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ISI Inspections

on Thursday, 29 June 2023.

ISI published its new framework in April 2023, explaining that it will apply to all inspections from September 2023 onwards.

The emphasis and structure of the framework and reporting now uses the statutory definition of wellbeing (as defined in the Children Act 2004) as a starting point for its approach to school evaluation.

Essentially the ISI is moving to a more outcomes-focused system. The framework contains ISI's principles and method of inspection, the approach inspectors will take and how they will evaluate and report on the quality of a school's provision.

From September 2023:

  • ISI-inspected schools will receive one type of routine inspection every three years (this will be a combined regulatory compliance (RC) and educational quality (EQ) inspection and usually last two and a half days).
  • Schools will not receive an overall judgement, instead inspectors will report on:
    • whether the relevant 'standards' (ISSR, EYFS or NMS) are 'met consistently' or 'unmet'
    • any significant strengths
    • where all the standards are met, include recommendations for further improvement
    • where standards are not met, identify improvements that must be made
    • any specific and serious and/or multiple failings in provision
  • The structure and headings in the new framework will be reflected in the new inspection reports.

Alongside the framework and handbook, ISI has produced a number of useful resources which explain the changes (including webinars and FAQs). However, the ISI will no longer be producing their Commentary on the Regulatory requirements or their Safeguarding Policy checklist and use of the SEF will no longer be mandatory.

We have not yet seen any formal response by the ISI to the MPs' cross-party inquiry into Ofsted’s school inspections or the consultation into its complaints processes following the tragic death of Ruth Perry and we will continue to monitor this for you.

For those of you with EYFS provision, you will be aware of the change in supervision ratios which will come into force from September and, with a further consultation on the subject, we can expect more change in that sphere.

For more information about inspection support, please contact John Deakin in our Independent Schools team on 07718 384 962, or complete the form below.

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