§ Mr. Andrew Mitchell
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) whether Her Majesty's Inspectorate reports on the quality of teachers in schools which it inspects;
(2) how many schools in the Gedling constituency have been inspected by Her Majesty's inspectors in the last two years and have been the subject of a written report;
(3) how many schools per year Her Majesty's Inspectorate inspects; and on how many of these a written report is produced;
(4) how many years at present rates of progress it will take for Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Schools to produce a written report on all British schools.
§ Mrs. Rumbold
Her Majesty's Inspectorate always issued reports after formal inspections, and since 1983 those reports have been published. In addition, many other informal visits to schools are made by Her Majesty's 155W Inspectorate in the course of its day-to-day work which do not result in published reports. Arising from inspections of schools begun in 1986 and 1987, a total of 187 and 144 reports have been published to date respectively. These exclude the reports of surveys involving more than one school, a number of which have also been published. In each of these years Her Majesty's Inspectorate visited some 5,000 schools.
Given that there are over 23,000 schools in England, not including special schools and units, and that there are only about 350 schools Her Majesty's inspectors, the inspectorate does not set out to inspect and produce a report on every school on a regular basis. However, on average each primary school in England is visited informally every six years, and each secondary school every two years.
The selection of schools for formal inspection is determined by the need to retain on a simple basis a national overview, and for Her Majesty's Inspectorate to report in a timely and useful fashion on specific matters of national interest such as the GCSE or the TVEI.
No schools have been formally inspected in the Gedling constituency within the last two years. Reports were, however, issued on Gedling comprehensive school in January 1986 and on Arno Vale junior school in July 1985, and informal visits have been made to three primary and two secondary schools in the last year.
The numbers of children aged under 51 benefiting from pre-compulsory educalion—United Kingdom 1975–76 1984–85 1985–862 1986–873 Total pupils4 (thousands) 576.0 676.4 670.7 680.7 Participation rate5 per cent. 34.5 46.4 46.7 47.6
Source: Education Statistics for the United Kingdom, 1988 Edition Table 16.
1 Ages at 31 December.
2 Includes 1984–85 data for Scotland.
3 Includes 1987–88 data for Scotland.
4 Part-time pupils counted as one.
5 As a percentage of all children aged 3 or 4.
For maintained schools in England, pupils aged under five can be provided by the three types of schooling as follows:
The numbers of children aged under 5 benefiting from pre-compulsory education—England Thousands 1975–76 1984–85 1985–86 1986–87 Pupils1 in nursery schools and nursery classes in primary schools 157.6 266.9 272.5 276.2 Other pupils aged under 5 in infant classes in primary schools 282.4 245.6 236.1 240.6 All pupils 440.0 512.6 508.6 516.8 Participation rate2 per cent. 32.0 43.2 43.3 43.8
Source: Statistical bulletin 4/88, Table 2.
1 Part-time pupils counted as one.
2 As a percentage of all children aged 3 or 4.
Data for intermediate years are published in previous editions of education statistics for the United Kingdom; for England, "Statistics of Education—Schools"; their associated statistical bulletins (latest 1/88, 6/88 respectively); and 4/84. These publications are available in the House of Commons Library.156W
Her Majesty's Inspectorate reports include judgments about the general quality of teaching observed in schools, but not about individual teachers.