Registration of Independent schools

All parents want to be sure they choose the right sort of school for their child. It is therefore very important that if you choose an independent school you check whether it is required to be registered with the DFE.

Anyone who conducts an independent school which is not a registered school is breaking the law and may be liable to prosecution. The DFE consider an establishment to be providing full-time education if it is providing education which is intended to provide all, or substantially all, of a child’s education.

It is unlikely that a school operating for fewer than 18 hours per week will be able to meet the standards and register as an independent school. Those schools offering teaching of around 20 hours per week or more will be providing full-time education and may therefore need to register.

If an establishment falls outside the definition of an independent school given above, for example it provides full-time instruction for 4 or fewer pupils of compulsory school age (none of whom have a statement of special needs, or an EHC Plan*, or are looked after by a local authority) or part-time instruction to any number of pupils of compulsory school age during school hours, you should get in touch with us.

We will need to satisfy that the children of compulsory school age who are attending the establishment are receiving suitable education otherwise than at a school. This means that the children are receiving an efficient full-time education suitable to their age, ability and aptitude and to any special educational needs that they may have.

*This is an education, health and care plan, within the meaning of section 37(2) of the Children and Families Act 2014.