Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI)
The Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) is the body responsible for the inspection of schools in membership of the Associations that make up the Independent Schools Council. Like OFSTED, ISI aims to achieve excellence in attainment and safeguarding for pupils. Standardised reports on all independent schools are produced by ISI every three years. Reporting is with reference to contributory factors such as the curriculum, teaching and pastoral care.
The reports provide parents, teachers and educational organisations with standards to follow, impartial advice and a consistent and objective schema through which to measure and interpret a school’s performance. Inspections are performed with either two days’ notice, or occasionally with no notice. For this reason, the information that they provide is an accurate and representative insight into how the school in question currently operates.
The current types of inspections are the Regulatory Compliance Inspection and the Educational Quality Inspection. Each inspection takes place over a two day period and uses information drawn directly from pupil feedback, consultation with teachers and the board of governors and anyone else perceived as relevant as well as onsite observations.
Regulatory Compliance Inspections consist of a brief overview of the school’s pupils broken down according to class size, gender and age range and an outline of the school’s mission statement. Schools are expected to meet every requirement which form a set of minimum standards by which to understand a school’s performance. Each category of assessment is deemed either Met or Not Met.
ISI conducted a Regulatory Compliance Inspection of Bishopstrow College in September 2018. The College was compliant, with all minimum standards being Met.
We are delighted to announce the results of the British Council’s latest inspection of Bishopstrow under the Accreditation UK Scheme. Under the Scheme, accredited centres are inspected every four years. These external inspections assure that an accredited centre meets or exceeds the agreed quality standards in management, resources and environment, teaching, welfare and care of under 18s. We are thrilled to report that Bishopstrow achieved 13 Areas of Strength (out of a potential 15). This achievement, which represents an improvement on the College’s last British Council inspection in 2012, means that the College is ranked fourth out of c.700 English Language Schools, Boarding Schools and International Study Centres that are accredited by the British Council under the Accreditation UK scheme. The College is also the highest ranking ISC under the Scheme.
Accreditation UK is a quality assurance scheme for schools, colleges, and universities which offer courses in English as a Foreign Language (EFL). Bishopstrow College is accredited by the British Council under this Scheme, for the teaching of English in the UK. The Scheme gives an assurance of quality to international students who are taking or are planning to take an English language course in the UK.
OFSTED inspects (boarding schools) broadly on a 3 year cycle, and has recently started a new cycle of inspections having launched a new framework. OFSTED conducted a full inspection of Bishopstrow College over a three day period, from September 30 to October 2, 2015. The College was awarded a ‘Good’ rating for overall effectiveness and Good ratings across all other categories. In its report, a copy of which can be accessed using the link below, OFSTED highlighted the significant progress made by the College in all areas since the last inspection (in 2013).
OFSTED also made reference to the College’s good teaching, which successfully engages students who arrive at the College with little English. The College’s approach to pastoral care and calm and nurturing environment for students were also highlighted. The College was also visited by OFSTED in early 2015 following the change of ownership, and a Material Change inspection was also conducted in July 2015, with no concerns identified. No reports were published in relation to these earlier visits.