Section 16 - Federation of schools causing concern by direction of the Welsh Ministers
38.This section allows the Welsh Ministers to direct the federation of schools causing concern. It does this by inserting a new section 18B into Chapter 4 of Part 1 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 (intervention in schools in Wales causing concern).
39.The new section 18B(1) and (2) explains what is meant by a school causing concern for the purposes of this power of intervention. It includes - a school in special measures; a school requiring significant improvement; a school at which pupils’ standards of performance of the pupils are unacceptably low; a school where there has been a serious breakdown of management or governance which is prejudicing or likely to prejudice standards of performance; a school where the safety of pupils or staff is threatened; and a school which is failing to comply with a teachers’ pay and conditions order.
40.Subsection (3) of the new section 18B allows the Welsh Ministers to direct a local authority or a governing body, and subsection (4) sets out the different types of arrangements they may direct. These include federating a school causing concern with another one or more schools or with an existing federation, and directing a school causing concern to leave a federation.
41.Subsection (5) of the new section 18B requires the Welsh Ministers to consult certain bodies before making a direction and subsections (6) and (7) make provision in connection with making, varying and revoking directions, including that directions are enforceable by a mandatory order of the High Court.
42.Section 16 of the proposed Measure also amends section 14(3) of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 so that a local authority may not exercise its powers of intervention in relation to a school causing concern if the Welsh Ministers are exercising their power of intervention in the new section 18B.