Independent school registration

Find out the requirements for the registration of independent schools.

Applies to England


Registration of independent schools: guidance for proprietors


Independent school registration

This guidance is for proprietors and prospective proprietors of independent schools in England that are not academies or free schools. It may also be of use to governors, headteachers, teachers and parents.

You must register if you’ll provide full time education for:

Apply to register an independent school

Use this application form and submission instructions to apply.

Help with registering as an independent school

Independent education and boarding team

Bishopsgate House
County Durham

Revised independent school standards

This details a revised set of independent school standards that came into effect from 5 January 2015. They relate to the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014 (‘the Independent School Standards’). Some of these standards apply to academies and free schools as well as independent schools.

Published 1 December 2013
Last updated 21 August 2019 + show all updates
  1. Independent School Registration guidance updated to reflect the current policy, including sign posting to the relevant guidance and legislation that is already published elsewhere.

  2. Updated 'Independent school registration' to clarify definition of full-time education and to emphasise that schools must not operate prior to registration.

  3. Updated the registration advice to include the 2014 regulations.

  4. Added 'Revised independent school standards' detailing changes to the independent school standards from 5 January 2015.

  5. First published.