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Provisional Schools

We are committed to supporting British international schools through all stages of their development.

Provisional School status is open to schools who are in their planning phase and are scheduled to open their doors within the next one to two years.

Supporting new schools to get the best start

We are committed to supporting British international schools through all stages of their development. Provisional School status is awarded to schools in the planning phase or early stages of operation. These schools must demonstrate a high level of quality across 5 areas throughout the application process:

  1. Nature of the school: including ethos and values and admissions policy
  2. Staffing: including recruitment processes and training, and safer recruitment practices
  3. Students and Curriculum: including planned curriculum and support for EAL and AEN students
  4. Facilities: including safety compliance and provision for students with physical disabilities
  5. Governance and Steering: including vision, school development plan, planned governance structure and school policies

COBIS Provisional School status provides a range of tools and support for those looking to establish an international British school of quality.

As a Provisional School, you will benefit from:

  • Expert guidance on quality assurance for the early development stages
  • Support from our dedicated staff and Accreditation Team
  • Member rates on safeguarding training and Prohibition Order checks to ensure the highest levels of compliance
  • Access to a global and regional network of established and future schools for peer-to-peer advice
  • Full calendar of residential and online professional development opportunities for teaching and non-teaching staff at member rates
  • One complementary delegate registration for COBIS Annual Conference and member rates for additional delegates
  • Access to a network of service providers dedicated to supporting British international schools

Click here to apply for provisional SChool status

The following schools have achieved COBIS Provisional School status:

  • Durham International School, Kenya
  • Fettes College, Guangzhou, China
  • Haileybury Bhaluka, Bangladesh
  • Lady Eleanor Holles International School, Foshan, China - Read their blog here
  • Rugby School Japan
  • The King's School, Vattanacville, Cambodia

If you're interested in becoming a COBIS Provisional School, please contact our membership team.


Provisional School status offers reassurance to parents, staff and students, as the school has been quality assured against a rigorous set of criteria. This early quality assurance is particularly important for new schools, but can prove challenging as many inspectorates or accrediting bodies will only award judgements on schools that are operational. We believe the development stage is one of the most important times in a young school’s life. Provisional School status is designed to help schools start as they mean to go on, with quality at the heart of what they do.

Applications for Provisional School status are subject to the same review process as our membership applications. They are reviewed by our Membership and Accreditation Committee and ratified by our Board. Schools awarded Provisional School status also commit to formal quality assurance within the first year of operation, usually through our Accreditation and Compliance scheme.