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Minister for Education Norma Foley TD announces appointment of Yvonne Keating as Chief Inspector at the Department of Education following a Top Level Appointments Committee specialist recruitment process

Minister for Education Norma Foley TD today announced the appointment of Yvonne Keating as Chief Inspector at the Department of Education. This appointment is made following the completion of a Top Level Appointments Committee (TLAC) Specialist competition held by the Public Appointments Service.


Ms Keating will lead the Inspectorate of the Department of Education, which is responsible for the evaluation of primary and post-primary schools and centres for education as well as inspection of education provision in early learning and care settings. Inspectors also provide advice on a range of educational issues to school communities, policy makers in the Department and to the wider educational system. The functions of the Chief Inspector and the Inspectorate are set out in the Education Act 1998.


Minister Foley said:

“I am delighted to announce Ms Yvonne Keating’s appointment as Chief Inspector at the Department of Education. The Inspectorate plays a hugely important role in supporting our schools and other education settings to provide the best possible educational experience to our children and young people.


“Yvonne has an exceptional track record as a teacher and as an inspector and has served as Deputy Chief Inspector for the last three years. She is enormously well qualified for this role. We have an ambitious ongoing programme of development within our school system, with for example, our Senior Cycle reform, embedding of wellbeing and the development of the new primary curriculum, and the Inspectorate will continue to play a key role in the imagining and implementation of this important work.


“I wish Yvonne every success in her role and I know that the Inspectorate will continue to evolve and thrive as an essential support and partner to our schools under her leadership.”


The appointment of Ms Keating follows the retirement of Dr Harold Hislop, who served as Chief Inspector from 2010-October 2022.


Minister Foley said:

“I would also like to pay tribute to the former Chief Inspector, Dr Harold Hislop, who leaves behind a rich legacy as Chief Inspector. I want to thank Harold for his commitment and dedication to providing excellence in education. Since 2010, he passionately and diligently led a series of reforms in the inspection and evaluation of schools and has led the work supporting educational policy development within the Department.


“Harold’s vast contribution to the Irish education system is widely recognised, at home and internationally. Everyone involved in education sends him every good wish in his retirement from this role.”


Notes to Editor

Ms Yvonne Keating will take up her new post as Chief Inspector effective immediately.


Ms Keating holds a Bachelor of Education degree from Carysfort College, a Master of Education degree from Maynooth University and the degree of Barrister-at-Law from the Honorable Society of Kings’ Inns. She has also undertaken further studies in inspection and regulation at the Institute of Education, University of London and leadership studies at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.


The recruitment and selection process for the Chief Inspector was conducted independently under the TLAC Specialist process. As part of this, the Public Appointments Service advertised the role nationally and internationally.


Ms Keating is the first woman to hold the post of Chief Inspector. The Inspectorate was predated by the national primary school inspectorate, established in 1832.