ISI have published their new inspection framework and handbook for inspection from September 2023. The documents remain in draft form during the summer term as ISI conclude their pilot programme. The biggest change is that there is now only one type of routine inspection, and each school should typically be inspected routinely once every three years. Both the framework and the handbook can be found on isi.net
Here Luke Ramsden, Inspector & Deputy Head at St Benedict’s School shares his views on the new framework and its methodology for 2023.
Concerns over Inspection Methodology
With recent concerns raised about school inspection in the media there are a number of elements of the proposed ISI inspection framework that seem particularly welcome. Most obvious is the change in reporting structure so that it is divided into a larger number of different sections rather than the current two judgements on academic achievement and personal development. Diluting the significance of the final judgement on the school among four or five different criteria will, hopefully, allow inspectors to give a more nuanced judgement on a school and also reassure schools that good work in a number of areas won’t be totally undone by two words summarising an entire school’s progress over years.
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The Workload of ISI Inspections
In addition there are a number of very sensible thoughts on how ISI can reduce the workload on schools for inspection, from emphasising that school timetables should not be changed for the benefit of inspectors through to a suggestion that inspectors should not request hard copies of documentation that is available digitally.
With respect to ensuring that inspections are, as much as possible, an accurate view of the life of the school the idea of collaboration between inspectors and school leaders seems very positive. For instance, observing lessons or conducting work scrutinies jointly could help to ensure the transparency of the inspection process for school leaders while also helping inspectors to understand the context of what they are seeing.
Conference: The New ISI Inspection Framework 2023
Luke Ramsden will be joining other inspectors to speak at our National conference on the new ISI inspection framework, held in central London on Friday 22nd September 2023.