ISI report to the Department for Education on the extent to which schools meet their responsibilities to safeguard children.

This section provides information around how we inspect safeguarding and our safeguarding policy.

ISI inspects schools’ compliance with safeguarding requirements on every inspection, and reports its findings to the Department for Education. These requirements relate to both policies and to practice.

Inspectors assess the culture of each school, how pupils feel about being at school, and the views of parents and school staff.

On inspection, inspectors will discuss with school leaders how the school engages with the school’s local safeguarding partnership. Inspectors will also contact the relevant Local Authority to identify whether the school has made any referrals either to the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) or Children’s Services, and, where referrals have been made, for a view on how effectively the school manages relevant safeguarding processes.

Of the unmet standards reported by ISI to the Department for Education in 2020-21, approximately 95 per cent related to standards of welfare, health and safety.

Like all school inspectorates, we do not investigate specific safeguarding allegations or concerns. This is the remit of the police and/or the local authority.

If you have a concern relating to safeguarding, please refer to Raise a concern.

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 or a child is in immediate danger, call 999.

In this section:

Statutory guidance
Safeguarding update
Raise a concern


  • What should I do if I think a child is at risk?

  • If a child is in immediate danger, call 999. If you think a child is at risk, contact the children’s social care team at their local council...

  • How do I raise a concern?

  • If you wish to raise a concern with ISI about a school, you can email All such communications are confidential and will...

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