UK announces inspections for British schools abroad
Madrid - The British Government announced today a new system of inspections for British International Schools. Speaking at a conference of international school teachers in Madrid, run by the Council of British International Schools (COBIS), a DCSF spokesperson read out a letter from Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools, Diana Johnson MP, outlining the plans. The new inspection system will distinguish between schools that are upholding the rigour and excellence of British education and those that are simply trading on the ‘British School’ brand. The published inspection reports will inform parents about how the standards of British international schools measure up against the standards that apply to independent schools in the United Kingdom.
Inspectorates will shortly be invited to apply for accreditation, enabling British schools abroad to undergo these voluntary inspections against government-approved standards. Inspectorates offering the new DCSF inspections will be quality assured by Ofsted and inspection reports will be published on the DCSF website.
Diana Johnson has written: “We believe these arrangements will allow parents to access good quality, comparable and consistent school inspection reports that will set out the extent to which participating British schools overseas measure up to a rigorous set of standards rooted in the British education system.”
Speaking in Madrid after the announcement, COBIS Chairman Roger Fry said: “COBIS welcomes this announcement. One of the main priorities for COBIS in recent years has been representing and promoting high-quality British international schools in order to encourage the British government to recognise the work of British schools outside the UK. COBIS schools are committed to ensuring educational and operational standards are equivalent to those of independent schools in the UK. For this reason COBIS schools have been undergoing inspections by the UK Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) since 2002. British International Schools provide an important service for parents and children around the world. This is a fast-growing industry and COBIS is pleased that the British Government is taking steps towards recognising the good work done by many of these schools and encouraging all British schools abroad to meet the same high standards.”