Independent schools overseas (sometimes called international schools) describing themselves as ‘British’ do not receive any formal approval or recognition from the British Government at the present time. Parents may be unsure about the standards and quality of education offered in comparison with standards in Britain. The Department for Education has put in place a voluntary scheme for the inspection of British schools overseas, whereby schools are inspected against a common set of standards that British schools overseas can choose to adopt.
We want parents to know how British schools around the world measure up against the standards that apply to independent schools in the United Kingdom. Inspectorates approved by the Department and monitored by the English schools' inspectorate Ofsted will be available to inspect British schools overseas. They will produce inspection reports which will be made available to parents through the Department's website. This will provide parents with better information about the quality of provision within the inspected school, and its compatibility with independent schools in the United Kingdom.
They will cover quality of the curriculum; quality of teaching and learning; the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils; their welfare, health and safety; the suitability of the proprietor and staff; the school’s premises and accommodation (including boarding); and the school's complaints procedures. An essential part of the inspection is considering the extent to which the British character of the school is evident in its ethos, curriculum, teaching, care for pupils and pupils’ achievements.
A broad and balanced curriculum and teaching that would equip pupils with the skills and qualifications to enable them to enter or re-enter the UK education system at school, college or university level as appropriate. In addition, British schools should be able to provide opportunities for a wide range of extra-curricular activities, strong welfare support and promote a general knowledge and understanding of modern British society.
To be recognised by the Department for Education, a British school overseas must have an inspection report which shows that their performance against all the standards is at least satisfactory. This reflects the standards required for continuing registration as a school in England. Schools meeting the standards will have their inspection reports published on the Department's website and will be allocated a unique reference number on the national school reference system, Edubase.
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