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HMRC internal manual

Employment Status Manual

Particular occupations: School Inspectors - general

In 1993, the arrangements for school inspections were drastically changed.

OFSTED (the Office for Standards in Education) now invite tenders for the work involved in the inspection of the following types of establishment in England:

  • county schools
  • voluntary schools
  • special schools
  • grant-maintained schools
  • certain independent schools
  • city technology colleges
  • city colleges for technology of the arts
  • maintained nursery schools.

The tendering bodies may be companies, local authorities, syndicates, and other similar organisations, partnerships, or sole traders. The person in charge of the inspection work will always be a ’Registered Inspector’, that is a person registered under the School Inspections Act 1996.

However, the work necessitates a team of other Inspectors including a `Lay Inspector’. A Lay Inspector is a person without personal experience in the management of any school or the provision of education in any school (otherwise than as a Governor or in any voluntary capacity). The Lay Inspector’s function is essentially to provide an element of balance and common sense to the evaluation of the school’s performance.

See ESM4301 below regarding the status of School Inspectors.