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Inspection and External Audit MechanismsInspection and audit can broadly be defined as the external scrutiny by interested parties. This could be from government or public organizations such as funding agencies which are seeking assurances that public money is being used appropriately and services provided are to the requisite standard. Public services have always been the subject of external scrutiny and education is no exception from this. As traditional deliverers of services, local authority areas (equivalent to districts) gradually became commissioners of services due to continued pressure on public finances. Subsequently, inspection and audit have played a more central theme in ensuring organizations are fulfilling their responsibilities. This entry considers the need for inspection and audit in the delivery of education. In doing so the entry will first explore the development of the policy landscape that has resulted in a culture of inspection and audit, before considering the accountability frameworks which go with it.