Regulating independent schools

How we regulate and intervene in independent schools, and details of when we take legal action against unregistered schools.

Applies to England


Independent school standards guidance

Independent schools: regulatory and enforcement action policy statement


Information for independent schools including:

  • independent school standards
  • regulating and intervening in independent schools
  • when and why we take legal action against independent schools that are not registered

An independent school, also known as a private school:

  • is not funded by the government
  • is not a free school or academy
  • charges fees for attendance
Published 19 January 2016
Last updated 21 August 2019 + show all updates
  1. 'Prosecuting unregistered independent schools’ statement updated to reflect current policy.

  2. Updated paragraph 31 of the policy statement.

  3. 'Independent school standards guidance' updated to include minor corrections to the wording of paragraphs 2.13 and 3.17.

  4. Added 'Independent school standards guidance' and 'Independent schools regulatory and enforcement policy statement'.

  5. Added 'Unregistered independent schools and out of school settings' document.

  6. First published.