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Education Act (Northern Ireland) 2014

Background and Policy Objectives

3.The Act has two purposes. Firstly, it provides for the establishment of the Education Authority. The prompt for this is local government reform. From 1 April 2015, the 26 district councils will be replaced by 11 councils. However, the Education and Libraries (NI) Order 1986 provides for the territorial responsibilities and governance arrangements of the five Education and Library Boards (ELBs) in terms related to the 26 district council areas. Legislative change was therefore required, to ensure education administration is compatible with local government reform.

4.The Education Authority replaces the five ELBs and their Staff Commission. It will have the responsibilities of an ELB as already set out in the Education Orders, including an ELB’s employer responsibilities. The Act also places duties on the Authority to encourage, facilitate and promote both shared education and the community use of school premises; and to establish standing committees for the exercise of these functions.

5.The second purpose of the Act is to enable the Department to fund the establishment and operations of a new body that will provide representation and advocacy for schools in the controlled sector.

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the Northern Ireland Assembly department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes accompany all Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly.


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