Private schools brought into line

14th September 2001 at 01:00
A TOUGHER inspection regime for private schools, updating the present 50-year-old system for monitoring them, has been launched by the Government.

The Department for Education and Skills has begun a consultation on the future of a sector which accounts for 2,200 schools and serves 7 per cent of pupils. It proposes "a light touch for those schools where standards are high, but quick and effective penalties in those rare cases where children are placed at risk".

It suggests tightening the inspection regime and making sure children who live away from their families are safeguarded.

The Independent Schools Council (ISC) welcomed the review. "It is high time (the standards) were brought up to date."

Member schools of the ISC are now inspected every six years by the Independent Schools Inspectorate. The 1,000 non-members are registered by OFSTEDand monitored every five years.

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