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Education (No. 2) Act 1986

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43 Freedom of speech in universities, polytechnics and colleges.E+W

(1)Every individual and body of persons concerned in the government of any establishment to which this section applies shall take such steps as are reasonably practicable to ensure that freedom of speech within the law is secured for members, students and employees of the establishment and for visiting speakers.

(2)The duty imposed by subsection (1) above includes (in particular) the duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the use of any premises of the establishment is not denied to any individual or body of persons on any ground connected with—

(a)the beliefs or views of that individual or of any member of that body; or

(b)the policy or objectives of that body.

(3)The governing body of every such establishment shall, with a view to facilitating the discharge of the duty imposed by subsection (1) above in relation to that establishment, issue and keep up to date a code of practice setting out—

(a)the procedures to be followed by members, students and employees of the establishment in connection with the organisation—

(i)of meetings which are to be held on premises of the establishment and which fall within any class of meeting specified in the code; and

(ii)of other activities which are to take place on those premises and which fall within any class of activity so specified; and

(b)the conduct required of such persons in connection with any such meeting or activity;

and dealing with such other matters as the governing body consider appropriate.

(4)Every individual and body of persons concerned in the government of any such establishment shall take such steps as are reasonably practicable (including where appropriate the initiation of disciplinary measures) to secure that the requirements of the code of practice for that establishment, issued under subsection (3) above, are complied with.

(5)The establishments to which this section applies are—

(a)any university;

[F1(aa) any institution other than a university within the higher education sector]

[F2(b)any establishment of higher or further education which is maintained by a local education authority;]

[F3(ba) any institution within the further education sector]

F4(c). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

(6)In this section—

  • governing body”, in relation to any university, means the executive governing body which has responsibility for the management and administration of its revenue and property and the conduct of its affairs (that is to say the body commonly called the council of the university);

  • university” includes a university college and any college, or institution in the nature of a college, in a university.

(7)Where any establishment—

(a)falls within subsection (5)(b) above; or

F5(b). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

the local education authority [F6. . .] shall, for the purposes of this section, be taken to be concerned in its government.

(8)Where a students’ union occupies premises which are not premises of the establishment in connection with which the union is constituted, any reference in this section to the premises of the establishment shall be taken to include a reference to the premises occupied by the students’ union.

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