School Inspector

Job Description:

School inspectors visit, inspect and report on the quality of places of education and learning, and children’s services.

Job Category:

What you will do:

As a school inpector, you’ll work in one or more of these areas:

  • schools
  • further education and skills
  • children and families services
  • early years and childcare

In all roles you’ll be:

  • getting ready for inspections by reading briefings
  • talking to staff about previous development plans and progress made
  • finding out the views of other professionals, children and parents
  • observing and rating teaching or care provision against national standards
  • checking the welfare and development of the children
  • recording what you see and hear
  • giving information and evidence to team meetings
  • producing detailed written reports
  • giving feedback to the education or children’s service provider


You’ll need:

  • knowledge and understanding of educational policies and practices
  • IT skills including data analysis and presentation

As well as:

  • the ability to make fair and firm judgements
  • observation and interviewing skills
  • the ability to gather and analyse evidence
  • teamwork skills
  • leadership skills
  • organisational ability to work to tight deadlines (organisational skills)
  • excellent spoken and written communication skills
  • attention to detail
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

You’ll need:

  • a degree and a professional qualification in a subject like education, childcare or social work
  • Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) to inspect schools
  • a track record of improving standards and services
  • up-to-date knowledge of the job, including recent developments and statutory requirements

For the role of HMI, you’ll also need at least 5 years’ experience of leadership in a relevant job like head teacher or senior manager in children’s services.

There are also nationality requirements and you’ll need a background check.

School Subjects

To become a School Inspector in the UK, specific GCSE subjects are not necessarily required. However, certain subjects and skills can be beneficial for pursuing a career in this field, such as:

  1. English Language: Strong written and verbal communication skills are essential for School Inspectors as they write reports and communicate their findings to school staff, parents, and other stakeholders.
  2. Mathematics: Basic mathematical skills are useful for analyzing data and understanding educational performance metrics.
  3. ICT (Information and Communication Technology): Familiarity with digital tools and software is essential for collecting and analyzing data during inspections.

Working Hours and Environment:

Your working hours will vary, especially during inspections when you may have to work late. You’ll usually be based at home, and you’ll travel to inspections. You may have to spend at least one night away from home during an inspection.

You’ll find it useful to have a driving licence and use of a vehicle.

Career Path & Progression:

You’ll usually have been a teacher for several years before becoming an inspector.