Concerns about a School
If you have serious concerns about a child’s safety or wellbeing you should contact your local children’s services team and/or the Designated Safeguarding Lead at the school. If you believe that a crime may have been committed, please contact the police.
Confidentiality and data protection
All such communications are confidential and never divulged to the school. Please see our privacy notice in relation to how your personal data will be processed.
What does ISI do about concerns?
All concerns are taken seriously. ISI cannot investigate an individual concern, but as a minimum, all concerns will be logged and shared with the Reporting Inspector before the next inspection of the school. Where the concern suggests that a school is not meeting a regulatory requirement, it will also be referred to the Department for Education (DfE).
Where the concern relates to matters not in ISI’s remit (such as data protection issues, or disputes about admissions or school fees) we will do our best to signpost you to the correct organisation or person.
If possible, we would always encourage you to raise your concerns with your parents or your school.
If you have a concern about your school at the time of its inspection, please make sure that you mention it in the confidential pre-inspection questionnaire.
During an inspection you are very welcome to approach a member of the inspection team to discuss any concerns. There should be posters up in your school during the inspection explaining where and when to find the inspectors for a discussion.
If you have a concern about your school at any other time we encourage you to raise it with your parents or your school. All schools should have arrangements to listen to the concerns of pupils. There is usually information about this on your school’s website – for example in the school’s anti-bullying and safeguarding policies.
If you are worried and do not feel able to discuss it with your parents or an adult whom you trust at the school, or if you want ISI to know about your concern, you can contact ISI by email or phone using the details above. You can also send a text message to 07936 900090 if you prefer.
Parents should be aware that ISI is unable to become directly involved in investigating or resolving individual complaints or disputes, or in any contractual matters.
Parents are encouraged to raise their concerns directly with the school, if necessary using:
- the school’s formal complaints procedure, or
- the school’s anti-bullying policy
- the school’s safeguarding policy.
The safeguarding policy must be on the school website. It will set out processes for responding to safeguarding concerns of all varieties and give key contact details including for the relevant local authority.
If you wish you may copy firstname.lastname@example.org on correspondence. If your concerns are not resolved via the channels mentioned above you may inform ISI.
As described above, ISI will log concerns for future inspections and will also refer concerns to the DfE. The DfE will decide and notify ISI of any action required. This may involve, for example, checking policy implementation, bringing forward an inspection or undertaking a no-notice inspection.
Follow the links for more information about
- standards independent schools are required to meet
- additional standards for boarding schools
- requirements for early years settings
- processes schools must have in place to safeguard children
- processes to support agencies to work together to safeguard children
More government advice and guidance is available on the DfE website.