With the advent of State systems of education in Australia during the latter part of the nineteenth century, inspectors became key figures in the organization of educational policies, to maintain standards of instruction, and to assess the efficiency of teachers and schools. A teacher's promotion was dependent mainly on his seniority in the service and inspectorial assessments of his efficiency. Inspectors were also required to act as educational advisers to teachers, but this role was overshadowed by, and it conflicted with, the inspector's role of assessor. In recent years, there has been a marked change in the inspector's functions, with increased emphasis on professional advice and leadership. Assessment procedures have also been liberalized generally by reducing the frequency of teacher assessments and by broadening and modifying the criteria used to evaluate efficiency. However, it has not been possible to eliminate elements of incompatibility in the inspector's dual role of assessor and adviser, nor has it been possible to devise any reasonably infallible method of grading the complicated task of teaching. The advisory role of inspectors in relation to individual teachers is also being questioned. Such considerations are leading to the further development of alternative ways of stimulating the professional growth of teachers and they also indicate the need for promotion criteria which are largely independent of the inspector.
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