INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS INSPECTORATE
INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS INSPECTORATE
and ISI Consultancy Ltd
The Independent Schools Inspectorate’s purpose is to enable children to be safe, well-educated and to thrive. It inspects around 1,300 independent schools in England and over 85% of pupils in independent education are at schools inspected by ISI. It publishes reliable, objective reports to the Secretary of State for Education; these are also published on ISI’s website, www.isi.net.
Safeguarding children is central to ISI’s work. By ‘safeguarding’, ISI means making sure that schools are protecting children from maltreatment, preventing impairment of children’s health or development, ensuring that children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care and taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes. ISI’s role is to inspect schools against regulatory requirements prescribed by the Department for Education. These are set out in Schedule to The Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014 (the “Independent School Standards”). For boarding schools, ISI also inspects against the National Minimum Standards for Boarding Schools and, in schools with early years pupils, ISI inspects against the statutory framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. A school which fully implements all the standards will maintain a robust safeguarding culture.
Parents, teachers, students or anyone else can report concerns anonymously about a school to ISI at any point. We have a dedicated email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and telephone number (0207 600 0100) for this. We immediately refer serious concerns to the Department for Education and keep thorough records of all the concerns we receive.
The schools we inspect vary greatly in their characteristics. We inspect co-ed and single sex schools, boarding and day schools, schools with Early Years provision, special needs schools, schools with a particular religious ethos and specialist schools, like music or dance schools. No school is the same and each has its own character. ISI recognises and celebrates each individual school’s identity.
All of our inspectors are either retired or serving heads or senior leaders in independent schools. This peer review combines professional rigour, an understanding of the reality of modern independent schools, and an up-to-date grasp of current educational developments. Our inspectors are provided with regular professional development and kept up to date with regulatory and operational issues through termly communications. Inspectors are also trained in responding to disclosures and whistleblowing, and in taking the appropriate action.
ISI is also one of the small number of inspectorates licensed to carry out British School Overseas inspections and inspects schools in more than 30 countries worldwide.
ISI Consultancy provides a wide range of seminars to schools, on topics such as Understanding the Educational Quality inspection framework and Health, safety and risk assessment in schools. It also offers consultancy services to schools, organisations and governments in the UK and internationally.
Independent Schools Inspectorate
CAP House, 9–12 Long Lane, London EC1A 9HA