Mock Inspection for Independent Schools

Mock inspections

The whole mock inspection process was professional, well delivered and extremely valuable to us. It validated where we are and provided concrete next steps forward. Myself and the senior team gained a lot from it in terms of development.

Ash Arya, Assistant Head, Teaching & Learning, Seaford College

Mock Inspection : Supporting your journey to Excellent

Taking part in a mock inspection is the perfect way to understand how your processes and teams will react and ‘hold up’ during an Inspection, giving you the time to make any necessary adjustments within your organisation based on an honest, critical evaluation of your processes and practices.

We provide schools with an inspection service delivered by quality-assured and respected inspectors with high levels of credibility and relevant experience. We have teams of specialists supporting the following inspection frameworks:

ISI Compliance and Educational Quality

Ofsted for Non-Association Independent Schools

BSO Standards & Educational Quality

Supporting Accreditation

We can also support international schools undergoing to accreditation process with the following organisations:

CIS International Accreditation  

COBIS Accreditation

Unrivalled Leadership Experience in Independent Schools

All our inspection teams are led by an experienced Reporting Inspector (RI). The collective depth and breadth of experience of our inspection team is unrivalled. All of our RI’s are former independent school Headteachers in HMC , GSA , GDST or IAPS schools, many have worked at Executive level in Independent School groups. All members of the team have all held significant senior leadership positions in schools belonging to HMC, GSA, BSA, IAPS and CISC – most are also former Headteachers.

Amongst our inspection team are:

The RI will be your first point of contact once you have decided to take advantage of our ‘mock inspection’ service. Although they are referred to ask ‘mocks’ they are designed with school improvement in mind and our teams will offer a mixture of training, coaching and mentoring throughout the process.

The inspection will encourage both reactive and proactive improvement in the quality of education provided by school

The inspection will help to standardise teaching, enable benchmarking and comparison in improving the quality of teaching and learning.

Pre Inspection Training

Our pre inspection training helps you when preparing for inspection. We will provide a comprehensive analysis and evaluation of the effectiveness of your service, focusing on quality of education, safeguarding arrangements, leadership and management in particular.
Furthermore, we will develop an action plan with clear strategies for improvement prior to the mock inspection date.

‘We were really pleased to welcome JMC to lead some INSET training at St Hilda’s ahead of our ISI EQ Inspection, which really inspired staff in their daily practice to reflect, amend and refine’.

‘Pupils’ attitudes to learning are outstanding.’ ISI EQI report, October 2019

Dan Sayers, Headmaster, St Hilda’s School

Pre Inspection Audit

Prior to the inspection our team will review your school website, including an agreed list of named policies appropriate to the scope of the inspection, as well as other relevant documentation specified by your Reporting Inspector ( RI).

Mock Pre-Inspection Phone call between the Head & the Reporting Inspector

If required we can arrange a ‘mock phone call’ between our Reporting Inspector and the Head of the school. In the ISI Inspections Head teachers are expected to hold a substantive discussion with the lead inspector lasting from 45- 90 minutes. This is more than an administrative discussion; it will set the tone and inspection trails for the whole inspection. This discussion is a valuable exercise helping the Head prepare for the call as well as using it as a coaching opportunity to learn from our RI.

Mock Inspection Visit

Our inspection teams conduct the mock inspections over 2-3 days depending on the size of the school.

The mock inspection can take many forms and these are some areas for which you may be interested for your school:

Quality of Education

Our inspection team will use the relevant inspection framework to evaluate the main outcomes for pupils – achievement and personal development.  The team would visit lessons, discuss the lesson plans and overall schemes of work with Department Heads and the Academic Deputy Head and then meet with a variety of pupils to discuss their views on teaching and delivery.

Boarding Welfare Audit

If you are a boarding school you may consider a need for an inspection of your Minimum Standards for Boarding Schools which will require a specialist Boarding Team Inspector.  The EQI focuses on the key areas of achievement and personal development and include evaluation of the impact of boarding on both areas. An audit would include a visit to your boarding houses, meeting your house staff and Pastoral/Boarding Lead and discussing boarding with your Head.  The team would also meet with a group of boarding pupils to discover their views of boarding within your school.

Early Years Provision Audit

If you have a EYFS provision we can organise a specialist team which will include an Early Years Team Inspector to evaluate this area of your school to ensure that it fulfils the requirements for the framework (published by the Dept for Education).

British Overseas Schools Inspection

Inspection of British Overseas schools requires specialist Overseas Team Inspectors. The value of a mock BSO inspection lies in the rigour of the inspection process that gives recognition to a school and highlights both its strengths and weaknesses in relation to clearly defined UK standards and expectations. BSO schools are inspected against the BSO standards and for BSO Education Quality which follow a similar framework and guidance to those used for independent school inspection in England.

“Showed sensitivity and strong cultural understanding. The high level policy advice which was well researched, clear and detailed really helped us.”

Chris Sammons, Principal, English School’s Foundation West Island School, Hong Kong

Use of Evidence

The team’s judgements on the education quality criteria are based as far as possible on first-hand evidence and include the following activities:

  • Observation of lessons and scrutiny of samples of students’ work
  • Consultation with students
  • Discussion with the proprietor or representative(s) of the school
  • Analysis of evidence provided by students and staff
  • Analysis of documentary evidence, including performance indicators and self-evaluation
  • Consideration of any significant changes or overt progress over recent years.

Mock Inspection Report

You will receive both verbal feedback and a written report which can be presented to the School Governors or Proprietors.

The ExSEF: Our Enhanced package includes a review of your SEF (an External SEF) with recommendations related to the inspector’s findings, compiled after the visit.

I am buzzing with ideas, clear, concise and helpful

Hannah Pomroy, Deputy Head, Ampleforth College

How much will it cost?

We pay particular attention to team composition ensuring that our staff are suitable given the size and character of the school.

The cost depends on 4 factors:
1. Size of the Inspection Team
2. Number of days
3. Scope of the inspection
4. Nature of the school: E.g. Size, age range, number of sites, provision of Boarding

I would like to say a huge thank you for this ( inspection) training. It has been inspirational and thought-provoking

Steve Jeffery, Headteacher, Our Lady of Sion School

For a quote or to learn more about our mock inspections, then don’t hesitate to get in touch using our enquires form

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