Overseas Parents

About ISI International Inspections

The ISI inspects and supports British international schools in a number of countries around the world. ISI played a leading role in the development of the UK government’s voluntary inspection scheme for British Schools Overseas (BSO) and is an accredited inspectorate for BSO inspections. Inspections result in reports which are published on the Department for Education’s website as well as ISI’s own website. 

ISI’s inspections of British international schools perform a number of important functions, which include: 

  • helping schools to improve the quality and effectiveness of pupils’ education and of the care for their welfare
  • providing objective and reliable inspection reports which help schools to recognise and build on their strengths and identify and remedy any weaknesses
  • reporting to the DfE the extent to which schools comply with the published Standards for British Schools Overseas
  • informing parents and the wider public of the quality of British Schools Overseas by placing their reports in the public domain


Inspections are led by a Reporting Inspector (RI), supported by a number of Team Inspectors (TIs), and in cases where a school has more than one site, an Assistant Reporting Inspector (ARI). The composition of the inspection team is determined by the size, organisation and location of the school. Our Team Inspectors are headteachers and senior members of staff at Association independent schools in England and British international schools, as we believe that inspection should include a peer-review process.

An ISI International Inspection is a holistic assessment that not only looks at the quality of teaching and learning but also at the wider development of the children, while also considering welfare, school leadership and the suitability of the school’s premises and accommodation. The aim is to produce a constructive and useful report that enables a school to plan and take forward its future development.

How are parents and pupils involved in an ISI International Inspection? 

Ahead of the inspection, parents and pupils will have an opportunity to complete a confidential pre-inspection questionnaire. Parent and pupil feedback is extremely valuable for the planning of inspections, and we ask that you make the time to respond to these as soon as possible after you receive them. Responses are confidential to ISI inspectors and not shared with the school. The questionnaires can be used to make known to the inspectors any information you think is important. They are anonymous, so inspectors cannot identify parents or pupils from responses. Individual comments are not shared with the school and remain strictly confidential. Questionnaires are available in a number of languages.

You may complete any or all of the questions (you do not have to answer questions about which you have nothing to say). Inspectors will share with the head only the statistical results of the survey: that is, the percentages of parents responding positively or otherwise to each question. They will use the responses to help plan the inspection and to report on what they find.

If you wish to raise concerns about a school, you may also contact the ISI office confidentially, either by email at concerns@isi.net or by telephone on 020 7600 0100. Concerns should be raised with the ISI as early as possible to allow the Reporting Inspector the opportunity to review them prior to inspection. For more information, please see Concerns about a School.