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Ofsted or ISI?

Discussion in 'Independent' started by swiggsy, Jun 4, 2020.

  1. swiggsy

    swiggsy New commenter

    I'm the Head of Education of an independent Special School for girls with SEMH difficulties. We have a current Ofsted rating of Good. However I'm looking into changing to an ISI inspection after suggestions from a colleague.

    I'm interested in peoples thoughts any pro's or con's of either Inspectorate.

    My current thoughts (even though we have an Ofsted rating of Good), are that with Ofsted it can be subjective and very dependent on who the inspector is and how they perceive the standards or criteria for overall judgement. I say this having previously had conversations in differing inspections, with differing inspectors, who have had differing views on what is or isn't compliant with some standards. If we get someone from a non specialist background who doesn’t understand what we do it becomes more challenging. I’m confident we would stand our ground and are able to clearly justify what we do as a school and that we more than meet all of the standards and where we sit for an overall judgement , but it would seem more sensible to work with inspectors who start with an understanding of independent schools.

    Is this correct?
     
  2. bob1503

    bob1503 New commenter

    ISI is much more collegiate.
     
  3. CabbageWhite20

    CabbageWhite20 Occasional commenter

    ISI is funded by the schools it inspects. I have always worked in very good independent schools, all of which have been giving the highest rating in all areas by ISI inspectors. It’s not that they weren’t very good schools but...
     
    bob1503 likes this.
  4. bob1503

    bob1503 New commenter

    That's what I was trying to say without sounding too dismissive. After facing six Ofsted inspections, I found ISI incredibly light touch.
     
    ajrowing likes this.
  5. dts

    dts Occasional commenter

    All ISI inspectors have to be currently working in an ISI-inspected school with a good rating, or have very recently retired from one. It's still an inspection process, so inherently stressful, but ISI inspectors tend to be much more human and reasonable, because they're facing very similar challenges in their own settings.
     
    Skeoch likes this.
  6. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    ISI has the big advantage of being more able to share good practice. Inspectors I know see inspection of other schools as a learning process as well as assessment.
     

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