Inspection of schools


All State primary and post-primary schools in Ireland must be inspected by the Department of Education on a regular basis. The purpose of a school inspection is to ensure that educational standards are maintained.

The Department has a special division called the Inspectorate that carries out school inspections. The legislation dealing with school inspection is the Education Act (1998) which sets out the responsibilities of the Inspectorate.

The Inspectorate evaluates and reports on the quality of education provision and is involved in:

  • Inspecting and evaluating the education system at primary and post-primary level
  • Giving advice to those working in the education system
  • Contributing to education policy development

The National Council for Special Education supports and advises school in the provision of special education. The Inspectorate continues to evaluate the services for students with special educational needs.

The Child and Family Agency is responsible for assessing the education provision for children who are not attending school.

Inspection reports

The Inspectorate carries out inspections in schools and centres for education and reports on these school inspections.

Whole School Evaluations (WSE) complements school inspections. The WSE has been developed using a partnership approach. It includes pre-evaluation meetings with staff and management, meeting with parents’ association, school and classroom visits, preparation of a draft report, post-inspection meetings with staff and management, finalisation of the WSE report and issue of report to school.

You can find inspection reports for individual schools and Whole School Evaluations on the Department of Education’s website.

Where to apply

Department of Education

Inspectorate Secretariat
Department of Education
Marlborough Street
Dublin 1
D01 RC96

Tel: (01) 889 6553
Page edited: 29 April 2021