How are private schools inspected?

Duncombe School

Ofsted is an independent body who inspect and report of the standards being achieved in state schools, however private and independent schools do not fall under their remit. So a natural question for parents who are looking to make a secondary or primary school application would be, ‘who inspects private schools?’.


Who inspects private schools?

There are two main organisations that inspect the schools and publish their reports.


Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI)

The Independent Schools Inspectorate are a government approved independent inspectorate for independent schools, quality assured on behalf of the Department for Education. This remit extends to independent schools which are full members of the associations which form the Independent Schools Council ( association independent schools).


Independent Schools Council (ISC)

The Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) is the agency responsible for the inspection of schools whose Heads are, members of one of ISC’s member associations in England. ISI is a Government approved inspectorate and the quality of its service is monitored by Ofsted on behalf of the DfE. Inspection is for the benefit of pupils and seeks to improve the quality and effectiveness of their education and welfare.


How often are schools inspected?

Under both agencies, schools are inspected at an interval of three to six years.


What are the criteria used to inspect a school?

The ISI provides a full account of a school’s provision, including qualitative judgements on pupils’ achievements, the curriculum, teaching, pupils’ personal development, pastoral care, welfare, health and safety, governance, leadership and management. Unlike Ofsted, ISI does not make a single overarching judgement on a school but instead make a clear judgement on each aspect of its provision using one of four grades: excellent, good, sound and unsatisfactory.

The ISI inspects and monitors the educational, boarding care and early years provision of association independent schools against standards set by the government and publishing reliable objective reports and evaluating the educational provision of association schools against the ISI inspection framework.


Where can I find the reports?

Both the ISI and the ISC publish the inspection results for schools on their websites. Most schools will also publish their latest inspection results on their website.


Duncombe school reports

Here at Duncombe School, we were inspected by the ISC in February 2018, we are very proud of the outcome of the inspection and continue to work on providing a happy, safe and nurturing environment for all of our students. You can learn more about our inspection reports here.


If you are looking for a highly rated private Primary or Nursery school we would love for you to come and pay us a visit so you can learn more about our high standards and happy students, you can visit us at an open day or request more information from prospectus here.

01992 414100