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Education Act 1996

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Education Act 1996, Chapter IV is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 05 June 2023. There are changes that may be brought into force at a future date. Changes that have been made appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation

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Revised legislation carried on this site may not be fully up to date. Changes and effects are recorded by our editorial team in lists which can be found in the ‘Changes to Legislation’ area. Where those effects have yet to be applied to the text of the legislation by the editorial team they are also listed alongside the legislation in the affected provisions. Use the ‘more’ link to open the changes and effects relevant to the provision you are viewing.

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Whole provisions yet to be inserted into this Act (including any effects on those provisions):

Chapter IVE+W Miscellaneous and supplementary provisions

Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Courses leading to external qualificationsE+W

F1400. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W

Textual Amendments

F1S. 400 repealed (1.9.2001) by 1997 c. 44, ss. 57(1)(4), Sch.8; S.I. 2001/1215, art. 2

F2401. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .E+W

Textual Amendments

F2S. 401 repealed (1.9.2001) by 1997 c. 44, ss. 57(1)(4), 58(3), Sch.8; S.I. 2001/1215, art. 2

Obligation to enter pupils for public examinationsE+W

402 Obligation to enter pupils for public examinations.E+W

(1)Subject to subsections (2) and (3), the governing body of a maintained school shall secure that each registered pupil at the school is entered, at such time as they consider appropriate, for each prescribed public examination for which he is being prepared at the school at the time in question in each syllabus for that examination for which he is being so prepared.

(2)The governing body are not required to secure that a pupil is entered for any examination, or for an examination in any syllabus for that examination, if either—

(a)they consider that there are educational reasons in the case of that particular pupil for not entering him for that examination or (as the case may be) for not entering him for that examination in that syllabus, or

(b)the parent of the pupil requests in writing that the pupil should not be entered for that examination or (as the case may be) for that examination in that syllabus;

[F3but this subsection does not apply to an examination which is part of the assessment arrangements for the fourth key stage and applies in the case of that pupil.]

[F4(2A)But subsection (2) does not apply to—

(a)an examination which is part of the assessment arrangements for the fourth key stage and applies in the case of that pupil (if the pupil is registered at a school maintained by a local authority in England), or

(b)an examination which is part of the assessment arrangements for pupils of compulsory school age who have completed the school year in which the majority of the pupils in their class attained the age of 14 and applies in the case of that pupil (if the pupil is registered at a school maintained by a local authority in Wales).]

(3)The governing body are not required to secure that a pupil is entered for any examination in any syllabus for that examination if they have secured his entry for another prescribed public examination in a corresponding syllabus.

(4)For the purposes of subsection (3) a syllabus for a prescribed public examination shall be regarded as corresponding to a syllabus for another prescribed public examination if the same course of study is provided at the school in preparation for both syllabuses.

(5)As soon as practicable after determining whether or not to secure the entry of any pupil for a prescribed public examination in any syllabus for which he is being prepared at the school, the governing body shall notify the pupil’s parent in writing of their determination in relation to each such syllabus.

(6)In this section—

(a)maintained school” includes [F5a community or foundation special school] established in a hospital;

[F6(aa)assessment arrangements” and “fourth key stage”—

(i)in relation to a school maintained by a [F7local authority] in England, have the same meaning as in Part 6 of the Education Act 2002 (the curriculum in England), [F8and]

(ii)[F9in relation to a school maintained by a [F7local authority] in Wales, have the same meaning as in Part 7 of that Act (the curriculum in Wales); and]]

[F10(ab)assessment arrangements”, in relation to a school maintained by a local authority in Wales, has the same meaning as in Part 4 of the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Act 2021 (assessment and progression);]

(b)references to a prescribed public examination shall be construed in accordance with section 462.

Textual Amendments

F5Words in s. 402(6) substituted (1.9.1999) by 1998 c. 31, s. 140(1), Sch. 30 para.101 (with ss. 138(9), 144(6)); S.I. 1999/2323, art. 2(1), Sch. 1

F6S. 402(6)(aa) substituted (1.10.2002 for E. for certain purposes, 19.12.2002 for W. and otherwise prosp.) for word at the end of s. 402(6)(a) by Education Act 2002 (c. 32), ss. 215(1), 216(4), Sch. 21 para. 45 (with ss. 210(8), 214(4)); S.I. 2002/2439, art. 3; S.I. 2002/3185, art. 4, Sch. Pt. 1

Sex educationE+W

403 Sex education: manner of provision.E+W

(1)The F11. . ., governing body and head teacher shall take such steps as are reasonably practicable to secure that where sex education is given to any registered pupils at a maintained school [F12(whether or not as part of statutory relationships and sex education)] , it is given in such a manner as to encourage those pupils to have due regard to moral considerations and the value of family life.

[F13(1A)The Secretary of State must issue guidance designed to secure that when sex education is given to registered pupils at maintained schools—

(a)they learn the nature of marriage and its importance for family life and the bringing up of children, and

(b)they are protected from teaching and materials which are inappropriate having regard to the age and the religious and cultural background of the pupils concerned.

[F14(1ZB)In subsection (1A) the reference to sex education does not include sex education given as part of statutory relationships and sex education.]

(1B)In discharging their functions under subsection (1) governing bodies and head teachers must have regard to the Secretary of State’s guidance.

(1C)Guidance under subsection (1A) must include guidance about any material which may be produced by NHS bodies for use for the purposes of sex education in schools.

(1D)The Secretary of State may at any time revise his guidance under subsection (1A).]

(2)In [F15this section]maintained school” includes [F16a community or foundation special school] established in a hospital [F17and “NHS body” has the same meaning as in [F18the National Health Service Act 2006 (see section 275(1) of that Act)] .]

[F19(2A)In this section “statutory relationships and sex education” means education required to be provided at a school in England under section 80(1)(d) of the Education Act 2002.]

Textual Amendments

F11Words in s. 403(1) repealed (1.11.2000 (E.) 1.9.2001 (W.)) by 2000 c. 21, ss. 148(3), 153, Sch. 11 (with s. 150); S.I. 2000/2559, art. 2(2), Sch. Pt. II; S.I. 2001/1274, art. 2(2), Sch. Pt. II

F13S. 403(1A)-(1D) inserted (1.11.2000 (E.) 1.9.2001 (W.)) by 2000 c. 21, s. 148(4) (with s. 150); S.I. 2000/2559, art. 2(2), Sch. Pt. II; S.I. 2001/1274, art. 2(2), Sch. Pt. II

F15Words in s. 403(2) substituted (1.11.2000 (E.) 1.9.2001 (W.)) by 2000 c. 21, s. 148(5)(a) (with s. 150); S.I. 2000/2559, art. 2(2), Sch. Pt. II; S.I. 2001/1274, art. 2(2), Sch. Pt. II

F16Words in s. 403(2) substituted (1.9.1999) by 1998 c. 31, s. 140(1), Sch. 30 para. 102 (with ss. 138(9), 144(6)); S.I. 1999/2323, art. 2(1), Sch. 1

F17Words in s. 403(2) inserted (1.11.2000 (E.) 1.9.2001 (W.)) by 2000 c. 21, s. 148(5)(b) (with s. 150); S.I. 2000/2559, art. 2(2), Sch. Pt. II; S.I. 2001/1274, art. 2(2), Sch. Pt. II

404 Sex education: statements of policy.E+W

(1)The governing body of a maintained school shall—

(a)make, and keep up to date, a separate written statement of their policy with regard to the provision of sex education, and

(b)make copies of the statement available for inspection (at all reasonable times) by parents of registered pupils at the school and provide a copy of the statement free of charge to any such parent who asks for one.

[F20(1A)A statement under subsection (1) must include a statement of the effect of section 405.]

[F21(1B)In subsection (1) the reference to sex education does not include sex education given as part of statutory relationships and sex education (and accordingly subsection (1) does not apply at all in relation to a school at which sex education is only given as part of statutory relationships and sex education).]

(2)[F22In subsection (1) “maintained school” includes, in relation to pupils who are provided with secondary education, [F23a community or foundation special school] established in a hospital.]

[F22In this section—

  • “maintained school” includes, in relation to pupils who are provided with secondary education, a community or foundation special school established in a hospital;

  • “statutory relationships and sex education” means education required to be provided at a school in England under section 80(1)(d) of the Education Act 2002.]

F24(3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

405 Exemption from sex education.E+W

[F25(1)] If the parent of any pupil in attendance at a maintained school requests that he may be wholly or partly excused from receiving sex education at the school, the pupil shall, except so far as such education is comprised in the National Curriculum, be so excused accordingly until the request is withdrawn.

[F26(2)In subsection (1) the reference to sex education does not include sex education provided at a maintained school in England as part of statutory relationships and sex education.

(3)If the parent of any pupil in attendance at a maintained school in England requests that the pupil may be wholly or partly excused from sex education provided as part of statutory relationships and sex education, the pupil must be so excused until the request is withdrawn, unless or to the extent that the head teacher considers that the pupil should not be so excused.

(4)In this section “statutory relationships and sex education” means education required to be provided at a school in England under section 80(1)(d) of the Education Act 2002.]

PoliticsE+W

406 Political indoctrination.E+W

(1)The [F7local authority], governing body and head teacher shall forbid—

(a)the pursuit of partisan political activities by any of those registered pupils at a maintained school who are junior pupils, and

(b)the promotion of partisan political views—

[F27(i)]in the teaching of any subject in the school [F28(in the case of a school in England), or]

[F29(ii)in the teaching of any aspect of a curriculum provided in the school under the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Act 2021 (in the case of a school in Wales)]

(2)In the case of activities which take place otherwise than on the school premises, subsection (1)(a) applies only where arrangements for junior pupils to take part in the activities are made by—

(a)any member of the school’s staff (in his capacity as such), or

(b)anyone acting on behalf of the school or of a member of the school’s staff (in his capacity as such).

(3)In this section “maintained school” includes [F30a community or foundation special school] established in a hospital.

407 Duty to secure balanced treatment of political issues.E+W

(1)The [F7local authority], governing body and head teacher shall take such steps as are reasonably practicable to secure that where political issues are brought to the attention of pupils while they are—

(a)in attendance at a maintained school, or

(b)taking part in extra-curricular activities which are provided or organised for registered pupils at the school by or on behalf of the school,

they are offered a balanced presentation of opposing views.

(2)In this section “maintained school” includes [F31a community or foundation special school] established in a hospital.

InformationE+W

408 Provision of information.E+W

(1)Regulations may require, in relation to every maintained school, the [F7local authority], the governing body or the head teacher to make available either generally or to prescribed persons, in such form and manner and at such times as may be prescribed—

(a)such information (including information as to the matters mentioned in subsection (2)) relevant for the purposes of any of the relevant provisions of this Part [F32or Part V of the Education Act 1997][F33or section 96 of the Learning and Skills Act 2000][F34or the relevant provisions of the Education Act 2002] [F35or the provisions of [F36Part 7] of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009] [F37or the provisions of the Qualifications Wales Act 2015] [F38or the provisions of the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Act 2021], and

F39[(b)such copies of the documents mentioned in subsection (3),

as may be prescribed.]

(2)The matters referred to in subsection (1)(a) are—

(a)the curriculum for maintained schools,

(b)the educational provision made by the school for pupils at the school and any syllabuses to be followed by those pupils,

(c)the educational achievements of pupils at the school (including the results of any assessments of those pupils, whether under this Part or otherwise, for the purpose of ascertaining those achievements), and

(d)the educational achievements of [F40such classes or descriptions of pupils] as may be prescribed (including results of the kind mentioned in paragraph (c)). [F41, and

F41(e)arrangements relating to [F42relevant] qualifications (within the meaning given by section 96(5) of the Learning and Skills Act 2000) [F43which are approved under section 98 F44... of that Act] and to courses leading to such qualifications.]

[F45(f)arrangements relating to qualifications within the meaning given in section 56 of the Qualifications Wales Act 2015 which are approved under Part 4 of that Act and to courses of education or training leading to such qualifications.]

F46[(3)The documents referred to in subsection (1)(b) are—

(a)any written statement made by the [F7local authority] under section 370,

(b)any written statement made by the governing body in pursuance of provision made under section 371,

(c)any written statement made by the governing body of their policy as to the curriculum for the school, and

(d)any report prepared by the governing body under section 161 or paragraph 7 of Schedule 23 (governors’ annual reports).]

(4)For the purposes of subsection (1) the relevant provisions of this Part are—

(a)F47. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

F48[(b)sections 375(3) and 384;

(c)sections 385 and 388 and, so far as relating to county schools, sections 386 and 387;]

(d)sections [F49390] to 392;

(e)sections 394 to [F50396] [F50396A];

(f)sections 398 F51. . . and 405; F52...

(g)[F53section 409] [F54; [F55and]]

[F56(h)[F55in so far as subsection (1) applies in relation to Wales, sections 403 and 404.]]

[F57(4A)For the purposes of subsection (1) the relevant provisions of the Education Act 2002 are—

(a)Part 6 (the curriculum in England), [F58and]

(b)[F58sections 97 to 117 (the curriculum in Wales).]]

(5)Before making any regulations under this section, the Secretary of State shall consult any persons with whom consultation appears to him to be desirable.

(6)Regulations under this section shall not require information as to the results of an individual pupil’s assessment (whether under [F59Part 6 [F60or 7] of the Education Act 2002] [F61or Part 4 of the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Act 2021] or otherwise) to be made available to any persons other than—

(a)the parents of the pupil concerned,

(b)the pupil concerned,

(c)in the case of a pupil who has transferred to a different school, the head teacher of that school,

(d)the governing body of the school, or

(e)the [F7local authority];

F62...

[F63(6A)Regulations under this section shall not require information as is mentioned in subsection (6) to be made available—

(a)to a governing body except where relevant for the purposes of the performance of any of their functions;

(b)to a head teacher except where relevant for the purposes of the performance of any of the head teacher’s functions;

(c)to a local authority except where relevant for the purposes of the performance of any of their education functions.]

(7)Regulations under this section may authorise [F64local authorities] , governing bodies and head teachers to make a charge (not exceeding the cost of supply) for any documents supplied by them in pursuance of the regulations.

(8)In relation to any maintained school, the [F7local authority] and the governing body shall exercise their functions with a view to securing that the head teacher complies with any regulations made under this section.

[F65(8A)In exercising their functions under subsection (1), the Welsh Ministers must have regard to the desirability of information being available to parents and others about whether, and if so how, any parts of the curriculum and any educational provision at maintained schools (other than maintained nursery schools) promote the purpose of the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015 (see section 1 of that Act).]

[F66(9)In this section “maintained school” includes a maintained nursery school.]

Textual Amendments

F32Words in s. 408(1)(a) inserted (1.10.1997) by 1997 c. 44, s. 57(1), Sch. 7 para. 30(a); S.I. 1997/1468, art. 2, Sch. 1 Pt. III

F33Words in s. 408(1)(a) inserted (28.7.2000 for certain purposes otherwise 1.9.2001) by 2000 c. 21, ss. 149, 154, Sch. 9 para. 57(2) (with s.150); S.I. 2001/654, art. 2(3), Sch. Pt. III (with art. 3); S.I. 2001/1274, art. 2(2), Sch. Pt. II

F34Words in s. 408(1)(a) inserted (1.10.2002 for E., 19.12.2002 for W.) by Education Act 2002 (c. 32), ss. 215(1), 216(4), Sch. 21 para. 46(2) (with ss. 210(8), 214(4)); S.I. 2002/2439, art. 3; S.I. 2002/3185, art. 4; Sch. Pt. I

F36Words in s. 408(1)(a) substituted (1.4.2012) by Education Act 2011 (c. 21), s. 82(3), Sch. 8 para. 7; S.I. 2012/924, art. 2

F40Words in s. 408(2)(d) substituted (1.10.1998) by 1998 c. 31, s. 140(1), Sch. 30 para. 106(b) (with ss. 138(9), 144(6)); S.I. 1998/2212, art. 2, Sch. 1 Pt. I

F41S. 408(2)(e) and preceding ", and" inserted (28.7.2000 for certain purposes, otherwise 1.9.2001) by 2000 c. 21, ss. 149, 154, Sch. 9 para. 57(3) (with 150); S.I. 2001/654, art. 2(3), Sch. Pt. III (with art. 3); S.I. 2001/1274, art. 2(2), Sch. Pt. II

F44Words in s. 408(2)(e) omitted (21.9.2015) by virtue of Qualifications Wales Act 2015 (anaw 5), s. 60(2), Sch. 4 para. 1(2)(b); S.I. 2015/1687, art. 2 (with arts. 3-12)

F49Word in s. 408(4)(d) substituted (1.9.1999) by 1998 c. 31, s. 140(1), Sch. 30 para. 106(d)(ii) (with ss. 138(9), 144(6))

F51Words in s. 408(4)(f) repealed (1.9.2001) by 1997 c. 44, ss. 57(1)(4), Sch. 7 para. 30(b), Sch. 8; S.I. 2001/1215, art. 2

F53S. 408(4)(g) repealed (19.4.2010 for specified purposes, 1.9.2010 for specified purposes) by Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 (c. 22), ss. 223(1)(a), 269(4), Sch. 16 Pt. 7; S.I. 2010/303, art. 5, Sch. 4; S.I. 2010/1151, art. 4, Sch. 2

F57S. 408(4A) inserted (1.10.2002 for E. for certain purposes, 19.12.2002 for W. and otherwise prosp.) by Education Act 2002 (c. 32), ss. 215, 216(4), Sch. 21 para. 46(4) (with ss. 210(8), 214(4)); S.I. 2002/2439, art. 3; S.I. 2002/3185, art. 4, Sch. Pt. I

F59Words in s. 408(6) substituted (1.10.2002 for E. for certain purposes, 19.12.2002 for W. and otherwise prosp.) by Education Act 2002 (c. 32), ss. 215, 216(4), Sch. 21 para. 46(5) (with ss. 210(8), 214(4)); S.I. 2002/2439, art. 3; S.I. 2002/3185, art. 4, Sch. Pt. I

Complaints and enforcementE+W

409[F67Complaints and enforcement: maintained schools [F68in Wales] . ]E+W

[F69(1)A local education authority [F70in Wales] shall, F71. . . after consultation with governing bodies [F72of foundation and voluntary aided schools [F70in Wales],] make arrangements for the consideration and disposal of any complaint to which subsection (2) applies.

(2)This subsection applies to any complaint which is to the effect that the authority, or the governing body of [F73any community, foundation or voluntary school maintained by the authority[F74, any maintained nursery school so maintained] or any community [F75or foundation special] school] so maintained which is not established in a hospital—

(a)have acted or are proposing to act unreasonably in relation to the exercise of a power conferred on them by or under a relevant enactment, or

(b)have acted or are proposing to act unreasonably in relation to the performance of, or have failed to discharge, a duty imposed on them by or under a relevant enactment.

(3)In subsection (2) “relevant enactment” means—

(a)any provision which by virtue of section 408(4) is a relevant provision of this Part for the purposes of section 408(1),

[F76(aa)[F77any provision which by virtue of section 408(4A) is a relevant provision of the Education Act 2002 for the purposes of section 408(1),]] and

(b)any other enactment (whether contained in this Part [F78or the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Act 2021] or otherwise) so far as relating to the curriculum for, or religious worship in, maintained schools F79. . ..

(4)The [F80Welsh Ministers] shall not entertain under [F81section 496 (power to prevent unreasonable exercise of functions) or 497 (powers where a local education authority or governing body fail to discharge their duties)] [F81Chapter 1 or 2 of Part 2 of the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013 (intervention in conduct of maintained schools and local authorities)] any complaint to which subsection (2) applies, unless a complaint concerning the same matter has been made and disposed of in accordance with arrangements made under subsection (1).]

Textual Amendments

F67S. 409 sidenote substituted (1.9.1999) by 1998 c. 31, s. 140(1), Sch. 30 para. 107(d) (with ss. 138(9), 144(6)); S.I. 1999/2323, art. 2(1), Sch. 1

F68Words in s. 409 heading inserted (1.8.2012) by Education Act 2011 (c. 21), ss. 45(2)(a)(iii), 82(3); S.I. 2012/1087, art. 2 (with art. 6)

F69S. 409 repealed (19.4.2010 for specified purposes, 1.9.2010 for specified purposes) by Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 (c. 22), ss. 223(1)(b), 269(4), Sch. 16 Pt. 7; S.I. 2010/303, art. 5, Sch. 4; S.I. 2010/1151, art. 4, Sch. 2

F70Words in s. 409(1) inserted (1.8.2012) by Education Act 2011 (c. 21), ss. 45(2)(a)(i), 82(3); S.I. 2012/1087, art. 2 (with art. 6)

F71Words in s. 409(1) repealed (1.10.2002 for E., 19.12.2002 for W.) by Education Act 2002 (c. 32), ss. 215, 216(4), Sch. 21 para. 47(2), Sch. 22 Pt. 3 (with ss. 210(8), 214(4)); S.I. 2002/2439, art. 3; S.I. 2002/3185, art. 4, Sch. Pt. I

F72Words in s. 409(1) substituted (1.9.1999) by 1998 c. 31, s. 140(1), Sch. 30 para. 107(a) (with ss. 138(9), 144(6)); S.I. 1999/2323, art. 2(1), Sch. 1

F73Words in s. 409(2) substituted (1.9.1999) by 1998 c. 31, s. 140(1), Sch. 30 para. 107(b) (with ss. 138(9), 144(6)); S.I. 1999/2323, art. 2(1), Sch. 1

F74Words in s. 409(2) inserted (1.9.2003 for E.) by Education Act 2002 (c. 32), s. 216(4), Sch. 21 para. 47(3) (with ss. 210(8), 214(4)); S.I. 2003/1667, art. 4

F76S. 409(3)(aa) inserted (1.10.2002 for E., 19.12.2002 for W.) by Education Act 2002 (c. 32), ss. 215(1), 216(4), Sch. 21 para. 47(4) (with ss. 210(8), 214(4)); S.I. 2002/2439, art. 3; S.I. 2002/3185, art. 4, Sch. Pt. I

F79Words in s. 409(3)(b) repealed (1.9.1999) by 1998 c. 31, s. 140(1)(3), Sch. 30 para. 107(c), Sch.31 (with ss. 138(9), 144(6)); S.I. 1999/2323, art. 2(1), Sch. 1

F80Words in s. 409(4) substituted (1.8.2012) by Education Act 2011 (c. 21), ss. 45(2)(a)(ii), 82(3); S.I. 2012/1087, art. 2 (with art. 6)

Nursery educationE+W

410 Application of Part V in relation to nursery education.E+W

[F82Nothing in this Part applies in relation to a nursery school or in relation to a nursery class in a primary school.]

Textual Amendments

F82S. 410 repealed (1.10.2002 for E., 1.8.2008 for W.) by Education Act 2002 (c. 32), ss. 205, 216(4), Sch. 22 Pt. 3 (with ss. 210(8), 214(4)); S.I. 2002/2439, art. 3; S.I. 2008/1728, art. 3, Sch. Pt. 2

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