BOOK LAUNCH: European School Inspection and Evaluation: History and Principles

This ground-breaking book by Adrian Gray shows how school inspection has been a key factor in the European educational landscape for 200 years. Its impact was evident to commentators from the early 1800s, but its history was often turbulent due to rapid political and social change. The history of inspection has been interwoven with the development of states and nations across Europe, both for good and bad.

This history shows how inspectors were often a great support to isolated rural teachers from Spain to Russia, and how the development of a professional inspectorate was a key factor in much of Europe in breaking the Catholic Church’s control of education by 1918. A key theme is how far an inspectorate should be responsible for promoting the views of the government. This became a major issue from the 1920s in Russia, Germany and Italy – but also in Ireland, where inspectors were chosen to enforce a drastic change in language policy. However we can see that in Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Russia, individual inspectors risked their lives to protect valued teachers. Adrian Gray shows that by the 1950s inspection was often in a poor state. He shows that it was ‘rescued’ by the new understanding of school leadership – which shifted the focus from teachers to schools – and, counter-intuitively, by the increase in school autonomy from the 1980s. At this key moment school self-evaluation was deemed a failure in many countries and so robust inspection seen as essential. The final chapters take us up to the present day, considering the impact of PISA and the role of inspectorates in influencing government policy. It also considers whether ‘school evaluation’ can be done without inspection due to the increased availability of data.

The book has been developed in partnership with the Standing International Conference of Inspectorates, a European body that works with more than 35 inspectorates to promote better inspection. SICI and the author will be developing a number of conference presentations around the content of the book which will be adapted to the needs of audiences such as policy makers, school leaders and new school inspectors.

The content will be of great value for education policy makers and inspectors globally as we see how inspection works in different contexts. For further details, contact the author at: Adrian.gray@rivereducation.co.uk About the author: ADRIAN GRAY is a historian and educationalist who was an HMI for 13 years where he led Ofsted’s international work, providing advice to many national governments and also contributing to the work of SICI across Europe. He now works as a consultant, author and lecturer.

This is an important step for SICI as we seek to grow and extend our influence on best inspection practice. We will be developing a number of conference presentations around the content of the book which will be adapted to the needs of audiences such as policy makers, school leaders and new school inspectors.

The content will be of great value for education policy makers and inspectors globally as we see how inspection works in different contexts.

How To Order

Normal price is £28 and e-book will be £15. Order from sales@bookwormretford.co.uk or http://www.bookwormretford.co.uk/European%20School.html

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