PART IIIMISCELLANEOUS

Date of commencement of secondary education

31.—(1) Article 46A of the 1986 Order (commencement of secondary education) shall be amended as follows.

(2) For the words “Unless the Department otherwise directs in a particular case” there shall be substituted the words “(1) Except as provided by paragraph (2), (3) or (4)”.

(3) At the end there shall be added—

(2) A child shall commence secondary education on 1st August next before his normal date of commencement where—

(a)the appropriate Board of Governors is of the opinion that it is in the best interests of the child to commence secondary education on that earlier date; and

(b)the parent of the child agrees with that opinion.

(3) A child shall commence secondary education on 1st August next after his normal date of commencement where—

(a)the appropriate Board of Governors is of the opinion that it is in the best interests of the child to commence secondary education on that later date; and

(b)the parent of the child agrees with that opinion.

(4) A child shall commence secondary education on 1st August next before or after his normal date of commencement where—

(a)the board for the area in which he resides so directs; and

(b)at the time the direction is given the child is not a registered pupil at any school.

(5) In forming an opinion for the purposes of paragraph (2) or (3) the Board of Governors of a school shall comply with the guidance issued under paragraph (6) and in particular—

(a)shall take into account such matters or matters of such description as may be specified in such guidance;

(b)shall not take into account such matters or matters of such description as may be so specified; and

(c)shall follow such administrative procedures as may be so specified.

(6) The Department shall issue such guidance as it thinks fit as to the exercise by a Board of Governors of its functions under this Article and such guidance shall in particular—

(a)require the Board of Governors of a school in forming an opinion for the purposes of paragraph (2) or (3) to take into account the advice of the principal of the school (or, in the case of a grammar school providing both primary and secondary education, the teacher in charge of that part of the school in which primary education is provided);

(b)require the Board of Governors of a school in forming an opinion for the purposes of paragraph (3) to take into account the advice of the relevant board;

(c)specify the matters or descriptions of matters which are, or are not, to be taken into account by a Board of Governors in forming an opinion for the purposes of paragraph (2) or (3);

(d)specify the administrative procedures to be followed by a Board of Governors in exercising its functions under this Article; and

(e)prohibit the delegation by the Board of Governors (notwithstanding anything in the scheme of management of the school) of such functions under this Article as are specified in the guidance.

(7) The Department shall issue such guidance as it thinks fit as to—

(a)the exercise by a board of its functions under paragraph (4); and

(b)the giving by a board of advice for the purposes of paragraph (6)(b).

(8) The Department shall publish the guidance issued by it under paragraphs (6) and (7) in such manner as it thinks fit.

(9) In this Article—

“appropriate Board of Governors”, in relation to a child, means the Board of Governors of the school at which the child is a registered pupil;

“normal date of commencement”, in relation to a child, means the date on which, but for any provision made under paragraph (2), (3) or (4), the child would commence secondary education;

“relevant board”, in relation to the Board of Governors of a school, means—

(a)

in the case of a controlled school, the board by which the school is managed;

(b)

in the case of a maintained school, the board by which the school is maintained; and

(c)

in the case of any other school, the board for the area in which the school is situated.

(10) This Article does not apply in relation to—

(a)children in respect of whom statements are maintained under Article 16 of the Education (Northern Ireland) Order 1996; or

(b)children in independent schools..