Since the inspection of publicly funded schools began early in the nineteenth century, the role and function of the Inspectorate has developed over time in line with the many structural changes in the education system. However, its core tasks - the inspection and evaluation of the quality of schooling, advising on educational policy and supporting teacher and school management - have remained constant to the present day.
The Inspectorate has a statutory quality assurance obligation in relation to educational provision, as set out in section 13 of the Education Act, 1998. The Act defines the functions of an inspector in his/her dealings with teachers, schools and school management, and outlines the duty of the Inspectorate in advising the Minister. Other legislation, such as the Education Welfare Act, 2000 also has a direct bearing on the work of the Inspectorate.
The Inspectorate is a division within the Department of Education and Skills and at present has a complement of 150 primary and post-primary inspectors. While inspectors are generally recruited to work in either the primary or post-primary sector, the work of the Inspectorate is managed as a unified service, headed by the Chief Inspector and organised into two subdivisions, Regional Services and Policy Support, each headed by a deputy chief inspector.
Information for Parents and Parents’ Associations on Whole-School Evaluation in Post-Primary Schools
Department of Education and Skills
Room G-13, Block 3
Tel: (01) 8896553/8892002
Fax: (01) 8896523