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Education and Inspections Act 2006

Section 5: School improvement partners

29.This section requires local education authorities in England to appoint school improvement partners (SIP) to each of the maintained schools in their area in line with a commitment in the White Paper: Higher Standards, Better Schools for All (Cm.6677). Maintained nursery schools are not included within the scope of this duty. SIPs will act on behalf of the local education authority, providing challenge and support to a school in order to help improve the attainment and outcomes of pupils.

30.Subsection (2) provides that only persons who have been accredited by the Secretary of State or by persons appointed by the Secretary of State can be appointed as SIPs by the authority for the purposes of this section.

31.Subsections (3) and (4) enable the Secretary of State to prescribe other requirements relating to the appointment of SIPs and to confer functions on local education authorities and school governing bodies in relation to SIPs in line with Departmental policies. If authorities consistently appointed SIPs in a way that did not meet the non-statutory Departmental policies relating to SIPs, these regulation-making powers could be used to enforce them. However, it is not intended to exercise these regulation-making powers at the outset; they are provided by way of a reserve power.

32.Subsection (5) enables the Secretary of State by regulations to provide for persons employed or engaged by local education authorities before the commencement of this section to be taken to have been appointed as SIPs.

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