Education Inspector

The Job and What's Involved

Education inspectors report on the quality of education in all places of learning, from schools to adult learning centres. If you are keen on maintaining standards in education and like to travel to different places in your work, this job could be ideal for you.

To be an education inspector, you will need to have interviewing skills. You would need to be able to make sound judgements. You will also need to be able to give feedback and advice.

To be employed as an education inspector you must have a degree in a relevant subject. You will also need to have Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) clearance.

As an education inspector, you would work in a team under a lead inspector. Your work would include:

  • Preparing for inspections by reading pre-inspection briefings.
  • Observing teaching sessions.
  • Talking to teachers and students.
  • Recording your observations.
  • Contributing information and evidence to team meetings.
  • Producing detailed written reports.
  • Giving feedback to the school, college or other education provider.

In England, Ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills) is responsible for inspecting education services. You could be employed directly by Ofsted as Her Majesty's Inspector (HMI), or work as an additional inspector on contract to Ofsted for one of the regional inspection service providers.

In Wales you would be employed by Estyn.

Your working hours would vary, especially during inspections.

You would usually be based at home, but would travel to inspect education and training services.

HMIs earn from around £48,500 to around £61,000 a year.

Additional inspectors often receive a daily fee.

Getting Started with this Career Choice

As an HMI, you would be recruited and trained by Ofsted.

Vacancies are advertised on the Ofsted website and in the Times Educational Supplement.

Education and Training

To be employed as an education inspector, you would need to have:

  • A degree in a subject related to education, or an equivalent professional qualification.
  • At least five years' recent experience of working in education.
  • Three years' recent relevant management experience, for example as a head teacher, deputy head or head of department.
  • Up-to-date knowledge of the curriculum and of recent developments and statutory requirements in education.

You will also need to have Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) clearance. See the CRB website for more information.

Your work would involve travelling between schools, colleges and other education and training providers, so you would need a driving licence and access to transport.

See the Ofsted website for more details of requirements for this job, and the Estyn website for details of requirements in Wales.

A Few More Exams You Might Need

When you start working as an inspector you will receive induction training, which includes attending training days, taking part in training inspections, and a programme of meetings and support from a mentor.

You will then be expected to attend regular professional development training days, seminars and conferences, and to keep up to date with educational matters.

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Skills and Personal Qualities Needed

An education inspector needs:

  • Observation and interviewing skills.
  • The ability to gather, analyse and interpret evidence.
  • The ability to make objective judgements.
  • Teamwork skills.
  • Organisational skills and the ability to work to tight deadlines.
  • Excellent spoken and written communication skills.
  • The ability to give feedback and advice in a sensitive way.
  • IT skills.

Your Long Term Prospects

With experience as an HMI, you could progress to assistant divisional manager or divisional manager.

Get Further Information

Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education,
Childrens Services and Skills),
Royal Exchange Buildings, St Ann's Square,
Manchester M2 7LA
Website: www.ofsted.gov.uk

Estyn, Anchor Court, Keen Road, Cardiff CF24 5JW
Website: www.estyn.gov.uk

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