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Northern Ireland (St Andrews Agreement) Act 2006

Part 3: Other Amendments

Policing

Section 20: District policing partnerships

87.Section 20 gives effect to Schedules 8 and 9 which make provision in relation to district policing partnerships, including Belfast sub-groups.

Education

Section 21: Amendment of Education (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 etc

88.Section 21 amends the Education (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 in relation to the abolition of academic selection.

89.Currently, the Education (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 includes provisions which prohibit the use of academic ability as an admissions criterion but defers the provisions’ commencement and makes them subject to an affirmative resolution of the Assembly, provided the Assembly is restored by 24 November. Subsection (1) of section 21 further defers the commencement of the provisions, in line with the St Andrews Agreement timetable.

90.In the event of the repeal of the Northern Ireland Act 2000 under Schedule 4 to this Act, commencement of the provisions prohibiting academic selection will be subject to an affirmative resolution of the Assembly. However if Schedule 3 to this Act is invoked, the provisions will come into operation on the date on which Schedule 3 comes into force. In either case the prohibition will take effect only in relation to admissions on or after 31 July 2010.

91.Section 21 also provides that, if the Northern Ireland Act 2000 is repealed under Schedule 4, schools admissions regulations may make different provision for different descriptions of schools. This will ensure that a restored Assembly’s options to agree new admissions arrangements are not constrained by a requirement for all types of schools to use the same types of admissions criteria.

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