Inspection Seminar


Moreton Hall will be hosting a seminar featuring Durell Barnes, former deputy director of ISI and current compliance expert for RS Academics, on some of the inspection challenges we face as independent schools and how to neutralise them.

Also present will be Mark Taylor, immigration law specialist, to offer advice on how to cope with the rigours of assessing applications from emerging markets and protect your Tier 4 Visa sponsor license from intentionally deceitful applicants. 

  • A look at the content and drivers behind the current regulatory regime
  • A (very quick) digest of key features of the new inspection framework
  • Tips about how to go beyond compliance with an emphasis on the international dimension


Arrival: from 10.30am
Coffee will be served in the Musgrave Centre
11am: Durrell Barnes' talk
12 - 1pm: Lunch
1pm: Mark Taylor's Tier 4 Visa update
1.30pm: depart or tour of the School/ISC


Speaker Profiles


Durell Barnes

Head of Governance and Compliance

Durell Barnes joined RSAcademics in September 2016 to head up the team working on supporting governors with regard to their responsibilities in terms of compliance.

Formerly deputy director and head of communications at the Independent School Inspectorate, Durell was also ISI’s lead on quality assurance and safeguarding. He was closely involved in the development and implementation of the revised frameworks for inspection introduced successively in 2006, 2010, 2012 and 2015-6. He therefore brings an unparalleled knowledge of the sector, experience of inspection and insight into safeguarding as well as close connections with the Department for Education, Ofsted and the ISC Associations.

An Oxford graduate, also with an Oxford PGCE, Durell went on to spend twenty-one years teaching in ISC schools. During his time as a deputy head he had particular responsibility for curriculum management and development, assessment, teaching and learning, staff CPD and appraisal. Strategic planning and change management have been key elements of his work, including refocussing school aims, ethos and culture, planning for extension of a school’s age range, moving to co-education and merging with another school.

Durell was a founder member of a SCITT (school centred initial teacher training) initiative in the 1990s which was an early example of an ambitious Independent School State School Partnership and one from which he learnt much about governance. A governor of both maintained and independent schools, Durell has hands-on experience of the challenges faced by governors endeavouring to exercise their responsibilities within the time constraints of busy and highly committed individuals who can yet forge together as a powerful team.

An active Londoner, Durell enjoys the social and cultural opportunities afforded by living in the centre of the capital, but loves the country life with family and pets at week-ends. He is a passionate francophile, spending as much time as possible in Provence where he can indulge his love of good food and wine and give full rein to his avid reading habit: he is often to be found striding the countryside plugged into an audible talking book.

Mark Taylor

Executive Director

After studying Modern History at Wadham College, Oxford University – Mark started his professional career in shipping insurance initially working in the City of London but then moved to Italy for 5 years and, later, to Brazil for 4 years.

He returned to the UK and worked for a UK Member of Parliament for a number of years – working with the Home Affairs Select Committee and the Council of Europe – before setting up The Taylor Partnership in 2008.

At University Mark was a cox of rowing eights and a member of the Prisoner Cell Block H Appreciation Society (an Australian soap opera) and wrote (bad) scripts. More recently, Mark enjoys travelling, good food and wine. He has been a serving Magistrate since 2003. The Taylor Partnership was founded by Mark Taylor in 2008 through a desire to provide high quality immigration advice.

Mark has a number of years’ experience in immigration law ranging from assisting with large contracts for the Home Office to help refugees, to acting for a large number of Zimbabwean asylum seekers and working closely with both the MDC and ROHR.

Following the introduction of the Points Based System in 2009/10, The Taylor Partnership specialised in Tier 1 and Tier 4 applications. We developed a particular focus on supporting, on the one hand, educational establishments to ensure compliance with their Tier 4 licence and, on the other, to assist their students and parents in a whole array of immigration matters.

Mark Taylor has trained more than 300 school staff members in Tier 4 compliance issues and has delivered seminars at the ICEF Conference in Berlin and Dubai, the British Boarding School Workshop and the British Council. He spoke at the largest Exhibition for Investors in Beijing in 2013 and has delivered seminars to schools in Nigeria where he is a frequent visitor.


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