HC Deb 16 January 1984 vol 52 cc77-8W
Mr. Pawsey

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many inspections by Her Majesty's inspectorate have been carried out each year for the past 10 years; how many inspectors are at present employed by his Department; and how many were employed in 1973–74.

Sir Keith Joseph

The number of Her Majesty's inspectors in post in England in April 1973 was 440; there are currently 396 in post and recruitment competitions are in train with the aim of increasing the number of HMI to 450 as rapidly as possible and to 490 by April 1988.

Each year recently HMI have visited about a fifth of the more than 20,000 maintained primary schools in England, some three quarters of the maintained secondary schools, almost half of the special schools, around a fifth of the independent secondary schools, and virtually all FE colleges. These inspection visits are of all kinds and include a small number of formal inspections which lead to a written report to the holder of my office. Since January 1983 I have published all these reports. The numbers of such formal inspections each year since 1975 is:

1975 170
1976 121
1977 98
1978 148
1979 200
1980 228

1981 253
1982 278
1983 326

The Figure for 1974 is not readily available.

Between 1974 and 1979 there were additionally formal inspections of 542 primary schools and 143 secondary schools in connection with the national surveys of primary and secondary education. Reports on those surveys were published in 1979 and 1980 respectively.

Mr. Pawsey

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he intends to increase the number of inspections of schools carried out by his Department.

Sir Keith Joseph

The number of inspections of schools is planned to remain at broadly the current level. The increase in the complement of Her Majesty's inspectorate which I have authorised will allow for more inspections of initial teacher training and local authority further and higher education.