F22

The Independent Schools Inspectorate: a new framework 

ISI's purpose is to enable children to be safe, well-educated and to thrive.  We carry out inspections of independent schools in England, as commissioned by the Department for Education. The Department for Education is the regulator for all independent schools in England and Wales.  It sets the regulations which all independent schools must meet.  ISI does not set the regulations, rather we inspect schools against the regulations and report to the DfE if schools are meeting them or not. Our current inspection framework runs over a six-year cycle which was due to end in 2022.  Due to the Covid pandemic, subsequent school closures and the suspension of routine inspections, we are currently in discussions with the DfE on exactly when the current framework will end and a new framework will be introduced.  ISI has no power to change the regulations that the DfE set.

To develop the next iteration of the framework we began a consultation, with all of our schools, inspectors, stakeholders and other organisations.  This started in January 2020 with a survey on inspection themes.  These themes were safeguarding; understanding the culture of a school; hearing the voice of the child; educational outcomes; personal development; regulatory inspections; educational quality inspections; governance, leadership and management; boarding; school self-evaluation; and other. 

We have paused the consultation because of the pandemic, and will restart it in the early part of 2021.  Meanwhile our Chief Inspector and our Educational Advisory Forum are progressing with research on the framework.  We are engaging with educational experts and will consult with partner organisations in the autumn.  Going forward into 2021, we are really looking forward to gathering as broad a range of views as possible, to make sure that our new framework facilitates constructive, relevant and rigorous inspections.

This webpage will be here for the duration of the consultation.  We also have a dedicated email address for feedback which you can use at any time: f22@isi.net.