It is a criminal offence to operate an unregistered independent school. The Department for Education has recently published policy setting out our approach to prosecution which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulating-independent-schools.
We have also agreed additional resources for Ofsted to pursue cases.
The responsibility for ensuring that a child of compulsory school age receives a suitable full-time education rests with the child’s parents, either by the child’s attendance at a registered school or otherwise. ‘Otherwise’ can include education at home or attendance at settings which are not schools. If the local authority is not satisfied that a child is receiving suitable education, it has a duty to make a school attendance order.
Local authorities’ safeguarding duties apply wherever children are educated, whether in registered schools or elsewhere.
The Department also recently completed a call for evidence on proposals for the registration and inspection of out-of-school settings providing intensive education which were announced in the Counter-Extremism Strategy. Over 3,000 people completed the response form, either online or manually. The Department received a significant number of further representations to the consultation by email and post. All responses and representations are being logged, analysed and verified.
In line with Cabinet Office guidance, we will be publishing a response to the consultation in due course.