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Overview

If you run an independent school it must be registered with the Department of Education (DE).

A registration will be provisional until the school has been inspected on behalf of DE.

Conditions

You may be served with a notice of complaint if the DE believe that your school is objectionable on one of the following grounds:

  • the premises or parts of it are unsuitable for use as a school
  • the accommodation provided is unsuitable given the number, sex and ages of the pupils
  • you have failed to comply with pupil welfare requirements for a child accommodated at your school
  • suitable and efficient teaching is not being provided taking into account the age, sex and abilities of the pupils
  • you or any teacher are not a fit and proper person to be a proprietor or teacher

The notice will give full details of any failure and give steps to be taken to remedy the failure, together with a time period of when these steps must be taken.

You can appeal against a notice of complaint to the Independent Schools Tribunal.

Fines and penalties

Your school will not be registered if:

  • you have been disqualified from being an independent school proprietor
  • your premises are disqualified from being a school
  • your premises are being used for an activity they are disqualified from being used for

If you operate an independent school that is not registered or do anything intended to make it appear that your school is provisionally or fully registered you may commit an offence and be fined up to £2,500, imprisoned for up to three months or both.

If you use premises as a school when you have been disqualified from doing so you may commit an offence and be fined up to £2,500, imprisoned for up to three months or both.

You must keep a register of all pupils that attend your school. If you fail to keep such a register you may commit an offence and be fined up to £200.