The new ISI Inspection Framework is now in effect, known as Framework 23 (F23), there is a strong emphasis on promoting pupil wellbeing and some significant changes to inspection methodology. 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 

Schools will be expected to demonstrate that they have reviewed and considered their provision for pupil wellbeing. You will also be expected to place a strong emphasis on pupil voice, developing a culture where pupils are able to share their views, wishes and feelings.

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 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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JMC Inspection Team

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.

Collaborative methodology

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.

Next steps for independent school leaders

Attend our upcoming conference: The F23 ISI Inspection Framework

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 1st March 2024.

Book F23 ISI Inspection Training & Mentoring for your Key Staff

This full day programme with one of our Senior Inspection Associates is the perfect way to get your leadership & compliance teams up to date with the changes to the framework and a clear understanding of their individual responsibilities during an inspection. The sessions are a mixture of training and mentoring and are tailored to the needs to your team. Find out more here

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