Your Role

What are the roles of governors and proprietors in the inspection process?

Governors and proprietors have an important role to play in the inspection process, not least because of their overarching responsibility for regulatory compliance. ISI inspectors are familiar with the many and varied forms of governance that operate in independent schools: there is no preferred or expected model. What is expected is that those with governance responsibility can demonstrate how they support the outcomes for pupils which are the focus of inspection: achievement and personal development.

Inspectors can gather evidence from a variety of documentary sources, but an interview with the chair of governors or proprietor and/or other governors is an invaluable part of the process. As with all ISI inspection documentation, the types of questions asked in such interviews can be accessed via the schools’ login to the ISI portal.

With shorter notice of inspections, we realise that it can be difficult for proprietors/governors to make themselves available, and inspectors will be as flexible as possible: conference calls or a remote interview are alternative ways of arranging this.

Where can I find out more about the inspection process?

This website is a good resource for governors and proprietors who would like to find out about inspection. Other mechanisms available for those who would like to find out more:

  • You can sign up for ISI’s regular Updates to Schools and Inspectors – please email
  • You can ask the school to share the login details to give you access to the documentation that ISI makes available to schools, including the Handbook for the Inspection of Schools, which is in four parts: Inspection Framework, Guidance on conducting regulatory inspections, Guidance on conducting focused compliance and educational quality inspections and Commentary on the regulatory requirements
  • ISI publishes all the documentation used by inspectors, including the types of questions used in interviews with different groups of people on inspection. You can use the questions for governors and proprietors as part of the school’s self-evaluation process.

In addition, further guidance on all issues relating to governance responsibilities is available to members of the Association of Governing Bodies of Independent Schools (AGBIS).