The Inspectorate has a history going back to 1839, when two inspectors were appointed following the first expenditure of public funds on elementary education. The most critical period was the thirty years following the issue of the Code of 1862, whereunder schools were administered and grant was paid on a system of payment by results, which submerged the original concept of HM Inspectors' duties in a flood of routine examining. This was a difficult period for the Inspectorate, but it survived — just. Women inspectors were first appointed in 1896.
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