Introduction

  1. The schools that the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) inspects are independent of government and exercise their independence in the choices proprietors and leaders make to educate their pupils. However, all independent schools must also meet the Independent School Standards (ISSR) and, where applicable, the National Minimum Standards for boarding schools (NMS for boarding schools) and Early Years Foundation Stage requirements. Collectively, these, and any other standards that may be applicable to the schools inspected by ISI, are referred to throughout the document as 'the Standards'.
  2. It is the duty of the proprietor (to include those with governance responsibility) to ensure that persons with leadership and management responsibilities at the school:
    1. demonstrate good skills and knowledge appropriate to their role so that the Standards are met consistently
    2. fulfiltheirresponsibilitieseffectivelysothattheStandardsaremetconsistently; and
    3. actively promote the wellbeing of pupils.
    ISI inspections evaluate and report publicly on the extent to which each school meets the Standards.
  3. The Department for Education (DfE) publishes advice to schools to help the proprietors and leaders understand the Standards: The Independent School Standards Guidance for independent schools. As this guidance says, 'The approach behind the standards is to focus on required outcomes. It is not the intention to tell schools how to govern or manage themselves – i.e. about how they are to go about achieving the required outcomes.'
  4. ISI echoes this approach on inspection. There is no preferred way by which ISI expects schools to meet any of the relevant Standards, and ISI does not think that there is a best way of doing things in schools. However, ISI inspectors may flag the existence of resources that schools may find helpful to consider, particularly if those resources are advice and guidance published or referred to by the DfE.
  5. The DfE has also issued guidance for schools which outlines the usual processes the DfE will follow if a school fails to meet the Standards: Independent Schools: Regulatory and Enforcement Action Policy Statement. Ultimately, failure to meet the Standards can lead to de-registration of a school.
  6. This handbook lays out for inspectors the methodology of inspections carried out by the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI). It provides guidance to inspectors in conducting routine inspections under the Framework for the inspection of association independent schools ('the ISI Framework') from September 2023. This handbook is available to schools and other stakeholders. This is to aid understanding of ISI's approach to quality assurance and inspection.
  7. This handbook is a working document and will be updated regularly. The handbook should be read in conjunction with the ISI Framework.
  8. Each inspection is unique to the context of the school. This handbook does not provide a blueprint for inspection. It should be used flexibly by inspectors, depending on the context of the school being inspected. However, inspectors will adhere to the principles of inspection outlined in the ISI Framework and follow the inspection methodology set out in this handbook.
  9. ISI inspection methodology outlined in this handbook applies to all ISI inspections. However, the processes of inspections (e.g. notification, timing and duration) will be different for non-routine inspections. Therefore, this handbook does not apply in its entirety to non-routine inspections that the DfE may commission ISI to carry out. These inspections are covered under separate guidance. Non-routine inspections are additional inspections, progress monitoring inspections and material change inspections.
  10. Where schools have linked early years provision that is registered with Ofsted, ISI will inspect using the guidance contained in Ofsted's Early years inspection handbook for Ofsted-registered provision. Registered early years provision will usually be inspected at the same time as the ISI inspection of the main school. The registered early years ISI report will be included as an annex to the main school ISI report.

Wellbeing

  1. The ISI Framework places the existing responsibilities of the school's leadership and management and governance to actively promote the wellbeing of pupils at the centre of ISI's evaluation of the school's provision.
  2. This is because Part 8 of the Standards (Quality of leadership and management of schools) places a duty on the proprietor to ensure that persons with leadership and management responsibilities at the school:
    1. demonstrate good skills and knowledge appropriate to their role so that the Standards are met consistently
    2. fulfil their responsibilities effectively so that the Standards are met consistently; and
    3. actively promote the wellbeing of pupils.
  3. The meaning of 'wellbeing' for the purposes of the Standards, and ISI's values, is defined by section 10(2) of the Children Act 2004 as relating to:
    • Pupils' physical and mental health and emotional wellbeing
    • Protection of pupils from harm and neglect
    • Pupils' education, training and recreation
    • Pupils' contribution to society
    • Pupils' social and economic wellbeing.
    Therefore, in order to meet the required leadership standard in the Standards, the proprietor, leaders and managers must actively promote these five aspects of pupils' wellbeing.
  4. This approach does not place any additional responsibility on schools or introduce additional requirements that are not already contained in the Standards. School leaders are already required to 'actively promote the wellbeing of pupils'. The definition of 'wellbeing' is clearly articulated by statute and incorporated in the Standards. Evidence of effective provision can be clearly demonstrated as stated in the ISI Framework across the many aspects of school life that are covered by the Standards.
  5. There are many sources of further helpful advice and guidance on wellbeing. In exploring this complex area, ISI will pay particular regard to guidance published by the UK government, for example HM Treasury's Wellbeing Guidance for Appraisal: Supplementary Green Book Guidance1, which identifies ten dimensions of wellbeing (with the relevant sections of the ISI Framework in brackets):
    • Personal wellbeing (Section 3)
    • Health (Section 3)
    • Relationships (Section 3)
    • Environment (Section 4)
    • What we do (Section 4)
    • Where we live (Section 4)
    • Personal finances (Section 4)
    • Governance (Section 1)
    • Economy (Section 4)
    • Education and Skills (Section 2)

School culture: three levels approach

  1. ISI's careful consideration of pupil survey responses gathered on a range of inspections suggests that there are different 'levels' of school culture, which may be experienced at the same time within a school:

    Level 1: The positive outward face of the school community. Governors, leadership, staff, pupils and parents highlight the many excellent aspects of the school. This wholly positive aspect of the school is evident for example on the school website, documentation, displays and performances, prize giving, open day/evening presentations and tours.

    Level 2: The day-to-day experience of the school community – issues arise but these are mostly dealt with appropriately. Questionnaire responses are generally positive and most pupils agree with positive statements about the school.

    Level 3: Some members of the school community (and this may be a small number) are impacted by negative and damaging behaviours and attitudes such as racism, misogyny and bullying. Experiences may be 'secret and separate', and evidence may be harder to see. This aspect of school life may be hidden from view and requires very effective mechanisms in place for hearing from pupils and staff. Evidence may be located in the detail in the safeguarding, behaviour, bullying and complaints logs. It may be found in the small negative percentages in questionnaires and negative comments included among a larger number of positive comments. Deep listening and noticing are required to access this level.

  2. This approach to the consideration of various levels of school culture may support adapting existing risk strategies as necessary to identify and manage the risk to pupils' wellbeing of pupils experiencing harmful behaviours and attitudes. In some cases, these risks may be harder to spot, and less obvious to existing risk mitigation strategies. Inspectors will be interested to hear from school leaders how leaders enable pupils' voices which may be harder to hear, so that leaders can ensure that appropriate strategies are in place to support these pupils.
  3. Where inspectors evaluate that school staff are failing to prevent bullying related to protected characteristics2 or that leaders and/or staff are allowing a hostile culture, this is likely to result in unmet Standards, including ISSR paragraph 3(j) (which requires that the proprietor ensures that the teaching at the school does not discriminate against pupils contrary to Part 6 of the Equality Act 2010) and ISSR paragraph 5(b)(vi), (which provides that the standard about the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils at the school is met if the proprietor ensures that principles are actively promoted which encourage respect for other people, paying particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the 2010 Act).

ISI inspection methodology

Manageability • Collaboration • Triangulation and typicality • Proportionality

  1. The ISI Framework lays out the overarching principles of ISI's approach to inspection. In applying these principles, inspectors pay due regard to the foundations of inspection methodology.

    Manageability of the inspection
    Collaborative working with school leaders
    Triangulation and typicality of evidence Proportionality in reaching judgements

The manageability of inspection

  1. Inspectors must be mindful of the impact of inspections on the workload of leaders and staff in schools. Inspectors must be sensitive to this at all stages of the inspection. The work of inspectors should not unduly disrupt the usual day-to-day running of the school.
  2. Inspectors will not expect or request leaders or staff to produce documentation specifically for inspection, prior to, or during onsite inspection. Inspectors will review the information that leaders and staff use in the school's chosen format. Paragraph 79 of this document lists the information that schools are requested to make available to inspectors at the start of the onsite inspection.
  3. Inspectors will not expect school staff to collate samples of books or pupils' work in advance of inspection. Inspectors will view pupils' work in whatever form it is held (including digitally). Inspectors will view pupils' work with pupils and with members of staff where appropriate. Inspectors will not ask schools to make copies of work that is held digitally. Inspectors may request that a member of staff is available to help navigate a school's electronic systems, for example to review samples of pupils' work.
  4. Inspectors may request to see and/or discuss specific examples of files or records in order to evaluate typical day-to-day practice at the school. Inspectors will evaluate how the examples demonstrate the positive impact for pupils of decisions leaders have made in relevant areas. Inspectors will make clear to leaders that leaders should not prepare or have prepared written case studies specifically for the inspection. Any such preparation does not align with the principle of manageability of inspection and is therefore unlikely to be seen by inspectors as typical of the school's provision.
  5. School leaders may suggest suitable times for inspection discussions, for example, with staff, the proprietor(s)/ those responsible for governance or pupils. Inspectors will endeavour to accommodate these suggestions to minimise disruption to the school day.

Collaboration with the school

  1. Reporting inspectors will, wherever possible and appropriate, work collaboratively with the proprietors, school leaders and staff to ensure the smooth running of the inspection and effective evidence gathering.
  2. The reporting inspector will liaise regularly throughout the inspection with the headteacher, or their designated senior leader, keeping them informed of emerging evidence and to amend the inspection plan, as required. Reporting inspectors will provide school leaders with the opportunity to signpost any additional evidence that may be relevant to the emerging judgements. These regular keeping-in-touch meetings will also provide opportunities for the headteacher to raise any concerns including about the conduct of inspection. The reporting inspector will raise any serious emerging issues, which indicate one or more of the Standards may be unmet, with the headteacher at the earliest opportunity. However, the reporting inspector will make clear to the headteacher that final judgements can only be reached when all the inspection evidence has been reviewed. This judgement is provisional until report publication.
  3. Reporting inspectors will offer school leaders the opportunity to be involved in some inspection activities. These may include reviewing pupils' work, joint lesson walks, discussion of examples of existing records and evidence, and tours of the school premises to consider related Standards.
  4. Joint inspection activities are helpful to inspectors when school leaders can provide context for the evidence that inspectors are recording and evaluating. These activities may also be helpful to school leaders in enabling them to understand how inspectors evaluate evidence and reach judgements.
  5. The reporting inspector will determine which inspection activities are appropriate for school leaders to be involved in. The role of the school leader is to provide context for the evidence and not to influence inspectors' evaluation of the evidence.

Triangulation and typicality of evidence

  1. Triangulation is the process inspectors use to contextualise and test inspection evidence. Inspectors will look for connected sources of evidence, wherever this is available, to reach valid and reliable judgements.
  2. Inspectors gather evidence from a wide range of sources. These include: discussions with school leaders, staff and pupils; information from the inspection surveys for pupils, parents and staff; first-hand observations; scrutiny of documentation and school records.
  3. Inspectors will consider what they are seeing, reading and hearing; why it is important and how it relates to the Standards; how it relates to other evidence; and what further evidence inspectors need to gather.

What do I notice? • Why does it matter? • How does it fit? • What more do I need to know? • Evidence gathering and triangulation

  1. Inspectors will want to see the school operating as it usually does, to evaluate what is typically experienced by pupils. Inspectors may include in the report examples of provision they observe during the onsite inspection, but only where such examples are confirmed by inspectors as typical. This is particularly important when reporting the quality of teaching and learning and the behaviour of pupils.
  2. Inspectors will confirm the typicality of what they are seeing, hearing and reading by considering connected evidence (triangulation) including through:
    • discussions with leaders, staff and pupils
    • review of school records
    • review of pupils' work over time
    • observations around the school site.
  3. Inspectors may not expect, request or encourage school leaders to reorganise the curriculum timetable for pupils during inspections. Lessons and activities for pupils should go ahead as planned, including any off-site visits or pre-arranged visitors. Inspectors will adapt their inspection plans to ensure they gather the necessary evidence. Where inspectors are not able to see teaching in any particular curriculum area, they will seek evidence of teaching and learning from other sources, for instance by speaking with pupils and staff and by reviewing pupils' work.

Proportionality

  1. When judging the extent to which a school meets the Standards, inspectors will exercise their professional judgement. They will consider the reasonableness of leaders' decision-making and the impact of those decisions on pupils' learning, experience and safety.
  2. Where there are some relative weaknesses or minor errors that can be easily rectified in a school's processes and/or provision, inspectors will take a proportionate approach. Inspectors will consider if those weaknesses amount to a failure to meet one or more of the Standards.
  3. The scale and impact of any weaknesses or errors will be taken into consideration by inspectors.
  4. If inspectors consider that relative weaknesses or errors do not amount to a failure to meet the Standards, this will be reflected in the text of the inspection report and is likely to lead to recommended next steps in the inspection report.
  5. Where school leaders make amendments to the school's policies, processes or provision during inspections, inspectors will consider the scale and impact of such amendments and consider their impact on inspection judgements. Inspectors may conclude that changes in a policy document made by school leaders during the course of an inspection are unlikely to be able to be demonstrated as effectively implemented by leaders.
  6. Weaknesses or errors which are indicative of systemic failings in the school's processes and/or provision will lead to a judgement that the relevant Standards are unmet. Systemic failings include decision making by leaders based on a lack of understanding of what is required to meet the Standards, or an inability or reluctance to do what is required.

Conducting inspections

The timing and duration of inspections and the inspection team

  1. The DfE determines how frequently independent schools are inspected. The DfE directs ISI to conduct routine inspections of schools typically once every three years. However, the DfE may request that ISI bring forward the timing of a routine inspection. The DfE may also request that ISI carry out non-routine inspections at any time and at short notice or with no notice.
  2. Routine inspections are usually scheduled for two and a half days and will begin at 12:00 on the first day of the onsite inspection. Inspectors may not arrive at the school earlier than 11:30. Inspectors will usually leave the school by 18:00 on each day of inspection, although in some instances inspectors may be onsite for longer than this, for instance to observe elements of boarding provision. On the final afternoon of the inspection, the inspection plan will allow sufficient time for the final team meeting when inspectors will reach the inspection judgements and draw together the feedback to school leaders proprietors and/or governors.
  3. The size of the inspection team is determined by the size of the school (the number of pupils on roll) and the context of the school. The inspection is led by a reporting inspector and in most cases, a minimum of two team inspectors. All members of the inspection team will usually attend for the duration of the inspection.
  4. ISI may schedule aligned inspections of linked schools, particularly when schools share the same senior leadership team and proprietors. Where linked schools are inspected at the same time, reporting inspectors will liaise with each other and senior leaders to manage the inspection to minimise disruption and to align inspection activities where appropriate.

Declarations of conflicts of interest

  1. All inspectors must regularly update on ISI's inspector portal any declarations of close personal or business relationships with or financial interest in any schools, including groups of schools in common ownership, inspected by ISI which might give rise to a conflict, or perceived conflict, of interest.
  2. By accepting an invitation to inspect a school for ISI, inspectors warrant that, in the period of six years before the date of the inspection, they have not governed, worked at (including as a consultant), sought employment or engagement at, or given advice to the school or college which they are invited to inspect.
  3. Inspectors will not routinely inspect a school that they previously inspected. However, there may be valid reasons for this at the discretion of ISI.
  4. If a conflict of interest becomes apparent at any stage prior to, or during an inspection, inspectors must contact the ISI office immediately.

The code of conduct for inspectors and guidance for schools

  1. Inspectors must adhere to the code of conduct. Inspectors are required to uphold the highest professional standards in relation to all who are involved in the process of inspection, before during and after the inspection.
  2. Inspectors will:
    • uphold ISI's values at all times and evaluate objectively in line with ISI's frameworks and regulatory requirements
    • maintain up-to-date knowledge of ISI's inspection frameworks, handbook, policies and practice and associated regulatory requirements and guidance
    • maintain strict confidentiality about the timing and scheduling of inspections
    • declare all actual and perceived conflicts of interest and have no real or perceived connection with the school prior to or following inspection, which could undermine the integrity of the inspection
    • act in the best interests of the pupils at the school and prioritise the safeguarding and welfare of children at all times
    • act promptly and in line with ISI guidance on any safeguarding or health and safety issues that may arise on inspection
    • work with professionalism, sensitivity and integrity treating all with respect and courtesy
    • follow requirements and good practice in relation to the secure management of information
    • be mindful of the additional workload that inspection can create, be sensitive to the needs of school staff and take reasonable steps to prevent undue anxiety and stress
    • avoid any requests or suggestions that may cause undue disruption to business as usual for the school
    • communicate regularly and productively with school leaders, keep them informed of emerging findings and judgements clearly and honestly
    • evaluate the work of the school objectively and impartially supported by clear and secure evidence
    • report fairly and without favour ensuring that judgements are reliable
    • respect the confidentiality of inspection evidence and judgements
    • wear their ISI inspector identification badge at all times when on school premises
    • use their ISI inspector title only in relation to their inspection work for ISI.
  3. ISI sets out guidance for schools in order to facilitate a professional working relationship. Inspectors must be familiar with the guidance. Inspectors should refer school leaders to the guidance during the first telephone call following notification.
  4. ISI expects that school leaders and staff will:
    • treat inspectors with professionalism, respect, courtesy and candour
    • ensure any inspection surveys, or other communications with parents, staff and pupils requested by the reporting inspector, are sent out promptly
    • engage with and facilitate the inspection process and enable inspectors to carry out their work in an honest and open way against ISI's framework and the Standards
    • provide access to evidence that will enable inspectors to evaluate the work of the school fairly and reliably
    • facilitate necessary meetings with the proprietors, leaders, staff and pupils
    • work with inspectors to minimise disruption to the normal working school day
    • work with inspectors to minimise anxiety, stress or additional workload for staff
    • ensure the health and safety of inspectors while on school premises
    • maintain regular and productive communication with inspectors
    • raise any concerns promptly with the reporting inspector
    • respect the confidentiality of information about the inspection and inspectors.

Managing safeguarding concerns that arise on inspection

  1. If inspectors observe, hear or receive information which causes them concern about the safety or wellbeing of a pupil, they should act immediately to ensure the safety of the pupil, in line with the ISI policy. Inspectors will follow the school's safeguarding and/or child protection policy. Concerns will normally be reported to the appropriate person within the school for child protection procedures to be implemented according to the disclosure, concern or allegation made, and external agencies will be informed directly if required.
  2. If a pupil raises safeguarding concerns, inspectors should listen to what they are being told, take notes, and avoid promising confidentiality or asking leading questions. They must not communicate with the person who is the subject of the allegation or suspicion or investigate the matter themselves.

Managing sensitive or personal information

  1. All information relating to inspection is highly confidential and may not be shared beyond those directly involved in the inspection or the quality assurance and complaints processes. Inspectors must ensure that the information relating to the timing of an inspection, prior to the notification to the school, is held in strict confidence. Inspectors must also ensure that the provisional outcome of an inspection, prior to report publication, is held in strict confidence.
  2. Inspectors view and record sensitive information provided by schools. Schools are not required to anonymise information for inspectors. Inspectors may review personal information during the onsite inspection such as the names of pupils in registers or in records or files, and the names of staff in their files. Inspectors may make notes of such information. Inspectors typically may not record the names of pupils or adults and may not take copies of documents that include names without redaction. There may be, by exception only, occasions when names must be recorded as directed by Senior Directors at ISI.
  3. Inspectors will record the information they need to gather and evaluate evidence to make judgements. Inspectors must not record the names of individual. Inspectors will record the title or role of individuals involved in inspection activities.
  4. During the inspection, inspectors must take care to preserve confidentiality and to protect the privacy of the pupils and staff including by:
    • ensuring that confidential discussions cannot be overheard
    • keeping confidential information safe and refraining from removing confidential information from the school
    • locking laptops with password protection and avoiding using data storage devices (any devices used must be password protected)
    • being aware that some pupils may not want to be involved in the inspection and making clear that pupils' participation in discussions is voluntary
    • explaining to pupils that inspectors will not share any comments that may identify them, unless individuals are at risk of harm.
  5. All information must be managed securely and uploaded to ISI secure systems immediately following the inspection. Once the evidence has been uploaded to ISI systems, inspectors are not permitted to hold inspection information on their personal devices under any circumstances. Inspection information must be removed from inspectors' personal devices no later than four days following the end of the onsite inspection.
  6. Inspectors use the inspection virtual team room on ISI's portal to communicate with other members of the inspection team and to transfer any documentation. The reporting inspector will provide and receive information to and from the school via the virtual team room. Inspectors must not use email to transfer sensitive information regarding inspections. Inspectors must do all they can to reduce the use of email for inspection matters.
  7. Inspectors must be familiar with ISI's data protection policy and ISI's personal data breach policy and refer to these policies if they suspect a security or data breach has occurred.

Preparing for inspection

  1. All inspectors must have deep knowledge and understanding of:
  2. The reporting inspector will review pre-inspection information, prior to the inspection notification to the school, including information held by ISI and information available on the school's public website and in the public domain. Inspectors must not access the school's own protected portal in advance of the notification call to the school.
  3. The reporting inspector must consider the following information when planning the onsite inspection:
    • previous inspection reports
    • information about the context of the school held on ISI's portal
    • any concerns held by the DfE and recorded on the ISI inspector portal. Those concerns received since the previous inspection must be considered when planning the inspection
    • information held on Get Information About Schools including the name of the proprietor(s) and other contextual information. This information must be checked during the pre-inspection call with the headteacher
    • information about the context of the school, its aims and achievements available on the school's website or held by ISI
    • school policies and other information for parents available on the school's website including for attainment, safeguarding, behaviour, and relationships and sex education (where applicable)
    • other information in the public domain, including from the results of an internet search
    • any relevant safeguarding information shared with the reporting inspector following the routine pre-inspection phone call to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO).
  4. Where the DfE holds concerns about the school which must be considered on inspection, inspectors must avoid revealing the source of any concerns provided in confidence. However, inspectors should clarify to the headteacher which area of provision that the concern relates to. Inspectors will not investigate the specific concern. They will normally consider the potential wider issues that the concern raises. Inspectors will want to assure themselves that the issues the concern raises do not indicate that any Standards are unmet. Inspectors will triangulate evidence to reach their judgements.
  5. The reporting inspector will use the analysis of the pre-inspection information to shape the inspection. Importantly, inspectors will want to evaluate the evidence of leaders' decision making and the impact of that decision making for pupils in all areas of the ISI Framework.
  6. In the days preceding notification of the inspection, the reporting inspector will convene a virtual team meeting at a time that is suitable for all members of the team to attend. The reporting inspector will:
    • brief the inspection team sharing pre-inspection information
    • provide guidance about how to use the virtual team room on ISI’s portal and explain that all communication should be made through the virtual team room and not by email
    • provide guidance about to use and complete the inspection activity forms and evaluative summaries, which must be completed following each inspection activity
    • explain that the prompts provided in the inspection activity forms are provided for guidance and that all inspectors must be familiar with the contents of the inspection framework and the inspection handbook, The Early years foundation stage statutory framework as well as Keeping Children Safe in Education and Working together to safeguard children. The reporting inspector may wish to provide the team with additional prompts based on the specific context of the school and the inspection. These can be provided on a document uploaded to the inspectors’ section of the virtual team room.
    • share practical information including for travel
    • make clear their expectations of the team and guidance on team deployment, reminding the inspection team of the code of conduct and other essential information.
  7. Prior to the onsite inspection the reporting inspector will share with the inspection team a summary of any pre-inspection information that cannot be shared in full with the team, for example in relation to sensitive personal data

Inspection notification and deferral requests

  1. Most inspections are announced to the headteacher on the morning of the day before the onsite inspection is due to start. Notification calls are made by a member of the ISI delivery team. In the absence of the headteacher, the most senior member of staff at the school will be notified. The notification call will confirm the dates of the inspection and the name of the inspectors on the team. The school will be informed if the inspection will be quality assured onsite and/or if a shadow is to be attached to the inspection.
  2. The reporting inspector will be informed once the notification call has been completed.
  3. Following the notification call, the delivery team will email the headteacher with confirmation of the inspection including the names of the inspection team members and the links to the online parent, pupil and staff surveys. The school will be asked to distribute the links to the surveys as soon as possible following the notification call.
  4. The headteacher will be informed that the reporting inspector will contact them by telephone, usually within two hours of the notification call.
  5. Any decision to defer an inspection is taken by the DfE. If the school wishes to request deferral of the inspection the headteacher, or their delegated senior leader, must email ISI explaining the circumstances and the reasons for the request. ISI will forward the deferral request to the DfE. The DfE will decide if the inspection should go ahead. The absence of the headteacher or other senior members of staff is not usually considered grounds for a deferral to be granted. While awaiting the DfE's decision, inspection planning will continue.

The pre-inspection calls

  1. The reporting inspector's pre-inspection call to the headteacher takes place following the notification call on the day preceding the onsite inspection. It is important in establishing a positive professional relationship and sets the tone for the inspection process. When making initial contact, the reporting inspector should offer to arrange a time that is most convenient for a longer discussion. The reporting inspector will usually offer the headteacher the opportunity to have another senior leader present for the pre-inspection call.
  2. The pre-inspection call will focus first on practical arrangements and will then include a discussion to understand the aims and context of the school. The reporting inspector will also clarify the information that inspectors will find helpful to see before the start of the inspection and the information that may be made available at the start of the inspection.
  3. Reporting inspectors will provide opportunities in the pre-inspection call for the headteacher to ask any questions.
  4. The content of the pre-inspection call should include:
    • explanation that the virtual inspection team room will be the means of communication with the school and will enable the exchange of any documents as required
    • confirmation that there are no conflicts of interest with any members of the inspection team from the school’s perspective
    • confirmation of the identity of the proprietor/s of the school
    • confirmation that the pupil, staff and parent surveys are distributed
    • explanation of the pupil inspection notices and how these should be displayed in several prominent areas of the school where pupils are likely to see them
    • the details of any additional provision in the school, including any registered early years provision
    • confirmation that parents and the proprietor/s are informed of the inspection. The reporting inspector will make arrangements for a suitable time to talk to the proprietor/s (as many as can be available). This discussion may take place remotely if it is not possible for the proprietor/s to visit the school at short notice
    • details of the times of the school day and any extraordinary events that may be taking place during the course of the onsite inspection
    • agreement for a suitable time for the inspection team to be introduced to the staff of the school
    • an indicative time for the final feedback meeting. The reporting inspector will make clear that the proprietor/s are invited to the final feedback meeting
    • information about how inspectors will work with the leaders in the school, including through regular keeping-in-touch meetings with the headteacher as well as any potential activities to be undertaken jointly
    • clarification that it will typically not be possible for inspectors to observe every teacher at the school. The reporting inspector will explain that inspectors do not require staff to prepare lesson plans for inspectors but should make available any existing curricular or lesson planning documents that are routinely used by teachers
    • the opportunity for the headteacher to point out any staff sensitivities which may need to be taken into account by the inspection team
    • explanation of arrangements for pupil discussions with inspectors, and that pupils are chosen randomly by inspectors. Discussions may also take place with any relevant special interest groups at the school. In co-educational schools that include secondary-aged pupils, inspectors will have discussions with some pupils in single-sex groups
    • explanation of how pupils’ work will be reviewed including where it is held online. The reporting inspector should explain that inspectors will, wherever possible, talk to pupils in lessons about their work as well as review pupils’ work with members of staff and with pupils
    • identification of suitable times to talk to school leaders, members of staff and pupils
    • explanation that any draft timetable shared with the school is flexible and that amendments may be made in the light of emerging findings and the need to triangulate evidence
    • arrangements for the health and safety tour of the school premises
    • practical arrangements including for access to secure Wi-Fi, travel, parking, and any refreshments
    • the reporting inspector will ask the school to provide a space for inspectors to use as an inspection base, where they can hold confidential discussions and work on their laptops. The reporting inspector will keep requirements for the inspection base to the minimum required. For example, there is no requirement for the school to provide a printer or any stationery products.

Required information before the inspection begins

  1. During the pre-inspection call with the school, the reporting inspector will request that the school upload the following information to the inspection team room:
    • details of the aims, characteristics and context of the school
    • confirmation of the name of all proprietors of the school
    • teaching timetables that teachers use and have available
    • a list of staff of the school
    • details of any relevant staff absence
    • the number of pupils with special educational needs and or disabilities (SEND) and the nature of their needs and the number of pupils with a EHC plan
    • the number of pupils who may speak English as an additional language and their level of English acquisition
    • the regulatory audit tracker (if available)
  2. Other information that is likely to be required during the onsite inspection includes:
    • plans of the school premises
    • curriculum plans and schemes of work
    • the school's analysis of the progress and attainment of pupils
    • current self-evaluation and school development planning information (if available). There is no requirement for school leaders to present this information in a prescribed format
    • any reports from external evaluation of the school
    • the school's records of behaviour incidents and records of suspensions or exclusions
    • records and analysis of bullying and discriminatory behaviour
    • the school's record of complaints
    • safeguarding information including the single central register, a list of referrals to the designated person for safeguarding and to local authority or other services and records of child-on-child sexual harassment and sexual violence

Gathering the views of pupils, parents and staff

  1. Inspectors will consider the views of pupils, parents and staff. They will seek to triangulate the information they receive by considering connected inspection evidence.
  2. ISI invites pupils, parents and staff to complete confidential pre-inspection surveys online. At the time of notification, schools are asked to circulate the unique code by email wherever possible. This allows pupils, parents and staff to access the surveys for the specific inspection. The window for survey responses to be completed closes at 8:00 p.m. on the first day of the inspection.
  3. Hearing the views of pupils is an important aspect of inspection methodology and is triangulated with other inspection evidence. Inspectors will consider the views of pupils as expressed in the pupil survey responses, as well as through discussions with pupils. Inspectors will speak with pupils in lessons, around the school building and in arranged pupil discussion groups. School leaders and staff will not be invited to join inspectors’ discussions with pupils. Inspectors will be interested to hear from school leaders how pupil voice is heard and acted upon by the school. Inspectors will share the headline data from the pupil survey responses with the headteacher as well as any relevant themes emerging from the free text responses. However, inspectors will ensure that any information shared with the headteacher does not compromise the confidentiality of responses.

Reaching judgements

  1. The inspection team will meet at the end of each day of the inspection to discuss the emerging evidence and to consider connected evidence that needs to be gathered and evaluated. All members of the inspection team must take a full part in team meetings. Inspectors must discuss the evidence fully and provide professional challenge, where appropriate.
  2. The final judgements are the corporate responsibility of the inspection team. Inspectors will carefully consider the evidence and evaluate it against the Standards and guidance. Inspectors will weigh the evidence, using their professional judgement. Judgements made at the end of the inspection are subject to ISI's quality assurance processes and are provisional until the publication of the final inspection report.
  3. Inspectors' judgements must be based on their professional evaluation of the evidence and must not be influenced by the potential impact on the school, for instance when the Standards are found to be unmet.

Feedback meeting at conclusion of onsite inspection

  1. The reporting inspector and team inspectors will attend the feedback meeting at the conclusion of the onsite inspection. The reporting inspector will invite the headteacher, the proprietors and/or those responsible for governance and members of the senior leadership team to the feedback meeting.
  2. At the start of the meeting, the reporting inspector will explain:
    • that all judgements are provisional until the publication of the report and therefore should remain confidential to the school, the governors and proprietor and the school's association
    • that the exact wording of the report may differ from the oral feedback
    • the quality assurance process, including the factual accuracy stage
    • the process and indicative timelines for quality assurance and publication
    • the processes following inspections where one or more of the Standards are judged to be unmet
    • that all further communication must be to the ISI office and not to inspectors.
  3. The reporting inspector will:
    • provide clear feedback to the school, summarising the strengths and relative weaknesses of the school
    • follow the structure of the ISI Framework and explain in enough detail for leaders and the proprietors reasonably to understand how judgements have been reached
    • make clear to the school leaders the extent to which the school meets the Standards
    • make clear to the school whether there are significant strengths
    • where the Standards are met, indicate the recommended next steps (to be discussed with the Headteacher)
    • where any Standards are not met, state areas for action and may also indicate recommended next steps
    • where Standards are not met, indicate whether there are serious and/or multiple failings in the school's provision
    • invite questions or comments from school leaders and the proprietors.

Quality assurance

  1. All inspections are subject to quality assurance which includes a review of aspects of the inspection evidence and the draft inspection report. Some inspections are subject to enhanced quality assurance, this can include onsite or remote quality assurance by a monitor and/or a full or partial review of the inspection evidence.
  2. It is the responsibility of the inspection team to reach the provisional judgements at the end of the onsite inspection. Experienced inspectors are on duty to provide quality assurance support to inspectors. The reporting inspector must contact the inspector on duty if the emerging evaluation of the inspection team is that one or more of the Standards is likely to be unmet. The inspector on duty will probe the evidence and provide constructive support and challenge to the evaluation process. The inspector on duty cannot conclude that a standard is met or unmet.
  3. Following the inspection, the reporting inspector is responsible for writing the inspection report in accordance with ISI's requirements regarding quality and clarity, and submitting the inspection evidence to ISI, within four days of the end of the onsite inspection.
  4. The inspection report and inspection evidence are quality assured by an editor. The editor provides feedback to the reporting inspector along with any suggested amendments to the report. The reporting inspector is responsible for responding to the editor's comments and suggestions promptly and making any necessary amendments to the inspection report in a timely manner.
  5. If the editor has serious concerns about the quality of the inspection report, the inspection judgments or the inspection evidence, the editor will refer the matter to the Director of Inspection Quality. The Director of Inspection Quality may consider that enhanced quality assurance is necessary, which may include a review of all the inspection evidence. If concerns persist, the Director of Inspection Quality will refer the matter to the Senior Director for National Inspections who will consider appropriate next steps, which could include, a change of judgements (if supported by the evidence) or deeming the inspection incomplete.
  6. Following quality assurance of the inspection report and inspection evidence, a draft version of the inspection report is sent to the school for factual accuracy comments. The school has four working days to respond to the factual accuracy check. The reporting inspector is responsible for considering and responding to the school's comments; making amendments to the report, where appropriate or explaining why suggested amendments are not appropriate.
  7. Following the inspection, the reporting inspector provides developmental feedback for the team inspectors about the quality of their work and their conduct. The team inspectors provide feedback on the process of the inspection and the leadership of the reporting inspector.
  8. ISI invites all schools to comment about their experiences of the inspection. ISI welcomes all feedback in order to develop and improve processes.
  9. ISI has a complaints process. As outlined in the complaints policy, school leaders should raise their concerns informally during the inspection with the reporting inspector or within two term-time working days after the end of the onsite inspection by emailing complaints@isi.net.

The inspection process and indicative timeline

  1. The following indicative timeline is representative of the inspection process. Enhanced quality assurance, including as part of the complaints process, may extend the process. School holidays may also extend the process.

*Days refer to working days and do not include weekends or bank holidays.

Grid flow of information

35 days after the inspection

Where a school fails to meet one or more of the Standards

  1. The following flow chart outlines the usual process that is followed when a school fails to meet one or more of the Standards. However, the DfE may decide to deviate from this process. Please see the guidance: Independent Schools: Regulatory and Enforcement Action Policy Statement for further details of the DfE policy and processes.

Step flow of information

Evaluation and reporting

  1. Inspectors will evaluate and report on the extent to which schools are meeting the Standards.
  2. For reporting purposes, all Standards are mapped to each section of the ISI Framework. In considering the extent to which schools meet the Standards, inspectors will focus on evaluating evidence against the ISI Framework structure and will not use a checklist approach based on the individual Standards. This aligns with ISI's thematic approach to inspection.
  3. Inspectors will evaluate the evidence of leaders' decision making and the impact of that decision making in all areas of the ISI Framework. They will consider how leaders' decisions have impacted the processes and provision in schools. Inspectors will consider the impact of the school's processes and provision on the outcomes for pupils in terms of actively promoting their wellbeing (as defined in s10(2) of the Children Act 2004).
  4. Inspectors will identify and report on the relative strengths and weaknesses of the school's work and its impact on pupils in each of the sections of the ISI Framework. This will ensure that inspection reports 'tell the story' of the school.
  5. Inspectors will:
    • report whether Standards are met consistently or are unmet
    • identify and report on any significant strengths
    • where all the Standards are met, discuss and report recommended next steps
    • where Standards are not met, identify and report improvements that must be made through areas for action and may also discuss and report recommended next steps
    • report on any serious and/or multiple failings in provision.

Evaluating section one of the framework: Leadership and management, and governance

  1. Inspectors will pay due regard to Section 1 of the ISI Framework, which details the areas of provision that are relevant to this section.

Section one: sources of evidence

  1. Inspectors will consider a range of sources of evidence, including evidence of how proprietors assure themselves that leaders and managers are fulfilling their responsibilities to ensure that all of the Standards are met.
  2. Inspectors will consider the effectiveness of leadership and management at all levels.
  3. Other sources of evidence include, but are not limited to:
    • evidence from all sections of the framework that demonstrates to what extent the school is meeting the Standards
    • discussions with the proprietors to discuss:
      • how well they know the school including their involvement in the school's evaluation of its strengths and areas for development
      • how they ensure that leaders have the necessary knowledge and skills to ensure that the Standards are consistently met
      • how they assure themselves that leaders fulfil their responsibilities to meet the Standards
      • how they know that the Standards are met consistently so that the school actively promotes the wellbeing of pupils
    • Inspectors will want to be assured that the school is fulfilling its duties under schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010 including by meeting the requirement for disability access plans
    • minutes of any meetings related to governance to evaluate how well the proprietors support leaders and hold them to account
    • meetings with leaders to discuss their views of the school's strengths and weaknesses (self-evaluation) and the progress and impact of their plans for improvement
    • documentary evidence, including of any self-evaluation and improvement planning
    • discussions and documentary evidence relating to leaders' assessment and mitigation of the risks at the school in any area of provision, including but not limited to safeguarding and health and safety matters, and any contextual risks that may be relevant to the context of the school
    • discussions with pupils and staff to evaluate how well leaders have created a positive culture and how leaders address any concerns that pupils and parents may have about any negative aspects of culture that may exist
    • evidence of the complaints process in action, including through by looking at examples chosen by inspectors onsite. It is not for inspectors to judge whether the outcome of the school's complaints process is appropriate. Inspectors will look at evidence that the school has followed proper process, as outlined in Part 7 of the ISSR. Inspectors will also consider any trends in complaints made by parents that might indicate areas of concern in the school's processes or policies
    • review of the school's website and other sources of information for parents, including necessary school policies to ensure that the necessary information is provided or made available to parents as outlined in Part 6 of the ISSR
    • inspectors will seek assurance that the school rejects the use of corporal punishment
    • responses to ISI inspection surveys for pupils, staff and parents that relate to leadership and management and to any related Standards
    • discussions with leaders and staff in boarding and with boarders to consider boarding principles and practice, the management of boarding, risk assessment and management of complaints from parents and boarders.

Section one: Standards and regulations

Independent School Standards

All parts of the ISSR and specifically

Part 3

16

The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that -

16(b)

appropriate action is taken to reduce risks that are identified

16(a)

the welfare of pupils at the school is safeguarded and promoted by the drawing up and effective implementation of a written risk assessment policy; and

Part 6

32(1)

The standard about the provision of information by the school is met if the proprietor ensures that -

32(1)(a)

the information specified in sub-paragraph (2) is provided to parents of pupils and parents of prospective pupils and, on request, to the Chief Inspector, the Secretary of State or an independent inspectorate

32(1)(b)

the information specified in sub-paragraph (3) is made available to parents of pupils and parents of prospective pupils and, on request, to the Chief Inspector, the Secretary of State or an independent inspectorate

32(1)(c)

particulars of the arrangements for meeting the standard contained in paragraph 7 are published on the school’s internet website or, where no such website exists, are provided to parents on request

32(1)(d)

following an inspection under section 108 or 109 of the 2008 Act, a copy of the report of the inspection (if it has been sent to the proprietor) is published and maintained on the school's internet website, and provided to the parents of each registered pupil, by any date specified by the body who conducted the inspection

32(1)(e)

following an inspection under section 87(1) of the Children Act 1989, a copy of the report of the inspection (if it has been sent to the proprietor) is published and maintained on the school’s internet website, and provided to the parents of each boarder

32(1)(f)

an annual written report of each registered pupil’s progress and attainment in the main subject areas taught is provided to the parents of that registered pupil except that no report need be provided where the parent has agreed otherwise

32(1)(g)

any information reasonably requested in connection with an inspection under section 109 of the 2008 Act which is required for the purposes of the inspection is provided to the body conducting the inspection and that body is given access to the school’s admission and attendance registers

32(1)(h)

where a pupil wholly or partly funded by a local authority (except where funding is solely for free of charge early years provision in accordance with the duty contained in section 7 of the Childcare Act 2006) is registered at the school, an annual account of income received and expenditure incurred by the school in respect of that pupil is provided to the local authority and, on request, to the Secretary of State

32(1)(i)

where a pupil with an EHC plan wholly or partly funded by a local authority or other body through public funds is registered at the school, such information as may reasonably be required for the purpose of the annual review of the EHC plan is provided to the responsible local authority

32(1)(j)

particulars of any actions specified in sub-paragraph (4) are published and maintained on the school’s website or, where no such website exists, are provided to parents

32(2)

The information specified in this sub-paragraph is –

32(2)(a)

the school’s address and telephone number and the name of the headteacher

32(2)(b)

Either: -

32(2)(b)(i)

where the proprietor is an individual, the proprietor’s full name, address for correspondence during both term-time and holidays and a telephone number or numbers on which the proprietor may be contacted, or

32(2)(b)(ii)

where the proprietor is a body of persons, the address and telephone number of its registered or principal office

32(2)(c)

where there is a governing body, the name and address for correspondence of its Chair; and

32(2)(d)

a statement of the school’s ethos (including any religious ethos) and aims

32(3)

The information specified in this sub-paragraph is -

32(3)(a)

particulars of the school's policy on and arrangements for admissions, misbehaviour and exclusions

32(3)(b)

particulars of educational and welfare provision for pupils with EHC plans and pupils for whom English is an additional language

32(3)(c)

particulars of the policy referred to in paragraph 2

32(3)(d)

particulars of arrangements for meeting the standards contained in paragraphs 9, 10, 11 and 13

32(3)(e)

particulars of the school’s academic performance during the preceding school year, including the results of any public examinations

32(3)(f)

details of the complaints procedure referred to in paragraph 33, and the number of complaints registered under the formal procedure during the preceding school year; and

32(3)(g)

a copy of the report of any inspection carried out under sections 108 or 109 of the 2008 Act or section 87(1) of the 1989 Act

32(4)

The action specified in this sub-paragraph is -

32(4)(a)

any decision by the Secretary of State to remove the school from the register under sections 100, 105, 112, 116, 119 or 123 of the 2008 Act

32(4)(b)

any decision of the Secretary of State to impose a relevant restriction on the proprietor under section 116 of the 2008 Act

32(4)(c)

any order of a justice of the peace under section 120 of the 2008 Act to remove the school from the register

32(5)

For the purposes of sub-paragraph (4)(b), ‘relevant restriction’ has the meaning given in section 117(1) of the 2008 Act

Part 7

33

The standard about the manner in which complaints are handled is met if the proprietor ensures that a complaints procedure is drawn up and effectively implemented which deals with the handling of complaints from parents of pupils and which -

33(a)

is in writing

33(b)

is made available to parents of pupils

33(c)

sets out clear time scales for the management of a complaint

33(d)

allows for a complaint to be made and considered initially on an informal basis

33(e)

where the parent is not satisfied with the response to the complaint made in accordance with sub-paragraph (d), establishes a formal procedure for the complaint to be made in writing

33(f)

where the parent is not satisfied with the response to the complaint made in accordance with sub-paragraph (e), makes provision for a hearing before a panel appointed by or on behalf of the proprietor and consisting of at least three people who were not directly involved in the matters detailed in the complaint

33(g)

ensures that, where there is a panel hearing of a complaint, one panel member is independent of the management and running of the school

33(h)

allows for a parent to attend and be accompanied at a panel hearing if they wish

33(h)(i)

provides for the panel to make findings and recommendations and stipulates that a copy of those findings and recommendations is -

33(h)(i)(i)

provided to the complainant and, where relevant, the person complained about; and

33(h)(i)(ii)

available for inspection on the school premises by the proprietor and the headteacher

33(j)

provides for a written record to be kept of all complaints that are made in accordance with sub-paragraph (e) and -

33(j)(i)

whether they are resolved following a formal procedure, or proceed to a panel hearing; and

33(j)(ii)

action taken by the school as a result of these complaints (regardless of whether they are upheld); and

33(k)

provides that correspondence, statements and records relating to individual complaints are to be kept confidential except where the Secretary of State or a body conducting an inspection under section 108 or 109 of the 2008 Act requests access to them

Part 8

34(1)

The standard about the quality of leadership and management is met if the proprietor ensures that persons with leadership and management responsibilities at the school -

34(1)(a)

demonstrate good skills and knowledge appropriate to their role so that the independent school standards are met consistently

34(1)(b)

fulfil their responsibilities effectively so that the independent school standards are met consistently; and

34(1)(c)

actively promote the wellbeing of pupils

34(2)

For the purposes of paragraph (1)(c) ‘wellbeing’ means wellbeing within the meaning of section 10(2) of the Children Act 2004(a)

National Minimum Standards

NMS 1 (Statement of boarding principles and practice)
NMS 2 (Management of boarding)
NMS 9.3–9.5 (Risk assessment and major incident)
NMS 14 (Complaints)

Other legislation

Does the school reject the use of corporal punishment?

Does the school fulfil its duties under schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010?

Evaluating section two of the framework: Pupils' education, training and recreation

  1. Inspectors will pay due regard to Section 2 of the ISI Framework, which details the areas of provision that are relevant to this section.

Section two: sources of evidence

  1. Inspectors will consider a range of sources of evidence, including evidence of how those with governance responsibility assure themselves that leaders and managers are fulfilling their responsibilities to ensure that the Standards relating to pupils' education, training and recreation are met.
  2. Other sources of evidence include, but are not limited to:
    • discussions with leaders and documentary evidence of the school's evaluation of pupils' progress and attainment. Inspectors will evaluate the school's attainment information in public examinations for all groups of pupils. Inspectors will ask school leaders to provide their evaluation of pupils' progress in the school and consider the ambition of any benchmarks that the school uses. Inspectors will want to understand the action leaders are taking to address any underperformance of any pupils
    • discussions with leaders and documentary evidence to understand and evaluate the school's curriculum provision, including any reasonable adjustments made for pupils with a disability. Inspectors will assess whether the school is providing a programme of activities that are appropriate to pupils' needs in the areas of linguistic; mathematical; scientific; technological; aesthetic and creative; and speaking, listening, literacy and numeracy
    • discussion with leaders and staff and documentary evidence of the effectiveness of the school's approach to assessment
    • direct observations of teaching and learning across a range of subjects and year groups, including some joint lesson walks with senior leaders and focused lesson observations by inspectors.
    • Inspectors will consider:
      • how effectively lessons are planned
      • how teaching:
        • demonstrates good knowledge and understanding of the subject matter being taught with understanding of the aptitudes, needs and prior attainment of pupils, gained from regular and thorough assessment of pupils' work
        • uses effective teaching methods and activities
        • manages class time and pupils' behaviour well
        • uses a range of good quality classroom resources well
      so that all pupils:
      • acquire new knowledge,increase their understanding, and develop their skills (make good progress) in the subjects taught, and
        • are interested in their work
        • apply intellectual, physical and creative effort
        • act responsibly
        • are self-motivated, thinking and learning for themselves.
    • Inspectors will not make a judgment about individual lessons but consider the typicality of their evaluations across a range of lesson visits. Inspectors will evaluate and draw conclusions about what is typical in particular subject areas, across year groups or throughout the school
    • direct observations of recreational activities and evidence of the offer and take up of recreational activities
    • discussions with teachers including any subject leaders to explore curriculum provision and assessment processes
    • discussions with pupils in their lessons, where appropriate to consider the context of the lesson observation and to review pupils' progress in their work
    • scrutiny of pupils' work including with staff and pupils to include work that is held digitally
    • discussions with pupils about their work and their opportunities for recreation
    • discussions with staff and pupils along with documentary evidence of the opportunities for recreation, and the take-up of pupils
    • discussions with staff who oversee and teach pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), including examples chosen by inspectors onsite. Inspectors will be interested to understand how the school supports pupils with SEND and how it measures the impact of any support on the progress of pupils. Inspectors will remember that pupils with SEND can have a range of diverse needs, they cannot be viewed as a homogenous group. For this reason inspectors will consider specific examples they choose during the inspection
    • discussions with staff who oversee and teach pupils who speak English as an additional language or any other significant groups of pupils in the school. Inspectors will be interested to understand how the school measures the impact of any additional support and leaders' views of the progress of these groups
    • information from the school's website and other sources of information for parents including that which relates to the curriculum and pupils' achievement
    • responses to ISI inspection surveys for pupils, staff and parents
    • inspectors will be alert to any evidence that teaching undermines fundamental British values or discriminates against pupils contrary to Part 6 of the Equality Act 2010
    • inspectors will consider the arrangements to provide for boarders' activities and free time, taking into account the requirements of NMS 18.
  3. Triangulation of evidence for section two of the framework

Group of hexigons showing framework

Section two: Standards and regulations

Independent School Standards

Part 1

2(1)

The standard in this paragraph is met if -

2(1)(a)

the proprietor ensures that a written policy on the curriculum, supported by appropriate plans and schemes of work, which provides for the matters specified in sub-paragraph (2) is drawn up and implemented effectively; and

2(1)(b)(i)

the written policy, plans and schemes of work – take into account the ages, aptitudes and needs of all pupils, including those pupils with an EHC plan; and

2(2)

for the purposes of paragraph (2)(1)(a), the matters are –

2(2)(a)

full-time supervised education for pupils of compulsory school age (construed in accordance with section 8 of the Education Act 1996), which gives pupils experience in linguistic, mathematical, scientific, technological, human and social, physical and aesthetic and creative education

2(2)(b)

that pupils acquire speaking, listening, literacy and numeracy skills

2(2)(c)

where the principal language of instruction is a language other than English, lessons in written and spoken English, except that this matter does not apply in respect of a school which provides education for pupils who are all temporarily resident in England and which follows the curriculum of another country

2(2)(f)

where the school has pupils below compulsory school age, a programme of activities which is appropriate to their educational needs in relation to personal, social, emotional and physical development and communication and language skills

2(2)(g)

where the school has pupils above compulsory school age, a programme of activities which is appropriate to their needs

2(2)(h)

that all pupils have the opportunity to learn and make progress;

3

The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that the teaching at the school -

3(a)

enables pupils to acquire new knowledge and make good progress according to their ability so that they increase their understanding and develop their skills in the subjects taught

3(b)

fosters in pupils self-motivation, the application of intellectual, physical and creative effort, interest in their work and the ability to think and learn for themselves

3(c)

involves well-planned lessons and effective teaching methods, activities and management of class time

3(d)

shows a good understanding of the aptitudes, needs and prior attainments of the pupils, and ensures that these are taken into account in the planning of lessons

3(e)

demonstrates good knowledge and understanding of the subject matter being taught

3(f)

utilises effectively classroom resources of a good quality, quantity and range

3(g)

demonstrates that a framework is in place to assess pupils’ work regularly and thoroughly and use information from that assessment to plan teaching so that pupils can progress

3(h)

utilises effective strategies for managing behaviour and encouraging pupils to act responsibly

3(i)

does not undermine the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs

3(j)

does not discriminate against pupils contrary to Part 6 of the Equality Act 2010

4

The standard in this paragraph is met where the proprietor ensures that a framework for pupil performance to be evaluated, by reference to the school's own aims as provided to parents or national norms, or to both, is in place

National Minimum Standards

NMS 18 (Activities and free time)

Evaluating section three of the framework: Pupils’ physical and mental health and emotional wellbeing

  1. Inspectors will pay due regard to Section 3 of the ISI Framework, which details the areas of provision that are relevant to this section.

Section three: sources of evidence

  1. Inspectors will consider a range of sources of evidence, including evidence of how those with governance responsibility assure themselves that leaders and managers are fulfilling their responsibilities to ensure that the Standards relating to pupils' physical and mental and emotional wellbeing are met.
  2. Other sources of evidence include, but are not limited to:
    • discussions with leaders and documentary evidence to understand and evaluate the school's curriculum provision in physical education and personal and health education
    • discussions with pupils, including with their work where appropriate, to evaluate their experience and understanding of the curriculum in these areas
    • documentary evidence, scrutiny of pupils' work and discussions with leaders and pupils to evaluate whether the school has appropriate provision for Relationships Education and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE), including that the school has consulted parents about its policy and has trained staff so that they are confident to deliver a well-planned and assessed RSE curriculum, including to pupils with SEND
    • in lessons, in discussions with pupils and in pupils' work inspectors will look for evidence that pupils are developing confidence and self-esteem, are creative and can reflect on their experiences
    • scrutiny of the school's logs of incidents of poor behaviour and sanctions, bullying including racist, homophobic and misogynistic bullying and records of sexual harassment and sexual violence and the school's evaluation of these. Inspectors will be interested to hear how leaders have identified any trends and taken action to deal with issues
    • observations of pupils in lessons and around the school, and in boarding, to consider if appropriate supervision is in place
    • examination of any prefect systems or equivalent, including for boarders, to consider roles and responsibilities, training and impact to counter any potential abuse of positions of responsibility
    • the school's completed regulatory audit tracker (if available)
    • a tour of the premises, including for boarders and children in the early years, scrutiny of relevant policies and discussions with leaders and documentary evidence to ensure effective implementation of policy to ensure an appropriate standard of premises and accommodation3, with reference to Part 5 of the ISSR and related NMS for boarding schools and early years requirements and to ensure compliance with relevant health and safety legislation and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and that safe evacuation systems are in place
    • scrutiny of the school's admission and attendance registers
    • evidence of appropriate first aid training and administration, including for boarders
    • observation of mealtimes, including for boarders
    • discussions with boarding staff, leaders and borders to consider compliance with other NMS for boarding schools requirements that relate to this section including for:
      • induction travel arrangements at the beginning and end of terms
      • contact with parents and use of electronic communication methods
      • avoidance of favouritism and supervision
      • procedures for storing possessions
      • regular laundry provision
      • systems for boarders to share views and raise concerns
    • responses to ISI inspection surveys for pupils, staff and parents
    • Inspectors will want to be assured that the school is fulfilling its duties under schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010 by meeting the requirement for disability access plans

Section three: Standards and regulations

Independent School Standards

Part 1

2(1)

The standard in this paragraph is met if –

2(1)(a)

the proprietor ensures that a written policy on the curriculum, supported by appropriate plans and schemes of work, which provides for the matters specified in sub-paragraph (2) is drawn up and implemented effectively; and

2(1)(b)(i)

the written policy, plans and schemes of work – take into account the ages, aptitudes and needs of all pupils, including those pupils with an EHC plan; and

2(1)(b)(ii)

do not undermine the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs

2(2)

(d) personal, social, health and economic education which –

 

(i) reflects the school's aim and ethos; and

 

(ii) encourages respect for other people, paying particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the 2010 Act

2A(1)

The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor:

2A(1)(a)

ensures that every registered pupil who is provided with primary education at the school is provided with relationships education

2A(1)(b)

ensures that every registered pupil who is provided with secondary education at the school is provided with relationships and sex education, except in so far as the pupil is excused as mentioned in sub-paragraph (2)

2A(1)(d)

in making arrangements for the purposes of paragraphs (a), (b) or (c), has regard to any guidance under section 80A of the Education Act 2002 that applies in relation to the provision of education by maintained schools

2A(1)(e)

makes and keeps up to date a separate written statement of its policy with regard to the provision of education as required by each of paragraphs (a) and (b)

2A(1)(f)

consults parents of registered pupils at the school before making or revising a statement under sub-paragraph (e), and

2A(1)(g)

publishes a copy of the statement on a website and provides a copy of the statement free of charge to anyone who asks for one

2A(2)(2)

Arrangements made by the proprietor for the purposes of sub- paragraph (1)(b) must ensure that where a pupil’s parent requests that the pupil is wholly or partly excused from sex education provided as part of relationships and sex education, the pupil is so excused until the request is withdrawn, unless or to the extent that the headteacher considers that the pupil should not be so excused

2A(3)

Sub-paragraph (1)(a) and (c) do not apply to a pupil who is under compulsory school age

Part 2

5

The standard about the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils at the school is met if the proprietor:

5(b)

ensures that principles are actively promoted which -

5(b)(i)

enable pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence

Part 3

9

The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor promotes good behaviour amongst pupils by ensuring that -

9(a)

a written behaviour policy is drawn up that, amongst other matters, sets out the sanctions to be adopted in the event of pupils’ misbehaviour

9(b)

the policy is implemented effectively; and

9(c)

a record is kept of the sanctions imposed upon pupils for serious misbehaviour

10

The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that bullying at the school is prevented in so far as reasonably practicable, by the drawing up and implementation of an effective anti-bullying strategy

11

The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that relevant health and safety laws are complied with by the drawing up and effective implementation of a written health and safety policy

12

The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures compliance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

13

The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that first aid is administered in a timely and competent manner by the drawing up and effective implementation of a written first aid policy

14

The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that pupils are properly supervised through appropriate deployment of school staff

15

The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that an admission and attendance register is maintained in accordance with the Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006

Part 5

22

The standards about the premises of and accommodation at the school are those contained in this Part

23(1)

Subject to sub-paragraph (2), the standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that –

23(1)(a)

suitable toilet and washing facilities are provided for the sole use of pupils

23(1)(b)

separate toilet facilities for boys and girls aged 8 years or over are provided except where the toilet facility is provided in a room that can be secured from the inside and that is intended for use by one pupil at a time; and

23(1)(c)

suitable changing accommodation and showers are provided for pupils aged 11 years or over at the start of the school year who receive physical education

23(2)

Where separate facilities are provided under sub-paragraph (1)(a) for pupils who are disabled, they may also be used by other pupils, staff, supply staff, volunteers and visitors, whether or not they are disabled

24(1)

The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that suitable accommodation is provided in order to cater for the medical and therapy needs of pupils, including –

24(1)(a)

accommodation for the medical examination and treatment of pupils

24(b)

accommodation for the short-term care of sick and injured pupils, which includes a washing facility and is near to a toilet facility; and

24(c)

where a school caters for pupils with complex needs, additional medical accommodation which caters for those needs

24(2)

The accommodation provided under sub-paragraphs (1)(a) and (b) may be used for other purposes (apart from teaching) provided it is always readily available to be used for the purposes set out in sub-paragraphs (1)(a) and (b)

24(3)

For the purposes of sub-paragraph (1)(c), a pupil has ‘complex needs’ if the pupil has profound and multiple learning difficulties in addition to other significant difficulties, such as a physical disability or sensory impairment, which require provision which is additional to or different from that generally required by children of the same age in other schools other than special schools or by children with special requirements

25

The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that the school premises and the accommodation and facilities provided therein are maintained to a standard such that, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of pupils are ensured

26

The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that the acoustic conditions and sound insulation of each room or other space are suitable, having regard to the nature of the activities which normally take place therein

27

The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that –

27(a)

the lighting in each room or other internal space is suitable, having regard to the nature of the activities which normally take place therein; and

27(b)

external lighting is provided in order to ensure that people can safely enter and leave the school premises

28(1)

The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that –

28(1)(a)

suitable drinking water facilities are provided

28(1)(b)

toilets and urinals have an adequate supply of cold water and washing facilities have an adequate supply of hot and cold water

28(1)(c)

cold water supplies that are suitable for drinking are clearly marked as such; and

28(1)(d)

the temperature of hot water at the point of use does not pose a scalding risk to users

28(2)

The facilities provided under sub-paragraph (1)(a) will be suitable only if –

28(2)(a)

they are readily accessible at all times when the premises are in use; and

28(2)(b)

they are in a separate area from the toilet facilities

29(1)

The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that suitable outdoor space is provided in order to enable –

29(1)(a)

physical education to be provided to pupils in accordance with the school curriculum; and

29(1)(b)

pupils to play outside

30

The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that, where the school provides accommodation, regard is had to Standard 4 of the National Minimum Standards for Boarding Schools or, where applicable, Standard 9 of the National Minimum Standards for Residential Special Schools

31

For the purposes of this Part –

31(a)

'physical education' includes the playing of games

31(b)

any requirement that anything provided under this Part must be ‘suitable’ means that it must be suitable for the pupils in respect of whom it is provided, having regard to their ages, numbers and sex and any special requirements they may have; and

31(c)

a pupil has 'special requirements' if the pupil has any needs arising from physical, medical, sensory, learning, emotional or behavioural difficulties which require provision which is additional to or different from that generally required by children of the same age in schools other than special schools

National Minimum Standards

NMS 4 (Boarding accommodation)
NMS 5 (Boarders' possessions)
NMS 6 (Food and drink)
NMS 7 (Boarders’ health and wellbeing)
NMS 9.1, 9.2 (Health and safety)
NMS 10 (Fire safety)
NMS 11.1 – 11.3 (Induction, travel and staff support)
NMS 12 (Contact with parents)
NMS 13 (Securing boarders' views)
NMS 15 (Behaviour)
NMS 16 (Bullying)
NMS 17 (Promoting good relationships)
NMS 20 (Staffing and supervision)
NMS 21 (Prefects)
NMS 22.3 (Guardianship promotes boarders’ wellbeing)

Other legislation

Does the school fulfil its duties under schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010?

Evaluating section four of the framework: Pupils’ social and economic wellbeing, and contribution to society

  1. Inspectors will pay due regard to Section 4 of the ISI Framework, which details the areas of provision that are relevant to this section.

Section four: sources of evidence

  1. Inspectors will consider a range of sources of evidence, including evidence of how those with governance responsibility assure themselves that leaders and managers are fulfilling their responsibilities to ensure that the Standards relating to pupils' social and economic wellbeing, and contribution to society are met.
  2. Other sources of evidence include, but are not limited to:
    • discussions with pupils to evaluate whether they have an age-appropriate understanding of the protected characteristics (age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation) and demonstrate knowledge and respect of the different groups
    • discussions with boarders and boarding staff and scrutiny of records to ensure that boarders are free from discrimination
    • in lessons, in discussions with pupils, in pupils' work and in documentary evidence, inspectors will consider evidence that pupils:
      • are interested in learning about the world around them and can reflect on their own experiences, and appreciate that others might have different views and beliefs
      • are willing to contribute to the lives of those living and working in the locality in which the school is situated, and to society more widely
      • are aware of the cultural differences that exist around them and aware of the cultural traditions that shape their lives and the lives of others - understand and respect the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
    • observations of pupils in lessons and around the school to evaluate their behaviour, their attitudes and relationships with others around them and that pupils understand the differences between right and wrong
    • discussions with leaders and scrutiny of records, and documents to evaluate how the school ensures that pupils are offered a balanced presentation of opposing views of political issues, and the promotion of partisan political views is precluded, including in available literature, extra-curricular activities or when visiting speakers or groups engage with pupils
    • discussions with pupils and leaders and scrutiny of records and documents to consider the impact of leaders' decision making regarding the school's impartial careers' guidance. While there is no preferred method for careers guidance, inspectors will be interested to hear from leaders whether they engage with the Gatsby principles4.
    • responses to ISI inspection surveys for pupils, staff and parents

Section four: Standards and regulations

Independent School Standards

Part 1

2(1)

The standard in this paragraph is met if –

2(1)(a)

the proprietor ensures that a written policy on the curriculum, supported by appropriate plans and schemes of work, which provides for the matters specified in sub-paragraph (2) is drawn up and implemented effectively; and

2(1)(b)

the written policy, plans and schemes of work –

2(1)(b)(i)

take into account the ages, aptitudes and needs of all pupils, including those pupils with an EHC plan; and

2(1)(b)(ii)

do not undermine the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs

2(2)

For the purposes of paragraph (2)(1)(a), the matters are-

2(2)(d)

personal, social, health and economic education which –

2(2)(d)(i)

reflects the school's aim and ethos; and

2(2)(d)(ii)

encourages respect for other people, paying particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the 2010 Act–

2(2)(e)

for pupils receiving secondary education, access to accurate, up-to-date careers guidance that –

2(2)(e)(i)

is presented in an impartial manner

2(2)(e)(ii)

enables them to make informed choices about a broad range of career options; and

2(2)(e)(iii)

helps to encourage them to fulfil their potential

2(2)(i)

effective preparation of pupils for the opportunities, experiences of life in British society

Part 2

5

The standard about the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils at the school is met if the proprietor –

5(a)

actively promotes the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs

5(b)

ensures that principles are actively promoted which

5(b)(ii)

enable pupils to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England

5(b)(iii)

encourage pupils to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative and understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality in which the school is situated and to society more widely

5(b)(iv)

enable pupils to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England

5(b)(v)

further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling pupils to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures

5(b)(vi)

encourage respect for other people, paying particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the 2010 Act; and

5(b)(vii)

encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic process, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England

5(c)

precludes the promotion of partisan political views in the teaching of any subject in the school; and

5(d)

takes such steps as are reasonably practicable to ensure that where political issues are brought to the attention of pupils –

5(d)(i)

while they are in attendance at the school

5(d)(ii)

while they are taking part in extra-curricular activities which are provided or organised by or on behalf of the school; or

5(d)(iii)

in the promotion at the school, including through the distribution of promotional material, of extra-curricular activities taking place at the school or elsewhere,

 

they are offered a balanced presentation of opposing views.

National Minimum Standards

NMS 3 (Inclusion, equality and diversity)

Evaluating safeguarding

Safeguarding: sources of evidence

  1. Inspectors will consider a range of sources of evidence, including evidence of how those with governance responsibility assure themselves that leaders and managers are fulfilling their responsibilities to ensure that the Standards relating to safeguarding are met.
  2. Evidence relating to safeguarding can arise across any of the four sections of the framework. Inspectors must be alert to any safeguarding issues throughout the inspection.
  3. With regard to safeguarding, inspectors will evaluate whether or not the school is meeting the requirements of the Standards, which incorporate the requirements of Keeping children safe in education, Working together to safeguard children, The Prevent duty guidance and other related guidance by considering the school's culture of safeguarding which is underpinned by:
    • effective training for those responsible for safeguarding (DSL and any deputies)
    • effective training for all adults to recognise and report safeguarding concerns
    • identification and sharing of contextual risks and mitigations
    • systems and processes that work to protect pupils and that exercise urgency in referring to appropriate agencies where there are concerns
    • persistence in gaining help to protect pupils including for early help and for those who are at risk of harm or have been harmed
    • working productively with all agencies involved in safeguarding
    • attitudes that are alert to the possibility that 'it could happen here' and 'to think the unthinkable' as well as a determination to put the needs of children first
    • clear and effective record keeping in accordance with statutory guidance.
  4. Other sources of evidence include, but are not limited to:
    • review of the safeguarding policies of the school (including for child protection and extremism) and their implementation
    • discussions with senior leaders and those responsible for safeguarding to determine the effectiveness of the implementation of appropriate safeguarding policies. Inspectors will want to understand how the school's policies ensure that all members of the school community can contribute to the effective safeguarding of pupils
    • discussions with members of staff to evaluate their understanding of how to act if they have concerns about pupils and if they have concerns about the behaviour of adults and/or other pupils
    • review of records and documentary evidence, including examples chosen by inspectors onsite, to ensure that safeguarding concerns, including for child protection, concerns about staff and any concerns linked to concerns about radicalisation are managed appropriately
    • discussions with pupils to consider their understanding of how to keep themselves safe, including online, and their understanding of how they can seek help
    • discussions with proprietors to evaluate their understanding of their responsibilities and how they ensure that schools follow the statutory guidance including Keeping Children Safe in Education
    • responses to ISI inspection surveys for pupils, staff and parents
    • discussions with boarders and boarding staff to consider compliance with NMS for boarding schools requirements related to safeguarding, independent listening, educational guardians, lodgings and host families
    • scrutiny of the single central register to check the effectiveness of the system to ensure safer recruitment checks are completed for adults, including staff, volunteers and the proprietors. Inspectors will review the single central register onsite and sample checks, focusing particularly on adults who have been recruited since the previous inspection
    • The chart explains the information required for an effective and single central register that meets the requirements
    • All checks marked 'yes' must be completed, whether or not they are recorded on the SCR. All checks marked 'yes' in bold must be recorded on the single central register (SCR).

Safeguarding: Standards and regulations

Independent School Standards

Part 3

6

The standards about the welfare, health and safety of pupils at the school are those contained in this Part

7

The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that –

7(a)

arrangements are made to safeguard and promote the welfare of pupils at the school; and

7(b)

such arrangements have regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State

8

Where section 87(1) of the Children Act 1989 applies in relation to a school the standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that –

8(a)

arrangements are made to safeguard and promote the welfare of boarders* while they are accommodated at the school

8(b)

such arrangements have regard to the National Minimum Standards for Boarding Schools or, where applicable, the National Minimum Standards for Residential Special Schools

 

*Boarder means a pupil for whom a school provides accommodation, whether or not the pupil is a pupil at that school

Part 4

17

The standards about the suitability of staff, supply staff and proprietors are contained in this part

18(1)

The standard in this paragraph relates to the suitability of persons appointed as members of staff at the school, other than the proprietor and supply staff

18(2)

The standard in this paragraph is met if –

18(2)(a)

no such person is barred from regulated activity relating to children in accordance with section 3(2) of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 where that person is or will be engaging in activity which is regulated activity within the meaning of Part 1 of Schedule 4 to that Act

18(2)(b)

no such person carries out work, or intends to carry out work, at the school in contravention of a prohibition order, an interim prohibition order, or any direction made under section 128 of the Education and Skills Act 2008 or section 142 of the Education Act 2002, or any disqualification, prohibition or restriction which takes effect as if contained in either such direction

18(2)(c)

the proprietor carries out appropriate checks to confirm in respect of each such person –

18(2)(c)(i)

the person’s identity

18(2)(c)(ii)

the person’s medical fitness

18(2)(c)(iii)

the person’s right to work in the United Kingdom; and

18(2)(c)(iv)

where appropriate, the person’s qualifications

18(2)(d)

the proprietor ensures that, where relevant to any such person, an enhanced criminal record check is made in respect of that person and an enhanced criminal record certificate is obtained before or as soon as practicable after that person's appointment

18(2)(e)

in the case of any person for whom, by reason of that person living or having lived outside the United Kingdom, obtaining such a certificate is not sufficient to establish the person’s suitability to work in a school, such further checks are made as the proprietor considers appropriate, having regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State; and

18(2)(f)

in the case of staff who care for, train, supervise or are in charge of boarders, in addition to the matters specified in paragraphs (a) to (e), the proprietor checks that Standard 19 of the National Minimum Standards for Boarding Schools or, where applicable, Standard 24 of the National Minimum Standards for Residential Special Schools, is complied with, and in the light of the information from the checks referred to in paragraphs (c) to (f) the proprietor considers that the person is suitable for the position to which the person is appointed

18(3)

The checks referred to in sub-paragraphs (2)(c) and (except where sub-paragraph (4) applies) (2)(e) must be completed before a person’s appointment

18(4)

The checks specified in sub-paragraphs (2)(d), (e) and (f) do not need to be carried out where the new member of staff ('M') has worked in –

18(4)(a)

a school or a maintained school in England in a position which brought M regularly into contact with children or young persons

18(4)(b)

a maintained school in England in a position to which M was appointed on or after 12th May 2006 and which did not bring M regularly into contact with children or young persons; or

18(4)(c)

an institution within the further education sector in England or in a 16 to 19 Academy in a position which involved the provision of education or which brought M regularly into contact with children or young persons,

 

during a period which ended not more than three months before M's appointment

19(1)

This paragraph relates to the suitability of supply staff at the school

19(2)

The standard in this paragraph is met if -

19(2)(a)

a person offered for supply by an employment business to the school only begins to work at the school if the proprietor has received –

19(2)(a)(i)

written notification from the employment business in relation to that person -

19(2)(a)(aa)

that the checks referred to in paragraph 21(3)(a)(i) to (iv), (vii) and (b) have been made to the extent relevant to that person

19(2)(a)(bb)

that, where relevant to that person, an enhanced criminal record check has been made and that it or another employment business has obtained an enhanced criminal record certificate in response to such a check; and

19(2)(a)(cc)

if the employment business has obtained such a certificate before the person is due to begin work at the school, whether it disclosed any matter or information; and

19(2)(a)(dd)

that, where that person is one for whom, by reason of that person living or having lived outside the United Kingdom, obtaining such a certificate is not sufficient to establish the person's suitability to work in a school, it or another employment business has obtained such further checks as appropriate, having regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State; and

19(2)(a)(ii)

a copy of any enhanced criminal record certificate obtained by an employment business before the person is due to begin work at the school

19(2)(b)

a person offered for supply by an employment business only begins work at the school if the proprietor considers that the person is suitable for the work for which the person is supplied

19(2)(c)

before a person offered for supply by an employment business begins work at the school the person’s identity is checked by the proprietor of the school (irrespective of any such check carried out by the employment business before the person was offered for supply)

19(2)(d)

the proprietor, in the contract or other arrangements which the proprietor makes with any employment business, requires the employment business to provide –

19(2)(d)(i)

the notification referred to in paragraph (a)(i); and

19(2)(d)(ii)

a copy of any enhanced criminal record certificate which the employment business obtains

 

in respect of any person whom the employment business supplies to the school; and

19(2)(e)

except for those persons to whom sub-paragraph (4) applies, in the case of supply staff who care for, train, supervise or are in charge of boarders, the proprietor checks that the relevant parts of Standard 19 of the National Minimum Standards for Boarding Schools or where applicable, Standard 24 of the National Minimum Standards for Residential Special Schools are complied with.
NOTE – A failure of NMS for boarding schools 19.1 or the National Minimum Standards for Residential Special Schools 24 in relation to boarding supply staff triggers a failure of this ISSR 19(2)(e) (as a minimum)

19(3)

Except in the case of a person to whom sub-paragraph (4) applies, the certificate referred to in sub-paragraph (2)(a)(i)(bb) must have been obtained not more than 3 months before the date on which the person is due to begin work at the school

19(4)

This sub-paragraph applies to a person ('P') who has worked in –

19(4)(a)

a school or a maintained school in England in a position which brought P regularly into contact with children or young persons

19(4)(b)

a maintained school in England in a position to which P was appointed on or after 12 May 2006 and which did not bring P regularly into contact with children or young persons; or

19(4)(c)

an institution within the further education sector in England or in a 16 to 19 Academy in a position which involved the provision of education or which brought P regularly into contact with children or young persons,

 

during a period which ended not more than three months before P is due to begin work at the school.

20(1)

The standard in this paragraph relates to the suitability of the proprietor of the school

20(2)

Sub-paragraph (3) relates to the suitability of the proprietor where the proprietor is an individual

20(3)

The standard in this paragraph is met if –

20(3)(a)

the individual –

20(3)(a)(i)

is not barred from regulated activity relating to children in accordance with section 3(2) of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 where that individual is or will be engaging in activity which is regulated activity within the meaning of Part 1 of Schedule 4 to that Act; and

20(3)(a)(ii)

does not carry out work, or intend to carry out work, at the school in contravention of a prohibition order, an interim prohibition order, or any direction made under section 128 of the Education and Skills Act 2008 or section 142 of the Education Act 2002 or any disqualification, prohibition or restriction which takes effect as if contained in either such direction; and

20(4)

Sub-paragraphs (5) to (8) relate to the suitability of the proprietor where the proprietor is a body of persons corporate or unincorporate

20(5)

The standard in this paragraph is met in relation to an individual who is the chair of the school if –

20(5)(a)

the individual –

20(5)(a)(i)

accordance with section 3(2) of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 where that individual is or will be engaging in activity which is regulated activity within the meaning of Part 1 of Schedule 4 to that Act; and

20(5)(a)(ii)

does not carry out work, or intend to carry out work, at the school in contravention of a prohibition order, an interim prohibition order, or any direction made under section 128 of the Education and Skills Act 2008 or section 142 of the Education Act 2002 or any disqualification, prohibition or restriction which takes effect as if contained in either such direction

20(6)

The standard in this paragraph is met in relation to an individual ('MB'), not being the Chair of the school, who is a member of a body of persons corporate or unincorporate named as the proprietor of the school in the register or in an application to enter the school in the register, if –

20(6)(a)

MB –

20(6)(a)(i)

is not barred from regulated activity relating to children in accordance with section 3(2) of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 where that individual is or will be engaging in activity which is regulated activity within the meaning of Part 1 of Schedule 4 to that Act; and

20(6)(a)(ii)

does not carry out work, or intend to carry out work, at the school in contravention of a prohibition order, an interim prohibition order, or any direction made under section 128 of the Education and Skills Act 2008 or section 142 of the Education Act 2002 or any disqualification, prohibition or restriction which takes effect as if contained in either such direction

20(6)(b)

subject to sub-paragraphs (7) to (8), the Chair of the school makes the following checks relating to MB –

20(6)(b)(i)

where relevant to the individual, an enhanced criminal record check

20(6)(b)(ii)

checks confirming MB’s identity and MB’s right to work in the United Kingdom; and

20(6)(b)(iii)

where, by reason of MB’s living or having lived outside the United Kingdom, obtaining an enhanced criminal record certificate is not sufficient to establish MB’s suitability to work in a school, such further checks as the Chair of the school considers appropriate, having regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State;

 

and, where an enhanced criminal record check is made, the Chair obtains an enhanced criminal record certificate relating to the individual

21

Single Central Register

21(1)

The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor keeps a register which shows such of the information referred to in sub- paragraphs (3) to (7) as is applicable to the school in question

21(2)

The register referred to in sub-paragraph (1) may be kept in electronic form, provided that the information so recorded is capable of being reproduced in legible form

21(3)

The information referred to in this sub-paragraph is –

21(3)(a)

in relation to each member of staff ('S') appointed on or after 1st May 2007, whether –

21(3)(a)(i)

S's identity was checked

21(3)(a)(ii)

a check was made to establish whether S is barred from regulated activity relating to children in accordance with section 3(2) of the Education and Inspections Act 2006.

21(3)(a)(iii)

a check was made to establish whether S is subject to any direction made under section 128 of the Education and Skills Act 2008 or section 142 of the Education Act 2002 or any disqualification, prohibition or restriction which takes effect as if contained in such a direction

21(3)(a)(iv)

checks were made to ensure, where appropriate, that S had the relevant qualifications

21(3)(a)(vi)

checks were made pursuant to paragraph 18(2)(d)

21(3)(a)(vii)

a check of S's right to work in the United Kingdom was made; and

21(3)(a)(viii)

checks were made pursuant to paragraph 18(2)(e) including the date on which each such check was completed or the certificate obtained; and

21(3)(b)

in relation to each member of staff ('S'), whether a check was made to establish whether S is subject to a prohibition order or an interim prohibition order, including the date on which such check was completed

21(4)

The information referred to in this sub-paragraph is, in relation to each member of staff in post on 1st August 2007 who was appointed at any time before 1st May 2007, whether each check referred to in sub-paragraph (3) was made and whether an enhanced criminal record certificate was obtained, together with the date on which any check was completed or certificate obtained

21(5)

The information referred to in this sub-paragraph is, in relation to supply staff –

21(5)(a)

whether written notification has been received from the employment business that –

21(5)(a)(i)

checks corresponding to those referred to in sub-paragraph (3)(a)(i) to (iv), (vi) and (vii) have been made to the extent relevant to any such person; and

21(5)(a)(ii)

an enhanced criminal record check has been made and that it or another employment business has obtained an enhanced criminal record certificate in response to such a check

 

together with the date the written notification that each such check was made, or certificate obtained, was received

21(5)(b)

whether a check has been made in accordance with paragraph 19(2)(e) together with the date the check was completed; and

21(5)(c)

where written notification has been received from the employment business in accordance with a contract or other arrangements referred to in paragraph 19(2)(d) that it has obtained an enhanced criminal record certificate, whether the employment business supplied a copy of the certificate to the school

21(6)

The information referred to in this sub-paragraph is, in relation to each member ('MB') of a body of persons named as the proprietor appointed on or after 1st May 2007, whether the checks referred to in paragraph 20(6)(b) were made, the date they were made and the date on which the resulting certificate was obtained

21(7)

The information referred to in this sub-paragraph is, in relation to each member of a body of persons named as the proprietor in post on 1st August 2007 who was appointed at any time before 1st May 2007 –

21(7)(a)

whether each check referred to in sub-paragraph (6) was made; and

21(7)(b)

whether an enhanced criminal record certificate was obtained, together with the date on which any check was completed or certificate obtained

National Minimum Standards

NMS 8 (Safeguarding)
NMS 11.4 – 11.6 (Independent listening, contact and advocacy)
NMS 19 (Recruitment and checks on adults)
NMS 22 (Educational guardians)
NMS 23 (Lodgings and host families)

Evaluating the early years provision

  1. Early years provision that is registered by Ofsted is evaluated and regulated in accordance with the requirements of Ofsted's Education Inspection Framework. Inspectors will use the guidance contained in Ofsted's Early years inspection handbook for Ofsted-registered provision.
  2. An evaluation of the school's provision for children from birth to five is also reported in accordance with the requirements of the early years foundation stage8:
  3. Provision for children under the age of two in a registered setting is evaluated and reported in accordance with the requirements of Ofsted's Education Inspection Framework9 and associated guidance.
  4. Where schools have early years provision (that is not registered with Ofsted), inspectors will visit the early years provision and hold discussions with leaders of this part of the school. Sufficient time must be allocated during the inspection for the following inspection activities:

    Hexagon showing inspection activities

  5. Inspectors will prioritise their evaluation of the provision for children. They will be interested to hear how leaders evaluate the progress children are making but will not expect any particular tracking data or information in any particular format.
  6. Inspectors will consider the school's work in relation to the learning and development requirements (except where schools have proof of valid exemption from these requirements) and the safeguarding and welfare requirements as stated in the statutory framework for the early years foundation stage.
  7. If an exemption from the learning and development requirements has been taken up, the school must draw up an alternative programme of activities in accordance with paragraph 2(2)(f) of the Standards and implement it effectively. Inspectors will evaluate whether the alternative programme is meeting the needs of children.
  8. Inspectors will evaluate and report on the effectiveness of the early years provision and the extent to which the early years requirements are met in the sections of the report

Boarding provision and the National Minimum Standards

  1. Leadership and management (including the school's governing body and/or proprietor where appropriate) must ensure that arrangements are made to safeguard and promote the welfare of pupils10 for whom the school provides accommodation (boarders), which meet the requirements of (as applicable) the NMS for boarding schools11.
  2. The inspection team will consider how effectively leadership and management (including the school's governing body and/or proprietor where appropriate) actively promotes the wellbeing of boarders at the school when making judgements for the whole school.

Mapping of standards to framework

The standards are mapped for reporting purposes. This mapping indicates the sections of the report where focus areas are most likely to be reported. During inspection there may be overlap between standards and areas of the framework. This aligns with our thematic approach to inspection.

The reporting of systemic areas contained in paragraphs 3 (teaching), 4 (framework for pupils’ performance) and 5 (SMSC development) may be reported under any of Sections 2, 3 or 4 of the report depending on the inspection evidence.

Inspectors will consider the relevant NMS and EYFS requirements in the various sections of the report. The mapping of the NMS and EYFS is provided as guidance.

Section 1: Leadership and management and governance

ISSR Part/Paragraph

NMS

EYFS

All parts and specifically:
Part 3, paragraph 16 risk
Part 6 all paragraphs provision of information
Part 7 all paragraphs complaints
Part 8, paragraphs 34 (1)(a),(b) and (c) and 34(2) leadership

Other legislation12

Does the school reject the use of corporal punishment?

Does the school fulfil its duties under schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010?

NMS 1 (statement of boarding principles and practice)
NMS 2 (management of boarding)
NMS 9.3–9.5 (risk assessment and major incident)
NMS 14 (complaints)

All sections and specifically:

1.19 (work force)

2.19 (EYFS profile results to LA)

3.21 (staff and medications etc.)

3.24-3.29 (qualifications, training and support)

3.34 (English language skills)

3.36 – 3.51 (ratios)

3.57 (food hygiene training)

3.65-3.73 (premises)

3.77 (risk assessment)

3.62 (provision for SEND)

3.74 (insurance)

3.84-3.85 (complaints)

3.78-3.82 (information and records)3.83 3.87- (information for parents/about the provider)

3.88-3.89 (changes that must be notified)

3.91

 

Section 2: Pupils' education, training and recreation to include pupils' outcomes

ISSR Part/Paragraph

NMS

EYFS

Part 1, paragraphs 2(1)(a) and (b), (curriculum stem)
Part 1, paragraphs 2(2)(a), (b)(c),(f),(g) and (h) curriculum
Part 1, paragraphs 3(a),(b),(c),(d),(e),(f),(g),(h),(i), (j) teaching Part 1, paragraph 4 assessment

NMS 18 (activities and free time)

1.4-1.6 (prime and specific areas of learning)

1.4-1.6 (areas of learning)

1.7-1.11 (ELGs)

1.12-1.18 (other learning and development considerations)

1.20 (curriculum guidance)

2.1-2.5 (assessment)

2.6-2.10 (two-year old check)

2.11-2.12 (baseline)

2.13-2.18 (EY profile)

3.62 (SEND provision and outcomes)

Section 3: Pupils’ physical and mental health and wellbeing

ISSR Part/Paragraph

NMS

EYFS

Part 1, 2(1)(a) and (b), (curriculum stem) Part 1, paragraphs 2A(1),(a)(b),(d),(e),(f) and (g) RSE
Part 1, paragraph 2(2)(d) personal and health only
Part 1, paragraph 2A(2) and 2(A)(3) RSE consent
Part 2, paragraphs 5(b)(i), spiritual and moral only (self)
Part 3, paragraphs 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 behaviour, bullying, H&S, fire, first aid and attendance
Part 5 all paragraphs premises and accommodation

Other legislation
Does the school fulfil its duties under schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010?

NMS 4 (boarding accommodation)
NMS 5 (boarders' possessions)
NMS 6 (food and drink) NMS 7 (boarders' health and wellbeing)
NMS 9.1, 9.2 (health and safety)
NMS 10 (fire safety)
NMS 11.1 – 11.3 (induction, travel and staff support)
NMS 12 (contact with parents)
NMS 13 (securing boarders' views)
NMS 15 (behaviour) NMS 16 (bullying)
NMS 17 (promoting good relationships)
NMS 20 (staffing and supervision)
NMS 21 (prefects)
NMS 22.3 (guardianship promotes boarders' wellbeing)

1.5-1.6 (aspects of physical development)

1.5-1.6 Personal and emotional development (understand own feelings; manage emotions; develop positive sense of self; set simple goals; confidence in own abilities; wait for what wanted; direct attention as necessary; look after own bodies (healthy eating); manage personal needs)

3.30-3.33 (PFA qualifications)

3.35 (key person)

3.52-3.55 (health/medication)

3.56-3.58 (food and drink)

3.63-3.64 (accident/injury)

3.59-3.61 (supporting and understanding  behaviour)

3.23 (premises/smoking)

3.75-3.76 (outings)

Section 4: Pupils’ social and economic wellbeing and contribution to society, to include careers education

ISSR Part/Paragraph

NMS

EYFS

Part 1, 2(1)(a) and (b), (curriculum stem)
Part 1, paragraphs 2(2)(d), social and economic only
Part 1, 2(2)(e) and (i) career and preparation for British society
Part 2, paragraphs 5(a),(b)(ii),(iii),(iv)(v),(vi),(vii) social and cultural (self and society)
Part 2, paragraphs 5(c) and (d) partisan views

NMS 3 (inclusion, equality and diversity)

Understanding the world (make sense of their physical world and community) 1.5-1.6

Social development (understand the feelings of others; how to make good friendships; social skills of cooperation and conflict resolution; appropriate behaviour in groups) 1.5-1.6

Safeguarding

ISSR Part/Paragraph

NMS

EYFS

Part 3, paragraphs 7(a)and (b) safeguarding
Part 3, paragraphs 8(a) and (b)
Part 4 all paragraphs suitability

NMS 8 (safeguarding)
NMS 11.4 – 11.6 (independent listener, contacts and advocacy)
NMS 19 (recruitment and checks on adults) NMS 22 (educational guardians)
(N.B 22.3 included in Section 3)
NMS 23 (lodgings and host families)

3.1-3.3 (safeguarding and welfare)

3.4-3.6 (safeguarding policies and procedures)

3.7-3.8 (concerns about children’s safety and welfare)

3.9-3.20 (suitable people)

3.35 (key person)

Endnotes

  1. HM Treasury's Wellbeing Guidance for Appraisal: Supplementary Green Book Guidance July 2021
  2. The protected characteristics are set out in Chapter 1 of Part 2 of the Equality Act 2010.
  3. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/health-and-safety-advice-for-schools/responsibilities-and-duties-for-schools updated April 2022
  4. https://www.gatsby.org.uk/education/focus-areas/good-career-guidance
  5. Schools are required to check the identity of supply staff on arrival. It is helpful, but not a requirement to include the date of this check on the SCR.
  6. This should be the date on which the school has seen the member of staff's DBS certificate.
  7. A prohibition from teaching check is required if a person is 'carrying out teaching work'. This is defined in The Teachers' Disciplinary (England) Regulations 2012 as follows: 3. - (1) Subject to paragraph (3), each of the following activities is teaching work for the purposes of these Regulations -
    1. planning and preparing lessons and courses for pupils;
    2. delivering lessons to pupils;
    3. assessing the development, progress and attainment of pupils; and
    4. reporting on the development, progress and attainment of pupils.
      1. In paragraph (1)(b) “delivering” includes delivering lessons through distance learning or computer aided techniques.
      2. The activities specified in paragraph (1) are not teaching work for the purposes of these Regulations if the person carrying out the activity does so (other than for the purposes of induction) subject to the direction and supervision of a qualified teacher or other person nominated by the head teacher to provide such direction and supervision.
  8. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-years-foundation-stage-framework--2
  9. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/education-inspection-framework
  10. whether or not the pupil is a pupil at the school
  11. The National Minimum Standards for boarding schools, September 2022
  12. Education Act 1998 as amended by the School Standards and Framework Act 1998