‘A Practical Guide to the Independent School Standards’ by Sarah McKimm

Paperback: 978-1-914608-01-8
Publication due: January 2022
Price: TBA


While the state has extensive powers and duties in relation to state-funded education, independent schools largely sit outside that regime on condition that they meet prescribed standards. ‘A Practical Guide to the Independent School Standards’ introduces the standards from a rights-based perspective and explains their role in connection with registration and inspection of independent schools. Busy practitioners are signposted to the key guidance and regulations incorporated into the deceptively short standards. The parts of education law which do and do not apply to the independent sector are clearly identified.

After outlining the standards and linking to relevant legislation and recent case law which help with interpretation, this book shows how the standards can be applied to common issues affecting pupils such as SEND, mental health, peer-on-peer abuse, admissions and exclusions.

The closing chapters consider the role of the standards when things go wrong whether it is a parent wishing to complain about a school, a school questioning the findings of a compliance inspection and/or responding to action by the regulator.

Intended primarily for education lawyers, ‘A Practical Guide to the Independent School Standards’ will also be an invaluable accessible resource for independent schools and parents.


Sarah McKimm is a solicitor who, after a first career in commercial litigation, has been specialising in education law for the last 20 years. In 2008 she became Principal Solicitor and later Deputy General Secretary for the Independent Schools Council. She was also until recently Head of Legal & Policy at the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI).