Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education (HMIe) was an executive agency of the Scottish Government, responsible for the inspection of public and independent, primary and secondary schools, as well as further education colleges, community learning, Local Authority Education Departments and teacher education.
The first HM Inspector of Schools (HMI) was appointed in 1840. The rationale for the first appointments of HMI linked inspection to "the improvement of elementary education" and charged HMI to say "what improvements in the apparatus and internal management of schools, in school management and discipline, and in the methods of teaching have been sanctioned by the most extensive experience". The particular focus in Scotland on combining inspection with self-evaluation has been central to the drive to raise educational standards.
HMIe was headed by Her Majesty's Senior Chief Inspector of Education. Its remit was far wider than its English counterpart, the Office for Standards in Education. HMIe's equivalent in Wales, Estyn, had a similar remit, including adult education.
Following the Scotland Act 1998 the Inspectorate was made an Executive Agency of the Scottish Government in 2001, and HMIe was answerable to the Scottish Ministers for the running of the Inspectorate and the whole inspection system in Scotland.
In 2003 it employed 178 staff who were based in Edinburgh, Inverness, Glasgow and Dundee. A policy to disperse public sector jobs then led to the relocation of the headquarters from Edinburgh to Livingston, West Lothian along with the opening of new offices in Dunbartonshire and Ayrshire.
On 14 October 2010 the Cabinet Secretary for Education announced that HMIe would be brigaded with Learning and Teaching Scotland into a new executive agency of the Scottish Government to be known as the Scottish Education Quality and Improvement Agency. This was later renamed Education Scotland, and came into existence on 30 June 2011.
Senior Chief Inspector 1999 to 2002: Bill Clark
Senior Chief Inspector in 2009: Graham Donaldson
Senior Chief Inspector 2010 to 2017: Dr Bill Maxwell
Senior Chief Inspector from December 2017: Gayle Gorman
HMIe was charged with inspecting the quality of education in pre-school centres, primary schools, secondary schools, special schools, community learning and development, further education colleges, initial teacher education, residential educational provision and the education functions of local authorities and services for children.
Following the passing of the Standards in Scotland's Schools etc. 2000 Act the focus of HMIe shifted to how this legislation is being implemented. It brought new statutory powers to inspect the education functions of local authorities.