Last reviewed 2 December 2021

The educational standards regulator has launched a consultation into how it should fulfil its role as the quality assurance body for the Department for Education (DfE) Online Education Accreditation Scheme.

Ofsted explains that the scheme is for providers of full-time online education to school-age children in England. “Online education” means education provided remotely through digital technologies.

The consultation document can be found here, together with a draft handbook for quality assurance visits to online providers as part of the proposed scheme.

In September 2019, the DfE published a consultation document in which it proposed to establish a set of non-statutory Online Education Standards for online education provision and to create a scheme through which providers that meet the standards could be accredited.

The Government confirmed that it would take forward these proposals in June 2020 and the revised standards are set out in “Online Education Accreditation Scheme: government consultation response”, which can be found here.

Ofsted’s role

Ofsted was appointed as the quality assurance body for the scheme in 2021. Its role is to:

  • carry out suitability checks on the proprietors of providers that apply for accreditation

  • visit providers to find out whether they meet the standards

  • publish a report that sets out which of the standards a provider met and which it failed to meet at the time of such a visit.

As it prepares for this role, it is asking for feedback on its plans. The deadline for submitting comments is 26 January 2022.