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Education and Inspections Act 2006

Schedule 7, Part 1: Amendments relating to schools causing concern

305.Paragraph 1 amends section 15 of the 2005 Act, dealing with measures that a local education authority needs to take following receipt of an inspection report on a maintained school stating that the school requires special measures or significant improvement.

306.The new arrangements set out in paragraph 1(3), which inserts a replacement for subsection (2) of section 15 of the 2005 Act and new subsections (2A), (2B) and (2C), are broadly similar to the existing ones, but with some modifications described below.

307.The revised subsection (2)(b) requires the local education authority to consider consulting the registered parents of registered children at a school on the action being considered to secure the school’s improvement. Local education authorities may consider the appointment of an individual “parents’ champion” under subsection (2)(c) to secure the views of parents and to represent their voices in meetings. Where they have consulted registered parents, local education authorities should also take account of these views in finalising the written statement.

308.Revised subsection (2)(d) requires the local education authority to prepare a written statement setting out what action they intend to take to secure improvement at the school and, where action is not taken, the reasons for not doing so. Subsection (2) (d)(ii) requires the local education authority to include a section on the arrangements they propose to make (or have made) for consulting registered parents as they are required to do under subsection (2)(b).

309.Revised subsection (2)(e) requires the local education authority to send the written statement to the Chief Inspector, the appointing body of foundation governors in the case of a voluntary aided school and other persons as specified by the Secretary of State in guidance.

310.New subsections (2A), (2B) and (2C) provide a new power for the Secretary of State to give a notice to a local education authority that, in the light of evidence presented by the Chief Inspector through an interim inspection, the case of a particular school has become urgent. In such cases, local education authorities have a duty to consider the action they propose to take to secure improvements at the school in the light of the evidence from an interim inspection and prepare a written statement to this effect.

311.New subsection (2A) defines the cases where the new subsection (2B) applies. Subsection (2A)(b) refers to cases where, in the light of evidence presented by the Chief Inspector through an interim inspection, it appears to the Secretary of State that a case has become urgent.

312.New subsection (2B) then provides for the Secretary of State to issue a notice requiring the local education authority to produce a written statement explicitly considering the action to be taken in the light of the recent interim inspection (as defined by new subsection (2C)). The written statement should include details of how the local education authority will make arrangements for consulting with registered parents. It should also set out the action the local education authority will take, including the use of its intervention powers if appropriate, the period in which they propose to take that action, or if no action is proposed to be taken, the reasons why action is not to be taken.

313.Sub-paragraph (5) of paragraph 1 inserts a new subsection (4) into section 15 of the 2005 Act and places a duty on local education authorities to have regard to guidance issued by the Secretary of State in performing their functions under new subsections (2) and (2B).

314.Paragraph 2 of Schedule 6 amends section 17 of the 2005 Act, referring to the statement required to be prepared by a proprietor following an adverse report on a non-maintained school. This provision for non-maintained schools mirrors the provision for maintained schools discussed above.

315.The new arrangements are set out in paragraph 2(3) which inserts a replacement for subsection (1) of section 17 of the 2005 Act and new subsections (1A) to (1D).

316.New subsection (1A) sets out the statement that needs to be prepared by the proprietor of a non-maintained school if that school is judged by the Chief Inspector to require special measures or significant improvement. This mirrors the requirement for the statement required to be produced by the local education authority for maintained schools in similar circumstances. The statement should set out what action will be taken to secure improvement at the school.

317.As required by subsection (1A)(b), the proprietor should consider making arrangements for consulting the registered parents of registered children at a school on the action being considered to secure the school’s improvement. The proprietor may consider the appointment of an individual “parents’ champion” as provided by subsection (1A)(c) to secure the views of parents and to represent their voices in meetings. Where the proprietor has consulted registered parents, the proprietor should also take account of these views in finalising the written statement.

318.As set out in subsection (1A)(d) the written statement should also set out what action the proprietor intends to take to secure improvement at the school, and the period in which he proposes to take that action. If the proprietor does not propose to take any action, he must note this in the written statement and explain the reasons for not taking any action. Subsection (1A)(d)(ii) then requires the proprietor to set out the arrangements made under subsection (1A)(b) in the written statement.

319.New subsection (1B) defines the cases where the new subsection (1C) applies. Subsection (1B)(b) refers to cases where, in the light of evidence presented by the Chief Inspector through an interim inspection, it appears to the Secretary of State that a case has become urgent.

320.New subsection (1C) then provides for the Secretary of State to issue a notice requiring the proprietor to produce a written statement explicitly considering the action to be taken in the light of the recent interim inspection (as defined by new subsection (1D)). The written statement should include details of how the proprietor will make arrangements for consulting with registered parents as required by subsection (1C)(b)(ii). It should also set out the action the proprietor will take, the period in which he proposes to take that action or, if no action is proposed to be taken, the reasons why action is not to be taken.

321.Sub-paragraph (5) of paragraph 2 inserts a new subsection (5) into section 17 which places a duty on proprietors of non-maintained schools to have regard to guidance issued by the Secretary of State in performing their functions under new subsections (1A) and (1C).

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