The Role of the ISI

ISI stands for the Independent Schools Inspectorate and this information should help parents understand the work being done to improve the standard of education throught England.

ISI reports to the Department for Education on the extent to which schools meet statutory requirements. Inspection is for the benefit of the pupils and is intended to help schools recognise and build on their strengths and remedy any weaknesses. Reports are available on the web giving additional information.


Parents can help ensure that the inspection is based on first-hand evidence by completing a confidential pre-inspection questionnaire. Responses are confidential to ISI inspectors and not shared with the school. As soon as schools have been informed of their inspection, they will send parents and pupils the link to the questionnaire and let them know the timeframe for completion. It is understood that it can be difficult to find time for this at short notice, but these questionnaires are a valuable and important part of the process and all parents and pupils are encouraged to participate.

The questionnaires can be used to make known to the inspectors any information you think is important. They are anonymous, so inspectors cannot identify parents or pupils from responses. Individual comments are not shared with the school and remain strictly confidential.

You may complete any or all of the questions (you do not have to answer questions about which you have nothing to say). Inspectors will share with the head the statistical results of the survey: that is the percentages of parents responding positively or otherwise to each question. They will use the responses to help plan the inspection and to report on what they find.

Ahead of the inspection, you can also contact the ISI office confidentially, either by email at or by telephone on 020 7600 0100. During the inspection you can contact the Reporting Inspector directly by email, using in the first instance.


The findings of the inspection are presented in an inspection report. The report will usually be issued to the school four working (termite) weeks after the week of the inspection.

The school then has a further two working weeks in which to provide a copy to the parents of current pupils, and the report will be made available on the ISI website.

Anyone else who would like a copy of the report can request this directly from the school.

Additional information regarding supporting pupils and concerns about a school can be found by visiting