Any education setting which provides full-time provision to 5 or more pupils of compulsory school age (or one or more pupils of compulsory school age who is also looked after or has an education, health and care plan) is required to register with the department. The registration process involves a pre-registration inspection by Ofsted to confirm that the setting is likely to meet the independent school standards on opening.
The department is considering changes to the registration requirement for schools. The consultation on ‘Regulating independent educational institutions’, which was published on 14 February 2020 and suspended on the 7 May due to the COVID-19 outbreak, set out proposals to extend the registration requirement to full-time institutions that are not currently required to register. We intend to restart this consultation in the autumn, when appropriate. Once the consultation is completed, we will consider our next steps on the proposals.