About ISI

External quality assurance

The work of independent inspectorates is rigorously monitored by Ofsted on behalf of the Department for Education. This results in an annual letter from Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector to the Secretary of State for Education.

The power/duty to monitor is set out in section 107 of the Education and Skills Act 2008:

Quality assurance of independent inspectorates

(1) The Chief Inspector [of Ofsted] must, at intervals of no more than a year, prepare and send to the Secretary of State a report about independent inspectorates.

(2) In preparing a report under this section the Chief Inspector must have regard to such matters as the Secretary of State may direct.

(3) The Secretary of State may in particular give directions about—

(a) matters to be taken into account in preparing a report, and

(b) the form and contents of a report.

Statutory monitoring activity is underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Department for Education, Ofsted, and the independent inspectorates.  The current MOU is available here:

MOU November 2019

The annual monitoring letters are available here.