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Education Act 2002

Territorial Coverage

Part 3:  Maintained schools

12.Part 3 makes provisions with respect to the government and financing of maintained schools, and admissions, exclusions and attendance.

Chapter 1 of Part 3:  Government of Maintained Schools

13.This Chapter implements the Government’s consultation paper on school governance: “The Way Forward – A Modernised Framework for School Governance”.

14.The Chapter provides that every maintained school shall have a governing body responsible for the conduct of the school with, in accordance with the regulations, an established membership and instrument of government. Regulations will make provisions concerning the control and occupation of school premises by governing bodies. The Chapter introduces measures to enable more than one school to federate under a single governing body, if they so choose, and provided that they comply with prescribed procedures and conditions. In addition, the Secretary of State, or the NAW, may make regulations providing for governing bodies to collaborate by discharging functions jointly either through whole governing bodies or through joint committees.

15.Provision is made to enable governing bodies to provide community facilities or services for the benefit of their pupils, their pupils’ families and the wider community. It also provides for limits to be imposed on those powers. The Chapter also introduces measures requiring governors to produce an annual report; hold an annual parents’ meeting; and establish complaints procedures. This Chapter also provides for the staffing of maintained schools, repealing current arrangements and empowering the Secretary of State, or the NAW, to make regulations about the appointment, discipline, suspension and dismissal of staff.

16.The Chapter also provides that maintained nursery schools are to have governing bodies.

Chapter 2 of Part 3:  Financing of Maintained Schools

17.This Chapter introduces components of a new system for funding LEAs and schools. It introduces new definitions of the ‘LEA budget’ for central functions and the ‘schools budget’ for expenditure on pupils. It requires LEAs to establish a schools forum in accordance with regulations, to represent the views of schools with respect to the funding of schools in the area. It also provides a power for the Secretary of State, or the NAW, to set a minimum level for the schools budget.

18.In addition, the Chapter provides that the governing body of a maintained school may be required to keep prescribed accounts and records, prepare prescribed financial statements, comply with prescribed audit conditions and to send copies of accounts and financial statements to the Secretary of State or the NAW. Financial statements must also be prepared in relation to private funds.

Chapter 3 of Part 3: Admissions, Exclusions and Attendance

19.The Chapter makes a number of amendments to the provisions for admission to maintained schools. It requires LEAs to establish an admission forum to advise on local admissions issues. It repeals the requirement for schools to have a standard number. It also repeals the power that enables schools with a religious character to agree special arrangements with their LEA for preserving their character. It provides for the Secretary of State, or the NAW, to make regulations requiring LEAs to take action to secure an agreement between admission authorities in the area for co-ordinating admission arrangements. It introduces a power to make regulations with respect to admission appeals.

20.The Chapter further provides for the exclusion of a pupil from a maintained school, and for regulations to be made in relation to such exclusions, including the procedures to be followed, the arrangements for review of exclusions and appeals against decisions not to reinstate the pupil and adding pupil referral units (PRU) and nursery schools. Provision is also made for the Secretary of State, or the NAW, to require governing bodies to set school-level targets for authorised as well as unauthorised absence.

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