- Professor Chris Chapman, Director of Policy Scotland, University of Glasgow
- Professor Melanie Ehren, Director of LEARN!, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
- Professor Carmen Montecinos, Director of PUCV Lideres Educativos, Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso, Chile
- Dr Sarah Weakley, Research and Impact Acceleration Officer with Policy Scotland
The disruption to schooling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic during the spring and summer in the northern hemisphere has necessitated changes in all aspects of school policy and practice, including the purpose, priorities and practices of Inspectorates of Education. ICSEI’s Crisis Response in Education Network has chosen to discuss these issues with delegates from Inspectorates of Education around the world in a series of three webinars.
The first webinar focused on understanding if inspectorates should ‘inspect’ schools and for what purpose. The outcomes of the webinar indicate a change in inspection purpose where, during the pandemic and school closures, ‘support and improvement’ and ‘liaison’ were at the forefront of the work of Inspectorates of Education. Delegates shared how these functions worked in practice with schools and headteachers and with national governments; illuminating their position as a ‘middle tier’ between practice and policymaking. See more in the paper COVID-19: do we need to reimagine the purpose of school inspections?
The second webinar focused on priorities for inspection as school systems begin to resume under a variety of operational scenarios in some of the represented countries. The discussion extended the themes explored in the first webinar and added more issues to the fore, including a more detailed discussion of the shift from a ‘control’ to a ‘support’ function for schools in the interim term, assessing quality in blended learning, understanding learning loss (particularly for vulnerable children), and the consideration of other evidence and methods for evaluating school quality beyond ‘traditional’ assessment data.
The key questions, discussed by 37 delegates from academia and inspectorates from13 countries, were :
- What aspects of quality should inspectorates be prioritising post-pandemic? (Why?)
- Are these different from the quality standards your inspectorate would evaluation before the pandemic? If so, how?
The paper highlights a number of key priorities for inspectorates that emerged from the webinar discussions.
To cite this article: Chapman, C., Ehren, M.C.M., Montecinos, C and Weakley, S, COVID-19: do we need to redefine the priorities for school inspections?, ICSEI internal report, Policy Scotland, 20 September 2020
Written content is published under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence.