Education Act 1998
13.— (1) The Minister shall appoint a Chief Inspector and such and so many Inspectors as the Minister considers appropriate and the Chief Inspector and Inspectors collectively shall be known and are referred to in this Act as the “ Inspectorate”.
(2) The Minister shall include amongst those he or she appoints as Inspectors under subsection (1) persons who hold qualifications as psychologists or who have other expertise, including expertise in the education of students with special educational needs.
(3) The functions of an Inspector shall be:
( a) to support and advise recognised schools, centres for education and teachers on matters relating to the provision of education and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, an Inspector—
(i) shall visit recognised schools and centres for education on the initiative of the Inspectorate, and, following consultation with the board, patron, parents of students and teachers, as appropriate, do any or all of the following:
(I) evaluate the organisation and operation of those schools and centres and the quality and effectiveness of the education provided in those schools or centres, including the quality of teaching and effectiveness of individual teachers;
(II) evaluate the education standards in such schools or centres;
(III) assess the implementation and effectiveness of any programmes of education which have been devised in respect of individual students who have a disability or other special educational needs;
(IV) assess the implementation of regulations made by the Minister, and
(V) report to the Minister, or to the board, patron, parents of students and teachers, as appropriate, and as prescribed, on these matters or on any other matter relating to the activities of those schools or centres and the needs of students attending those schools or centres,
(ii) F20 [ … ]
(iii) shall advise teachers and boards in respect of the performance of their duties, and, in particular, assist teachers in employing improved methods of teaching and conducting classes, and
(iv) shall advise parents and parents’ associations;
( b) to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of the provision of education in the State, including comparison with relevant international practice and standards, and to report thereon to the Minister;
( c) to conduct research into education and to provide support in the formulation of policy by the Minister;
( d) to promote excellence in the management of, teaching in and the use of support services by schools and in the procedures for consultation and co-operation within and between schools and centres for education;
( e) to disseminate information relating to—
(i) the performance by the Inspectorate of the functions provided for in this section, and
(ii) successful educational initiatives which have been implemented by schools and centres for education,
and promote informed debate on those matters;
( f) to evaluate the effectiveness of the teaching, development, promotion and use of Irish in schools and centres for education and to report to the Minister on those matters;
( g) to advise the Minister on any matter relating to education policy and provision, including the curriculum taught in recognised schools, assessment and teaching methods, and
( h) F20 [ … ]
(4) F21 [ … ]
(5) Where an Inspector has carried out an evaluation or an assessment under subsection (3)(a)(i), he or she may make recommendations to the Minister in respect of improvements that he or she considers appropriate.
(6) The Minister may, if a teacher and the board consent, second that teacher to the Inspectorate for such period as the Minister shall determine, to carry out any or all of the functions conferred on an Inspector.
(7) An Inspector shall have all such powers as are necessary or expedient for the purpose of performing his or her functions and shall be accorded every reasonable facility and co-operation by the board and the staff of a school or centre for education.
(8) An Inspector, including the Chief Inspector, shall carry out his or her functions in accordance with such procedures for, and criteria of, inspections as may be determined by the Minister from time to time, following consultation with patrons, school management organisations, recognised trade unions and staff associations representing teachers and such other persons as the Minister considers appropriate, and such directions as may be given by the Minister from time to time.
(9) A teacher or the board of a school may request the Chief Inspector to review any inspection carried out by an Inspector which affects the teacher or the school and the Chief Inspector shall review the inspection in accordance with such procedures as the Chief Inspector shall determine.
(10) A person who immediately before the commencement of this Part holds an office as Chief Inspector, Inspector or Inspector of Guidance Service/Psychologist or who is seconded to the Inspectorate shall on the commencement of this Part continue to hold that office or be so seconded as appropriate and this section shall apply to any such person.
(11) The F22 [ Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004 ], and the Civil Service Regulation Acts, 1956 to 1996, shall apply to Inspectors.
(12) The Minister shall appoint Inspectors or second teachers to the Inspectorate, in accordance with this section, with the concurrence of the Minister for Finance.
F23 [ (12A) A person who obstructs or interferes with an inspector in the course of exercising a power conferred on the inspector by this section or impedes the exercise by the inspector of such a power commits an offence and is liable —
( a ) on summary conviction to a Class A fine, or
( b ) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding € 100,000. ]
F24 [ (13) The Chief Inspector, with the consent of the Minister, may delegate the performance of one or more of his or her functions to an Inspector nominated by the Chief Inspector and functions so delegated to such an Inspector shall be performable by him or her accordingly.
(14) The Minister may appoint an Inspector to perform the functions of the Chief Inspector during any period in which the Chief Inspector is temporarily unable to perform his or her functions, whether because of absence, ill-health or for any other reason, and, for the duration of that period, the functions of the Chief Inspector shall be performable by the Inspector so appointed accordingly. ]
Deleted (13.06.2014) by Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2007 (9/2007), s. 3(a), S.I. No. 274 of 2014.
Deleted (13.06.2014) by Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2007 (9/2007), s. 3(b), S.I. No. 274 of 2014.
Substituted (6.10.2004) by Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004 (33/2004), s. 61 and sch. 2 part 1, commenced on enactment.
Inserted (1.07.2013) by Education and Training Boards Act 2013 (11/2013), s. 66, S.I. No. 211 of 2013.
Inserted (13.06.2014) by Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2007 (9/2007), s. 3(c), S.I. No. 274 of 2014.
Duty to publish reports made pursuant to subs. (3)(a)(i) prescribed (21.04.2015) by Education Act 1998 (Publication of Inspection Reports on Schools and Centres for Education) Regulations 2015 (S.I. No. 153 of 2015), reg. 2(1), subject to para. (2).
Previous affecting provision: duty to publish reports made pursuant to subs. (3)(a)(i) prescribed (6.02.2006) by Education Act 1998 (Publication of Inspection Reports on Schools and Centres for Education) Regulations 2006 (S.I. No. 49 of 2006), reg. 2(1), in effect as per reg. 2(2); revoked (21.04.2015) by Education Act 1998 (Publication of Inspection Reports on Schools and Centres for Education) Regulations 2015 (S.I. No. 153 of 2015), reg. 4.