Our inspection frameworks
We use a set of standards to evaluate and report on quality and improvement in Scottish education. The standards are set out in a series of ‘quality frameworks’.
All quality frameworks are designed around our 'Overarching Framework': A framework for evaluating the quality of services and organisations – the overarching framework. Known as the Overarching Framework, this document describes the high-level principles that form the foundation of all of our quality frameworks.
Each framework includes a set of Quality Indicators (QIs) which inspectors use to reach professional evaluations. Inspections and reviews use selected QIs, themes from QIs or look at themes across QIs. We use these QIs to identify and report what is working well, what needs to improve and examples of highly effective and sector leading practice.
The QIs can be graded using a six-point scale, although it is not always necessary to do this. When the six-point scale is used to grade QIs, it is mainly used for the purpose of national and/or local benchmarking across a number of establishments and services.
You can see the quality frameworks used across all sectors on our website.
The main quality frameworks are:
- How good is our early learning and childcare?
- How good is our school?
- How good is our college?
- How good is the learning and development in our community?
- External Quality Arrangements for the review of Career Information and Guidance services
- Guidelines for Validated Self-evaluation – Education Psychology Services
- External Quality Arrangements for the review of Modern Apprentice training
- Inspection arrangements for the Private Further Education Colleges and English Language Schools
- How good is our third sector organisation?
- Framework to evaluate how well local authorities are improving learning, raising attainment and closing the poverty related attainment gap
We have developed our sector specific frameworks in partnership with stakeholders.
On occasion, we carry out inspection and review in response to identified risks. In such instances, we may develop a bespoke framework to take account of the identified risks, including the appropriate set of QIs or themes to apply.