Testing the Teachers; Careers in ... Education Inspection Emma Thompson Swots Up on a Job That Involves Checking School Standards

Article excerpt

Byline: Emma Thompson

What does a career as an education inspector involve? Education inspectors report on the quality of education in schools, further education colleges, in adult and community learning such as local authority evening classes, work-based learning like apprenticeships and NVQs, plus teacher training.

As an inspector, you would work in a team, under a lead inspector. Your work would include preparing for inspections by reading pre-inspection briefings; observing teaching sessions; talking to teachers and students; recording observations.

In England, the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) is responsible for inspecting education services. You could be an Her Majesty's Inspector (HMI) employed by Ofsted, or an additional inspector, working under contract to Ofsted for one of the regional inspection service providers (RISPs).

What skills are needed? Observational and interview skills are needed as well as the ability to gather, analyse and interpret evidence.

You also need organisational skills and the ability to work to tight deadlines, excellent spoken and written communication skills and the ability to give feedback and advice sensitively.

What training do you need? You need a education-related degree, or equivalent professional qualification and at least five years'' recent experience in education. …