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Education Act 2002

Allowances in respect of education or training

Sections 181 to 185
Section 181 and 182: Allowances in respect of education or training; learning agreements

343.These sections enable the Secretary of State or the NAW to make regulations which would entitle people to receive a regular maintenance allowance if they are taking part in secondary education, FE or training. Payments of this type would be similar to the system of Education Maintenance Allowances now being piloted in some parts of England. The current system of payments is on a discretionary basis.

344.Regulations may, in particular, provide for: the size of payments; income tests to determine eligibility; how long payments can be made for and the establishment of appeals mechanisms.

345.A learning agreement is defined as a document which sets out certain conditions which relating to attendance at a school, college or training centre; good conduct; and production of assignments. Regulations may make it a necessary condition for receiving a regular maintenance allowance that the student should have signed a learning agreement. The regulations could also require that maintenance payments are stopped if the student fails to comply with the terms of the agreement. The regulations would be able to prescribe both the form and content of learning agreements.

Sections 183 to 185: Transfer of functions relating to allowances under section 181; Delegation of functions relating to allowances; Supplementary provisions relating to transfer or delegation of functions

346.These sections enable the Secretary of State to transfer any functions arising from regulations made under section 174 to the LSC, or to an LEA. Such functions might include the making of payments, assessment of eligibility and general administration of the scheme. The NAW will similarly be able to transfer functions to the NCETW, or to an LEA. If functions are transferred in this way, the Secretary of State or the NAW may issue binding directions about how the function is to be exercised.

347.Arrangements may also be made to delegate functions arising from regulations to any other person or body. The Secretary of State or the NAW may establish appeals mechanisms for decisions about transferring or delegating these functions. The section also enables the Secretary of State or the NAW to contribute towards the costs of any body exercising functions in relation to these maintenance payments.

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