Standards for boarding schools and residential special schools

Closed 23 Feb 2021

Opened 2 Dec 2020


The Department for Education is consulting on revised standards for boarding schools and residential special schools in England. These standards are proposed to be published under section 87C of the Children Act 1989 as statements of national minimum standards, and will replace the current national minimum standards which were published in 2015.

Why your views matter

All boarding schools and residential special schools in England must meet the relevant set of national minimum standards. Those standards have been reviewed and this consultation proposes changes to the structure of the standards, and changes to the standards themselves. These are designed to raise the bar in terms of the minimum standard of quality offered by schools, to achieve better outcomes for pupils.



What happens next

The results of the consultation and the Department's response will be published on GOV.UK in Spring 2021, with the intention for the final standards to come into force in September 2021.


  • Teachers
  • Headteachers
  • Governors
  • School support staff
  • Early learning and childcare providers
  • Local authorities
  • Adult education providers
  • Further education colleges
  • Sixth form colleges
  • Independent specialist colleges
  • Designated institutions and 16-19 academies
  • 16-18 year old students resident at these institutions
  • Designated safeguarding leads
  • Virtual school heads
  • SENCOs
  • Educational Psychologists
  • School business managers
  • Pupils
  • Young people
  • Parents
  • Foster carers
  • Adoptive parents
  • Employers
  • Social workers
  • Unions and representative organisations
  • Government bodies and departments
  • Contractors involved in building schools
  • Fire sector
  • Those evaluating programmes for children in need
  • Those involved in underlying theoretical research on abuse and neglect, child development etc
  • Those researching children’s social care or education systems, with links to educational outcomes of Children in Need
  • Social workers
  • Team managers
  • Service managers
  • Principle social workers
  • Directors of children's services
  • Adult and mental health practitioners
  • Health visitors
  • School nurses
  • Clinical commissioning groups


  • Education