Benefits of ISI Inspection

What are the benefits of ISI inspection for independent schools?

ISI applies criteria for judging school quality that are specifically suited to the different types of schools it inspects.

In particular, ISI findings on pupils’ achievements are designed to reflect the high levels of performance typically found in schools in membership of the Associations of the Independent Schools Council, while ISI reports also make clear how pupils’ test and examination results compare with national benchmarks.

ISI inspection teams include serving heads from other Association schools, which means that judgements reflect expectations in these schools as well as those found in schools nationally. The other team inspectors will usually be serving senior members of staff from schools in ISC Associations who have received training and bring to the inspection current experience of working in independent schools. Their deployment also allows their own schools to benefit from this experience and from the training they undergo.

The distinctive features of ISI inspections of independent schools include:

  • Detailed and reliable inspection of regulatory matters
  • Teams led by professional inspectors supported by peer review
  • Sector specific grade descriptors
  • Objective, externally standardised benchmarks
  • Judgement of a school against its aims and ethos and consideration of the school’s own self-evaluation
  • Continued emphasis on confidential feedback from pupils and parents in advance of each inspection


See Different Types of Inspection for more information.