ISI inspects against the Independent School Standards and other relevant regulations, which are set by parliament.

The Standards are split into eight parts and cover all aspects of school life (see below).

The Department for Education has produced guidance to help proprietors and others understand the obligations under the standards.

ISI inspectors take this guidance into account when reporting on the extent to which the standards are being met.

The department also takes it into account when taking decisions about regulatory or enforcement action on individual schools.