Part 2: School Organisation
140.The following definition occurs in the notes in relation to Part 2:
SSFA 1998 is the School Standards and Framework Act 1998
141.Under existing legislation, local education authorities are required to invite proposals for new schools in circumstances where there is a need for an additional secondary school. The provisions in this Part extend this requirement to all circumstances where statutory proposals are needed to establish a new secondary school, whether as an additional school or as a replacement for one or more existing schools.
Section 64: Proposals not requiring consent of Secretary of State
142.This section amends existing legislation to exclude from section 28 of SSFA 1998 proposals for maintained secondary schools (and middle schools catering for pupils up to at least the age of 16) from those that may be published by local education authorities and promoters.
Section 65: Publication of proposals with consent of Secretary of State
143.This section inserts new section 28A into SSFA 1998 to provide for the publication of statutory proposals for new secondary schools (including middle schools catering for pupils up to at least the age of 16) by local education authorities and other persons (“promoters”) with the consent of the Secretary of State. The principal provisions of the new section are as follows:
subsections (4) and (5) provide for regulations to prescribe the information the proposals must contain and how they must be published, and that local education authorities and promoters must consult before publishing proposals, having regard to any guidance the Secretary of State may give;
subsection (6) provides that those bringing forward proposals shall send to the local school organisation committee a copy of the proposals and any other information that may be prescribed in regulations;
subsection (7) provides that Schedule 6 to SSFA 1998 has effect in relation to the procedures for dealing with the proposals and the provision of premises or other assistance in connection with their implementation (as for other proposals); and
subsection (8) provides for regulations to make any necessary modifications to the arrangements for dealing with proposals where the school is to be situated in an area other than that of the local education authority who are to maintain the school.
Section 66 and Schedule 10: Proposals for new secondary schools in England and proposals under section 66 for establishment of secondary schools: supplementary
144.This section provides that a local education authority in England may publish a notice inviting proposals for the establishment of a secondary foundation or voluntary school or an Academy. Subsection (3) specifies the basic information that the notice must contain and provides that other information may be prescribed in regulations.
145.Subsections (4) to (6) provide for mandatory consultation by a local education authority before publishing the notice inviting proposals. Regulations can prescribe the persons who must be consulted and the matters which must be the subject of the consultation. They may also prescribe other requirements relating to consultation to be met by the local education authority, such as timing.
146.Subsection (7) provides that proposals brought forward in response to the notice must contain the information prescribed in regulations and be submitted to the local education authority before the date specified in the notice.
147.Subsections (8) to (10) provide that the local education authority must publish the proposals they receive, and that regulations may prescribe the time and manner in which this must be done. They also provide that the local education authority may publish their own proposals for a secondary community or foundation school, and that regulations may prescribe the information which they must contain. Regulations may require the authority to take steps to promote public awareness of any proposals.
148.Subsection (11) defines “secondary school” as including middle schools with an upper age of at least 16, but not including schools catering only for 16-19 year olds.
149.Subsection (12) introduces Schedule 10, which contains detailed provisions in relation to the consideration, approval and implementation of proposals under this section. The Schedule replaces Schedule 8 to the Education Act 2002, which dealt only with additional secondary schools.
150.Subsection (13) makes provision for a situation where proposals relate to a school to be situated in a different local education authority area. The subsection provides that Schedule 10 is to have effect with modifications prescribed in regulations.
151.Subsection (14) repeals the provisions of the Education Act 2002 with respect to proposals for additional secondary schools.
Section 67 and Schedule 11: Rationalisation of school places in England
152.Section 67 introduces Schedule 11, which contains provision enabling the Secretary of State to direct local education authorities in England, or the governing bodies of maintained schools, to bring forward proposals for the rationalisation of school places, and for such proposals to be made by him. These arrangements replace those in Schedule 7 to SSFA 1998 and section 71 of the Education Act 2002 in relation to the addition of places where they are needed and the removal of surplus places.
Section 68: Proposals for establishment of federated schools
153.Section 68 provides that proposals for the establishment of new schools may relate to the establishment of schools as federated schools. (“Federated school” in this section refers to a school which is federated under one governing body with one or more other schools.)
Section 69: LEA not to establish school on opposite side of Welsh border
154.Section 69 provides that the power of local education authorities to establish and maintain schools within the area of other local education authorities does not apply when that other authority are situated on the opposite side of the Welsh border.
Section 70: Proposals for discontinuance of rural primary school
155.This section amends section 29 of the SSFA 1998 to provide that in formulating proposals for the discontinuance of a rural primary school, the relevant body shall have regard to certain matters including the effect on the local community, transport implications and alternatives to discontinuance. The relevant body may be either a local education authority in England or Wales or the governing body of a voluntary or foundation school. Section 29 is further amended to provide that prior to publication of such proposals, the relevant body shall consult registered parents and any district, parish and community councils for the area in which the school is situated. If the relevant body is the governing body of a school, it must also consult the local education authority.
Section 71: Proposals relating to maintained special school
156.This section amends section 31 of the SSFA 1998 to provide that where a local education authority or governing body are proposing to make an alteration to, or to close, a community or foundation special school they must consult parents and any local education authority who maintain a statement of special educational needs in respect of a pupil at that school.
Section 72 and Schedule 12: School organisation: further amendments
157.Section 72 introduces Schedule 12, which contains further amendments relating to the organisation of schools. The Schedule updates various provisions to correspond to provisions of this Act, especially in relation to proposals published under section 66.