Our Funding

ISI is funded directly by the schools it inspects through an annual levy which finances inspection services.  ISI does not receive any funding from the Department for Education, or from any other public body; nor does it receive anything from the Independent Schools Council (ISC) or ISC’s member Associations. ISI is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee and does not pay any dividends or other monies to its members.  

Schools must pay the levy annually regardless of whether they are inspected that year.  It is based on a flat fee plus an additional per pupil charge.  The smallest schools pay only the flat fee but for others the total cost increases in line with the size of the school. 

The annual levy funds the inspection services provided by the inspectorate including direct inspection costs and operating overheads.  These include the delivery of both routine and non-routine inspections as commissioned by the Department for Education; the infrastructure which enables inspections to be scheduled, teams built and all logistical arrangements made; inspector recruitment and training; the development of frameworks and associated instruments; quality assurance processes; a range of ISI services and publications such as the ‘ISI Commentary on the Regulatory Requirements’, the regular ‘Update to Schools’, heads’ inspection induction days, the support desk for inspectors and schools; stakeholder engagement events, such as consultation events when required.

The costs of inspection are defrayed where possible through revenue generated by the trading arm (ISI Consultancy Limited) which is gifted back to ISI to allow for investment in improving the quality of inspections.

Fees for the inspection of Private Further Education (PFE) colleges are based on a cost recovery model. More information is available on our dedicated PFE website.