School inspections during the pandemic


education documents stacked upThe COVID-19 pandemic is a global crisis that has presented significant challenges to education systems. These have included whole system shutdown of schools, the cancelling of national examinations and a shift to distance and digital learning. 

Regular school inspections have stopped in many countries for the time being and the participants of a recent webinar with 35 delegates from inspectorates of education in 12 countries discussed the question, should we inspect schools and if so, why? 

The outcomes of the webinar indicated 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. 

More specifically, the questions the webinar explored were :

  1. Do we need to rethink the purpose of inspection during and (immediately) after the pandemic?
  2. How can Inspectorates of education be relevant to schools, parents, learners and policy-makers in a time of school closure and when schools are (partially) reopening?

A newly-published paper on the Policy Scotland website presents examples of how those functions were implemented between March and July 2020.

You can download and read the paper at the Policy Scotland website




We are the Network for Social and Educational Equity, based in the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change at the University of Glasgow. We work with governments, educational institutions, local authorities and teachers to promote educational change.

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About NSEE

The Network for Social and Educational Equity (NSEE) is part of the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change (ROC) at the University of Glasgow.

It works in collaboration with schools, local authorities, Education Scotland and partner services to tackle the poverty-related attainment gap in young people’s education.

NSEE helps schools to use appropriate evidence and data within collaborative working approaches to critically examine context and current arrangements, make changes based on evidence, monitor the impact of these changes and reflect on what they learn.

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