Date updated: Thursday 30th November 2023
One of the most important sponsor duties of Student and Child Student sponsor licence holders is to achieve and maintain one of the required Educational Oversight ratings. Failure to do so could result in your Confirmation of Acceptation for Studies (CAS) allocation being set to zero, which will thereafter prevent you from sponsoring any new overseas students. This in turn can have significant financial, commercial and practical consequences on your independent school.
What is the Educational Oversight requirement?
In most cases, the Education Oversight requirement will be met by achieving the UKVI’s required rating in a statutory education inspection. For independent schools in England, this means achieving and maintaining a rating of ‘Met’ in an ISI inspection or a rating of ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ in an Ofsted inspection.
What are the consequences of failing an ISI or Ofsted inspection on our sponsor licence?
In the event that a Student or Child Student sponsor fails to achieve the required rating in a statutory education inspection, the UKVI will reduce the CAS allocation to zero until the school achieves the required rating in a subsequent inspection.
Where a CAS allocation is set to zero, an independent school will not be allowed to sponsor any new students.
Any CAS restriction will remain in place until the school that did not achieve the required rating receives a satisfactory report following a further visit, or until such a time as the Educational Oversight body or the Department for Education confirms in writing that any issues identified by the relevant body have been addressed and that the school has returned to the normal inspection cycle.
We have multiple sites listed on our sponsor licence, what happens if one school fails their inspection?
Importantly, Student and Child Student sponsors are required to maintain their Educational Oversight for all of their sites throughout the duration of their Student sponsor licence. This means that for independent schools that are multi-academy trusts or have more than one site, should one school listed on your sponsor licence fail their ISI inspection, the CAS allocation for all schools on your licence could be reduced.
To mitigate this risk, it may be preferable for trusts of independent schools to obtain separate sponsor licences for each individual school within the trust, rather that hold an ‘umbrella’ sponsor licence that includes all independent schools within the trust as individual sites on the licence. Each school will therefore have their own CAS allocation, which will not be impacted if one school within the trust does not achieve the required inspection rating.
How can Stone King help?
Failing an ISI or Ofsted inspection can happen for a variety of reasons and will of course be an extremely stressful time for an independent school.
We understand the importance of the ability for independent schools to sponsor Students and Child Students and that, in many cases, sponsorship of overseas students represents significant revenue for the school. If you require any advice on the impact of not maintaining the required Educational Oversight requirement on your Student or Child Student sponsor licence or require support with possible ways forward, please do not hesitate to contact our Head of Immigration, Julie Moktadir, at JulieMoktadir@stoneking.co.uk.