14 January 2021


NMS for boarding – DfE consultation closes 23 February 2021

An important consultation is underway concerning the National Minimum Standards for Boarding Schools. The consultation can be accessed here : Proposed revisions to the National Minimum Standards for boarding schools

The main proposed changes include:

  • Re-ordering of the standards into nine parts, each of which will commence with an statement of the over-arching aim of that section
  • Replacement of wording such as ‘suitable’, ‘adequate’ and ‘appropriate’ with wording such as ‘good quality’
  • Raising expectations in relation to other existing standards such as risk assessment, privacy, use of CCTV, care of pupils who are sick or injured, the ‘independent person’, behaviour management and searches of belongings
  • New standards about preventing bullying, promoting good relationships and developing life skills
  • Clear bans on pupil access to staff residential accommodation, inappropriate favouritism and staff acting as educational guardians for boarders
  • A new requirement for schools to take steps to ensure the safety of pupils living with guardians who have not been appointed by the school
  • Additional detail around the content of records listed in Appendix 2.

Boarding schools are encouraged to consider these important proposals.