the style current a few years ago with very large teams operating within a school over a substantial period, but they will lead to reports to the schools and LEAs concerned. Moreover, they will run alongside and be additional to a continuing programme of formal inspections.

3.6 We also have widespread evidence of the value that practitioners in the schools and LEAs have placed on published national surveys. The local authority associations stressed the particular value of national reports and surveys. The Secondary Heads Association referred to the national primary and secondary surveys and other national enquiries as a means by which HM Inspectorate had become a more effective force in contributing to national policy. Similar views were expressed to us by NUT, NAHT, AMMA and a number of national subject associations. The Council of Subject Teaching Associations, for example, pointed out:
'The Inspectorate can monitor change and report on it in a way that no other group can achieve. The fact that so much of its experience is contained within a number of reports and other publications is of considerable help and convenience.'
The Assistant Masters and Mistresses' Association said: 'the reports on the


[page 14]

two national surveys, the booklets in the series "Matters for Discussion" and the more recent discussion documents on teacher training, have been a very significant contribution by the Inspectorate to the debates on matters of vital importance".

3.7 Our own limited observations in the schools and LEAs that we visited confirm that the primary and secondary school surveys are beginning to inform the thinking of LEAs, advisers and headteachers. The degree of penetration varies. In some schools and authorities little has been done and little appears to be happening. But there is evidence of growing activity through in-service training, discussion among teachers and LEA working parties in a growing number of areas. At its best the impact of the national primary survey is caught by the remark of one London headteacher who told us that it had 'become part of the vocabulary of her staff' in the course of a review by the school of its objectives and schemes of work.

3.8 On the other hand, a worry has been expressed from a number of sources that the trend in recent years for an increasing proportion of inspection time in schools to be devoted to centrally planned work relating to national themes has reduced the time available for routine scanning of the system on a territorial basis or in relation to particular subjects. The concern is that the availability of HMI locally to offer advice and support to institutions and colleges has as a result been reduced too far. Compared with a few years ago, it is now less easy to call upon the services and knowledge of an identifiable HMI with responsibility for the general inspection of the institution. One witness from the FE field put the point to us in these terms:

'The critical area of operation for HMI is in his role of general Inspector to a group of institutions. A general Inspector should really get to know his institutions and can only do so by regular and fairly frequent visits; by establishing a meaningful relationship and mutual trust with the Head/Principal; by getting to know senior staff and as many as possible of junior staff; by knowing the geography and the social make-up of his institutions; by anticipating problems whether academic or personal; by being able, from a disinterested professional angle, to represent the needs of these institutions to Ministers and Chief Education Officers when occasion demands.'
3.9 We question whether such a model ever obtained in relation to schools inspection in the post-war period, if it has ever existed, and whether it is desirable or practicable in present-day circumstances. It should be clear from what we have already said that more centrally planned inspection has not meant less time spent on visiting in a locality. The range and volume of visits has not declined. The effect of more centrally planned exercises may be,


[page 15]

however, that visits are less often undertaken by an identifiable locally-based HMI. In this sense, the ability of the general Inspector for a group of institutions to 'know his patch' may be reduced compared with the past. But few HMI of experience with whom we spoke claimed to know their patch now or at any time in the way implied.

3.10 In order to examine this matter further, we have attempted to look in some detail at how HM Inspectorate uses its time. The starting point is the work done for the Management Review in 1977. The main points to emerge are these:

(i) The proportion of time spent by HM Inspectorate in visiting institutions has not changed substantially over the years. This is about 45% of total available HMI time, nor can this figure by substantially increased since the number of days available for inspection are limited by the nature and length of the academic year. The implication seems to be that, as styles of inspection have changed and continue to change, HM Inspectorate is in practice able to see as wide a range of institutions as they did in the past with fewer numbers.

(ii) Although the inspection programme, which is a mechanism for defining priorities and reserving time, has developed extensively as an instrument of management in recent years, it is by no means all-pervasive. An analysis of the programme for 1980/81 shows that 29% of all available HMI time is programmed in this way. A further 10% of total HMI time is reserved by individual HMI (in advance of the programme) for particular activities such as attendance at internal or external committee meetings. Two weeks each term, known as area team weeks, are deliberately left free of programmed activities to allow HMI to visit in their local areas; this is equivalent to 13% of total HMI time. The 29% of programmed time includes time allocated to inspection of particular institutions (including some time for associated preparation and writing), time reserved for working parties or visits in connection with national exercises, and time reserved by Staff Inspectors and HMls with national responsibility for work by their specialist team, mainly inspection, in connection with their specialism. Thus there is a considerable amount of free time outside the inspection programme, and the programme itself seeks to reserve some time for specialist visiting and, through area team weeks, for local visiting by general and district inspectors.

(iii) On the other hand, we found that individual HMI could find themselves programmed markedly above the average or below it. Thus on a small random sample of 1 in 20 basic grade HMI, we noted that while overall the sample compared very closely with the national picture, there were marked variations. At one extreme, over the course of one year, an individual HMI had over 42% of his total time programmed; at the other, the percentage was as low as 17%.


[page 16]

3.11 Our main conclusion is that the central inspection programme has been an essential instrument towards obtaining a better focus for HM Inspectorate's work and for deploying the available specialist resources of the Inspectorate across the country in relation to determined priorities. We do not consider, however, that the proportion of programmed time should be further increased at the expense of the time now available for general district work. Information and assessment accumulated by routine general inspection is the essential platform from which more detailed and directed inspection exercises stem. To cut further into this work would weaken the ability of HM Inspectorate to detect at source in the institutions themselves changes of practice and the emergence of trends.

3.12 We make two recommendations;

(i) We see a need for HM Inspectorate to take more fully into account than has been possible in the recent past the particular role of the district inspectors for schools in allocating time within the inspection programme. Since most district inspectors for schools are drawn from the secondary school phase, some primary phase specialists may also need more time reserved for district duties. As we show elsewhere in this report, the district inspector, both for schools and for FHE, is the lynch-pin in the relationship between the Department, HM Inspectorate and the LEA. Evidence suggests that individual LEAs greatly value this relationship and the balance between the district inspector's duties in relation to his area and his contribution to the overall priorities of the Inspectorate may need to be marginally adjusted towards the former.

(ii) Much of HMl's assessment and judgment is built up through routine general visiting and associated specialist inspection and through formal inspections not linked to particular exercises. Present procedures need to be strengthened to ensure that relevant aspects of all such inspection are picked up and used within the phase and subject committee structure. The schools Inspectorate already employs a standard indexed format for all notes of visits, but much of this information tends to lie dormant within the system. We suggest in paragraph 6.13 how this might be better deployed in the service of subject teams and look further at the possible use of information technology in paragraphs 7.36 to 7.38.

3.13 We also consider that HM Inspectorate should explore new methods of exploiting its existing programme of inspections. One new and potentially valuable instrument is the drawing together of information and assessment about the education service across an individual LEA. LEA based surveys have been carried out and published in the past in Scotland; and, in both England and Wales, the LEA area has been used as a focus for surveys of a particular aspect of the curriculum. Last year saw the first survey in England of provision within an LEA across the board which was issued by the


[page 17]

Secretary of State to the ILEA and published at their request. Following the ILEA survey, HM Inspectorate is already examining the feasibility of similar surveys related to the education provision in other LEAs. In our discussions with the Society of Education Officers and individual Chief Education Officers, there was a general welcome for the extension of this technique to other LEAs. However, some headteachers to whom we spoke expressed reservations about the methodology underlying the ILEA survey. The local authority associations for their part saw potential advantage in HMI producing reports on education provided in the whole LEA. The ACC, however, warned that 'any extension of HMI's role to an educational equivalent of central government inspectors of Fire Service and Constabularies would be unwelcome to LEAs and strongly opposed by the Associations'.

3.14 We see considerable value in HM Inspectorate mounting a limited annual programme of LEA-based surveys. Our reasons are as follows:

(i) It is a cost-effective method of putting to use the range of assessment, information and judgment normally collected by HM Inspectorate in the course of inspection whether from the visits of general and subject specialist HMI, or from formal inspections of particular institutions. What we have in mind is the review and collation of material available from past inspection supplemented, where necessary, by directing the effort of routine general and subject visiting at divisional level to make good any gaps in coverage. It will be important to draw together the work not only of general inspectors, but also of national subject and phase teams. On this basis, we consider that it should be possible to mount one such survey in each HMI Division each year within existing manpower resources.

(ii) Just as a report on an individual institution provides both the school and its providing LEA with a benchmark against which to judge its own progress and a point of comparison with national standards, so a wider report will offer an LEA an opportunity to consider and review overall standards. It provides a wider and clearer focus than either the report on an individual school or the published national survey from the point of view of the individual LEA.

(iii) Surveys of this kind can assist to strengthen the existing links between HMI and the individual LEA by serving as the point of departure for future discussion about educational development. Such surveys would essentially fall within the classical remit of HM Inspectorate, but we recognise that care would be needed to avoid implications that it was formal inspection of an LEA's administration that was in prospect.

(iv) If undertaken on a regular basis as part of a planned programme, these surveys should not excite concern as to why one LEA is singled out compared with another. The initial choice will depend in the first


[page 18]

instance on the availability of information, but in any case should be a matter for HM Inspectorate to judge in the light of its resources and overall national perspective.
3.15 We recommend the development of a planned rolling programme of such LEA-based reports using information and assessment already available from past inspection and supplemented, where appropriate, by planned additional routine visiting.

Further and Higher Education

3.16 This chapter has so far treated the work of HM Inspectorate almost exclusively in terms of how it relates to the schools system. We deal in the following paragraphs with the work of HM Inspectorate in relation to further and higher education which is significantly different in terms of its methods of operation, practices and historical background. These differences arise largely as a result of the different characteristics of the FHE system, but also to the fact that, in some measure at least, the FHE Inspectorate retains a separate identity within HMI as a whole. The FHE Inspectorate, however, already works closely with the schools Inspectorate in relation to provision for the training of teachers much of which is to be found within FE establishments and is being brought into an increasingly coordinated relationship in respect of 16-19 education (see Chapter 6.).

3.17 It is therefore useful to look briefly at the nature of the FHE system and how it impacts upon the nature of HM Inspectorate's work. First, the FHE system is immensely diverse and caters exclusively for those above compulsory school age: its clients are thus entirely voluntary. They include those on courses that are also offered by other parts of the education system - GCE Ordinary and Advanced Level work also offered in schools; degree level work also undertaken by universities; initial and in-service training also offered elsewhere in the system; a vast range of vocational and technical education from City and Guilds courses for gas-fitters to sub-graduate professional level courses leading to Higher National Diploma qualifications; and a large amount of commissioned work generated by local employers or Government through the Manpower Services Commission and the Industrial Training Boards. Moreover, the system is heavily demand-determined. It needs to be able to respond and to adjust rapidly, for example, to changing employment needs; shifts in technology; and the needs of the young unemployed. It is concerned with both full-time and part-time education and training. And finally, it is characterised, particularly in the area of vocational and technical education, by the existence of a large number of national validating and examining bodies, as well as professional bodies and societies concerned with standards and requirements.


[page 19]

3.18 This range and diversity places a particular responsibility on HM Inspectorate to understand the ecology of the system; to observe the capacity of the institutions to match movements in demand locally, regionally and nationally; to establish a network of good working relationships with examining and validation bodies, professional bodies and societies; and to monitor numbers, capacity, distribution and organisation. Indeed, unless the Inspectorate understands and takes into account the range of external stimuli and internal factors that drive the system, the inspection process itself is likely to be defective and of relatively limited value both to central government and to the institutions themselves. In these respects, the FHE Inspectorate have served the system well and over a period of more than 20 years of steady expansion from the late 1950s have contributed significantly to overall development.

3.19 One general implication, however, has been that HM Inspectorate has inspected less in FHE than in schools. While there are no available statistics for the annual number of visits to FHE establishments, nor is there any general practice of recording notes of visits in a standardised form, Table 1. of Appendix B. demonstrates that relatively few written reports are issued based on the inspection of a whole institution or a part or an institution. This is not altogether surprising. Inspection of FE differs in a number of ways from the inspection of schools. It is partly a matter of size, partly of geography and partly of the way FE establishments are organised. As a general rule, HM Inspectorate is able to look at the work of an establishment as a whole where its size does not exceed 4,000 FTE students and a staff of about 100. Beyond those limits the task becomes unmanageable within present HMI numbers. Yet most FE establishments are significantly larger. Polytechnics can have as many as 600-700 staff. Where inspections occur, therefore, they tend in the main to take the form of an examination of the work of a department or a particular group of activities.

3.20 Second, our own work and that of the Management Review in 1977 shows that the FE Inspectorate spend proportionately less time on inspection than their schools colleagues. The analysis of HMI time by the Management Review suggests that FE Inspectors spent approximately 34% of their time on visits compared with 48% by the schools Inspectorate. That difference has probably been reduced in recent years. Since 1977, the FE Inspectorate have been brought within the-ambit of the central inspection programme. While the inspection load within the inspection programme still shows an imbalance - the FE Inspectorate are programmed in relation to centrally determined exercises for about 23% of their time compared with about 31% for schools - the volume of such inspection is now on the increase.

3.21 Third, HM Inspectorate has published considerably less in relation to


[page 20]

work based upon inspection in FHE. There have been only two significant publications since 1973. We return to this point in paragraph 3.38.

3.22 None of this implies necessarily that HM Inspectorate is to be seen less often in FHE establishments than in the schools. On the contrary, the evidence is that the FHE lnspectorate ensures that virtually all FHE establishments are visited at least one every year and, in most cases, more often. Most LEAs have no specialist advisory service on FE or only very limited sources of professional advice. To this extent, the general inspector of a college and the district inspector for FE in the area (these functions may often be combined) have over the years developed a particular importance in offering advice to the senior management of LEAs and colleges. HM Inspectorate's value in this role has been emphasised to us in a number of written submissions. Beyond this, the Inspectorate also is involved in a large volume of commentary and advice to the Department based upon its specific knowledge of the system and the part played by individual institutions within the system. This implies the need for a detailed knowledge of and a close working relationship with individual colleges.

3.23 Another important fact is that most FE inspectors are involved to some extent in the operation of the course approval system, a quasi-administrative function which is quite different from inspection. In our view, HM Inspectorate's involvement in course approval over many years has led to a distortion of its role both because it has limited its capacity to inspect and because it has confined the Inspectorate's relationship with institutions more narrowly within a single administrative activity than is desirable or appropriate. We consider the organisational aspects of this issue in Chapter 6. It is sufficient to say here that in exercising this function HMI has tended to become as concerned with college course planning as with inspecting the reality of the provision made. In this context, college visits can sometimes have more of an administrative than an inspectorial flavour.

3.24 HM Inspectorate has become increasingly aware in recent years of the need to improve its assessment base in respect of the FHE system by focussing and directing its inspection effort towards defined priorities. Since 1980, for example, there has been a programme of inspection of degree courses in seven main subject areas covering some 75% of the degree-level work at polytechnics. This programme of inspection is intended to lead to a national publication and will be concerned to look at the teaching, methods of assessment, academic support, relevance of courses, the kind of student recruited and the level and nature of contacts with industry. This year, the FHE Inspectorate has also embarked on a major survey of 16-19 part-time day provision examining the work in a sample of some 40 colleges. At the same time they are combining with members of the schools Inspectorate in a


[page 21]

programme of inspection of full-time GCE 0 and A level work in colleges. We believe that these developments need to be encouraged and we recommend that the volume of centrally planned inspection exercises should be further expanded with a view both to increasing the number of issued reports on aspects of the work of individual institutions (for example, written reports should be available as a result of the inspection of 16-19 part-time day provision to the colleges and LEAs concerned); and to increasing the output of national publications in relation to this sector.

3.25 We also recommend that

(i) the recording of information gained from the inspection of FHE institutions should be systematised to improve what is at present a relatively feeble information base and to advance the response time of HMI in the field to requests for information. Consideration should be given to adapting for FHE the existing practice of the schools Inspectorate of a standardised and indexed format for all notes of visit;

(ii) there should be clearer definition of the role of the college general inspector. At present there is still too strong an emphasis on general advice at the expense of the task of inspection and assessment. This could be resolved by a clearer remit to those engaged on territorial work; greater insistence on feedback of information to the centre; the increase in programmed inspection that we propose; and clearer definition by subject and phase Sis of the priorities for inspection. Taken together these suggestions should tend to create a general process whereby the FHE Inspectorate would have less time to indulge what from time to time appears as a college visitor role rather than one of inspection.

HM Inspectorate and the CNAA

3.26 In examining the work of HM Inspectorate, we have also considered whether there are any significant areas of duplication suggesting either that the present level of HMI involvement is unnecessary or that its contribution might be more effectively made by others within the system. In this context we looked in particular at the role of HM Inspectorate in relation to the work of the Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA).

3.27 One view recently advance is that 'the CNAA through its institutional visits, its validation of individual courses and its manifold daily contacts with academics, is the only body which commands the respect of teachers in polytechnics and colleges and which can claim to know how good individual colleges are'. If that were so, it would be pertinent to ask what HM Inspectorate are doing in the public sector higher education field at all and whether the CNAA could not provide such advice as may be necessary to central government on quality in public sector HE.


[page 22]

3.28 We received some evidence that the presence of HM Inspectorate in public sector higher education is viewed ambivalently. The Committee of Directors of Polytechnics, for example, said:

'The present HMI responsibility covering advanced work in polytechnics is seen as a curious anachronism within the public sector. Whilst the overlap between further and higher education is acknowledged, the fact that the great majority of polytechnic academic activities are directed towards first and higher degrees work raises the question of the capacity of HMI to make qualitative judgments in areas where rapid developments and changes in techniques are the norm.'
Some academic staff to whom we spoke clearly identified more closely with the CNAA than with HMI as the source of concern about quality. From their point of view, it was the CNAA that offered advice on the academic content of courses; evaluated progress; and discussed the work of departments and faculties. For them, the concerns of HM Inspectorate tended to be about choice of expensive equipment; the potential viability of courses; staffing levels; and the design and justification for buildings. On the other hand, we also received written evidence from other national bodies representative of the FHE sector which stressed the need for an independent body both to report objectively to the Secretary of State on performance and quality and to give advice within the service.

3.29 As we see it there are a number of important considerations that justify a continuation of HM Inspectorate's remit in relation to public sector higher education. These are:

(i) Whatever value arising from inspection may be perceived by the colleges themselves - and we have much evidence to show that colleges do welcome the opportunity of impartial evaluation - it remains a necessary part of the process by which HM Inspectorate performs its function of advising the central government. We do not think that central government could effectively exercise general responsibilities in relation to the financing and structure of public sector higher education entirely divorced from some consideration and professional assessment of the qualitative aspects of provision.

(ii) In certain particular respects, central government has a very direct interest in the nature and content of higher education provision. This is particularly so in relation to the training of teachers, much of which is undertaken in public sector higher education, and to which HM Inspectorate can make a unique contribution because of its relationships with and regular assessment of the rest of the education system. The direct grant and voluntary colleges also, because of the financial relationship in which they stand to central government, represent a group


[page 23]

of institutions where the role of HM Inspectorate through advice to the colleges and to DES is particularly strong.

(iii) More generally, there seem to us to be important educational and professional reasons for ensuring that HM Inspectorate remain actively participating within public sector higher education. It is not just because of the difficulty of drawing a dividing line between higher and further education and that a considerable volume of public sector higher education is in colleges where the majority of work is below degree level. We have difficulty in seeing the logic of excluding a national inspectorate from an important sector of maintained education. HM Inspectorate would in our view be less able to perform their functions elsewhere within the system if they were cut off from any overview of developments and trends in higher education.

3.30 Beyond this, it has also to be said that as at present constituted the CNAA could not appropriately act as a source of direct advice to the Secretary of State. It is an independent and autonomous institution, concerned with the validation of courses leading to its awards. As such, its principal concern is with the standards of individual courses and also in some measure with the institutional context within which those courses are set. Its remit is not concerned essentially with the overall structure of higher education or its institutions. While its concerns involve the CNAA in issues affected by resources, it seems important that the process of academic validation should not be brought into a direct relationship with decisions on the levels of resources so as not to put at risk the academic credibility and impartiality of the process. Moreover, in practice, CNAA's remit touches upon only a small part of the overall provision of many higher education institutions. About half the total full-time and sandwich enrolments in advanced further education in 1980 was on courses other than first or higher degrees or Dip HE. Looking to the future it is possible to envisage a system in which close links might be established between the work of the CNAA and a body responsible for funding decisions, but on any such model the continuing responsibility of central government would in our view need to be underpinned by a degree of independent professional advice based upon a detailed acquaintance with the system.

Dissemination

3.31 Inspection is the basis of all HM Inspectorate's activity. It not only forms the basis of HM Inspectorate's contribution to policy formulation within central government, but is also the basis of the distinct contribution that HM Inspectorate has to offer others within the education service. The ability to inspect and to bring together nationally the assessment and judgments


[page 24]

formed through inspections is of relevance not only to central government but also provides a context in which local education authorities, schools and colleges can set their own practice.

3.32 HM Inspectorate's work in relation to the education service directly takes many forms and operates at many levels. In brief, it involves discussion with staff of those institutions HMI visit on the basis of work seen; issued reports of formal inspections of individual institutions; regular contacts with each local education authority; working contacts at local, regional and national level with the local authority advisory services; publications based upon a series of inspections, or a survey of an aspect or curriculum subject; a national programme of short courses for teachers; regional courses and contributions to in-service training organised by other agencies; links with professional and subject associations, examination and validation bodies; and participation in the work of the Schools Council.

3.33 We consider below the various means - through inspection and in other ways - by which HM Inspectorate can influence the education system; the proportion of its time devoted to these activities, where it can be separately identified; and the evidence of its effectiveness.

Visits and Inspections

3.34 The first and most important point is that the inspection of institutions and influencing those institutions for change are not two distinctive and separable processes. As John Blackie (Inspecting and the Inspectorate, 1970) has put it, the aim of inspection was

'to look into what was happening, the work being done, the human relations, the appropriateness and use of the building and equipment ... with the further aims of helping the teachers in any way in which they needed help and of satisfying themselves that the children were receiving as good an education as possible'.
That definition implied then, as it implies now, that at the minimum the result of inspection, whether formal or informal. leaves the institution concerned in as good a state as before. The object is constructive criticism.

3.35 In our discussions with individual HMI. headteachers and individual teachers, the following points emerged:

(i) HM Inspectorate seek to summarise their findings, views and comments at the end of a visit, whatever its origin or purpose in discussion with the head and where appropriate head of department. The benefit of such

[page 25]

discussion is that HMI can bring to it a broader judgment based upon the cumulative national evidence of inspection and applied to an individual school within its own context and in terms of its own objectives. In the case of formal inspections leading to a written report issued to the institution and to the LEA, HMI's findings are discussed with the head, the governing body of the school and the LEA. In the case of routine general or specialist visits, however, there was some evidence that schools were unclear about the purposes and objectives of HMI.

(ii) We met eleven headteachers of institutions which were or had been the subject of formal inspections and all valued the experience as an opportunity to measure their progress and perceptions against a national experience, welcomed the sensitivity and constructive atmosphere in which the inspection was carried out, and had used the resulting discussions and report to open up subsequent discussion with staff to stimulate change. Inspection in all its different styles enables HMI to relate the experience of an individual school to a wider national picture and draw upon that national experience to the advantage of the individual school. The findings of national surveys and HMI publications, as well as the work of the Schools Council and other bodies, can in this way be brought forward for discussion and comment in the local context.

(iii) District and general inspectors saw it as a necessary part of their job to take up with the LEA and its advisory service matters causing concern and, occasionally, to follow up with further visits to the institution concerned.

From the overall figures for school visits in Table 3.1 it is clear that in different ways HM Inspectorate each year will see in the normal process of inspection a wide range of classroom teachers and those responsible for the management of schools.

In-Service Training

3.36 Beyond the day-to-day contacts which HM Inspectorate has with teachers through inspection, HM Inspectorate also runs and contributes extensively to courses for the in-service training of teachers. There are four main aspects to this work:

(i) The DES Short Course Programme: At present HM Inspectorate runs about 100 in-service courses for teachers each year involving about 2,700 HMI days (or about 4.5% of total HMI time). Each course involves about 80 teachers on average. The total cost of the programme, excluding HMI and support service costs, is 140,000 covering the fees of external tutors and accommodation. The number of such courses planned and run over the last five years is set out in the table below:

[page 26]

The fall in the number of courses planned in 1981/82 takes account of the increasing number of cancellations which has resulted to a large extent from a cutback by local education authorities in financial support to teachers attending such courses.

(ii) Invitation Conferences: These conferences are organised and run by HM Inspectorate normally for CEOs, senior administrative and advisory staff of LEAs and headteachers to consider specific issues. Thus in 1980, for example, HM Inspectorate put on a series of 15 regional conferences to which all the LEAs in England were invited and three conferences for representatives of teacher training institutions, advisers and teachers to discuss the findings of the national secondary survey. On average there are about 60 such conferences a year which absorb about 1% of total HMI time.

(iii) DES Regional Courses: At regional level, arrangements exist for planning in-service training in ways which bring together experience from more than one LEA. The Divisional Inspectors attend and contribute to regional course coordinating committees and DES contributes about 160,000 a year towards the cost of courses organised on a regional basis. HM Inspectorate does not run these courses, but contributes to the planning and development on the basis of its knowledge of national provision and needs as well as making a direct teaching contribution.

(iv) Contribution to LEA and other local In-Service Provision: The bulk of in-service training provision is made by local authorities through its advisers, in teachers' centres and in schools, as well as by the teacher training agencies. The degree of involvement by HM Inspectorate in in-service work at this level is necessarily limited compared with demand. Nevertheless, HM Inspectorate has an important role in assisting LEAs to plan their in-service programmes and in contributing by their selective presence to desirable development. In 1977 the Management Review estimated that in total HM Inspectorate contributed about 3.8% of its total available time on regional and LEA in-service training. We would put the present contribution at about the same level.

3.37 In total, therefore, about 9-10% of total HMI time is used in a programme of activity directly with teachers. This contribution of HM Inspectorate to in-service training is highly valued by teachers. This is confirmed not only in the evidence that we have received from national bodies, but by numbers of individual teachers to whom we have talked


[page 27]

during the course of the scrutiny. On the other hand, some comment has been made suggesting that the role of HM Inspectorate needs re-thinking and re-orientation more towards one of coordinating rather than providing. Both the NUT and the local authority associations, in different ways, stressed the need for better coordination and consultation. The ACC stressed that it was not suggesting 'that HMI should increase the number of their own courses, although HMI input on LEA courses has been consistently good and very welcome: we are suggesting that HMI consult with LEAs on courses that both advisory services offer'. One subject association commented, for example, that 'the role of HMI with regard to regional INSET arrangements seems to vary greatly throughout the country, and the part which the Inspectorate plays in decision-making concerning in-service provision could be clarified and thus become rather more consistent'.

Publications

3.38 We have already commented in paragraph 3.6 on the value that those within the system place on the range of material based on inspection which has been published by the Inspectorate in recent years. The range and volume of such publications has increased substantially, as the tables in Appendix C. show. Table 1. analyses publications according to three main categories: descriptions and assessments of standard provision; accounts of good practice; and advice based on general inspection. Table 2. analyses publications year by year and provides information about distribution and copies sold. Three main points arise:

(i) It is a noticeable feature that in the eight years covered by this analysis there have been only two national publications relating to the further education sector, one dealing with safety (1976), the other dealing with modern languages. In the same period, the schools Inspectorate has published two national surveys and 24 other major documents, in addition to a range of safety pamphlets. Similarly, the small group of HMI concerned with education for children with special needs has produced six publications.

(ii) There would appear to be a case for a wider free distribution of HMI publications. However valuable the findings of national surveys may be and however well they may have been written up, there is the risk of much of that effort going to waste if the publications do not get into the schools. Thus, only 25 LEAs were able to distribute copies of the national primary school survey to all their primary schools, although a further 25 initially made summaries available to their schools. With fewer schools and thus smaller cost implications, a number of LEAs neither distributed copies of the secondary school survey, nor circulated the published summary. It is encouraging to note, therefore, how many schools and

28]
teachers have purchased copies of both surveys (36,000 copies of the primary survey in total in 2½ years and almost 13,000 of the secondary school survey in 18 months at a cost of 6.76 a copy).

(iii) As HM inspectorate has moved perceptibly towards publishing more of its work based on inspection, it has become the more important to make a corresponding effort to ensure that HMI time is available to promote an understanding of those publications. We have already noted efforts made in relation to the national surveys to explain HMI's findings through conferences, in contributions to in-service training and in the course of inspection. Similar efforts are made by particular subject teams to promote HMI publications. Nevertheless, there seems to us some scope for more follow-up of this work, a point emphasised to us in particular by the Society of Education Officers and a number of individual Chief Education Officers.

Assessorships

3.39 HM Inspectorate contributes as assessors or observers on some 700 different outside bodies, including advice to the specialist subject associations, to examining boards and validating bodies, to a range of other professional bodies and to the Schools Council. On the basis of a detailed exercise which we commissioned, we estimate that at present this work consumes about 2% of all HMI time.

3.40 Our evidence suggests that the existence of this intricate network of relationships is of benefit both to central government and to the education service. These contacts not only provide advice, support or assessment for the bodies themselves, they provide the Department and HM Inspectorate with opportunities for monitoring and assessing as well as offering effective points of influence. This point is well brought out in the written evidence that we have received from those subject associations that we consulted and by the Regional Advisory Councils for Further Education. In our view, the time spent on this activity is not now excessive, although there is a need to keep arrangements under regular review.

3.41 In this context, it is useful to look in particular at the extent of HMI involvement with the work of the Schools Council, which is considerable. HM Inspectorate are involved as members or assessors with the work of all the Schools Council's committees. There are three major policy committees whose work is supported by 24 main committees and by a large number of working parties, groups and project steering committees. Participation in this work is spread between 70-80 HMI and, in total, absorbs about 540 HMI days a year. Whether or not the efforts of HM Inspectorate and of the Schools


[page 29]

Council should be more integrated with each other- a conclusion reached for example by the Central Policy Review Staff in its report on education, training and industrial performance - turns as much upon the future role of the Schools Council as upon the role of HM Inspectorate. The Schools Council's functions, constitution and methods of work are at present under separate review by Mrs Nancy Trenaman, Principal of St Anne's College, Oxford.

3.42 For the purpose of this study we would make three points:

(i) In the curriculum development field HM Inspectorate clearly operates in the same area or in areas cognate with the work of the Schools Council. It would in our view be unthinkable that HM Inspectorate withdraw from or reduce its active participation in the work of the Schools Council not only because of the experience and perceptions that HMI bring to that work, but also because it would cut the Inspectorate off from an important forum of discussion. Moreover, in the education service in general, it would foster an impression of HM Inspectorate as isolationist.

(ii) At present, HM Inspectorate, in the course of their normal contacts with schools, advisers and teacher training institutions, and particularly in the short courses it mounts for teachers, draws attention to the work of the Schools Council along with other relevant research studies and publications. We are doubtful whether this contribution to dissemination of the Schools Council's work could be sharply increased without significant manpower consequences or a reduction in HM Inspectorate's other work.

(iii) Moreover any move towards integration in the sense of using HM Inspectorate as the dissemination arm of the Schools Council could create difficulties for the Inspectorate's independence of action. In particular, if HM Inspectorate came to be seen generally as the advocate of Schools Council projects, there would be considerable risk of damaging its ability to carry out a continuing independent evaluation of such projects.

Local Authority Advisory Services

3.43 We consider in detail the relationship between HM Inspectorate and the local authority advisory services in a separate chapter. At this point of the analysis, however, it is important to note the complementary role of the local authority adviser and the widespread existing contacts at local, regional and national level between the two services. These contacts provide a further invaluable source through which HM Inspectorate can help to stimulate local thinking, to spread the impact of their national findings based on inspection and to encourage local action and development. In paragraph 4.13 we


[page 30]

suggest ways of strengthening the existing partnership between HM Inspectorate and the local advisory services.

3.44 We conclude that on the basis of its inspection programme, HM Inspectorate is already able to contribute in a wide variety of ways advice to those with a direct responsibility for the operation of the service including teachers, governing bodies and LEAs. This is a significant and necessary part of its role. We consider, however, that there is scope for improving the follow-up of HMI initiatives in the following ways:

(i) HM Inspectorate should maintain the volume of inspections leading to issued reports on individual schools. Such reports have value not only for the individual school, but more widely within the LEA concerned. At present such written reports take far too long to issues. The average time for issue is some nine months from the inspection date. This delay tends to diminish their value. We suggest a review of the present instructions; regular monitoring; and a programme of in-service training for HMI in the writing of reports.

(ii) HM Inspectorate and the Department should also examine the case in the public interest of issuing more reports without the existing 'in confidence' label. If all HMI reports are liable to publication, there is a risk that the judgments and comments that they contain will become bland. On the other hand, there is growing evidence of reports on individual institutions being made public by Press leak. And more generally it seems to us in line with the Government's policy in relation to making more information about schools available to parents that reports on individual schools should be available for publication in full.

(iii) At the planning stage of all major inspection surveys designed to lead to a published document assessing national practice and standards, HM Inspectorate should consider reserving adequate time to explain and stimulate action on the findings nationally, regionally and locally. There is already a range of such action, but more in our view could still be done. The need in particular is to fuel and prime local education authorities and their advisory services as well as the colleges and other training agencies.

(iv) HM Inspectorate should consider focussing more clearly its national short course programme for teachers and its contribution to in-service training generally on a narrower range of topics related to current or foreseeable policy developments; to elaborating upon needs revealed by inspection; and to meeting gaps in overall national provision. The present 9-10% of total available HMI time spent on this work is in our view effectively used and widely valued by teachers. HM Inspectorate might consider further how they could strengthen their contribution to regional and local planning of in-service provision.

(v) The Department should consider financing a larger free distribution of


[page 31]

major HMI publications. At present, the impact of national surveys of educational provision by HM Inspectorate can be blunted or materially delayed because those who most need to know in the schools by no means always receive the report.

(vi) Occasional extended exercises with local authority advisers and teachers to pilot national developments could also do much to extend and focus the range of HM Inspectorate's influence. A recent example has been the work by HMI with 41 schools in five LEAs on 11-16 curriculum development leading to the recent publication of 'Curriculum 11-16, a review of progress'. It is important that such exercises should be carefully defined in terms of manpower and likely duration and that they should be capable of being translated into national advice of wider benefit.






[page 32]

4 HMI and Local Authority Advisory Services


4.1 We noted at paragraph 3.43 the complementary role of HMI and the local authority adviser and the importance of contacts between the two services in helping to translate HMI's national findings based on inspection into local action and development. We consider here in more detail the relationship between HMI and local advisory services and in particular the question of whether there is duplication of functions between the two.

Numbers and Costs

4.2 In the current academic year, there are some 1,850 advisers and inspectors employed by the 96 local education authorities in England. The total number of such advisers increased immediately following the reorganisation of local government in 1974 from 1,848 in post to a peak of about 2,000. By 1979 there were 1,926 in post. Present numbers are, however, now at the 1974 level and there is some evidence of a further reduction as posts which become available through retirement are not filled.

4.3 LEAs have very different sized advisory services at their disposal. The largest has an inspectorate of 121 with strong teams for primary, secondary and special education, a wide range of subject specialists, and a group of 19 inspectors for further and higher education. On the other hand, in 1979, there were six LEAs with eight or fewer advisers. The degree of variation can be seen from Table 4.1 which sets out a pupil/adviser ratio for each LEA.

4.4 There is also substantial variation in the amount of specialist advice available to individual LEAs. Most LEAs do not have a fu!l-time adviser with responsibility for institutional Higher and Further Education and none have an adviser for teacher training other than for in-service training. One the schools side, there are only the full-time equivalent of 63 advisers for English, 79 for science, 74 for mathematics and 75 for modern languages and some Leas have more than one adviser in these subjects.


[page 33]

The number of schools per adviser shows a similar wide range of variation between authorities from one adviser to six schools in two London Boroughs to one adviser to 35 schools in the least well-provided county. The average number of schools per adviser for all authorities is sixteen.

4.5 Separate returns of expenditure are not made by local authorities for the advisory services. Total expenditure on administration and inspection by local education authorities in England in 1979/80 was 300m. Within that total the DES estimates that approximately 10% or about 30m. represents expenditure on the salaries of advisers and inspectors. To that figure needs to be added an estimate of non-pay expenditure chargeable to the advisory service. It would be reasonable to assume that the overall cost of the local authority advisory services in 1980/81 is of the order of 45m. a year at outturn prices.

4.6 The numbers set out in paragraph 4.2 refer to advisers and inspectors employed as such by local education authorities in England. Some authorities also employ advisory teachers who are seconded temporarily from their schools part- or full-time to give additional professional support to schools. These advisory teachers augment the work of local authority advisers and inspectors particularly in contributing to school-based in-service training and participating with schools in curriculum development.

Role

4.7 The local authority advisory services, like HM Inspectorate, have a long history and form part of the development of the education service from the


[page 34]

end of the nineteenth century. Thus in 1922, a survey carried out by the Board of Education showed that LEAs were at that time employing a total of 532 advisers for inspection or work analogous to inspection. The Board of Education concluded that 'the work of inspectors employed by local education authorities is, in practice, complementary rather than parallel to that of the Board's inspectors and they carry out duties which it would be neither possible nor appropriate for an official of the central authority to undertake'. That central conclusion has been re-affirmed from time to time by different enquiries and investigations into HM Inspectorate. Does it remain true to-day?

4.8 First, it is clear that HM Inspectorate and the local authority advisory services have an identity of interest and in some areas an identity of activity. Both services are concerned with assessing standards; with the provision of informed judgments as the basis for policy formulation; and with support to teachers through in-service training, curriculum development, and direct advice to individual institutions. The balance of these activities is, however, very different as between the two services.

4.9 The main differences are these:

(i) While in the last two or three years, there has been a fairly general move by LEAs to get their advisers looking more closely at schools, in many authorities this stops short of inspection and often stops short of a written report. In the returns by LEAs to DES Circular 14/77 only about a quarter of the responses spoke of 'regular or occasional in-depth inspection'. Research carried out by Bristol University in 1974n5 suggested that only 50% of advisers spent time on general inspection duties and that two-thirds of specialist subject advisers spent no time on inspection. The research showed that 'many respondents did not see inspection as their job or were ambivalent about it'. The 1974/75 survey revealed that on average advisers visited about six schools a week usually for a period of 1-3 hours; that the visits were seldom part of a regular planned cycle and were invariably for a special purpose.

(ii) Advisers, unlike HMI, are asked to undertake a considerable range of non-inspection functions. This naturally varies between different LEAs. Generally, however, local advisers are involved to a greater or lesser extent with the appointment and promotion of teachers; supervision of probationers; the allocation of students to schools for training; coordination of local in-service training practice; the allocation of resources to individual schools, particularly for curriculum development; liaison arrangements between groups of primary and secondary schools; advice on the design, furnishing and equipping of schools; and individual case work concerning teachers or pupils. Increasingly advisers have also been spending considerable time on the


[page 35]

re-deployment of individual teachers as school rolls fall.

(iii) There is also a basic difference of function. HMI work nationally. Local advisers work for the authority which employs them. HMI report to the Secretary of State and the Department in the context of central government's responsibilities and using national yardsticks. Local advisers report only to their LEA and within the context of local policies and standards.

(iv) We have received much evidence from teachers on the value they place on local advisers as facilitators of change through their work with schools on curriculum development and in-service training. The extension of their role in the direction of inspection is, however, questioned and regarded as less acceptable. This view stems from a perception of the local adviser as being part of the local administration involved with teachers' prospects and seeming at one and the same time author and critic. In this context, HMI is seen to have the inestimable advantage of being independent of the LEA and, therefore, impartial.

4.10 Our analysis suggests that the local authority advisory services, although well developed in some parts of the country, are subject to wide variation in terms of number, quality, specialist expertise and functions. Moreover, although there is an active national association of advisers as well as a number of national groupings of subject advisers, the local authority advisory services do not represent a single service organised nationally. Essentially, they operate as separate individual local services relating to the needs of individual local education authorities. No one has suggested to us in oral or written evidence that the local authority advisory services, in the present state of their development, should take on a greater share of inspection from HM Inspectorate or that HM Inspectorate should withdraw from inspection in some areas because effective local arrangements already existed. Equally, no one has suggested the need for formal inspections to be undertaken jointly by HMI and local advisers. This does not imply that local arrangements for inspection are necessarily inadequate or that the Secretary of State could not, if he so wished, envisage as a matter of policy some relaxation of inspection in some local education authority areas as provided under section 77 of the Education Act. 1944. What it does imply in our view is a general consensus that the local authority advisory services perform at local level a range of functions which are essentially different from but complementary to the work of HMI. Our central conclusion is therefore that there is no significant or unnecessary duplication of function, and in that sense a relaxation of inspection under the proviso of section 77 would be inappropriate. Essentially, the local authority advisory services and HM inspectorate represent a partnership of interest.


[page 36]

A Partnership

4.11 The case for strengthening that partnership is strong. The local authority advisory services operating alongside the Chief Education Officer and other administrators of an LEA provide the essential driving motor for educational change in an area. Working with teachers at all levels, they can provide the continuous, detailed and sustained support necessary at the level of individual institutions. If HMI is the clinical consultant, the local adviser is the local general practitioner. The evidence that we have received suggests that the influence of HMI reports and publications is strongest in those areas where there is a strong and well-organised advisory service able to sustain curriculum development, mount locally-based in-service training and provide continuity of advice and support to teachers. The influence of HMI's work may be much more marginal in authorities where the advisory service is less strong so that action tends to result from isolated initiative by individual schools rather than co-ordinated direction.

4.12 Much has already been done in recent years to improve contacts between HM Inspectorate and the local authority advisory services. At national level, there are regular meetings between the National Association of Inspectors and Educational Advisers and HM Inspectorate. At both national and regional level, particularly strong links have been developed between HMI subject specialist teams and their respective national subject advisers' organisations. For example, HMI science specialists meet with all the local science advisers at regional level at least once a year. There are similar regional conferences with local advisers for mathematics, history, English and craft, design and technology (CDT). At local level, HMI have periodic contacts with the advisory services at both phase and subject level; meet with local advisory teams to discuss major issues; and assist in the identification of local in-service training needs and contribute to LEA organised courses.

4.13 Nevertheless, in our view, more needs to be done. There are still signs here and there of a lingering condescension towards local advisers as much in the teaching profession as within HM Inspectorate which undervalues the contribution they have made and can make. This, in turn, has bred a certain apprehension and suspicion on the part of some advisers about moves by HM Inspectorate to strengthen existing links. We make three recommendations:

(i) HMI should consider ways of stepping up the level and regularity of their contacts with phase and subject local advisers at LEA level in addition to their existing contacts with Chief Education Officers and other administrative staff. This might include a more systematic and timely notification of proposed programmes of visits within the LEA; more

[page 37]

frequent exchange of information based on inspection; and a greater level of joint visiting than has been the case in the past.

(ii) While we recognise that it is not possible within HMI's present numbers to use its limited specialist strength to supplement gaps within the local authority advisory services, HMI should pay particular attention within the limits of its resources to promoting development in those areas which lack local specialist advice. More account should be taken of this need in planning the work of subject specialist teams and in the contribution that HMI makes to in-service training at national, regional and local level.

(iii) The DES should consider issuing a statement of policy about the role of inspection and advice locally and nationally. This might build upon and develop the views contained in 'Educating Our Children', (DES 1977). An effective local platform, within which local advisers are an important element, is crucial to the national effort to secure desirable improvement in educational standards. The purpose of such a statement could not be to set guidelines about inspection and advisory services in LEAs but might clarify the purposes of inspection, evaluation and advice locally and nationally in the context of general Government policies for the education service.





[page 38]

5 Relations between HM Inspectorate and the rest of DES


5.1 We have argued so far that the primary role of HM Inspectorate is and should continue to be to advise central government on the state of the education system nationally and that the performance of this role depends upon the maintenance of an extensive programme of inspection throughout the system. We consider here a number of issues which underly this central theme:

(i) How far is the range of activity undertaken by HM Inspectorate essential to the task of providing advice to central government?

(ii) How is the raw material of inspection reports and notes of visits converted into a collective judgment by HM Inspectorate which can be of value in policy formulation?

(iii) Do the Department and the Secretary of State receive the reports and advice they require for HM Inspectorate and are there ways in which the present system could be improved?

The range of work

5.2 It is necessary first to outline the range of topics or policy concerns with which HMI is currently concerned and for which there is a demand within the Department. Appendix D. sets out two such lists. Neither attempts to be comprehensive, nor are its categories watertight. This is not least because new issues disengage themselves regularly from the institutions and work inspected and because at anyone time HMI will properly be pursuing some emerging factor or trends which have yet to present themselves as issues requiring policy attention and which, in the event. may never do so. Nevertheless, both lists taken together give a reasonable indication of the substantial range of issues on which professional advice based on inspection is required within the Department. List 1 sets out general issues receiving attention through HMI activities and then lists issues of particular concern in the different phases and aspects of the education system. List 2 sets out a


[page 39]

range of specific policies and initiatives each of which requires HMI advice on a regular and determined timescale. HMI activities directed towards these issues include formal exercises and routine visiting and therefore formal reports, routine notes and minutes and in-service work with teachers, as well as committees and working parties within the Inspectorate, with the rest of the office and, in varying degrees, with outside bodies.

5.3 But not only is the range of demand made on HMI very wide and complex, it is also unpredictable in its timing. From the point of view of the rest of the Department, HM Inspectorate needs to be available to field particular questions and deal with the unforeseen at short notice; to provide standing points of contact; to ensure routine exchanges of information; and to work in direct collaboration on defined tasks. We illustrate how HM Inspectorate and the rest of the Department relate to each other and how HMI makes its distinctive contribution below in relation to four different policy branches. These are the three principal branches concerned with schools and the branch concerned with higher education.

Examples of Central Government Demand

5.4 Schools I Branch is organised to administer policies on choice of school, schools capital investment, and the organisation of primary and secondary education on a territorial basis. Each territorial officer also has a separate functional responsibility-nursery education, voluntary schools, independent schools, 16-19 organisation, and so on. The Branch demand on HM Inspectorate is substantial and has the following main characteristics:

(i) Because of the territorial structure of the Branch, there is a heavy traffic with the district inspectors in relation to individual casework, particularly in relation to statutory proposals from LEAs for the change of character or closure of existing schools, or the establishment of new schools submitted under the 1980 Education Act. This is demonstrated in the following table based on a survey of contacts between the Branch and HMI in the period 9 March to 3 April 1981.
Table 5.1 Contacts Between Officers in Schools I Branch and HMI


[page 40]

Work on statutory proposals is increasing: 275 proposals were submitted between August 1980 and March 1981, compared with 301 for the whole of 1979. Each proposal requires advice from the Inspectorate based on local knowledge of circumstances and a professional judgment on the educational merits of the case. This implies not only a close relationship with the territorial structure of HM Inspectorate in respect of individual LEAs and with Staff Inspectors on policy issues emerging out of casework, but also a workload on HMI which is unpredictable in its timing and location.

(ii) The territorial organisation of the Branch with the district inspectors are together the Department's visible face in the education office of an LEA. Although they may wear different expressions, between them they appear at the critical point of contact between the Department and the LEA. This demands close working relationships; the regular exchange of information; and a capacity on the part of the Branch to use HMI effectively.

(iii) The functional responsibilities of the Branch make particularly heavy demands on HM Inspectorate in relation to nursery, primary, secondary and independent schools. This puts a heavy load on standing contacts between the Branch and the phase Staff Inspectors. Examples of direct collaboration include continuing work on the relative merits of different systems of primary school organisation involving the effects of falling rolls, closure and amalgamation, impact of rural conditions, inner city factors and the effect of public expenditure policies; the development of the assisted places scheme and arrangements to monitor progress; the progress of nursery education research and its dissemination; joint policy with DHSS for the under-fives; and, in secondary education, a range of issues related to the size and organisation of schools including provision for the 16-19 age group as numbers fall.

(iv) This range of policy and casework demand for advice is met by the blend of inspection already described. It implies a continuous and continuing assessment of trends to which both a programme of routine visits and more detailed and in depth surveys are essential contributions. A sample as shown by the figures in Table 3.1 of some 20% of primary schools, 40% of middle schools and 75% of secondary schools in 1980 involving different levels of intensity for inspection purposes is not in our view too high for the needs.

5.5 Schools II Branch, which is responsible for policy on education for special needs and educational disadvantage, is an example of a different but particularly close working relationship with HM Inspectorate. Indeed, in some areas the links are so close that it is difficult to distinguish between the demands of one on the other. We take three examples:
(i) In the field of educational disadvantage, the Branch and HMI work together on all aspects of policy. One HMI has responsibility for links

[page 41]

with this aspect of the Branch work as a main element of his assignment. The work of HMI through inspection on multi-racial education represents a continuing important contribution to the work of the Swann Committee.

(ii) The team of 17 HMI working in the special education field have to relate to 1,597 special schools, of which 1,488 are maintained by local education authorities; 1,685 units attached to ordinary maintained schools catering for children with special needs and 170 independent schools which cater wholly or mainly for handicapped pupils. A list of major exercises or surveys carried out in the last five years is at Appendix E. The results of these exercises as well as of routine surveillance of the system form and have formed the bedrock of policy formulation: Since 1974 the work of the Warnock Committee on the education of children with special needs, the subsequent consideration of its report, the preparation of the White Paper and the legislation now before Parliament has involved detailed work with the Branch. Beyond this HM Inspectorate have a number of particular responsibilities arising out of the Secretary of State's responsibilities, work on which will tend to increase with new legislation. The Secretary of State is required to approve all special schools in respect of their age range, size, premises and disabilities and difficulties for which they provide; he has a direct responsibility for the quality and nature of provision in 109 non-maintained special schools and in those independent schools at which LEAs take up places for handicapped pupils; and is required to deal with appeals about special education provision for individuals. These statutory functions require HM Inspectorate to undertake a regular programme of inspections, to investigate complaints and, particularly in relation to some independent schools, to visit frequently to ensure that the staffing, management, education and child care are maintained at an acceptable level.

(iii) The allocation of the Urban Programme each year involves enquiries about the relative education merits of 400 or so specific projects addressed to around 100 HMI (schools and FHE). Advice from HM Inspectorate which is based on a knowledge of local circumstances derived from inspection is crucial to the construction of a cost-effective programme.

5.6 Schools III has primary policy responsibility for the curriculum and examinations. But it is clear that there would be no emerging national policy for the curriculum without the work of HM Inspectorate. There is a clear and unmistakable link between the analysis and judgments contained in HM Inspectorate's surveys of primary and secondary education and the views on the curriculum enunciated by the Government in its document 'The School Curriculum'. And the need for HMIlDepartment collaboration continues to


[page 42]

grow as political and wider public interest in the content of school education grows. In the work of the policy branch there are close working links with HM Inspectorate in the participation of both the work and deliberations of the Schools Council.

5.7 Among the defined tasks for the future the following will be of major importance:

(i) Follow-up work on 'The School Curriculum', including the development of specific policies for some identified elements of the school curriculum such as modern languages and science and further developing policy for preparation for work throughout the school curriculum.

(ii) Continual development of the work of the Assessment of Performance Unit (APU) both through formal assignment of some HMI staff time to APU staff within the Branch and through participation of other HMI in particular parts of the APU programme.

(iii) Implementation of Government decisions on 16+ examinations. This will mean advising Ministers on draft criteria for syllabuses and assessment procedures.

(iv) Implementation of Government decisions on pre-vocational examinations at 17+, which is likely to require a professional contribution to the work of the body responsible for the new qualifications and will certainly call for an independent judgment by HM Inspectorate of the quality of the syllabuses and assessment procedures to assist the Secretary of State to review progress and to exercise control of such courses and standards set.

(v) The development of a national development programme for microelectronics.

5.8 These tasks alone - and numerous others could be listed - represent a formidable demand on HMI resources and particularly the subject specialist teams whose assessment and monitoring of parts of the curriculum take on a new significance compared with a few years ago. Curriculum policy also has links with teacher supply and deployment; the organisation, size and distribution of schools; the quantum of non-teaching resources and their distribution on all of which HM Inspectorate is uniquely placed to contribute.

5.9 As a final illustrative example, we take the demand on HM Inspectorate made by FHE 1 Branch. This Branch has policy responsibility for most questions concerned with higher education, including HE finance and the management and structure of public sector HE, for voluntary and direct grant colleges, and for territorial questions, including capital building, for all further and higher education institutions. The main demands on HMI from the Branch are as follows:

(i) the three territorial teams place similar demands on district inspectors

[page 43]

and general inspectors of FE colleges as the territorial officers in Schools Branch I. They rely on HMI for information and advice about local issues, in particular in the allocation of the FE building programme (where the advice of HMI is important in analysing proposals and awarding priority).

(ii) HMI perform an executive role on behalf of the Secretary of State in the approval of proposals for all new or replacement full-time and sandwich advanced and part-time degree courses in FE. Decisions on approval are taken by the Regional Staff Inspectors, after taking advice from specialist FE HMI, referring occasionally to the Branch and maintaining liaison with administrators on the general policy lines to be followed. RSls also liaise with the Regional Advisory Councils, who since 1976 have had authority to approve part-time non-degree advanced level courses. (We consider in Chapter 6 the implications for HM Inspectorate of this executive role.)

(iii) the Branch is responsible for directly funding direct grant and voluntary colleges. This may involve HMI in providing detailed advice to the Branch on a range of issues; in this respect HMI are to some extent acting like the advisers or inspectors of a local education authority.

(iv) HMI are also involved in the formulation of policy on higher education, including policy on the management of public sector HE. They provide specialist advice on particular policy issues, for example computers and micro-processors. The Branch and HMI provide joint assessors to the CNAA and its main committees and HMI act as assessors on its subject boards. Although HMI do not inspect in universities, HMI assessors to UGC subject committees provide a valuable contact on course content and development.

5.10 These examples of the volume and nature of demand on HM Inspectorate seek to illustrate the wide-ranging scope of policy interest flowing from Ministerial and Departmental needs; the different timescales and levels of activity; and how the basic work of inspection underpins the contribution HM Inspectorate is called upon to make within the Department. The examples given have concentrated on the high-geared applications of HMI's work in the context of policy. To a less or greater extent, however, all policy branches call upon the Inspectorate on a day to day basis for informed professional advice on any aspect of their work raised in correspondence, Parliamentary questions or by Ministers as a result of their personal contacts.

5.11 Beyond the demands made by individual policy branches within the Department, there is also the general demand on HM Inspectorate for advice through the Departmental planning organisation. We agree with the conclusion of the Management Review that 'the creation of the Departmental planning organisation in its present form has intensified the need for general advice, based on the Inspectorate's experience and collective judgment, to be available at the most strategic level in policy making'. Our conclusion is


[page 44]

that the advice of HM Inspectorate represents a crucial contribution to the development of policies for the education service by central government both through the Departmental planning organisation and through work with individual policy branches. Overall, the Department and the Secretary of State receive the advice they require, but we have identified a number of ways in which the present system might be improved.

Possible Improvements

5.12 The Management Review on the DES made a number of suggestions about the improvement of relationships between HM Inspectorate and the rest of the Department. Chief among these was a proposal that the Department should establish a new policy group within the Departmental planning organisation chaired by the Senior Chief Inspector. The Policy Group for Inspection (PGI) was established in December 1979 and was given terms of reference 'to review developments across the education system and consider future policy in relation to inspection'. We consider that PGI is beginning to make an important contribution to a better understanding within the Department about policy for inspection. At present it tends to be a large scale forum for the exchange of views and there would be advantage in defining more precisely its future programme of work and reducing its size.

5.13 However, PGI has already carried out a useful analysis of the range of the Department's expectations of HM Inspectorate. This review concluded favourably on HMI's proposals for their formal programme and with the overall balance of HMI activity as it bears upon the needs of policy branches. At the same time PGI identified a need to improve the exchange of information between HM Inspectorate and the rest of the Department and made a number of recommendations. We wish to endorse and underline the following points:

(i) All policy Branches should review the range and volume of their demands on HM Inspectorate; the level at which they are made; and their appropriateness. Our survey of Schools I contacts with HMI for example shows that over 40% of all references to and from HMI to the Branch is at the level of Executive Officer or below. HM Inspectorate has too frequently been used as a supplementary source of factual information which it is more appropriate to obtain from the LEA. There is thus a general need to ensure within policy branches a more sparing use of HMI in relation to education issues requiring a professional judgment rather than as a source of general briefing on local issues.

(ii) Policy branches should also undertake to provide HMI with regular updated forecasts of the likely demands of casework on HMI time. Our evidence suggests and confirms the view of PGI that this is at present an


[page 45]

important but largely unquantified factor affecting the deployment of the Inspectorate within and outside the inspection programme. A significant contribution, for example, has already been made by Schools I Branch by a forecast of expected casework a year ahead on statutory proposals submitted under section 12-16 of the Education Act, 1980. As table 5.1 shows, this is a significant factor in the traffic with HM Inspectorate and is likely to grow as the number of proposals grows. By relating this information to the inspection programme, HM Inspectorate are in a better position to plan their forward work.

(iii) HM Inspectorate should consider involving relevant administrators more closely within the national committee structure. At present such involvement is haphazard. There is regular and detailed involvement of administrators in the national committees for example for special education needs, independent schools and youth and community education. On the other hand, administrators are seldom invited to, nor do they receive papers for the national phase committees for primary, secondary education and teacher training, or for the main subject committees. Equally, there may be scope on an invitation basis for administrators to attend divisional HMI committees to discuss emerging policy issues.

(iv) We also consider that the design and piloting of major surveys could benefit from an increased involvement of administrators in the planning stage to ensure that the maximum account is taken of existing and prospective policy needs. The need for particular exercises and the priority to be afforded is the subject of effective discussion often between SCI and Deputy Secretaries. Beyond that, however, policy branches have a practical contribution to make to, for example, the design of detailed questionnaires. We note, for example, that, although the HMI survey of newly trained teachers now in progress emanated from joint discussion, the subsequent planning involved no direct contribution from the Branch concerned.

(v) There is also a need for policy branches to review their arrangements for ensuring that HMl's publications and other specific writing (including issued reports on individual institutions) are integrated effectively into normal policy work. Major reports are the subject of discussion and policy consideration within the Departmental Planning Organisation, but there is a range of HMI specific writings particularly on individual institutions which at present tends to get submerged at a relatively low level within branches.

(vi) Annual summaries by district inspectors and by subject and phase teams on developments in each LEA and nationally should be made more generally available within the Department. Until recently these district inspector accounts were available to Schools I but not to the other


[page 46]

Schools Branches and subject reports were not available to Schools III. They have proved, however, a useful source of internal briefing and for identifying early possible issues of policy interest.
5.14 The majority of these recommendations are now under consideration with the Department and HM Inspectorate. We suggest that policy branches should report back before the end of the year on action they have taken to PGI, so that progress may be reviewed.





[page 47]

6 Organisation and Management


The Requirement

6.1 The organisation of HM Inspectorate is determined both by the range of functions it is expected to perform and by the nature of the education system itself. On the one hand, there is a need to sustain by inspection a sufficiently wide and regular scanning of an education service comprising over 30,000 institutions; to bring specialist knowledge to bear on the inspection of particular institutions or on anyone of the 240 or so subjects or aspects of education; and to give its members a national as well as a local experience. On the other hand, it is in the nature of the inspector's task that he should have a range of related tasks contributing to the fulfilment of HM Inspectorate's overall objectives. Thus, as a specialist, the individual HMI contributes to the national assessment of a specialist subject, an aspect of education or a phase and at the same time must be able to relate as general inspector to a group of institutions on a geographical basis. The need is for a specialist who can assess work in his specialism in the context of the work of schools or colleges as a whole and a general inspector with the ability to identify in the process of inspection issues requiring the attention of specialists. Each individual HMI thus has a duality of function. Beyond this, HM Inspectorate must also be so organised that it is both comprehensible and accessible to administrators within the Department, local education authorities, other Government departments and national education bodies.

6.2 Taking these considerations together, it is inevitable that HM Inspectorate should be dispersed throughout the country. First, this ensures that HM Inspectorate, and through them the Department, has a regional and local presence. The DES, unlike some other Government departments, does not have an administrative organisation in the regions and for that reason HM Inspectorate has a particularly valuable role in maintaining local and regional contacts and advising on factors which might particularly relate to an area. In that sense HM Inspectorate can be the eyes and ears of the


[page 48]

Department as well as being available to contribute to local development. Second, dispersal provides the most cost-effective means of disposing the range of specialist skills within the Inspectorate: in particular it ensures that travelling and subsistence costs can be held down in a way that would not be practicable with a more heavily centralised service.

Regional Structure

6.3 For management purposes therefore HM Inspectorate is brought together into seven regional divisions under the general direction of a Divisional Inspector in each division. A division consists of between 40-65 HMI each assigned a group of schools and colleges for general inspection purposes and including a blend of phase, aspects and subject expertise. Among these, two HMI- one for schools and one for FHE - are nominated as district inspectors to each LEA to facilitate communication both with the LEA and with the territorial structure of the Department. Their responsibility is essentially to act as a point of contact with the LEA, to know its general policies and their effects, and to muster appropriate specialist help in response to particular needs.

6.4 We consider that in present circumstances the number and size of HMI divisions is right. There are a number of related factors:

(i) In recent years, as communications have improved, it has been possible to reduce the number of divisions from ten to seven. This has meant that despite a reduction in total numbers of HMI the average number per division has remained roughly the same.

(ii) Even so, it is not possible to ensure that each division has a full complement of all subject, phase and aspect specialists. This is particularly the case for FHE. The present distribution of HMI between divisions is shown in Table 3 of Appendix F. In some cases a division may have no specialist; in other cases it has only one or two of a given kind, too few to be able to develop a thorough-going and sufficient policy with regard to their particular expertise. But, whatever the number of specialists in a division of a particular kind, it is still important that the policies and criteria applied in their field are reasonably consistent throughout the country. Clearly, the development of national viewpoints and judgments depends upon individual HMI working in more than one division during the course of a year. The divisions are not and could not be self-contained mini-inspectorates.

(iii) On the other hand, the divisions are important in bringing to each HMI a sense of the collegiate nature of HM Inspectorate. They also facilitate individual staff development and the day-to-day management of the individual.


[page 49]

6.5 We conclude that the HMI divisions are a necessary mechanism in ensuring a cost-effective spread of scarce specialist expertise; for maintaining a national network of local contacts; and for securing appropriate arrangements for day-to-day management. But the machinery for achieving HM Inspectorate's objectives should not be confused with the objectives themselves. The divisions do not subsume the phase, subject and aspect organisation of HMI, nor do they have a separate task from that of the Inspectorate as a whole. They are one mechanism through which HM Inspectorate can ensure an appropriate national sample in its work and through which it can influence the system.

National Structure

6.6 Of equal importance to the regional structure is the mechanism for organising HMI in terms of his phase, subject or aspect specialism. Alongside the regional structure there is thus also:

(i) a phase structure. Nationally, teams of phase specialists work under the general direction of phase Staff Inspectors (SI) for primary, secondary, further education and teacher training. These phase specialists are distributed within the divisions and come together for planning purposes in divisional committees and in national committees chaired by the phase Staff Inspectors and Chief Inspectors.

(ii) a subject structure. There are a range of national subject teams under the direction of a Staff Inspector or an HMI with national responsibility. These subject teams both for schools and for FE come together in some 35 national subject committees. The size of each team depends upon a combination of factors including the number of institutions in which work is conducted; the pupil/student hours given to the specialism; the degree of specialism required; and the level of public interest in the aspect of the work.

(iii) certain national responsibilities which are organised across phases or subjects. Hence, there is, as described in more detail in Chapter 5, a team of 17 HMI organised with a territorial spread for special education reporting to a Staff Inspector. A similarly organised national team is responsible for inspection of independent schools. Other teams are established from within HM Inspectorate as the need arises on such aspects as multi-cultural education.

Management

6.7 The basic grade HMI has multiple responsibilities on which he reports in different directions. All HMI have territorial responsibilities as the general


[page 50]

inspector for a group of institutions; all HMI have some involvement in a phase of education; most HMI have some active involvement in a subject specialism; some HMI have responsibility within an aspect of education. How is this apparently rather loose-knit structure managed so that it can provide a coherent collective view on those issues on which it is asked to make judgments?

6.8 The senior management team consists of the Senior Chief Inspector, who holds Deputy Secretary rank and is responsible for the effective operation of HM Inspectorate in England, and the five Chief Inspectors each of whom has responsibilities for one or more aspects of the education system and of the work of the Department (primary education, secondary education, FHE, teacher training, educational disadvantage). They are together concerned with overall priorities and the management of the inspection programme, staff deployment and development. The Divisional Inspectors (Dis) have certain day-to-day management responsibilities for helping members of their divisions to be aware of and to work within general inspectorial policy and to check that the general quality of day-to-day work is of a satisfactory standard. They carry out these functions on the basis of their own regular and close contact with the centre and through divisional meetings, examining HMI diaries, vetting written material, working with and reporting on individuals. At the same time, the phase, aspects and subject Staff Inspectors have an overall responsibility for setting the priorities and organising the work of their specialist teams.

6.9 The deployment of HMI resources is planned and managed in four main ways:

(i) through the Inspection Programme. We have already shown earlier in this report how HMI time is allocated between inspection and its other functions. This centrally planned programme, which is finalised on a termly basis but projected at least two terms ahead, defines HMI's main inspection priorities and allocates time to individual exercises. It is used to obtain the most effective use of available specialist expertise in relation to the main inspection tasks. More than 35% of the time available each term for inspection is allocated within the programme. Thus, a significant part of the inspection assignment of each HMI is centrally determined on the basis of centrally judged priorities and centrally judged bids from the divisions and specialist teams.

(ii) through an elaborate Committee structure. The Committee cycle is organised in time not available for inspection and accounts for about 7% of all HMI time. The Committee structure is organised on a national and divisional basis, with phase and subject committees at national level and phase committees at divisional level. It is a mechanism both for pooling experience and for planning priorities of work and identifying trends and


[page 51]

is an essential part of the process for developing and sustaining the collegiate character of a dispersed service.

(iii) through a contingency mechanism. Since 1976, the Inspectorate has identified a group from the schools Inspectorate to be freed from the routine and urgent demands arising from their territorial work so that they could give priority to specific tasks and act as a contingency force to meet unexpected demands on HMI time of high priority. The number of this First Call Centre Group, which was 72 in 1977, has now been reduced to 27 and is selected according to the priority exercises on which they are to work. Essentially it represents an arrangement, like the Inspection Programme itself, to preserve time to do specific pieces of work. Where the inspection programme controls overall deployment, the First Call Centre offers possibilities for flexible and fast-acting fine-tuning.

(iv) through other centrally planned activities. HM Inspectorate's national short course programme for teachers; its foreign travel programme; and its own programme of internal training are all determined centrally. In total these programmes account for about 9% of all HMI time.

6.10 In addition to these structural mechanisms, HM Inspectorate also has a well-developed system for the provision of annual national summaries by subject and phase teams of the state of the system and by district inspectors in relation to individual LEAs. The purpose of these internal summaries is to inform the office and HM Inspectorate. They also give the opportunity for Staff Inspectors and senior management to review progress and to identify future priorities.

6.11 It is clear from this analysis that a high proportion of the time of the individual HMI is centrally managed often in considerable detail. Overall, more than half of total HMI time is centrally determined or reserved well in advance for one purpose or another. Taking the inspection -programme alone, as described in paragraph 3.10, 29% of total time is programmed on average and this can vary considerably for individual HMI. This degree of central management does not, however, obviate the need for each member of HM Inspectorate to bear responsibility for deploying his own effort within the overall programme so that he meets his commitments. Indeed, there needs to be sufficient room within the structure for initiative by individual HMI in the pursuit of their general and specialist inspection duties.

6.12 Our main conclusion is that although the organisational and management structure of HM Inspectorate is complex and probably without parallel in any other Government body, it properly reflects and ensures the execution of the main functions of the Inspectorate as well as the nature of the education system that it is set up to inspect. We base this conclusion on the following main factors:


[page 52]

(i) We have not been able to identify, nor have previous reviews of HM Inspectorate identified, ways of radically simplifying the organisation of the Inspectorate which would bring demonstrable improvements in its effectiveness.

(ii) As we have already shown, as a present organised, HMI's output in terms of the volume of inspection, the level of issued reports, and the number of national publications is at its highest overall level for many years and that at a time when its complemented strength has been kept down to its lowest level for many years. This general productivity rate has only been made possible by the decisions during the 1970s to centralise a larger volume of HMI's overall activity.

(iii) The present structure does not in the main hinder the kind of changes that we have so far suggested to improve the use of existing information and the degree of follow-up on HMI initiatives. All our recommendations fit readily into the present organisational pattern.

6.13 Nevertheless, in our view, some significant improvement could still be made. We made the following recommendations:
(i) We consider that the existing senior management team of SCI and five CIs is overloaded. At present, the CI for primary education combines this responsibility with detailed oversight of the central inspection programme. That programme is however the single most important instrument for planning priorities and settling the Inspectorate's overall work programme. It requires an increasing amount of attention and needs a senior HMI with the time to pull the programme together after discussion with the divisions and the subject Sis about their needs. With the retirement of the present CI for primary education this year, it would now be appropriate to create an additional CI post to coordinate central planning including the inspection programme, staff training and career development.

(ii) There is in our view room for some further pruning of the Committee structure. HM Inspectorate might consider brigading together a number of committees both to reduce the volume of meetings and as a means of bringing the schools and FHE Inspectorate into a closer relationship. At present, for example, there are four separate committees all with a degree of common membership for Sea and Air Education, Air Education, Sea Education and Sea and Air Training. Similarly there are three committees for Management Education and Business Studies and separate committees for schools and FHE concerned with Social Sciences and Art and Design.

(iii) Phase and subject SIs should be encouraged to make use of the information available from all inspections of relevance to their


[page 53]

specialism, whether or not it derives from a specialist visit. At present there is a tendency to regard information collected territorially and information collected on a subject or phase network in a compartmental way, although some specialist teams have already developed a wider information retrieval system. SIs should ensure, as some do now, that all assembled material is regularly reviewed with a view to ensuring that, irrespective of the Committee structure, the results are known to all specialist HMI in the field and to other SIs with an interest. At present there is insufficient detailed feedback to the members of some teams engaged in particular exercises about outcomes and conclusions.
Relationship between Schools and FHE Inspectorate

6.14 This analysis of the present organisational pattern of HM Inspectorate has also to take account of a further characteristic of HMI organisation which is its internal division into two largely distinct groups. There are about 290 HMI who deal mainly with primary and secondary education and some 110 who deal mainly with higher and further education. Those who inspect and report on teacher training, 16-19 education and such aspects as multicultural education, museums and libraries and educational technology straddle both groups. The FHE Inspectorate comes together with the schools Inspectorate within the regional structure, but has a largely separate phase and subject specialist structure. As we have noted, the two broad groups have to some extent retained separate identities and practices. We have already commented upon some of the reasons for this and identified a number of desirable changes in practices for both groups of the Inspectorate, not least to bring them closer together. This section of the report concentrates on two issues of organisation which are at present unresolved and very different in kind, but which each have significant consequences for HM Inspectorate.

16-19 Education

6.15 The first is the question of how far the organisation of HM Inspectorate should reflect and be in a position to respond to policy needs in relation to education of the 16-19 age group. We had some evidence from the local authority associations and from officials within DES that in the context of the work done for the joint review of 'Education for 16-19 year olds', only limited assistance was available from HM Inspectorate. HM Inspectorate has already gone a considerable way towards organising its specialist resources across the secondary school and FHE Inspectorates so that it can the better relate to developments in 16-19 education. At present there is an identifiable team of


[page 54]

inspectors drawn from both FHE and schools inspectors and coordinated by two phase Sis engaged in a programme of inspections related to the 16-19 age group both in schools and in colleges. There is thus already an embryonic structure and growing experience of working together between the FHE and schools Inspectorate both in institutions and in a national and in divisional 16-19 committees. The existence of this organisation has enabled HM Inspectorate to bring together views and judgments to inform the thinking of the main policy branches of the Department concerned with policy for the 16-19 age group. At present, however, advice from HMI in this field has to be largely coordinated by the Senior Chief Inspector, who, in this area at least, has had to act in addition to her other responsibilities as an additional Chief Inspector. There is now a need to ensure that responsibilities within HM Inspectorate in relation to 16-19 education are properly described; that references for HMI advice and inspection are more clearly routed and controlled; and HM Inspectorate's overall effort in relation to 16-19 education is planned and overseen on a consistent basis.

6.16 Against this background, we consider that there is now a strong case for the appointment of an additional CI (the post already exists within HMl's present complement) to take charge of the coordination of all aspects of 16-19 education. We emphasise that this recommendation is about the organisation of HM Inspectorate: it carries no implications for policy on 16-19 education nationally or locally. And we recognise that, in terms of HMI organisation, it does not necessarily improve one set of continuities to set up a new set of discontinuities. The idea of establishing more clearly a coordinated group within the Inspectorate to work on aspects of 16-19 education does not imply any weakening of the Inspectorate's capability for relating to education below 16 or beyond 19. It is essentially concerned with giving a greater substance to an organisational change already in motion within HM Inspectorate so as to improve the capacity of HMI to formulate viewpoints and to offer collective advice to Ministers and the Department on an area of education of particular public interest.

Advanced Course Approval

6.17 The second issue relates to the involvement of HM Inspectorate in the administration of the advanced course approval system. The Inspectorate has been involved in course approval since shortly after the introduction of the 1944 Education Act. The present arrangements, however, date back to 1957. Seven Regional Staff Inspectors (RSI) are responsible in their geographical divisions for granting or withholding approval on behalf of the Secretary of State for all new or replacement full-time and sandwich advanced courses and all part-time degree courses in FHE. Institutions


[page 55]

submit proposals for such new courses on an annual timetable. In the case of LEA maintained institutions the proposals are submitted through the LEA, which must countersign the application, to the Regional Advisory Council and to RSI simultaneously. Voluntary colleges and direct grant institutions submit proposals directly to the Regional Advisory Council and to RSI.

6.18 There is widespread dissatisfaction in the FHE system about the role of HM Inspectorate in advanced course approval. The point was made to us in a range of written evidence. The Association of Colleges for Further and Higher Education said: 'To the extent that, in recent years, HMI has been called upon to adopt an executive role (for instance in relation to approvals of courses or of equipment purchases and has been seen to be involved in decisions relating to building projects) there has been a conflict with the essential tasks as Inspectors'. The Standing Conference of Principals and Directors of Colleges and Institutes of Higher Education emphasised that 'the hostility which has been aroused in institutions to the course approval system has inevitably rubbed off on the Inspectorate operating through RSls and this has been unhelpful for their other more important roles of advice and consultation'. Other bodies took the line that the role of the Inspectorate should be limited to advice and inspection.

6.19 In an average year, Regional Advisory Councils in England and Wales receives about 200 applications for full-time degree courses and 150 for sub-degree courses. About one-third of these will be modifications of existing courses and provided they are well supported approval is normally given. In the past five or so years RSls have approved about 30% of new degree proposals and about 60% of new sub-degree proposals. All this involves substantial work for HM Inspectorate. Virtually all HMI for FHE have some involvement in support of RSI. We have had various estimates of the time involved, but it would appear to be not less than 20% of the time of RSls (and, in some cases, much more) and on average between 5-10% of the time for the rest of the HFE Inspectorate.

6.20 It does not fall within our remit to consider whether or not the course approval system should continue. Our concern is with HM Inspectorate's involvement in it or any system that might be set up to replace it. We have noted, however, that the approval system which was geared to conditions of steady expansion appears less and less effective in present circumstances: in 1979/80, for example, more than one-third of all advanced courses enrolling first year students did not meet the basic minimum enrolment requirements for approval. The Department is at present considering the question of course approval within the wider context of the overall management of public sector higher education. In that context we consider that there is an overwhelming case for reducing the involvement of HM Inspectorate in the


[page 56]

detailed administration of advanced course approval. Whatever the present merits of the system, there is no doubt that it has led to a distortion of the role of the FE Inspectorate by syphoning off a significant part of their time for semi-administrative purposes.

6.21 Changes in the advanced course approval arrangements do not, of course, imply that HM Inspectorate will cease to have an interest in the disposition and volume of advanced courses. Rather, it would involve reverting to the proper function of the Inspectorate of making available professional advice on the educational aspects of proposals for new courses or course rationalisation. Nevertheless there would be room for some redefinition of the role of the RSI. It is already the case that the RSI function is shared with the function of phase or subject Staff Inspector in three HMI divisions. The need for FE territorial coordination at regional level will remain. We suggest that for the future this should be achieved by combining the RSI course approval function, while it remains, and the territorial coordination function with subject or phase SI posts. This should both improve linkage between the divisions and the centre and eventually lead to a saving of 2-3 posts.




[page 57]

7 Staffing and Resources


7.1 In accordance with our terms of reference, we have examined the staffing of HM Inspectorate in the light of our findings about their role, organisation and effectiveness, taking account amongst other things of the Government's plans to reduce public expenditure and Civil Service manpower. This chapter covers the staffing of HM Inspectorate, the use made and staffing of its support services, and the use made of computers in the Inspectorate's operations.

Numbers and Costs of HMI and their support services

7.2 At 1 June 1981 there were 407 HMI in post, as shown in Appendix F. The Senior Chief Inspector, Chief Inspectors, 26 of the Staff Inspectors and several HMI were based in Elizabeth House (some HMls for part of their time only); Divisional Inspectors and other Sis and HMls used services provided in the seven divisional and 38 local offices. Support services at Elizabeth House were provided by 38 staff and in the divisional and local offices by 138 staff in the AEC and secretarial grades. The estimated costs of HMI and their support services in the 1980/81 financial year are shown in Appendix G. The total cost of 13.3m. (England only) represents the estimated overall cost of HMI and their support services, including some notional expenditure on accommodation and pensions liability. It represents 33% of the Department's total costs (estimated on the same basis) of 40m. for 1980/81; and 0.15% of total central and local government expenditure on education (excluding the universities) of 9,200m. in that year.

Staffing of HM Inspectorate

7.3 During the review the high calibre and professionalism of HM Inspectors was praised by many of the teachers, local authority officers and others in the


[page 58]

education service whom we met, and we have no general comment on the recruitment and training of HM Inspectors. However, we do consider that both HMI and the rest of the education service could benefit from increased interchange between LEAs, schools and colleges and that this might be brought about through exchanges and short term attachments to HMI. We found support for such a proposal from local education authorities and from the teacher associations, although the latter would go much further than we have judged appropriate in terms of the number of posts involved. The advantages of such arrangements would be;

(i) To carry out its functions the Inspectorate requires a balanced team of individuals with a variety of specialist knowledge and interests. Most HMI can expect to serve for perhaps twenty years. The specialist knowledge of individuals must therefore be durable and regularly updated, and those with knowledge of new specialisms must be continually recruited. In special isms which are rapidly changing or where the need for expertise in a particular area is temporary, it may not be practicable to appoint a specialist HMI.

(ii) The Inspectorate has over a considerable period found difficulty in finding sufficient suitable applicants for recruitment to HM Inspectorate. This is one of a number of factors which explains the consistent and sometimes substantial gap between actual numbers and theoretical complement. It is particularly true at the higher levels of further and higher education, where those with management experience (at head of department level and above) may not be attracted by a career in the Inspectorate because of the relative salary scales. Short term attachments might provide a way of strengthening expertise in areas where it is difficult to recruit HMls. They would be particularly valuable in the fields of education of young children; microelectronics; multicultural education; distance learning; and FHE in terms of its general organisation and management.

(iii) Increased interchange would provide the mutual benefit of openness and understanding of other parts of the education system. For HMI it would provided an opportunity to refresh their first-hand experience. For the rest of the education service it would provide a greater insight into the working of the Inspectorate and the techniques of inspection. HMI have built up considerable expertise in the methods of assessing and evaluating educational performance. With the increasing tendency to self-assessment by individual schools and a movement towards inspection by the local authority advisory service, there would be advantage in disseminating this knowledge and expertise. Exchanges between HMI and local authority advisers could further encourage the improving of contacts between these two groups discussed earlier.

7.4 We recommend that there should be a limited number of short-term


[page 59]

attachments to HMI and a programme of exchanges between HMI and local authority advisers. A largely similar recommendation was made by the Select Committee in its 1968 report and we recognise that the theoretical attractions need to be balanced against the considerable practical difficulties of arranging secondments and attachments of this kind. For this reason, we suggest that such attachments and exchanges should cover no more than eight to ten HMI posts at anyone time and last for between two and three years. They should be financed from DES and borne within HM Inspectorate's total complement. Individuals on attachment should not be appointed as HMI but might be authorised by the Secretary of State under section 77 of the Education Act 1944 'to assist such inspectors (ie. HMI) and to act as additional inspectors'; this would ensure right of access to educational establishments. They should not have any right of assimilation into HM Inspectorate, but would be able to apply for appointment in the normal way through open competition; they should retain the right to re-enter their previous employment.

Size of HM Inspectorate

7.5 The number of HM Inspectors in England has fallen steadily for most of the last thirty years, from a peak of 563 in 1950 to 485 in 1968 and 401 in 1978. On 1 June this year it was 407. At the same time there has been a substantial increase in the range and variety of educational provision, particularly in further and higher education. Our examination of the role and function of HM Inspectorate has failed to demonstrate any functions which are unnecessary or could be performed by others.

7.6 This view is confirmed by our discussions with others in the education service and by the written submissions we have received. More than half of the latter referred to the numbers of HMI; all said they should not be reduced; some said they should be strengthened. Apart from course approval there were no suggestions of areas in which HMI activities could be reduced; on the contrary there were arguments variously for increased involvement in, for example, inspection of education for 16-19 year olds, including education and training outside the mainstream of the education service; adult education; and in further and higher education generally. All the evidence suggests that the work of HM Inspectorate is highly valued and is a cost-effective means of influencing the education system.

7.7 Some of our recommendations do have implications for HMI manpower. We have recommended (paragraphs 6.13 and 6.16) two additional CI posts. However, we do not see these as being in addition to the existing complement. One CI post is already on the complement but vacant; the other


[page 60]

could be created by upgrading one SI post. This could be balanced by the saving of two to three SI posts resulting from changes in the administration of the course approval system (paragraph 6.21). Our other recommendations are concerned mainly with re-directing existing effort rather than increasing the total call on HMI time, as follows:

a. protecting some time for district inspectors for schools within the inspection programme (paragraph 3.12 (i)) would entail some change in the distribution of programmed time between individual schools HMI, and probably a small reduction in the total number of programmed exercises undertaken in this sector;

b. producing LEA-based reports (paragraph 3.15) would involve using existing information and some marginal shift in the balance of inspection towards the selected authorities. It would also require a limited amount of additional HMI time for collation of evidence and report writing;

c. improving the follow-up of HMI activities (paragraph 3.44) would require some increase in HMI time devoted to this, and would be one of the calls on the time protected for district inspectors; it would mainly be brought about through directing HMI courses, conferences and other existing activities in a planned way;

d. an increase in the volume of inspection in FHE and in the output of issued reports and national publications (paragraph 3.24) could be achieved through a reduction in time spent on college visiting not associated with inspection, in visiting and administration related to course approval (paragraph 6.20). and by coordinating and directing existing inspection activities towards specified aims;

e. a rationalisation of the committee structure (paragraph 6.13 (ii)) might make a small contribution to reducing the proportion of total HMI time spent on internal committees.

7.8 Overall we believe that these recommendations can be carried out within existing staffing levels of HM Inspectorate. If the Inspectorate is to do still more particularly in relation to following up its work with LEAs and institutions, its numbers will need to increase. It is not easy to quantify this but, for example, if the primary team of 40 inspectors were to be doubled and largely limited to formal inspection, it would be possible to mount a programme of full inspections with roughly a fifteen year cycle as opposed to a thirty year cycle. Forty additional HMI could ensure that every LEA could have nearly 100 extra days each year between all its institutions, teachers, administrators or advisers. In our view this report makes out a case in terms of the contribution that the Inspectorate makes to the education system as a whole for more inspectors rather than fewer. There is a particular need to strengthen the Inspectorate in relation to primary education given the range and number of schools; in relation to special education in the light of the


[page 61]

Warnock report and the legislation now before Parliament; in relation to the young unemployed; and in relation to multi-cultural education, microtechnology and information technology.

7.9 But this has to be seen against the general background of the Government's policies for Civil Service manpower. Table 7.1 shows how HMI numbers have moved since 1975 compared to the rest of DES (including HMI support services) and gives the Department's overall manpower targets for the period 1982-84. Total DES staff numbers fell by 13% between 1976 and 1981 and manpower targets imply a further fall of 12% by 1984. These targets included HMI and their support services: if they are assumed to remain constant, the fall in staff numbers implied for the remainder of the Department would need to be proportionately larger.

Table 7.1 Number of DES Staff and Manpower Targets

7.10 Against that background, there would need to be particularly cogent reasons to justify a complete exemption of the Inspectorate from the consequences of the overall DES manpower targets. Here it seems to us that the following considerations are relevant:

(i) Although the Inspectorate's numbers in England have not fallen significantly in the last five years, this needs to be put in the context of a sizeable long-run reduction which has continued since the 1950s. In this respect, the position in England differs from that in Scotland and in Wales where complement and numbers have remained relatively stable.

(ii) As table 7.2 shows, there is a marked inferiority in England compared with Scotland and Wales in the numbers of pupils, of institutions and of


[page 62]

teachers per HMI. There are, as we suggest, in relation to Wales substantial reasons of geography, of language need, and of organisation which justify a relatively larger Inspectorate. And similar reasons apply for Scotland. Nevertheless, the constraints implied by these figures are considerable and we find it difficult to justify a further worsening of these ratios.

(iii) We have not been able to identify any significant functions at present performed by the Inspectorate which could be dispensed with or performed effectively by others within the education service. On the contrary our report identifies, on the one hand, an increased demand for advice from central government particularly in connection with policies in relation to the curriculum and examinations and, on the other hand, proposes a marginal but nevertheless important shift of emphasis towards improving the Inspectorate's follow-up of its own initiatives.

Table 7.2 Ratio of HMI in post to number of pupils, teachers, schools and colleges (maintained and assisted establishments)

7.11 Thus any reduction in the numbers of the Inspectorate below its existing level could only be implemented by reductions in function. In such circumstances, Ministers would be obliged to consider options such as:

(i) reducing the present already minimal coverage now possible in relation to the adult and youth services so that the Inspectorate concentrated on a limited number of selected priorities;

(ii) some slimming of 'subject' teams within the schools Inspectorate but not in such key areas as English, mathematics, science, modern languages, design and technology, careers education, multi-cultural education and learning difficulties. Even so the implication would be a reduced capacity to support a central area of government policy concern or to sustain standards by inspection, writing and other means;

(iii) stopping the valuable contribution HM Inspectorate makes through inspection to the work of the prison education service (for the Home Office) and to services education including schools for services children overseas (for the Ministry of Defence).


[page 63]

7.12 Our broad conclusion is that it would be right to regard the present complement of 430 for the Inspectorate as a maximum in present circumstances. It would also be feasible, although not desirable, to accept a reduction in that complement to 420: in practice the Inspectorate has been living within this figure since 1976. But further reductions in complement below 420 would carry considerable penalties for the effectiveness of the Inspectorate and put many of the recommendations for improvement contained in this report beyond reach.

The Support Services

7.13 As we have shown, HM Inspectorate is a force of more than 400 professionals mainly deployed in the field. To carry out its functions effectively it requires considerable administrative, clerical and secretarial support. The organisation of HMI support services and details of existing staffing are shown in Appendix H. The support services can be be divided into two groups: Headquarters staff, ie. those located in the Department's offices at Elizabeth House and Canons Park, and those in the Divisional and local offices.

7.14 HMI support services at Headquarters fall roughly into three groups: general administrative support to SCI (including assistance with establishment matters such as recruitment); secretarial assistance for the Cis and those SIs and HMls based at Elizabeth House; and support available to all HMI but centrally based. The latter consists of:

i. the Survey Analysis Manager (a statistician) and the Intelligence and Data Support Unit (headed by an SEO) which provide information, advice and assistance with statistical questions, particularly HMI surveys;

ii. Inspectors Reports Section which deals with the final processing, printing and distribution of all inspection reports and some surveys;

iii. a unit in Teachers Branch concerned with the administration of the programme of short courses for teachers run by HMI.

7.15 The seven divisional and 38 local offices provide mainly secretarial support for HMI not based on Elizabeth House. Each division has one divisional office staffed by an EO, a personal secretary to the Divisional Inspector and typing and clerical staff; and between three and seven local offices, each staffed by a personal secretary and one or more typists. The EO is responsible (in consultation with the DI) for the smooth running of all the offices in the Division, including the organisation of all support staff work. Day-to-day running of each local office is in practice the responsibility of the personal secretary, although an HMI is nominated to be in charge of each office.


[page 64]

Work undertaken by Support Staff

7.16 The range of work in which support staff provide assistance to HMI can be broadly classified as follows:

a. general secretarial assistance (eg typing, filing);

b. assistance with the management of HMI and support services (eg. recruitment, deployment, the inspection programme);

c. assistance with the design and processing of HMI surveys;

d. assistance with administration of HMI committees, courses and conferences;

e. work arising from individual visits and inspections, including preparation and follow-up;

f. ad hoc enquiries, background research and casework.

All HMI require secretarial services and this is provided either in local or divisional offices or Headquarters. Duties associated with the management of HMI are the concern of SCI and Cis and support is provided by staff in Elizabeth House. Most HMI will require other assistance from time to time, and may look to staff in divisional and local offices or to the Intelligence and Data Support Unit, Teachers Short Course Unit and Inspectors Reports Section.

7.17 Within the range of work listed, we found a very wide variation in the service provided and the extent to which HMI made use of support staff. As regards secretarial services, at best HMI in the field were provided with a full range of such services: in addition to typing and keeping HMI diaries, support staff did all filing, arranged meetings, travel and accommodation, dealt with mail in HMI's absence, took messages and dealt with straightforward enquiries. They might also draft routine correspondence, assist in making arrangements for visits, and in collating information from surveys or other clerical tasks. At worst, HMI received only very limited support apart from typing. This was sometimes because HMI preferred, for example, to do their own filing; but more often because existing staff were fully stretched and did not have the capacity to take on these tasks. In general, HMI thought that their support staff performed the jobs they were asked to do well and provided as good a service as could be expected given the level of staffing.

7.18 A complement, organisation and methods review of all HMI Support Services was carried out by the Department between 1977 and 1979. It looked in detail at the workload of existing support staff and also at the case for additional higher level assistance to HMI, perhaps at EO or HEO level. It recommended a small overall increase in the complement of the support services, but concluded that the case for higher level support was not proven. Although in the available time our examination has been less detailed, we


[page 65]

have looked not only at what HMI support services now provide and whether they are effectively staffed for those purposes, but also at what they should provide in the interests of the greater effectiveness of HM Inspectorate as a whole. Seen in that light, we conclude that there is a strong case for an increase in the number of support staff, including those at higher level, available to HMI. HMI are in many instances carrying out routine tasks which could be performed by staff at a lower level; this represents a wasteful use of scarce and expensive HMI time.

7.19 We have looked first, therefore, at ways in which the use and effectiveness of existing services might be improved. The most important point is that in our discussions with HMI and support staff we found great variation and some doubt about their respective roles. HM Inspectors have a wide variety of backgrounds which give them very different expectations of their support staff. They visit the office infrequently, once or twice a week or sometimes less, and support staff are left to work on their own initiative for much of the time. Some local offices are very small and geographically isolated and staff have limited opportunities for training and contact with other office staff. We think there is a need for HMI and support service management jointly to consider with the Department the division of tasks between HMI and support staff, with a view to providing more guidance and training for both groups on what is expected of them.

7.20 Planning of the work of HMI should take into account the consequences for support services. Changes in HM Inspectorate's working in recent years has had a number of implications for the work of support staff. For example, the increase in the number of inspection reports as shown in Appendix B has increased the typing load on staff in local offices and has had a substantial effect on the workload of Inspectors Reports Section. Forewarning of such changes and consideration of whether they are likely to be permanent should allow a better match of demand to staffing in the support services. Deployment of HMI should also take into account the availability of support staff, bearing in mind that changes in the siting, accommodation arrangements and staffing of local offices are difficult to arrange in the short term and are likely to reduce overall efficiency.

7.21 Our examination suggested that many HMI use their own individual Wing systems which are difficult for support services to operate and create problems when there is a handover of responsibilities to another HMI. We recommend that a standardised filing system should be introduced for all papers other than those of purely personal interest, and that all such filing should be done by support service staff.

7.22 Since 1979 the Inspectorate has kept records of all visits to schools.


[page 66]

These records are normally kept by divisional and local office staff, and although each division is required to send SCI's office a summary record of visits within the Division each term, there is no standard form for keeping records or making returns. The evidence we saw suggested that a great deal of time of local office staff is wasted in devising and subsequently completing suitable forms for these records. However, the usefulness of this information centrally is limited because it is not in a standard form. We suggest at paragraph 7.34 below that this function might be computerised and performed by Headquarters staff. As an interim measure, we recommend a standard form of reporting visits, maintaining records and making returns to SCI's office. The availability of information on DES existing computer in Darlington should also be investigated: it might for example be possible to print out lists of schools in each local education authority in a form suitable for use in record keeping - this could also save time for staff in local offices.

7.23 Substantial time of local office staff is also taken in typing documents which go through several drafts, in particular full inspection reports. This work appears suitable for word processors, and following the experimental use of a word processor in the DES offices in Darlington, a word processor is being considered for the Croydon divisional office. There are also plans to extend their use to other divisional offices. We welcome this development which should save time in both local offices and Inspectors Reports Section. However, the use of word processors highlights the need for clear and established procedures for the processing of such reports. Without such procedures the potential saving of time is unlikely to be realised. We recommend that the Inspectorate should produce clear guidance on the procedures to be followed by both HMI and support staff following an inspection or survey which will lead to an issued report. This would update and supplement the guidance issued to HMls in 1975 in an internal working note 'Reports and other Writing'. It should give clear instructions about the division of responsibilities for typing, editing and proof-reading where word processors are to be used.

7.24 Secretarial services for SIs at Elizabeth House are provided by clerical officers, usually on the basis of one CO to two SIs; typing is done by five typists from the DES typing pool allocated to HMI work. We judge that there is a good case for Staff Inspectors, particularly phase SIs, in Elizabeth House to share the services of a personal secretary, normally one PS between two SIs, in place of the existing arrangements. SIs have expressed strongly their view that they are required to respond rapidly to demands from the office which is difficult if they have no immediate access to a typist; and that their frequent absences from the office puts a premium on an effective secretarial service. The complements, organisation and methods review team looked at this complaint but concluded that it was preferable to strengthen existing


[page 67]

arrangements which it was claimed could provide more efficient, economical and flexible support. We do not agree. A similar conclusion was reached and a proposal made for strengthening the CO team through higher level supervision by an organisation and methods report in 1973, but in practice the desired flexibility does not appear to have resulted. We recommend the gradual replacement of COs and allocated typists by personal secretaries on a basis of one PS to two SIs. This should produce a small decrease in numbers of staff with no increase in total costs to the Department; we think it could provide a more satisfactory working arrangement for Staff Inspectors.

7.25 HMI are involved in running some 150 courses and conferences each year, many of which are residential. Administration of these courses is time-consuming. It involves dealing with applications for attendance, arranging accommodation, preparation, printing and distribution of course papers, administrative duties such as acting as bursar during the course, and dealing with accounts subsequently. Support is now available from three sources. Teachers Short Course Unit deals with the national course programme, handles applications from teachers, deals with accounts and provides some assistance with the processing and distribution of course papers, but does not provide assistance with arranging accommodation or during the course. Some help of this kind is provided for a limited number of courses by a part-time typist in the Oxford local office; and other local office staff may occasionally help in this way. Otherwise all arrangements for accommodation and administrative duties during the course are carried out by HMI. This is a wasteful use of their time. Local office staff are also often involved in typing, copying and distribution of course papers for which they are not equipped. We suggest that, in the short term, HMI should be encouraged to make more use of the services of Teachers Short Course Unit for these tasks. For the longer term, the Department and HMI should consider rationalising support for course directors, ideally to provide a unit which can deal with all administrative arrangements associated with courses, including assistance during the course.

7.26 We believe that the proposals in paragraphs 7.19 to 7.24 could be carried out without any increase in existing staffing. Their main impact is on the work of staff in divisional and local offices. A reduction in time spent on maintaining visiting records, typing full inspection reports and in work connected with teachers short courses should provide some spare capacity for improved secretarial services including filing. We have not been able to quantify what might be the staffing consequences of the recommendation in paragraph 7.25 that support for HMI course directors should be rationalised, but we think it unlikely that it would require an increase of more than one or two posts in addition to those already engaged on this work.


[page 68]

7.27 These proposals should therefore permit an improvement in the effectiveness of the support services without any significant increase in staffing. However, they are not enough in themselves to raise the overall quality of support to the level which is needed in our view. That would require improved support at a higher level. We suggest that this might be provided by:

(i) an additional member of staff at EO level in each divisional office. The divisional EO is currently occupied almost full-time with the management and day-to-day running of the offices in the Division and cannot become involved in jobs requiring lengthy or substantial input. An additional EO could minute all divisional committee meetings (about 15 pa. in each division), assist HMI in dealing with the office and provide a point of contact for DES policy Branches, and assist SIs and HMI in the division in larger jobs such as collation of information for surveys and producing the first draft of some documents.

(ii) provision of higher level support in Elizabeth House, both for SIs and other HMI. The IDSU seems to have worked well in providing a service to HMI for statistical work, particularly surveys. This kind of service might be extended to other work requiring analysis and collation but which is not statistical. However, we suggest that HMI would need to review the potential demand for such a service over a period to assess what the staffing requirements would be likely to be. There might also be scope for HMI to use staff in the relevant policy Branches to help in work of this kind.

7.28 The recommendations in paragraphs 7.30 to 7.38 below for increased use of computers by HMI, including a centralised visiting register, would also require some additional manpower, but this would be offset by the time saved on the inspection programme and other general establishments tasks resulting from computerisation. These staff would require some knowledge and skill in the use of computers; consideration might be given to locating them in the IDSU, where such expertise is already available and any spare capacity could be used for HMI survey work. We would expect the additional need to be for one EO or HEO with computer experience assisted by a clerical officer or assistant.

7.29 Taken together, we estimate that these demands would require an additional 10-12 posts, mainly at EO level. However, there are powerful constraints. As table 7.1 shows, the number of HMI support staff increased by 7% between 1979 and 1981 while the Department's total numbers fell by 5%. As we have already noted, the Department's manpower target implies a further fall of more than 12% between 1981 and 1984, or 16% of staff excluding HMI and their support services, if the latter continue to be protected. Given this background, it would not be reasonable to expect the Department to strengthen HMI support services at the expense of the rest of


[page 69]

the Department. In these circumstances, we would suggest that the Department and HM Inspectorate should review the overall structure and objectives of HMI support services in the light of the recommendations that we have made, but we accept that no increase in present staffing levels would be possible except as an addition to the total DES complement.

HMI and Computers

7.30 At present the use of computers by the Inspectorate is limited to the processing of statistical surveys using the DES computer facilities in Darlington. This work is carried out by the Survey Analysis Manager assisted by the Intelligence and Data Support Unit. The use of computers to assist in the management of HMI, particularly compiling of the inspection programme, and in information retrieval is currently under consideration; we have therefore examined each of these areas.

Operational and Management Information

7.31 We consider that there is a very good case for a small and separate computer facility for HMl's use, and for extending the Inspectorate's use of the Department's existing computer facilities. This would provide assistance in managing the operations of the Inspectorate, in particular in:

(i) compiling and analysing the inspection programme;

(ii) maintaining an up-to-date record of the expertise, interests and responsibilities of each HMI;

(iii) maintaining a visiting register of HMI visits to each institution;

(iv) analysing information from HMI diaries about the use of HMI time.

7.32 The inspection programme is a complex instrument which involves allocating some 350 HMI to a large number of inspections and other activities so that a team with the required specialist expertise is available at a given time for each exercise. Numerous analyses of the time programmed for each HMI and for different purposes are required to assist in the overall management of HMI. At present this task is done manually which is time-consuming and limits the flexibility of those preparing the programme. We recommend that this task be computerised at the earliest opportunity.

7.33 HMI is a highly specialised field force; its individual members have a very wide variety of background, qualifications and interests and carry several responsibilities reporting in different directions. Its proper deployment requires a detailed and up-to-date knowledge of each HMI's expertise, interests and responsibilities. Computerisation could make this information more readily accessible to HMI management.


[page 70]

7.34 As noted in the description of the support services, statistics of visits to individual schools in each local education authority are now kept, normally by support staff in local and divisional offices but sometimes by district inspectors. However these records are not in a standard form across all divisions, and not all divisions keep records of visits to FHE establishments. There are proposals to establish a central register of all visits which would include involvement of schools with exercises carried out by organisations other than HMI such as the APU, the National Foundation for Educational Research and the Schools Council. We support this idea. We suggest that it be extended to replace the records now kept locally, and to cover FHE establishments. Such a system could provide an accurate and up-to-date picture of the sampling of the system being achieved by HMI, both in total and for particular types of institution and would assist in the choice of institutions for inspection. Arrangements could be made to supply Divisional and district Inspectors with regular analyses of visiting within their areas; this would free local office staff of a time-consuming task.

7.35 At present HMI complete fortnightly diaries listing their activities in some detail. The diaries are countersigned by Divisional Inspectors and are then used to pay travel and subsistence claims. Occasional exercises are mounted to extract information about the use of HMI time nationally for particular purposes, but information from individual diaries is not readily aggregated in this way. Knowledge about the overall use of HMI time is important in the deployment of HMI, in determining, for example, the balance between time reserved in the inspection programme and available for district and general work. We suggest that a standardised diary form might be combined with the reporting of visits for a central visiting register to allow more accurate and accessible analysis of the use being made of HMI time nationally.

Information Retrieval

7.36 The basis of all the Inspectorate's work is the cumulative evidence gained through inspection. Bringing together and making the fullest possible use of all the information and assessment gained through full inspections of individual institutions and routine visiting as well as surveys presents considerable problems. Notes of visits are produced after all visits to schools and are in standard format; they will be used by the district inspector in compiling his annual district report, and some subject specialists may arrange for information contained in notes of visits about their specialism to be analysed regularly. Full inspection reports are indexed for retrieval through 'SARI' (Storage and Analysis of Information), a manual information retrieval system established in 1975.


[page 71]

7.37 Suggestions for specific ways in which information gained through inspection could be brought together are made at paragraphs 3.12, 3.14 and 3.25. Proposals are currently under consideration for a substantial commitment to a computerised information retrieval system. We consider that more work needs to be done before the case for such a commitment can be fully established. It requires a clear view of the aims of the system, who its users would be and what their needs are. We understand that the available technology is not yet capable of storing and retrieving large amounts of documentation; the system would therefore have to be limited to providing references to documents based on indexing of significant points.

7.38 We suggest that, as a first step, the Inspectorate should attempt to identify over a suitable period the demands which it considers could have been met by an information retrieval system, whether the demands could be met by alternative means, and if so at what cost. This should provide a means of assessing whether the benefits of a suitably designed computer system would outweigh the significant commitment required to establish and operate it. It would also show what kind of system would be most appropriate and whether it should be operated by support staff or by HMI in Headquarters or Divisions.




[page 72]

8 HM Inspectorate (Wales)


Introduction

8.1 Much of what we have said in previous chapters in relation to HM Inspectorate in England applies equally to Wales. Nevertheless, there are sufficient differences to justify separate detailed consideration of the work, organisation and staffing of HM Inspectorate in Wales.

8.2 The statutory position can be simply stated. Prior to 1970, central government responsibility for education in Wales rested with the Secretary of State for Education and Science, with advice from HM Inspectorate (Wales). In 1970 all functions connected with schools in Wales were transferred to the Secretary of State for Wales. A further transfer of functions in higher and further education on 1 April 1978 left the Secretary of State for Wales and an expanded Welsh Office Education Department with responsibility for most education functions. The transfer of functions included the duty under Section 77 of the Education Act 1944 to cause inspections to be made, although the power to recommend HM Inspectors for appointment remained with the Secretary of State for Education and Science. HM Inspectorate (Wales) are still formally part of the DES, but since 1970 they have been on loan to the Welsh Office which meets all their costs. The Permanent Secretary of the Welsh Office is therefore accountable for all expenditure on HM Inspectorate (Wales).

8.3 It could be argued that it is unnecessary to have two separately organised Inspectorates within what is essentially a common education system for England and Wales with a common legal basis and a common structure. There is certainly a good case for considering that a single unified Inspectorate could yield economies of scale providing overall a more cost-effective service to central government as a whole. But, however strong that case may have been before 1970, the transfer of education functions to the Secretary of State for Wales has created a demand for professional


[page 73]

advice and assessment expressed in the context of education in Wales rather than on an England and Wales basis. Essentially, HM Inspectorate is organised separately for Wales because education is administered separately for Wales. We have taken that as our starting point.

8.4 Against that background, it is also relevant to note a number of general considerations that distinguish HM Inspectorate in Wales. They are:

(i) HM Inspectorate operates in Wales on a significantly smaller scale. At 1 June 1981 there were 55 HMI in Wales responsible for inspecting 2,381 schools and 48 establishments providing Further and Higher Education in eight LEAs. This compares with 407 HMI in England inspecting more than 30,000 schools and 530 FHE establishments in 96 LEAs. Thus, while the size of the Welsh Inspectorate is roughly equivalent to an English division, its aims are a national coverage and a national perspective. There are important consequences in terms of the range of specialist knowledge and the overall scale of visiting required to secure an adequate national picture.

(ii) The Welsh language is an important aspect of many schools. It is used as the main medium of instruction in more than 10% of classes in primary schools and is taught as a first or second language in 75% of primary schools and 84% of secondary schools. There are 53 officially designated bilingual primary schools in predominantly English-speaking areas of Wales and eleven designated bilingual secondary schools. This distinct aspect of education in Wales has to be taken into account specifically within an overall inspection policy. Moreover, in this area of central government policy for Wales, the Inspectorate in Wales is uniquely qualified to contribute.

(iii) In the education field, the general role of the Welsh Office is still developing. At present the Welsh Office Education Department is relatively small- there are eleven administrators at Principal level and above - and seeks to deal with the full range of education policy. Inevitably, much of the initiative for policy formulation continues to rest in the first instance with the DES in London. By contrast before 1970 HMI in Wales was already well established as a largely autonomous group with a network of relationships throughout the system. It still represents by far the largest professional group in the Welsh Office.

Role

8.5 Our definition of the role of HM Inspectorate in England applies equally to HM Inspectorate in Wales where advice to central government is in the main advice to the Secretary of State for Wales and the Welsh Office. The balance between the Inspectorate's main functions of advice to central


[page 74]

government and advice to others within the system, however, appears to be tilted rather more in the direction of locally-based work than in England.

8.6 Why should this be so? In our view, part of the reason lies in the proportionately more generous staffing afforded to HM Inspectorate in Wales. As we show in Table 7.2, there are significantly more HMI in proportion to the numbers of schools, teachers and pupils in Wales than in England. This enables HM Inspectorate in Wales to visit a significantly larger proportion of institutions in the course of a year. Table 8.1 shows the percentage of schools visited during the 1878179 academic year. Overall 44% of all schools in Wales were visited compared with about 30% in England. As Table 8.2 indicates, this was accomplished with a very similar allocation of total HMI time to inspection - 47% in Wales compared with 45% in England.

8.7 An equally important factor, however, appears to be the rather less pronounced emphasis in Wales on an inspection programme geared to overtly national outcomes. The central inspection programme for Wales is used to earmark time nationally for particular inspections and surveys. An examination of the programme for 1980/81 showed that, within the programme, a good deal of flexibility is retained for individual teams and there is an emphasis on locally-based surveys. It is not possible to compare directly the time programmed for HMI in England and Wales, or the time spent on different activities: there are no comparable statistics and the coverage is different. For example, the English inspection programme includes HMI time reserved by subject Staff Inspectors for work in their specialism, but for Wales only specific inspections and surveys are included. Overall 29% of the time of HMI in England is programmed. In Wales, time directly earmarked for inspection is about 20%, but we were told that associated preparation and writing time (some of which would be included in the 29% figure for England) brought this figure up to 30%.

Table 8.1 Use of time by HMI (Wales), 1978 and 1979


[page 75]

Table 8.2 Total number of schools visited by HMI in Wales, 1978-1979

8.8 Although the figures in Tables 8.1 and 8.2 show a substantial amount of visiting and inspections of all kinds, we are not convinced that the balance between types of inspection is now right. We make three points:

(i) While we accept that on statistical grounds alone it is necessary to inspect a larger proportion of schools within Wales to achieve a representative national sample, there is much that could be done within the present scale of visiting to provide more of an aggregate assessment of education in Wales. At present the available evidence from routine and specialist visiting as well as from formal inspections is not always brought together at national level.

(ii) To some extent, the smaller scale inspection surveys of subjects or aspects based on a single LEA or part of an LEA are possible in Wales because of the existence of an English Inspectorate which has produced in recent years major surveys of primary and secondary education of relevance to schools in Wales although the surveys did not include Wales. These national publications and others published by HM Inspectorate in England have had a significant influence within Wales both on the education service and as a source of advice and assessment to central government. We see a case for the Welsh Inspectorate to so organise and gear its overall inspection programme that it can more effectively follow up this national assessment in the Welsh context.

(iii) The inspection programme for 1980/81 includes a number of surveys of a subject or aspect of school education in a particular local area. We understand that such surveys generally involve visits to all or most of the schools in the area followed by a single report issued to the schools and LEA. We would suggest that the same amount of HMI time could often be deployed to more effect in some of these surveys by looking at a smaller proportion of schools nationally, so that the resulting report would be relevant to a larger number of LEAs, schools and teachers. A change in the gearing of the inspection programme in this direction might also more effectively serve the needs of the Welsh Office while preserving the existing range of inspection.


[page 76]

8.9 We recommend that there should be a greater concentration than at present within the inspection programme on centrally planned exercises devoted to national rather than local themes. This would mean some increase in the proportion of HMI time devoted to such exercises at the expense of the present relatively high level of territorial and subject special visiting on a routine basis. The implication is that there should be a greater degree of priority planning within the inspection programme.

8.10 There is also the need to improve the methods of bringing together on an aggregate basis information and assessment obtained through inspection. Consideration should be given to:

(i) introducing a greater degree of standardisation into recording of notes of visits and inspection reports. At present there is no accepted format for such reporting which would allow the contents of notes and visits to be readily collated;

(ii) systematically reviewing the information gained on each district and in phase and subject specialisms. Although there are some instances of regular review, for example by the secondary phase committee of secondary education in each district, this is not the norm. In England a summary is produced each year for internal use on each local education authority and each HMI committee produces an annual 'state of the nation' report on its specialism. These are useful both for the internal operation of the Inspectorate and as a source of information for administrators. We suggest that HMI in Wales might adopt this practice;

(iii) the development of a planned rolling programme of reports relating to the education provision of individual local education authorities, drawing together information and assessment already available from past inspections and supplemented, where appropriate, by planned additional routine visiting. The aim of this recommendation would be to increase the impact of the substantial volume of inspection already carried out annually whether on a routine basis, as part of a local specialist survey, or as formal inspections. This recommendation follows that for England discussed at paragraphs 3.13 to 3.15.

Assessorships

8.11 As Table 8.2 shows, about 3% of total HMI time in 1978 and 1979 was spent on activities connected with assessorships to some 280 national bodies. This is not excessive, and many of these bodies have an important role in the education service in Wales. For example, nearly 100 of the 280 are committees or panels of the Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC), which functions as the Examining Board and as the Regional Advisory Council for Further Education for Wales. In its evidence the WJEC said that it


[page 77]

welcomed the support of HM Inspectorate which provided 'an added dimension of objective advice and a peculiarly intimate knowledge of the system and the customers'.

8.12 However, we have heard some criticism of HM Inspectorate's involvement as assessors on bodies such as the Arts Council, where they act as representatives of the Welsh Office, and we consider that there may be scope for reducing such involvement. We recommend that HM Inspectorate should review their membership of such bodies and discuss with the Welsh Office whether HMI representation is necessary, and if so for what purpose and to whom they should report on the outcome.

Local Authority Advisory Services

8.13 We considered in Chapter 4 the relationship between HM Inspectorate and the local authority advisory service in England. That discussion is also relevant to HM Inspectorate in Wales. As in England, there is considerable variation between authorities in the number of advisers and in the availability of specialist advice. In 1980 the eight Welsh LEAs employed a total of 139 advisers compared with 151 in post in 1979. Within this total numbers varied from 33 in West Glamorgan to ten in Gwynedd and in Powys. No LEA had advisers responsible for institutional HFE. Subject coverage also varied, for example in the whole of Wales there were 21 advisers for PE, nine for Welsh, eight for mathematics, seven for English, three for modern languages and three for science. We estimate the cost of the advisory service in Wales to be about 3m in 1980/81.

8.14 Unlike many advisers in England, local authority advisers in Wales are not in general seen to have an inspectorial role. Nevertheless they play an essential part in providing support and advice to teachers, supporting curriculum development and providing locally based in-service training. The ratio of advisers to schools, one to seventeen, is slightly larger than that for England (one to sixteen schools) but not significantly so. On the other hand, there are 2½ advisers for each HMI in Wales compared to 4½ for England. HM Inspectorate in Wales is able to maintain a greater local presence and work more closely with the eight LEAs in Wales than is possible for HMI in England. They can and do maintain very close working links with Welsh LEAs, particularly through the district inspector.

8.15 We conclude that in Wales, as in England, there is no significant or unnecessary duplication of function between HMI and the local authority advisory service. There may, however, be some scope for HM Inspectorate in Wales to develop further its links with local authority advisers, through more regular contacts at local level and through an increase in joint visiting.


[page 78]

Relations with the Welsh Office

8.16 We found some misunderstanding in Wales about the relationship of HM Inspectorate to the Welsh Office. This may have stemmed in part from the fact that the Welsh Inspectorate have been a constant presence in Welsh education for over 70 years compared with the rather more recent origins of the Welsh Office. But it also arises from an exaggerated view of the meaning of HM Inspectorate's independence. Some witnesses did not appear to see HM Inspectorate as a part of central government. It was argued by one witness that HMI 'ought to be the voice of the schools in these difficult days'. The Welsh Secondary Schools Association said that 'the Inspectorate ought to form the channel of informed educational argument between DES/Welsh Office and Schools', and later 'they (HMI) must become the independent bulwark of the education system against political vacillation'.

8.17 The independence of HMI has the same basis in England and Wales. As described in paragraphs 2.7-2.8, it is not a constitutional independence, but is based on an established tradition that anything published will be as the Inspectorate wrote it, that the Inspectorate should decide for itself how to go about the business of inspection and what to inspect as a basis for its advice, and that the Senior Chief Inspector has the right of direct access to the Secretary of State. In Wales, the Chief Inspector in Wales, acting as the senior educational adviser to the Welsh Office and the Head of the Inspectorate in Wales, should enjoy the right of direct access to Welsh Office Ministers in the same way.

8.18 It is against this general background that we have discussed relationships between HM Inspectorate and the Welsh Office with members of HMI and with administrators in the Welsh Office Education Department (WOED). Our conclusion is that while the primary role of the Inspectorate in Wales as in England is to advise central government on the state of the education system nationally, there is some room for improvement both in the system by which such advice is sought and offered and in matching HMI's work to what is required for the provision of that advice.

8.19 We have already described the different histories of HM Inspectorate (Wales) and WOED. The relationship between HM Inspectorate and administrators in Cardiff is still developing, and there is as yet some misunderstanding on both sides of respective roles. Other factors which hamper relationships are:

(i) Because of its small size, there are no formal structures in WOED for discussing developing education policy equivalent to the departmental planning structure in DES. This means that there is no established forum for the discussion of policy at a strategic level into which HM

[page 79]

Inspectorate can make an appropriate contribution.

(ii) Administrators in WOED move frequently and may spend a comparatively short time in education before moving to other functions within the Welsh Office. There is thus little time to develop working relations with HM Inspectorate both to ensure that the Inspectorate is kept appropriately informed of policy developments and to make best use of advice available within the Inspectorate.

(iii) The timescales of WOED, which are often related to the need to respond to policy development in consultation with DES, do not always permit of a full participation by HM Inspectorate. This becomes the more difficult when senior HMI cannot readily be contacted at short notice. Moreover there is often the suggestion that a view from HM Inspectorate may not be necessary on the assumption that the Welsh Inspectorate have been able to make a contribution through its links with HM Inspectorate in England.

(iv) Prior to the transfer of education functions to Cardiff, HMI in Wales were seen as the representatives of central government and played a greater part in administrative matters, particularly in dealings with local education authorities. They may not have fully adjusted to the role of Welsh Office administrators and the need to keep the office informed following discussions with local education authorities or with other outside bodies, eg when HMI are acting as assessors.

8.20 Following the establishment of the Policy Group for Inspection in England, a committee, the Standing Reference Committee, was established in Wales to provide a forum for joint discussion by HMI and administrators. It is chaired by the CI (Wales) and has a Welsh HMI as Secretary; its membership consists of the eight Staff Inspectors and the Under Secretary, two Assistant Secretaries and a Senior Principal in WOED. In theory this group could improve relationships by providing the forum for joint discussion of education issues which is otherwise lacking in Wales. However, at the start of this study it had met only once, in November 1979, and plans for a further meeting emerged only during the course of the scrutiny. We recommend that this committee should be revived and should be used as a regular forum for joint discussions recommended below and elsewhere in this chapter.

8.21 We also recommend that:

(i) the process of drawing up the inspection programme each year should include consultation with Welsh Office administrators to ensure that the proposed programme accords with the needs of the office. In this process HM Inspectorate should review the balance of its time currently devoted to the different sectors of the education service and invite Welsh Office views on where priorities should lie for the future. This applies

[page 80]

particularly to the choice of themes for nationally based surveys which we have recommended should form a larger part of HMl's work;

(ii) all decisions about whether to join with England in proposed major surveys should be taken in consultation with administrators in the Welsh Office;

(iii) if, as a result of the recommendation at paragraph 8.10, annual internal summaries on districts and specialisms are produced, they should be copied as a matter of course to the appropriate administrators.

8.22 The links between district inspectors and territorial officers in WOED have been steadily improving despite the factors noted in paragraph 8.19. Territorial officers are now automatically invited to and receive the minutes of meetings of the teams of HMI concerned with particular districts. There is a need to continue strengthening these links and particularly to improve the routine exchange of information between HMI and territorial officers in the Welsh Office. Territorial officers need to be aware that HMI is seen as a representative of the Welsh Office by the local education authority and needs to know of the office's dealings with that authority even if there is no clear HMI interest. The district inspector needs to be aware of the possible political implications of issues he discovers during inspections and visits, so that he can pass on all relevant information to the office. Annual district reports and LEA-based reports should provide one means for improving the flow of information.

8.23 We have had a number of complaints from the Welsh Office that HMI are often not available to give advice within the timescale required on particular policy issues. The point of contact is normally the phase Staff Inspector, but SIs spend on average about 60 days a year on inspections and so are frequently out of the office. Furthermore, three of the seven Staff Inspectors currently in post are based in HMI's Swansea office rather than in Cardiff. We recommend that consideration be given to establishing and publishing in WOED a rota system whereby at any time one member of each phase committee (the SI or an HMI) is nominated to deal with urgent requests and is readily accessible to the office.

Organisation and Management, Staffing and Resources

8.24 The present complement of HMI (Wales) is given by the Establishments Division of the Welsh Office as 59; it was reduced from 60 in 1980 without reference to HM Inspectorate. The complement includes one CI post and eight SI posts. As shown in Appendix F, on 1 June 1981 there were 55 HMI in post (recruitment has been frozen during the period of the scrutiny). HM Inspectorate were assisted by 14 full-time and two part-time staff in the


[page 81]

support services. We estimate the total costs of HM Inspectorate (Wales) and their support services to be (1.8m as shown in Appendix G.

8.25 Within its total complement the Welsh Inspectorate seeks to cover the country geographically; by the main phases of education; by curricular subjects; and by aspects, which cut across phases and subject specialisms, such as language. Most HMI work in more than one phase and have a specialist interest in addition to their general responsibilities as a general or district inspector. The major phases are schools (primary and secondary). HFE and OFE - effectively youth and adult education. Ten HMI (including SIs) work primarily in HFE and three in OFE. The remainder work primarily in schools, both primary and secondary (there are normally four primary specialists and three are currently in post).

8.26 Most management decisions are taken centrally by the CIISI group which meets regularly to discuss all matters relating to policy and to the management of HMI, including recruitment, posting, deployment and the inspection programme. The main line management function is carried out by the SIs through their chairmanship of phase committees and through working with their teams on inspections. The committee structure consists of three tiers:

(i) Committees: are mainly chaired by SIs and cover the main phases or major cross phase interests;

(ii) Panels: are mainly chaired by HMls and cover specific sectors of the curriculum. Panels submit their proposals for inspection and other activities to the relevant phase committees;

(iii) Working Groups: are set up by the CI to meet particular needs.

Committees are thus the main management instrument. In most subjects there are very few subject specialists and panels therefore bring together broad groupings of subject specialists to plan work in their area within Wales; individual subject specialists look to English subject committees (on which Welsh HMI are represented) for most development work within their subject

8.27 A second, but subsidiary, management function is through the territorial structure. This has three elements:

(i) each HMI is assigned by the CILSI group to work in one or more LEA areas;

(ii) each LEA has three district Inspectors (for schools, FE and OFE) assigned to it. District Inspectors are responsible for liaison with the authority and for managing the work of the team within their area, including the allocation of a group of institutions to each HMI for general inspection purposes;


[page 82]

(iii) there are three area Inspectors covering North Wales, South East Wales and South West Wales. They are responsible for countersigning of fortnightly diaries and may report on HMI in their area, but are not responsible for planning or organising the work of HMI in the region.
8.28 Generally our view is that the present organisation and management structure is appropriate for the present functions of HM Inspectorate in Wales. We have concentrated our attention on two main issues:
(i) whether performance and effectiveness could be improved through a closer relationship with HM Inspectorate in England; and

(ii) whether the present size of HM Inspectorate in Wales is appropriate and necessary.

Links with HM Inspectorate in England

8.29 The separate programme of inspection for Wales is at present accomplished with virtually no borrowing from HM Inspectorate in England. In 1980,28 HMI days in total were spent by English HMI on inspection in Wales. In the same period Welsh HMI contributed 93 HMI days to inspection in England mostly in the FHE field. On the other hand, outside the inspection programme there are close professional links between the two Inspectorates. CI (Wales) attends regular meetings with the CIs in England chaired by the SCI; Welsh HMI are represented throughout the English committee structure on all phase and subject committees; and the national teachers' short course programme is planned and staffed jointly.

8.30 These professional links are in our view essential as a means of widening the vision of HM Inspectorate in Wales which otherwise runs the risk of becoming locked in within a small-scale and relatively narrow perspective. They should be extended on a considerably larger scale to the inspection process itself on a reciprocal basis. This further strengthening of the links between the two Inspectorates is necessary because:

(i) An increase in joint inspection activity can, particularly for the Welsh Inspectorate, help to extend and enrich the broad experience from which overall judgments and assessments about standards is drawn. There is a need both for phase and subject specialists to set their own work in a wider England and Wales context.

(ii) Without a significant further increase in complement, the Welsh Inspectorate could not expect to have the full range of specialist expertise necessary to relate appropriately to every aspect of education. This implies a continuing need to supplement the Welsh team to ensure the best use of scarce specialist resources. The point is particularly


[page 83]

relevant to the FHI sector but also relates to both the primary and secondary phases.
We recommend that both Inspectorates should consider ways of increasing cross-border inspection in the context of the planning of their respective programmes.

Size of Welsh Inspectorate

8.31 The size of HM Inspectorate in Wales has remained steady for much of the post-war period. The complement was 47 in 1947; increased briefly to a peak of 54 in 1950; and was again 47 or 48 from 1953 to 1977. When FHE responsibilities were transferred to the Welsh Office on 1 April 1978, the complement was increased to 60 posts. Numbers of HMI in post have remained very close to complement until the recent freeze on recruitment. This contrasts strongly with the position in England where both the complement and numbers in post have fallen steadily since 1968.

8.32 As we have shown in Chapter 7, the present HMI complement for Wales of 59 posts represents a much more generous ratio of HMI to the number of pupils and teachers and institutions than in England. We have already discussed some of the factors that explain the need for a somewhat more generous staffing in Wales. They may be summarised as follows:

(i) Because of its smaller scale, it is not possible to achieve a representative national picture of provision within Wales without a larger statistical sample for inspection purposes.

(ii) HM Inspectorate requires a team of specialists in the Welsh language to meet the special characteristics of inspection imposed by the use of Welsh as a first or second language in many Welsh schools.

(iii) The geography of Wales and in particular a scattered population in rural areas with relatively poor communications requires that HMI is dispersed broadly between North and South Wales to ensure an adequate presence throughout the country.

(iv) The need for a reasonably full range of subject specialisms to enable the Inspectorate to inspect in a reasonably comprehensive way in FHE and in secondary schools.

8.33 While we have not found it possible to quantify the effect of each of these factors, our examination of the work of HM Inspectorate in Wales leads us to the view that there is some scope for reducing its overall complement. First, we are not convinced that a reduction in the amount of routine general


[page 84]

and specialist visiting in Wales would necessarily impair the ability of HM Inspectorate in Wales to construct appropriate national assessment of the system. The statistical argument is to some extent a red herring. The scanning of the system in Wales must be sufficient in quality and quantity to enable HM Inspectorate to carry authority in its judgments. We have no evidence to suggest that a marginal reduction in routine visiting would reduce the authority with which HM Inspectorate speaks in Wales. Second, a closer definition of priorities in consultation with WOED both in relation to the inspection programme and to the balance of HMI work in relation to policy needs could lead to some saving of time. At present there appears to be a tendency for HM Inspectorate to cover the waterfront in the same degree of intensity whatever the likely or actual demand of WOED.

8.34 This still leaves the problem of specialist cover. We recognise that, if HM Inspectorate is to continue operating within Wales on the basis of a separately organised inspection programme, it must be able to deploy a suitable range of specialist skills to carry out its functions. On the other hand, we have noted that, while the increased complement in 1979 following the transfer of functions related to FHE allowed some increase in specialisation, the majority of Welsh HMI continue to work across phases. Moreover, most of the additional recruitment since 1978 has been made to improve specialist cover in areas other than FHE including religious education, English, youth and adult. This has been desirable improvement mostly in areas previously neglected within the body of the Welsh Inspectorate. Nevertheless, our general conclusion is that an adequate range of specialists could be provided within a reduced overall complement of 56 posts. To go further would restrict HM Inspectorate's capacity to undertake on the one hand a reasonable range of specialist inspection and, on the other, the LEA-based surveys to which we attach considerable importance. At a complement of 56 there would be a need to use some specialist assistance from England, but we see no reason why this could not be encompassed within the enhanced amount of cross-border inspection that we recommend.

Support Services in Wales

8.35 We commissioned a separate study of the HMI support services in Wales from the WOED. Their numbers and deployment between the headquarters in Cardiff and offices in Bangor, Wrexham and Swansea, is shown in Appendix H. The ratio of HMI to support staff in Wales (a complement of 3.7 to 1) is much less than in England (2.3 to 1). The main points are these:

(i) HMI using the Bangor, Wrexham and Swansea offices receive a good service for typing and simple clerical work;

[page 85]

(ii) there is effectively no assistance available for work of a higher grade in support of the Inspectorate;

(ii) the service available to HMI using the Cardiff office is particularly poor. CI has his own personal secretary; the remaining PS, one EO, one CO and two CAs provide central office functions for the whole of the Welsh Inspectorate as well as support for four SIs and 22 HMls using the Cardiff office (typing is done by the Welsh Office typing pool).

8.36 HMI in Wales generally were well content with the work done for them by existing support staff. There was, however, widespread complaint about inadequate numbers with which we have considerable sympathy. We recognise the constraints on increasing the number of support posts at present. Nevertheless, our analysis suggests that a relatively small increase in such staff could materially improve the overall effectiveness of HM Inspectorate, freeing them from much low-level administrative work.

8.37 We recommend that the Welsh Office should examine the possibility of establishing two separate sections in the Cardiff office, each responsible to the EO. One section comprising a CO and CA would be a 'central office section' providing central support to HMI management and to all HMI in Wales on management functions. A separate 'support section' would provide assistance to HMI using the Cardiff office. It should provide its own typing service and staff should be allocated to groups of HMls rather than providing a general service, so as to best fit HMI's pattern of working. Ideally, such support should be provided by an additional six personal secretaries posts, in place of the 1½ CAs and assistance currently available from the typing pool. We have been unable to estimate the latter, but it is unlikely to be less than the equivalent of three typing posts. On this basis, our proposal implies a net addition of 1-2 posts. Alternatively, improved support might be provided by adding an extra 1-2 CA posts and allocating typists from the typing pool to work full-time on HMI work. Consideration might also be given to the possibility of using a word processor for typing all HMI full inspection and survey reports.

Conclusions

8.38 This analysis shows inevitably a rather different pattern of working for the Welsh Inspectorate than is to be found in England. The reasons are related to size, the special characteristics of the Welsh education system and the nature of the relationship between HM Inspectorate and the Welsh Office. There are perhaps three main threads that run through our analysis and recommendations:

(i) HM Inspectorate in Wales was for some decades the sole representative of central government within the education service in Wales and built up

[page 86]

a close network of local relationships and contacts. Since 1970 it has continued very much its traditional role, with increased numbers since 1978, but in a new context where education functions have been transferred to the Welsh Office. Its mode of operation has yet to catch up fully with this new reality. A number of our recommendations are thus aimed at ensuring that assessment and judgment is geared not only to a local context, but can also be aggregated to provide advice at national level. This implies no diminution in or weakening of the Inspectorate's relationships with LEAs advisers or with institutions. It is rather founded in the view that closer definition of priorities within the inspection programme and a more selective range of inspection targets related to WOED policy concerns could have a greater impact in terms of advice to central government.

(ii) This implies, of course, that HM Inspectorate has a national customer in the Welsh Office with a need for professional advice. As we have pointed out, the WOED is still developing its own role and it is not perhaps surprising that in this process there is still some uncertainty as to how best to use the professional resources of advice available. How HM Inspectorate operates, or how it should operate, nevertheless depends crucially on the way in which WOED perceives its role. We have suggested a number of ways in which present arrangements between WOED and HM Inspectorate might be strengthened. Underlying these recommendations is the view that WOED, in considering the development of policies in education for Wales or the scope and desirability of applying to Wales policies already developed for England, has just as strong a requirement for professional assessment and judgment as the DES has in relation to England. The fact of a common legal basis and structure for the education system means that in great measure what is said in Chapter 5 in relation to central government demand for advice in the English context also has force in a Welsh context.

(iii) In Wales as in England, HM Inspectorate is almost universally well regarded as a professional body which can be relied upon for authoritative information, sound assessment and valuable advice. In the following chapter we seek to pull together a number of thoughts elsewhere in this report about overall effectiveness. Our comments apply equally to the work of both Inspectorates.




[page 87]

9 Effectiveness and Future Priorities


9.1 Much of this report is directly or indirectly concerned with the effectiveness of HM Inspectorate in terms of its role, organisation and management. This chapter seeks to bring together a number of thoughts implicit elsewhere in the report about the overall effectiveness of HM Inspectorate and to summarise the implications of our recommendations on future priorities.

Value of HM Inspectorate

9.2 We have not found it possible to construct a method for assessing the overall effectiveness of HM Inspectorate in terms of measuring the value that it adds to central government or to the education service as a whole. As one recent study puts it: 'Given the role of the inspectorate as a body which is formally required to carry out inspections but functions in effect as a body of professional advisers based mainly in the field, it is peculiarly difficult to assess effectiveness'. (Inspectorates in British Government, G Rhodes, 1981). The problem is the more difficult because of the dual objectives of HM Inspectorate both as professional advisers to central government and as contributors to the maintenance and improvement of standards in the education system. Nevertheless we believe it is possible to draw a number of inferences from the analysis and evidence contained in this report.

9.3 We take first the work of HM Inspectorate of advising central government. The evidence from Chapter 5 of the report is that professional assessment and judgments based on inspection represent a crucial contribution to the development of policies for the education service by central government. This was evident from a recent internal review by the newly established Policy Group for Inspection of the demand from within the Department for advice from HM Inspectorate which was not able to identify any areas of policy activity where such advice could be dispensed with or


[page 88]

should be reduced. The following points seem to us particularly relevant now:

(i) Central government's demand for professional advice about the effects of its overall policies is the more important at a time when the overall level of resources available to the education service is limited and when falling school rolls are having pronounced effects on the organisation, distribution and internal management of schools. In this context the 'value for money' aspect of HM Inspectorate's role has assumed and will continue to have a rising prominence in monitoring the effects of national policies and their application locally. This involves not only an inspection programme geared to pick up evidence of trends within the system but also a professional contribution to the work underlying the RSG distribution arrangements.

(ii) The publication of 'The School Curriculum' underlines the concern of central government to influence the content of education as well as its organisation, management, distribution and financing. Developments of policy in this context can in our view only take place building on the contribution of HM Inspectorate through assessment of the system as it is; identification of trends and of good practice; and knowledge of local context.

(iii) Generally, a significant reduction in or absence of professional advice would make it difficult. if not impossible, for the Secretary of State to act credibly in pursuit of his statutory functions. Two examples, among many, may suffice. In exercising his responsibilities under the Education Act to consider statutory proposals submitted to him by LEAs to alter the nature of their schools provision, the Secretary of State is required to consider all such proposals on their merits and depends substantially on HM Inspectorate for professional advice assessing the educational basis of proposals. Similarly, without professional assessment based on inspection, the Secretary of State would be severely hampered in the exercise of his statutory duties in respect of special schools.

This is not to suggest that there is no room for improvement and we have suggested a number of points where improvements could be made to ensure the more effective use of HMI resources. Overall, however, our clear conclusion is that HMI advice is an integral and indispensable part of the Department's operations both within and in support of policy branches and in the strategic work of the departmental planning organisation.

9.4 A secondary question is whether, given the nature and volume of the demand from central government, HM Inspectorate is able to meet it both in terms of the quality of its judgments and their timeliness. We have dealt with this aspect of effectiveness in Chapters 5 and 6 dealing with HM Inspectorate's relations with the rest of the Department and with its organisation. In summary, HM Inspectorate's involvement in and


[page 89]

contribution to the Departmental planning organisation ensures that it can pick up early indications of policy concern and reflect these back into the planning of its inspection work; and similarly, its own collective judgment founded in inspection is an integral part of the departmental policy planning process. Second, its regional and national structure enables the Inspectorate to handle specific policy enquiries related to an area or to an individual institution reasonably quickly and effectively. Third, the contingency mechanism of First Call Centre builds in an extra capacity to meet unforeseen or urgent demands or to accelerate particular pieces of work. We have made a number of recommendations, principally those at paragraphs 3.12, 3.15, 5.13 and 6.13, all of which we believe will contribute to the effectiveness of liaison between HM Inspectorate and the rest of the Department and to improving the ability of HM Inspectorate both to gear its work and marshall the information at its disposal in the service of policy needs.

9.5 It might be argued that in the end the value of HM Inspectorate can only be judged in terms of the results achieved in maintaining and improving standards within the system. Apart from the difficulty of establishing a means of measuring progress in education, there is also the problem of sifting out and labelling the contribution of the Inspectorate in that process. Although HM Inspectorate has a unique position within the national education system, it is one based on influence, not direction. We make the following points:

(i) Whether or not the findings and advice of HM Inspectorate are taken up by the education service and by practitioners within it depends quite as much on factors external to the Inspectorate as on factors that it can itself control. It is the nature of our system that the institutions themselves and LEAs are responsible for deciding whether or how far advice is pertinent to their own local needs and circumstances. Much depends upon the professional capacity of teachers; the mediation and support of the local authority advisory service; initial and in-service training of teachers and generally the readiness of the education system to absorb and respond to the work of HM Inspectorate.

(ii) Thus, while the output of HM Inspectorate must be seen as timely and authoritative, it cannot run too far ahead of the system as a whole or lag too far behind it. The Inspectorate has to operate within the system as it is, encouraging improvement by persuasion and reasoned argument. Against that background, the evidence of the impact of HMI publications on stimulating discussion and action in many LEAs; their influence on in-service training for teachers locally, regionally and nationally; the direct effects of formal inspections to stimulate re-appraisal of aims and methods by the schools concerned; and the working links between HM Inspectorate and LEAs all tend to add to the quality of the service overall.

(iii) Beyond that we would point to the overwhelming evidence within the


[page 90]

education service that HM Inspectorate is trusted to provide authoritative and accurate information, useful advice, and sound judgment. As a professional body, their professional competence is highly regarded and their advice is widely respected.
Future Priorities

9.6 As we have shown in Chapters 5 and 6, HM Inspectorate in England has an elaborate mechanism for defining its priorities and targets and for programming its work. This is highly developed and extends to the detailed allocation of the time of individual HMI in relation to planned priorities. That mechanism is itself informed through HM Inspectorate's membership of and participation in the departmental planning organisation and particularly as a result of the work of the Policy Group for Inspection. In Wales, there are less well developed means for ensuring that the Inspectorate's inspection programme is geared to priorities identified in consultation with the Welsh Office and we have suggested that this needs to be improved.

9.7 While we do not think that it would be right for us to prescribe future inspection priorities in detail, it might be useful to summarise some of the implications of our analysis. They are these:

(i) First, we attach importance to the recommendations designed to strengthen the links between the Inspectorate and LEAs and, in particular, to strengthen working relationships with the local authority advisory services.

(ii) We also see the inclusion of a planned series of reports on educational provision across individual LEAs as a clear priority in HM Inspectorate's programme. To the extent that such reports can be based on existing material, the amount of new or additional inspection involved need not be large.

(iii) The national surveys of primary and secondary education already published and the surveys to be published of first schools (1981) and middle schools (1981/82) will provide the basis for a continuing programme of follow-up inspection into the 1980s and also constitute a point of departure for HM Inspectorate in its work with LEAs, their advisory services and with teachers.

(iv) Our suggestions directed towards bringing the FHE and schools Inspectorates into a closer working relationship and to increasing the volume of inspection in relationship to FHE should enable increasing attention, beyond that already being given, to assessment in relation to provision for 16-19 education.

(v) At the same time, we would expect the work already started in relation to degree level courses in FHE to be extended to include sub-degree level work and teacher training on a national basis as the means towards a better national baseline of assessment.


[page 91]

10 Summary of Main Conclusions and recommendations


This summary should be read in conjunction with Chapter 9.

Role

We define the role of HM Inspectorate to be:

(a) to assess standards and trends throughout the education system and to advise central government on the state of the system nationally on the basis of its independent professional judgment and

(b) at the same time to contribute to the maintenance and improvement of standards in the system (para. 2.4).

2 These functions are interrelated but while we suggest ways in which their performance might be improved, we do not consider that a shift in the balance between them is necessary or appropriate (para. 2.5-2.6).

Independence

3 HM Inspectorate does not have a constitutional independence but its established professional independence of judgment and reporting is essential and must be preserved and protected (para. 2.8).

Work

(a) Schools

4 The central inspection programme is an essential instrument in focussing the work of HM Inspectorate. However, the proportion of time allocated through the programme should not be further increased at the expense of time now available for general district work (para. 3.11).


[page 92]

5 Indeed, we see a need for the particular role of the district inspector for schools to be taken more fully into account in allocating time within the inspection programme (para. 3.12).

6 Present procedure should be strengthened to ensure that relevant aspects of routine general visiting and associated specialist inspection are picked up and used within the phase and subject committee structure (para. 3.12).

7 There should be a planned rolling programme of LEA-based reports covering schools and FHE using information and assessment already available from past inspection supplemented where appropriate by planned additional routine visiting (para. 3.15).

(b) Further and Higher Education

8 The volume of centrally planned inspection exercises in this sector should be increased (para. 3.24).

9 The recording of information and assessment gathered from inspection in FHE should be systematised (para. 3.25).

10 There should be a clearer definition of the role of the college general inspector (para. 3.25).

11 There is a continuing need for advice to central government based on inspection in Higher Education, a role that cannot be undertaken by validating bodies such as the Council for National Academic Awards (paras. 3.29-3.30).

(c) Dissemination

12 HM Inspectorate already contributes in a wide variety of ways advice to those with a direct responsibility for the operation of the service, including teachers, governing bodies and LEAs (paragraph 3.44).

13 There is some scope for improving the follow-up of HMI initiatives (paragraph 3.44) by:-

(i) maintaining the volume of issued reports and improving procedures for their issue which at present takes far too long;

(ii) considering the case in the public interest of issuing more reports without the existing 'in confidence' label;

(iii) reserving adequate time as part of the planning of all major inspection


[page 93]

surveys for follow-up to explain and stimulate action on the findings nationally, regionally and locally. The need in particular is to fuel and prime local education authorities and their advisory services as well as the colleges and other training agencies;

(iv) focussing more clearly the national short course programme for teachers and strengthening HMI's contribution to regional and local planning of in-service provision;

(v) financing a larger free distribution of major HMI publications; and

(vi) occasional extended exercises with local authority advisers and teachers to pilot national developments.

Local Authority Advisory Services

14 There is no significant or unnecessary duplication of function. Essentially the local authority advisory service and HM Inspectorate represent a partnership of interest (para. 4.10).

15 That partnership might be strengthened (para. 4.13) in three ways:

(a) HMI should look at various ways of stepping up the level and regularity of their contacts with phase and subject advisers at LEA level.

(b) HMI should pay particular attention within the limits of its resources to promoting development in those areas which lack local specialist advice.

(c) DES should consider issuing a statement of policy about the role of inspection and advice locally and nationally.

Relations with the Rest of DES

16 HM Inspectorate's involvement in and contribution to the Departmental planning organisation ensures that it can and does pick up early indications of policy concern and reflects these back into the planning of its inspection work (para. 5.11).

17 In this process the new Policy Group for Inspection makes an important contribution, although there would be advantage in defining more precisely its future programme of work and reducing its size (para. 5.12).

18 Overall, HMI advice and assessment is an integral and indispensable part of the Department's operations (paras. 5.4-5.12 and 9.3).

19 Suggestions for improvement (para. 5.13), a number of which are already under consideration, include:

(i) A review by DES policy branches of the range and volume of their

[page 94]

demands on HM Inspectorate; the level at which they are made; and their appropriateness.

(ii) Regular forecasts by policy branches of the likely demands of casework on HMI time.

(iii) HM Inspectorate should consider involving relevant administrators more closely within the national committee structure.

(iv) There would be benefits in an increased involvement of administrators in the planning and design of major surveys; and

(v) Annual summaries by district inspectors and by subject and phase teams should be more generally available to the rest of the Department.

Organisation and Management

20 Although the structure of HM Inspectorate is complex it properly reflects and ensures the execution of the main functions of the Inspectorate as well as the nature of the system it is set up to inspect (para. 6.12).

21 HM Inspectorate's regional and national structure enables it to handle effectively specific demands for advice related to an area or individual institution and it has a contingency mechanism to handle unforeseen demands or accelerate work (paragraphs 6.3-6.11 and 9.4).

22 Recommendations for improvement are:

(i) to create an additional CI post to coordinate central planning including the inspection programme, staff training and career development (para. 6.13);

(ii) to prune further the present committee structure particularly as a means of bringing the schools and FHE Inspectorates closer together (para. 6.13);

(iii) to ensure better use by phase and subject SIs of information from all inspections of relevance to their specialism (para. 6.13);

(iv) to appoint to an existing post a CI to take charge of the coordination of all aspects of the Inspectorate's work in relation to 16-19 education (para. 6.16).

23 There is an overwhelming case for reducing the involvement of HM Inspectorate in the detailed administration of advanced course approval (para. 6.20).

24 The RSI function in relation to course approval while it remains should be combined with subject or phase SI posts (para. 6.21).


[page 95]

Staffing and Resources

25 There should be a limited number of short-term attachments to HM Inspectorate and a programme of exchanges between HMI and local authority advisers (para. 7.4).

26 The present complement of 430 should be regarded as a maximum. It would be feasible, although not desirable, to accept a reduction in complement to 420. Any further reduction would carry penalties for the effectiveness of the Inspectorate and put many of the recommendations for improvement proposed in the study beyond reach (para. 7.12).

27 On the support services, a number of detailed recommendations are made for improving the effectiveness with which existing support staff are used. There is, however, a strong case for an overall improvement in the quality of support services. The Department and HM Inspectorate should review the structure and objectives of the support services in the light of a number of suggestions. However, no increase in present staffing levels would be possible except as an addition to the total DES complement (para. 7.13-7.28).

28 There is a case for improved computer facilities to assist in management of the Inspectorate's operations (para. 7.30-7.35).

29 Further work is needed to establish the case for a substantial commitment to a computerised information retrieval system (para. 7.38).

Wales

The following conclusions and recommendations are directed to the Secretary of State for Wales.

30 HM Inspectorate in Wales has continued to operate in its traditional role and has yet to catch up fully with the new reality implied by the transfer of education functions to the Welsh Office.

31 In that context there is a need to gear assessment not only to a local context, but so that it can be aggregated to provide advice at national level. There should be a greater concentration than at present on centrally planned exercises devoted to national rather than local themes (para. 8.9).

32 There is also a need to improve methods of bringing together information and assessment obtained through inspection (para. 8.10) by:


[page 96]

(i) introducing a greater degree of standardisation into the recording of notes of visits and inspection reports;

(ii) systematically reviewing the information accumulated in each district and in phase and subject specialisms;

(iii) developing, as proposed for England, a rolling programmed of LEAbased reports drawing together information and assessment already available from past inspections.

33 There is no significant or unnecessary duplication of functions with the LEA advisory services. There may still be scope for further development of HM Inspectorate's link with local authority advisers in Wales (para. 8.15).

34 The Welsh Office is still developing its own role in relation to its education functions and there is still some uncertainty as to how best to use the professional resources of advice available (paras. 8.16-8.19).

35 Against that background we recommend that:

(i) the Standing Reference Committee should become the main forum for joint discussion of priorities (para. 8.20);

(ii) the process of drawing up the annual inspection programme should include consultation with WOED (para. 8.21);

(iii) decisions about whether to join with England on major surveys should be taken in consultation with WOED (para. 8.21);

(iv) there should be further strengthening of the links between HMI and WOED territorial officers (para. 8.22);

(v) a rota system should be established to ensure the availability of HMI to deal with urgent demands (para. 8.23).

36 HM Inspectorate in England and Wales should consider ways of increasing cross-border inspection in the context of the planning of their respective programmes (para. 8.30).

37 While there are a number of factors that justify a relatively better level of staffing in Wales compared to England, there is some scope for reducing HM Inspectorate's overall complement in Wales which should be fixed at 56 posts (para. 8.34).

38 An increase in the support services of 1-2 posts would materially improve the overall effectiveness of HM Inspectorate, freeing them from much low level administrative work (para. 8.36).


[page 97]

Appendix A

List of bodies which provided evidence

(*indicates bodies whom we met.)


Local Authority Associations
Association of County Councils*
Association of Metropolitan Authorities*
Welsh Joint Education Committee.

Associations of Local Authority Education Officers and Advisers
Association of Advisers in Design and Technical Studies
East Midlands Chief Education Officers
National Association of Inspectors and Educational Advisers*
Society of Education Officers*.

Teachers' Associations
Assistant Masters' and Mistresses' Association*
National Association of Head Teachers
National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers*
National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education*
National Association of the Teachers of Wales (UCAC)
National Union of Teachers*
Secondary Heads Association.

Subject Teaching Associations
Association for Science Education
Association of Teachers of Mathematics
Confederation of Design and Technology Associations
Council of Subject Teaching Associations
National Association for Design Education
National Association for the Teaching of English.

Further and Higher Education Bodies
Association of Colleges for Further and Higher Education
Association of Principals of Colleges


[page 98]

Association of Voluntary Colleges
Committee of Directors of Polytechnics
Standing Conference of Principals and Directors of Colleges and Institutes in Higher Education.

Regional Advisory Councils for Further Education
East Anglian Regional Advisory Council for Further Education
Northern Advisory Council for Further Education
Regional Advisory Council for the Organisation of Further Education in the East Midlands
Regional Advisory Council for Technological Education, London and Home Counties
Regional Council for Further Education for the South West West Midlands Advisory Council for Further Education Yorkshire and Humberside Council for Further Education.

Other Education Bodies
Advisory Council for Adult and Continuing Education
Independent Schools Joint Council
Welsh Secondary Schools' Association*

Evidence was also received from the following individuals:
Professor John Honey, Leicester Polytechnic
Dr John Herbert, Lliswerry High School, Gwent
Jonathan May, Derby Lonsdale College
PAD Sheen, Peterborough Technical College
Sir Alan Richmond, Strode College, Street.




[page 99]

Appendix B

HM Inspectorate (England)


Table 1. Inspections of Individual Institutions and Surveys of Groups of Institutions leading to Issued Reports, 1975-1980.

Notes:

(1) Including middle deemed primary or middle deemed secondary schools.

(2) The high figures for inspections of independent schools in 1975/76 and of FHE establishments in 1980 are due in part to an increase in inspections prior to the ending of arrangements for 'recognition as efficient' of independent schools in 1978) and of independent FE colleges (in 1982). Of the 46 FHE inspections in 1980, 29 were of independent establishments.



[page 100]

Table 2. Full Inspections of Maintained Primary and Secondary Schools, 1970-1980.

Note:

We have defined full inspections as inspections resulting in the issue of written reports to the schools concerned. During 1974-1977 and 1975-1978 HMI carried out formal inspections of 600 primary and 413 secondary schools respectively in connection with the National Primary and Secondary Surveys. These inspections were not full inspections leading to issued reports and so do not figure in the above table. Similarly, the statistics for 1978-1980 do include some full inspections as part of the National First and Middle Schools surveys.




[page 101]

Appendix C

LIST 1.

HMI publications since 1973 (including those for publication in 1981)

The publications fall into three groups: descriptions and assessments of standard provisions; accounts of good practice; and advice based on general inspection information.

I. Description and Assessment of Standard Provision

(i) Nursery and primary schools

Pre-school provision in six areas 1973, preparatory work for the research programme following the 1972 White Paper, A Framework for Expansion.
Combined nursery centres 1977, a study of the existing nine combined day nurseries/nursery schools.
Primary education in England 1978, an HMI assessment of the work of a representative sample of children, with test results in reading and mathematics.
The education of children in First Schools in preparation, an account of work in a selected group of schools.
The education of children in 9-13 Middle Schools in preparation, and to be followed by an account of the work of children in 8-12 middle schools.
(ii) Secondary schools
Curricular differences for Boys and Girls 1975
Mixed ability work in Comprehensive schools 1978
Careers Education in Secondary Schools 1973
Mathematics, Science, Modern Languages in maintained schools in England 1977, a paper for DES regional conferences.

[page 102]

Aspects of Comprehensive Education 1977, a paper for a DES conference.
Classics in Comprehensive Schools 1977
Modern Languages in Comprehensive Schools 1977
Aspects of Secondary Education 1979, a survey of the work of a representative sample of 14 and 15 year olds in English, Mathematics, Science and personal and social development.
Aspects of Secondary Education 1980 supplementary information on mathematics
Mathematics in VI Forms in preparation.
(iii) Pupils with special needs
Behavioural units 1977, produced as a result of a Ministerial conference.
Education of children in Hospitals for the Mentally Handicapped 1978
Community Homes with Education 1980, produced in co-operation with DHSS.
(iv) Teacher Training and Further Education
Developments in the BEd Degree Course 1979
The Post Graduate Certificate in the Public Sector in preparation.
Modern Languages in Further Education 1980
Educational Provision for The Young Unemployed in preparation.
II. Accounts of Good Practice
Ten Good Schools 1977, accounts of some successful secondary and special schools.
The School Curriculum and Working Life in preparation.
Girls and Science 1980
Gifted Children in Middle and Comprehensive Schools 1977
Art in Junior Education 1978
Craft, Design and Technology, some successful examples 1980

[page 103]

School Technology in preparation.
Truancy and Behavioural Problems in some urban schools 1979, description of how some schools cope with these problems.
Community Service in Education 1974
Actors in Schools 1976
III. Advice based on General Inspection Information
A View of the Curriculum 1980
Mathematics 5-11: a handbook of suggestions 1979
Curriculum 11-16 Working Papers 1977/79, a series of papers being used and evaluated in 41 schools in selected authorities.
School Geography in the Changing Curriculum 1974
The Teaching of Ideas in Geography 1978
The Use of Micro-Organisms in Schools 1977
Health Education in Schools 1977
Integrating Handicapped Children 1974
Educating Mentally Handicapped Children 1975
Safety in:
Science Laboratories 1973
Practical Departments 1973
Physical Education 1973
Further Education 1976
General Advice 1977




[page 104]

LIST 2.

Inspectorate Publications 1973-April 1981


YearTitleNo. of
copies
sold or
distributed
1973Safety in Science Laboratories
Safety in Practical Departments
Safety in Physical Education
Careers Education in Secondary Schools
75,302
40,000
43,917
6,000
1974School Geography in the Changing Curriculum
Community Service in Education
6,000
8,000
1975Educating Mentally Handicapped Children
Curricular Differences for Boys and Girls
14,000
7,449
1976Safety in Further Education
Actors in Schools
15,865
7,003
1977Safety at School: General Advice
The Use of Micro-Organisms in Schools
Health Education in Schools
Curriculum 11-16: Working Papers (free)
Ten Good Schools
Modern Languages in Comprehensive School
Classics in Comprehensive Schools
Gifted Children in Middle and Comprehensive Schools
Aspects of Comprehensive Education (free)
Combined Nursery Centres (free)
47,616
8,894
8,559
34,000
11,842
10,968
5,260
11,201

No info
No info


[page 105]

Mathematics, Science and Modern Languages in Maintained Schools in England (free)2,242
1978The Teaching of Ideas in Geography
Mixed Ability Work in Comprehensive Schools
Education of Children in Hospitals for the Mentally Handicapped
Art in Junior Education
Primary Education in England
6,661
6,620

3,802
4,427
36,000
1979Mathematics 5-11
Developments within the BEd Degree Course
Behavioural Units (free)
Truancy and Behavioural Problems in Some Urban Schools (free)
Aspects of Secondary Education in England
13,795
4,520
13,096

14,263
12,775
1980A View of the Curriculum
Community Homes with Education
Modern Languages in Further Education (16-18)
Girls and Science
Craft, Design and Technology in Schools
Aspects of Secondary Education in England: Supplementary Information on Mathematics
The PGCE in the Public Sector (free)
9,687
3,206
2,159
3,044
5,265

3,258
3,865
1981Schools and Working Life
Teacher Training and the Secondary School (free)
Not yet known
4,000 (reprinting)




[page 106]

Appendix D

LIST 1

A. Issues Receiving Attention across the Board

1. Effect of expenditure policies; what schools and other institutions should cost.

2. Size of institution: effectiveness; responsiveness; cost.

3. Effects of demography, particularly at present falling rolls.

4. Curriculum (both the whole and the parts): nature; development; resource demands; assessment.

5. Teacher deployment and redeployment; education, training, re-training and other experience; 'qualification' and match.

6. Careers education and guidance.

7. Education and the world of work.

8. The institution and its community.

9. Continuity between phases/institutions.

all with related information and records

10. Co-operative working.

11. Examinations and other forms of assessment.

12. Forms of institutional self-evaluation.

13. Minority groups with special needs, including the able.

14. The impact of rural conditions.

15. Inner city factors.

16. The many faces of disadvantage; their common and different aspects.



[page 107]

B. Selection of Issues Classified by Phase and Aspect

Under-fives
1. Relative merits of modes of provision.
2. Parental involvement.
3. Changes in staffing policies.
4. Effect of closures.

Primary
1. Relative merits of different systems of school organisation - 5-11; infant/junior; first/middle ...
2. Mathematics.
3. Science.
4. Language.
5. Use of tests by LEAs.
6. Training of heads, deputies and postholders.

Secondary
1. Curriculum 11-16.
2. Girls and science.
3. Technology. (No subject is omitted from attention).
4. Examinations at 16+, 17+ and 18+.
5. 11-16 schools.
6. Co-operative and federal systems of operating schools.
7. Community education and schools.
8. Micro-electronics.

16-19
1. LEA policies and their implementation.
2. Students' access to education within different systems.


[page 108]

NAFE
1. The capacity of the system; fall of student applicants.
2. Future patterns and balance.
3. Engineering: coherent development middle level work.
4. Review of Education and Training Act 1973.
5. Handicapped in maintained/independent FE.
6. Distance learning.
7. Staff development and use of time.
8. Recurrent education.

AFE and Teacher Training
1. Pattern of advanced course provision, actual and desirable.
2. HFE/Teacher Training inter-relationship.
3. 'Rationalisation' of the 'training plant'.
4. Institutional response: relationship to mechanisms.
5. Engineering: enriched courses.
6. B Ed and PGCE courses.
7. Coordination of in-service training (1ST).
8. Priority forms of 1ST - ego management skills for heads and senior staff; upgrading academic knowledge of teachers; preparation for Warnock-type approach; teaching in a micro-electronic age; shortage subjects.

Special Education
1. Special education in ordinary schools (including special classes and units).
2. The changing population in, and future role of, special schools.
3. FE for the handicapped.

Multi-racial Education
1. Primary schools with a large ethnic minority population.
2. Second language work in the early years.
3. The curriculum in multi-racial secondary schools.
4. The implications of the EEC Directive on Mother Tongue.

Disadvantage
1. Truancy and attendance problems, including the role of the Education Welfare Service.
2. Behaviour problems - provision in schools and units, and the relationship to Social Services provision including Intermediate Treatment.
3. Provision for Travellers' children.
4. Provision for less successful and slow learning pupils. (The subject of a fair number of Area Team exercises).
5. Education in areas of high unemployment and industrial decline.


[page 109]

LIST 2.

An Illustrative list of Government Policies and Initiatives and Related DES operations requiring Inspection and Advice from HMI on determined Time Scales

i. Cutting Public Expenditure
Falling Rolls and the Reduction in the Number of School Places.
Block Grant: Educational Needs and Assessment.
Expenditure Sub-Group Education.
Capping the Pool: 'GMP' Unit Cost Exercise.

ii. Maintaining and Improving Standards
Follow-up to the Findings of the Inner London Committee.
'The School Curriculum', especially Science and Modern Languages. Cockcroft Committee of Enquiry into the Teaching of Mathematics in Schools.
Swann Committee of Enquiry into the Teaching of Ethnic Minorities. Education Bill 1981 : Special Needs in Education.
EC Mother Tongue Legislation.
Micro-electronics Programme.
APU and LEA Testing Programmes.
Examinations: Development of Single System at 16+; proposals for 17+ Examination.
Assisted Places Scheme.
Education of Gifted Children.
Development of suitable Record (Assessment for Non-Examination Pupils).
Schools, Industry and Working Life; Follow-up to Regional Conferences.
The Young Unemployed, New Training Initiatives and possible Youth Benefit.
Follow-up to Report of MacFarlane Group; Education 16-19.
Urban Programme.
Home Office White Paper: Young Offenders.
Corporal Punishment and Indiscipline.
Truancy and the Education Welfare Service.
Consultative Document on Continuing Education: Follow-up; Open Tech.


[page 110]

Management of Higher Education.
Review of Teacher Training Provision and Teacher Supply: ACSET.
Management of the Contracting Teaching Force.
Measures to increase Supply of Teachers in Shortage Subjects.
Trans-binary Working Groups, A & B.
Engineering Education: Follow-up to Finiston Report and the Conference.
Select Committee Activities.
Participation in Schools Council Activities.
Review of the Youth Service.





[page 111]

Appendix E

Exercises and surveys carried out by HMI in the field of special education


FieldPeriod of Exercise
Education of Children in Hospitals for the Mentally HandicappedAutumn 1976-Spring 1977
Schools for ESN(M & S) PupilsAutumn 1977-Spring 1978
Special Schools for more than one handicapAutumn 1978
Ethnic Minorities in Special SchoolsAutumn 1978-Autumn 1979
Children with Epilepsy in Special SchoolsSpring 1978-Summer 1978
Education in Hospital Schools and Section 56 ArrangementsSummer 1978-Autumn 1978
Provision for Maladjusted Children in ILEASummer Term 1979
Provision for Children with Speech and Language DisordersAutumn 1978-Summer 1979
Provision for the Visually Handicapped in Schools for Physically Handicapped ChildrenAutumn 1979-Summer 1980
Education in Psychiatric UnitsSpring 1979-Autumn 1979
The Curriculum 14-16 in Special SchoolsSummer 1979-Spring 1980
Provision in Day Schools for Maladjusted Summer Children (Metropolitan and South Midland Division)1980
Special Education Provision in one LEA areaAutumn 1979-Summer 1980
Provision for the Most Profoundly Handicapped in ESN(S) SchoolsAutumn 1979-Autumn 1980
Provision for physically handicapped pupils in ordinary schoolsAutumn 1980-Summer 1981
Severely Hearing Impaired in Ordinary SchoolsAutumn 1980-Summer 1981
Schools for Autistic ChildrenAutumn 1980-Summer 1981


[page 112]

Appendix F

HM Inspectorate in England and Wales


Table 1. Complement and numbers in post - 1968 to 1981

Table 2. Staff in Post on 1 June 1981


[page 113]

Table 3. Regional Deployment of HM Inspectorate in England


[page 114]

Notes:

(1) The seven divisions are as follows:

NORTHERN (N): Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Durham, Cleveland, North, West and South Yorkshire and Humberside.

NORTH WEST (NW): Lancashire, Cheshire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester. MIDLAND (M): Shropshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Hereford and Worcester and the West Midlands.

EASTERN (E): Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Essex and five London Boroughs.

METROPOLITAN AND SOUTH MIDLANDS (Met): Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, the ILEA and eight London Boroughs.

SOUTHERN (5): Berkshire, Hampshire, Surrey, Kent. East and West Sussex and seven London Boroughs.

SOUTH WESTERN (SW): Gloucestershire, Avon, Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.

(2) The figures for specialisms are illustrative only; not all specialisms are shown and some HMI work in more than one area and may appear more than once.



[page 115]

Appendix G

Costs of HM Inspectorate and Support Services in England and Wales in 1980/81

Notes:

(1) Based on average numbers in post and average HMI salaries for 1980/81, plus NI and notional cost of Pension and Gratuity Liability.

(2) Based on average numbers in post and ready reckoner average salary costs.

(3) Estimated total accommodation cost (including some notional expenditure) based on PSA calculations of average costs.

(4) Includes postage, telephones, stationery and common services.


[page 116]

Appendix H

Organisation of HMI Support Services (England)


[page 117]

Table 1. Staffing of HMI Support Services (England)

(click on the image for a larger version)


[page 118]

Table 2. Staffing of HMI Support Services (Wales)