Education Scotland inspections procedure: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

1. What inspection activities does Education Scotland perform?
2. How many inspections (of each type if possible) were performed in 2019/20?
3. How many inspectors do you employ, and what was the annual cost of these inspectors in 2019/20?
4. Do you use third parties to perform these inspections? If so, who did you use, and what was the annual spend in 2019/20?
5. What information management system, if any, do you use to manage the inspections, and what was the annual spend on this in 2019/20

For avoidance of doubt, by ‘inspections’ I mean ‘activities that are carried out to ensure the inspected entity meets legislative requirements for their role or function or condition, delivers on their duty of care for individuals or the public and/or adheres to any rules set by government on use of government funds’.


1. Full details of the sectors and establishments inspected by Education Scotland are published
on our website.

2. Education Scotland’s Annual Programme of Scrutiny for the academic year 2019/20 is published on its website. Education Scotland was on track to meet all the commitments set out in the Annual Programme of Scrutiny. The scrutiny programme was paused on 16 March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which meant that the programme for this academic year could not be completed as planned. Appendix 1 details the number of inspections and scrutiny activity carried out until the scrutiny programme was paused. Publication of some reports has been paused due to Covid 19.

3. During financial year 2019-20 Education Scotland employed 86 HM Inspectors and two Health and Nutrition Inspectors. The total cost was £7,665,803. These costs include salaries and on costs.

4. Education Scotland does not use third parties to conduct inspections. HM Inspectors do not always carry out inspections on their own. Individuals other than HM Inspectors may join inspection teams for some or all of an inspection. These individuals may be categorised as:-

  • Associate Assessors: we value the knowledge, skills and expertise of current practitioners from across sectors and services. Inspection teams are joined by practitioners from the relevant sector. Associate Assessors remain in their substantive posts and Education Scotland compensates their employer through payment of a daily rate for the periods they join an inspection team.

  • Associate Assessors (as above) who are seconded for a specific period of time to Education Scotland from relevant sectors and who join inspection teams.

  • Assistant inspectors are individuals who, in general, have previously been HM
    Inspectors with significant experience and join inspection teams as required.

  • Lay members who are voluntary members of the public who join inspection teams.
    Participation is on a voluntary basis although travel and subsistence expenses are

The total spend for these categories in financial year 2019-20 was £611,776.

5. Education Scotland uses Microsoft Project Online and Microsoft PowerBI to manage inspections. This is provided to Education Scotland at no cost through the Glow agreement.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at

FOI 202000077749 - Appendix 1


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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