Online Schools Accreditation Scheme

Closed 8 Nov 2019

Opened 5 Sep 2019


We are seeking views on a proposal to establish a voluntary accreditation scheme for online schools.

Why We Are Consulting

There is a growing market of online school providers for children in England, that offer a full curriculum and/or represent a child’s main source of formal education.

As this type of provision is currently unregulated, the Department for Education is looking at how children, parents and local authorities can be assured of a quality education and appropriate safeguarding arrangements.

To address this issue, this consultation makes two key proposals: 

  • The establishment of a voluntary online schools accreditation scheme
  • The establishment of non-statutory standards for online schools 

We are also consulting on inspection arrangements for online settings wishing to join the accreditation scheme.


  • Teachers
  • Headteachers
  • Local authorities
  • Virtual school heads
  • Parents
  • Foster carers
  • Adoptive parents
  • Those evaluating programmes for children in need
  • Social workers
  • Directors of children's services


  • Education
  • Health and wellbeing (Looked after children)
  • Programmes and initiatives (Looked after children)
  • Social care standards and guidance
  • Support in education
  • Keeping children safe in education and other settings
  • Preventing neglect, abuse and exploitation
  • Safeguarding disabled children
  • Alternative provision