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Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Act 2021

Section 31 – Power to disapply duty to implement pupil choice

58.As described above, the head teacher of a maintained school is required to implement the adopted curriculum in a way that gives effect the choices made by a pupil aged 14 to 16 by virtue of section 24. Section 31 gives the head teacher power to disapply this duty, in relation to a particular pupil’s choice, by making a determination.

59.Subsections (3) and (4) specify the grounds on which a head teacher may make a determination:

  • The grounds specified in subsection (3) apply where the determination is to be made before the pupil starts the school year in which the majority of pupils in the class will reach the age of 15 (i.e. before the pupil starts year 10).

  • The grounds specified in subsection (4) apply where the determination is to be made at a later date. These grounds are more limited, as the impact of disapplying pupil choice is greater where the pupil has already embarked on the chosen teaching and learning.

60.Subsection (6) enables the Welsh Ministers to make regulations to amend the grounds on which a determination may be made.

61.Where a determination is made under this section, the head teacher will remain under a duty to provide the pupil with the teaching and learning specified in section 30(2). That is to say, the head teacher will have to ensure that teaching and learning is secured for the pupil in each area of learning and experience, in addition to the teaching and learning in respect of the mandatory elements. But a further choice of teaching and learning will not need to be offered to the pupil.

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