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Education Reform Act 1988

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Standing advisory councils on religious education

11Standing advisory councils on religious education

(1)It shall be the duty of every local education authority to constitute a standing advisory council on religious education—

(a)to advise the authority upon such matters connected with religious worship in county schools and the religious education to be given in accordance with an agreed syllabus as the authority may refer to the council or as the council may see fit; and

(b)to carry out the functions conferred by section 12 of this Act on councils constituted under this section.

References below in this section and in sections 12 and 13 of this Act to the council are references to any council constituted by a local education authority under this section.

(2)The matters referred to in subsection (1) above include in particular methods of teaching, the choice of materials and the provision of training for teachers.

(3)The council shall consist of—

(a)the representative members required by subsection (4) below; and

(b)where any agreed syllabus for the time being adopted by the authority is in use at one or more grant-maintained schools, a person appointed by the governing body or (as the case may be) by the governing bodies of the school or schools concerned;

and may also include co-opted members.

(4)Subject to subsection (5) below, the representative members required by this subsection are persons appointed by the authority to represent respectively—

(a)such Christian and other religious denominations as, in the opinion of the authority, will appropriately reflect the principal religious traditions in the area;

(b)except in the case of an area in Wales, the Church of England;

(c)such associations representing teachers as, in the opinion of the authority, ought, having regard to the circumstances of the area, to be represented; and

(d)the authority;

and references below in this section to representative groups on the council are references to the members appointed by virtue of paragraphs (a), (c) and (d) above respectively and, where members are required to be appointed by virtue of paragraph (b) above, the members so appointed.

(5)Where members are required to be appointed by virtue of paragraph (b) of subsection (4) above, the representative members required by paragraph (a) of that subsection shall not include persons appointed to represent the Church of England.

(6)On any question to be decided by the council only the representative groups on the council shall be entitled to vote, and each such group shall have a single vote.

(7)The representative groups on the council, other than that consisting of persons appointed to represent the authority, may at any time require a review of any agreed syllabus for the time being adopted by the authority.

Each representative group concerned shall have a single vote on the question of whether to require such a review.

(8)On receipt by the authority of written notification of any such requirement, it shall be the duty of the authority to cause a conference constituted in accordance with the provisions of Schedule 5 to the 1944 Act to be convened for the purpose of reconsidering any agreed syllabus to which the requirement relates.

(9)The council shall in each year publish a report with respect to the exercise of their functions and any action taken by representative groups on the council under subsection (7) above during the last preceding year.

(10)The council’s report shall in particular—

(a)specify any matters in respect of which the council have given advice to the authority;

(b)broadly describe the nature of the advice given; and

(c)where any such matter was not referred to the council by the authority, give the council’s reasons for offering advice on that matter.

12Determination by advisory councils of the cases in which the requirement for Christian collective worship is not to apply

(1)It shall be the duty of the council, on an application made by the head teacher of any county school after consultation with the governing body, to consider whether it is appropriate for the requirement for Christian collective worship to apply in the case of that school, or in the case of any class or description of pupils at that school.

References in this section to the requirement for Christian collective worship are references to the requirement imposed by section 7(1) of this Act.

(2)In determining whether it is appropriate for that requirement to apply in the case of any such school or in the case of any class or description of pupils at such a school, the council shall have regard to any circumstances relating to the family backgrounds of the pupils at the school or of the pupils of the particular class or description in question which are relevant for determining the character of the collective worship appropriate in their case.

(3)The council shall give any head teacher who has made an application to them under this section written notification of their decision on the application.

(4)Where the council determine on any application under this section that it is not appropriate for the requirement for Christian collective worship to apply in the case of the school or any class or description of pupils at the school concerned, that determination shall take effect for the purposes of section 7 of this Act on such date as may be specified in the notification of their decision under subsection (3) above.

(5)Any determination of the council under this section by virtue of which the requirement for Christian collective worship does not for the time being apply in the case of any school or any class or description of pupils at any school shall be reviewed by the council—

(a)at any time on an application made by the head teacher of the school after consultation with the governing body; and

(b)in any event not later than the end of the period of five years beginning with the date on which the determination first took effect or (where it has since been reviewed under this subsection) with the effective date of the decision on the last such review.

(6)On any review under subsection (5)(b) above the council shall afford the head teacher an opportunity of making representations with respect to the determination under review; and the head teacher shall consult the governing body before making any such representations.

(7)On any review under subsection (5) above the council may confirm (with or without variation) or revoke the determination under review (without prejudice, in a case where they revoke the determination, to any further determination under this section); and they shall give the head teacher of the school written notification of their decision specifying the effective date of that decision for the purposes of subsection (5)(b) above.

(8)Any determination of the council which is required to be reviewed under subsection (5)(b) above shall cease to have effect, if not confirmed on such a review, at the end of the period there mentioned.

(9)The governing body of any county school, on being consulted by the head teacher under this section, may if they think fit take such steps as they consider appropriate for consulting all persons appearing to them to be parents of registered pupils at the school.

(10)Any application made to the council under this section shall be made in such manner and form as the council may require.

13Advisory councils: supplementary provisions

(1)Before appointing a person to represent any denomination or associations as a member of the council the local education authority concerned shall take all reasonable steps to assure themselves that he is representative of the denomination or associations in question.

(2)A member of the council appointed by the authority may be removed from membership by the authority if in the opinion of the authority he ceases to be representative of the denomination or associations which he was appointed to represent or (as the case may be) of the authority.

(3)Any member of the council required by section 11(3)(b) of this Act may at any time be removed from membership by the governing body or (as the case may be) by the governing bodies of the grant-maintained school or schools concerned.

(4)In subsection (3) of that section “co-opted member” means a person co-opted as a member of the council by members of the council who have not themselves been so co-opted, and a person so co-opted shall hold office on such terms as may be determined by the members co-opting him.

(5)Any member of the council may at any time resign his office.

(6)Subject to subsection (6) of that section, the council and, in relation to any question falling to be decided by members of the council of any particular category, the members of that category may regulate their own proceedings.

(7)The validity of proceedings of the council or of the members of the council of any particular category shall not be affected—

(a)by a vacancy in the office of any member of the council required by subsection (3) of that section; or

(b)on the ground that a member of the council appointed to represent any denomination or associations does not at the time of the proceedings represent the denomination or associations in question.

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