Ofsted issues warning notices to 31 unregistered schools

By Neil Puffett

| 13 July 2017

Ofsted has issued a total of 31 warning notices to unregistered schools since establishing a special taskforce 18 months ago, it has emerged.

Ofsted established a taskforce to identify illegal out-of-school settings in January 2016. Picture: Phil Adams

The inspectorate's annual report for 2016/17 reveals that between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017, the taskforce inspected 92 suspected unregistered settings, issuing warning notices to 31 of these and reporting them to the Department for Education.

Ofsted said that, as a result, 22 of the settings have closed or altered their operations to ensure that they are complying with the law. 

The taskforce, which consists of six Ofsted inspectors supported by a prosecutor seconded from the Crown Prosecution Service, was established in January 2016 to identify, investigate, inspect and disrupt settings found to be operating illegally.

The government has said it wants to crack down on unregistered schools. However, it is yet to respond to the findings of a consultation on plans for out-of-school education settings to be registered and inspected, which launched in November 2015.

At the time, then Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw called on the DfE to take urgent action to protect children by cracking down on unregistered schools, claiming that "not enough is being done".

And in May 2016 year he warned that more children than previously thought are at risk of "harm and indoctrination".

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