The value of compliance support to independent schools

Tuesday 15 August 2017

The Toolkit helps independent schools with their ISI compliance inspections and has been verified and validated by ISI inspectors. It helps bursars identify areas of non-compliance and improvement, but also provides the key inputs to develop an action plan to remedy any oversights.

Where did the idea come from? Some background:

When I was a governor (2002-2006), I didn't have any comprehension of the breadth of my responsibilities (and I was vice-chair!).

But when I was editing the third edition of the Independent School Governor's Handbook in 2014, it struck me how much the role of governor has changed, with many more burdens. So I spent much of 2015 visiting lots of governance experts and found that no one could help provide the full scope of what it means to be a forward-thinking governor of an independent school. There was lots of overlap in the advice, but lots of omissions from each. As a result, I didn't feel confident that I would be able to produce a product that guided governors and their schools towards becoming compliant as I couldn't be certain that some element had been forgotten. 

I then spoke to a reporting inspector for ISI who told me that my idea would really helpful for inspectors too: they could examine key areas far more efficiently, before even visiting the school. That then led to a strategic partnership with ISI Consultancy to provide modules for a compliance-based inspection. But I was keen for schools to go beyond that: to aim for best practice too.

So, the Toolkit has two purposes: to help schools not just prepare for an inspection with the questions that inspectors will ask (and handy hints to help your school become compliant) but also so that governors can see first hand the range of their responsibilities which, in turn, will help them to be better governors. The latter aspect is boosted by additional modules on the Toolkit for best practice: so, not obligatory but to help governing bodies and the schools they serve to be the best they can be.

There is a free 14-day trial, but if any bursar would like to see the full Toolkit demonstrated, I'd be happy to visit your school to show you: The video on the home page gives a brief demo of how easy it is to use.