This text traces the development of different forms of inspection, looking at important issues on the way, rather than following a detailed chronological path. In the belief that debates about inspection are shaped by a range of perspectives, the book draws on a range of sources such as research and inspection evidence, writing by key figures, such as Matthew Arnold, teachers' own experiences, newspaper headlines and other comments. It includes summary questions and other signposts for the reader, as well as a fully annotated bibliography. It also includes examples of other countrys' inspection systems, particularly that of Scotland, and pays attention to other types of school self-evaluation. The book explores comprehensively the impact of inspection on schools in difficulties, and outlines the ways in which research and other evidence suggests that schools improve. The overall aim of this work is to contribute to the debate about the most appropriate and effective form of school inspection for the next century, taking into particular account what we know of how schools develop and how teachers and others involved in education work.