Scotland has a three-level approach to evaluating and improving education: schools have a responsibility to evaluate their own performance; local authorities have statutory duties of quality improvement and reporting; and the third level is external inspection.
Education Scotland has significantly strengthened its scrutiny functions. In 2018-19, there were 252 school inspections, which was an increase of more than 30 per cent on the previous year. Education Scotland was on track to exceed that figure in 2019-20, before inspections had to be paused in March last year due to the pandemic. I n addition to individual school inspections, Her Majesty’s inspectors of education carry out national thematic inspections focusing on key priorities in education. Those often include visits to individual schools.