The Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) has hired James Woodhead to lead its global consultancy division, ISI Consultancy (ISIC).

Operating under the auspices of the Department for Education (DfE), the Independent Schools Inspectorate is responsible for the inspection of more than 1,200 independent schools in the UK and is also an approved independent inspectorate of British Schools Overseas (BSO). ISI provides training and advisory services through its subsidiary, ISI Consultancy, which works directly with schools and governments domestically and globally to improve standards of education through evaluation, training and professional development.

Society cast a wide net to identify candidates with the right skills mix and experience, focusing on organisations that sell products and services into the education sector, including educational publishers, examination boards and other consultancies. This broad search also tapped into the network of people working on internationalising UK education institutions. Fundamentally, the search sought to identify strong candidates who could bring a commercial skillset to ISIC and could demonstrate a track record of successful business development.

James Woodhead joins ISIC from his Senior Country Business Manager role with the British Council in Mozambique. Over the past twelve years he has held senior positions with the British Council in locations as diverse as Malaysia, Dubai, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Mozambique. He has demonstrated strong commercial acumen in these roles, expanding revenue streams and deepening customer engagement in each territory.  He has shown a particular aptitude for adapting products and services to best suit the different schools he has worked with, and this will stand him in excellent stead as he embarks on this journey to establish ISI Consultancy as a respected service provider in the global education sector.

Of his appointment, James commented:

“I am delighted to be joining Caroline and the team at ISI, and look forward to the exciting challenge of leading the strategic management, development and growth of ISIC and its products and services both in the UK and overseas.”

On working with Society, he added:

“Thanks to Conor at Society. Working with him and his supportive and professional approach throughout the recruitment process was an absolute pleasure. The additional complexity of being recruited from an overseas post was handled seamlessly and efficiently.”