Journey to Excellence

HM Inspectors school inspection guide

These videos provide a guide to HMIE inspections of early education centres and schools. The video clips are included in HMIE's DVD A Guide to School Inspection.

The videos include interviews with school and education authority staff, HM Inspectors, children and young people, who reflect on their personal experiences of inspection.

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These videos aim to show members of the school community, including staff, parents, children and young people, what it is like to be involved in an inspection.


In the introductory video, Senior Chief Inspector, Bill Maxwell, introduces a number of videos which illustrates the purpose of inspections and their role in school improvement, whilst dispelling some of the myths that surround this process.

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School inspection process

The main feature video highlights what an inspection means for your establishment, its staff, parents, pupils and the wider community.

It explores the different stages of an inspection, from the initial announcement to the final report.

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If you are interested in a particular inspection stage or topic, you can choose to look at this aspect in more detail.

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About Inspections

Explore the main purposes of school inspections and discover some of the recent changes in the way that inspections are carried out.

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Preparing for an Inspection

Find out about the first stages of the inspection process and the way that schools and education centres can prepare for visits by the inspection team.

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Watch school staff and members of the inspection team reflect on the importance for the inspection process of schools knowing themselves well.

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Gathering Evidence

Explore the nature of evidence gathered by schools in preparation for the inspection team's visit.

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Getting the Picture

Discover the way in which members of the inspection team observe the learning experiences of children and young people during the inspection visit.

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Professional Dialogue

Find out why it is important to share knowledge, skills and experiences as part of the inspection process.

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Journey to Excellence

Discover how schools can benefit from using The Journey to Excellence website as part of their CPD.

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Find out why inspectors might decide to disengage early from the inspection process under the new inspection model and what happens following this decision.

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Sharing the Findings

Explore the way in which inspectors share the detailed findings of the inspection with the centre or school.

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The Report

Listen to staff, pupils and inspectors discuss the nature of the inspection report and the next steps.

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Final Reflections

Watch school staff, inspectors and young people reflect on their experiences of inspection.

Developing your practice

Find CPD resources to help you identify and improve your skills for excellence.

HMIE conferences

Watch the highlights from the recent Science and Better Futures (Dyslexia) conferences.

Promoting excellence

A collection of leaflets, posters, presentations and videos to help encourage excellence in your school.

In association with Education Scotland