School inspectors: policy implementers, policy shapers in national policy contexts

Baxter, Jacqueline ed. (2017). School inspectors: policy implementers, policy shapers in national policy contexts. Accountability and educational improvement. London: Springer.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-52536-5

URL: http://www.springer.com/gb/book/9783319525358

Abstract

This book examines the role of the inspector within the context of a number of OECD member states and explores the ways in which the inspectors themselves interpret, implement and influence inspection practices and policy.

Inspection policy can have various unintended consequences, some of which produce radical discrepancies between the policy intent and its implementation. A number of these discrepancies derive from the way in which the policy is articulated while others derive from the ways in which inspectors interpret and operationalise this policy. This implementation is coloured and conditioned by several factors, including the evidence on which inspectors base their judgements; what counts as evidence in different policy contexts; what counts as valid knowledge in inspection processes; the qualities needed by inspectors working in differing policy contexts and the identities that they adopt in order to successfully carry out their work.

The book provides a valuable contribution to our understanding of the politics and practices which colour and shape the legitimacy and operational execution of inspection policy. The work is unique in its focus on the inspectors’ role within the implementation of the inspection process— an element often overlooked in the literature. It also includes two chapters co-written by inspectors, offering unique insights into their life worlds and identities.

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