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Northern Irish Inspectorate Seeks Public Input On Inspection Process

The Education and Training Inspectorate, effectively the Northern Irish equivalent of the Adult Learning Inspectorate (ALI), has announced that it has begun a web consultation scheme aimed at improving the way inspections are carried out. The Education and Training Inspectorate (The Inspectorate) is responsible for the inspection of schools, colleges, and other government-funded learning centres, meaning that there is now a unique opportunity for public input into the inspection process.

The scope of the web consultation is impressive and covers pre-school, primary, post-primary, special education, alternative education, youth, training, and area inspections; eight key areas of education in total. Issues under address will include the length of notification of inspection, the duration and scope of the inspection itself and the extent to which parents, staff and governors should be involved in inspections.

The web consultation scheme is part of a broader policy of reform instigated by The Inspectorate, which will see new models of inspection coming into effect from September 2005. Speaking of the reforms, Chief Inspector Marion Matchett said: “The key purpose of inspection is to help organisations improve, so that learners receive the best possible education. This consultation is a tremendous opportunity for everyone with an interest in education to help shape these new and revised models of inspection.”

The consultation is available for anyone who wants to participate, and it can be accessed via the web . The closing date for responses is 04 April 2005.

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Alex Moore

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