§ Mr. Gordon Prentice
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what criteria have to be met for registration as an independent school; and how many have been so registered in each year since 1990. 
§ Ms Estelle Morris
Any school in England at which full-time education is provided for five or more pupils of compulsory school age, and which is not a school maintained by a local education authority or a non-maintained special school, must register as an independent school. Initially registration is provisional. Final registration is conditional on inspection evidence that the standards at the school meet the requirements of the Education Act 1996 in relation to accommodation, premises, instruction, proprietor and staff, and child welfare in the case of a boarding school. The following516W table shows how many new schools registered, and the total number of registered independent schools in England, in each year since 1990.
Year New schools Total number of independent schools in operation 1990 42 2,280 1991 51 2,280 1992 75 2,256 1993 63 2,261 1994 69 2,266 1995 77 2,244 1996 68 2,249 1997 63 2,256 1998 59 2,227 1999 68 2,214 2000 57 2,187