asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many inspections of higher education courses or subjects, by Her Majesty's inspectors, took place in 1984, 1985 and 1986; what was the average period between inspection and the publication of the report; how many publications concerning inspections which took place in 1984 and 1985 remain outstanding; how many of these refer to Leeds polytechnic; and if he is taking any steps to reduce the period between inspection and the publication of reports.
Not all inspections of higher education courses or subjects result in published reports, since many are designed to contribute to national surveys. However, in 1984, 1985 and 1986 Her Majesty's inspectors inspected 20, 38 and 49 institutions, respectively. Of those that led to publication, the average period between inspection and publication was about 14 months. Eight reports relating to inspections carried out in 1984 and 1985 remain outstanding, and of these three relate to Leeds polytechnic. All the outstanding reports are of inspections which were part of larger surveys, and some relate to longitudinal studies.Her Majesty's inspectorate recently employed an external firm of management consultants to examine the procedures for dealing with examination reports. They have made a number of recommendations whose implementation will, it is hoped, reduce the time between inspection and the issue of the reports.