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Education (Scotland) Act 2016

Section 26: Registration of independent schools

164.Part 5 of the 1980 Act provides the legal framework for the registration and regulation of independent schools. Section 98 of the 1980 Act provides for the Scottish Ministers to consider applications for registration as independent schools. Section 98A(5) sets out the grounds on which the Scottish Ministers may not be satisfied in relation to certain matters. These grounds include that a teacher (or proposed teacher) is not a proper person to be a teacher in any school in that s/he is disqualified in terms of Part 5, is barred from regulated work with children in accordance with the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 or is a “prescribed person”. Section 98A(6) enables the Scottish Ministers by regulations (subject to the affirmative procedure in accordance with section 133(2C) of the 1980 Act) to set out what a “prescribed person” is. The Scottish Ministers intend to exercise this power to require that all teachers in independent schools should be General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) registered.

165.Section 26 of the Act amends section 133 of the 1980 Act (regulations etc) to insert new subsections (2D) and (2E). Subsection (2D) will allow the Scottish Ministers, when making regulations under section 98A(6) of the 1980 Act (to set out who is a prescribed person), to also make different provision for different purposes and to make incidental, supplementary, consequential, transitional, transitory or saving provisions and to modify any enactment. The purpose of that is to enable a phased implementation of the policy to require that all teachers in independent schools are to be GTCS registered; the Scottish Ministers will be able to make exceptions to be applied in respect of the current teacher workforce, should that be necessary to secure an effective transition to the new arrangements. Subsection (2E) makes it clear that “enactment” includes an Act of the Scottish Parliament (or any instrument made under an Act of the Scottish Parliament); without this, the Interpretation Act 1978 (which governs the 1980 Act) would have the effect that “enactment” would exclude an Act of the Scottish Parliament.

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