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Education law quarterly digest (January – March 2017)

This is the latest in our series of quarterly education update blogs which will enable readers to catch up on the most important cases, issues or developments in education law from January to March 2017. Please feel free to submit a comment below or send us an Ask query if you have any views on the cases, issues, or legal developments that are covered or if you think we have missed something that should be brought to the attention of education law practitioners.

In this post, we look at:

  • Legislative developments.
  • Government consultations
  • Government guidance and policy statements.

Legislative developments

  • On 24 March 2017, the Childcare (Provision of Information About Young Children) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 (2017 regulations) were laid before Parliament. They are intended to come into force on 1 September 2017.

    The 2017 regulations amend the Childcare (Provision of Information About Young Children) (England) Regulations 2009 (2009 regulations). The 2009 regulations prescribe information about individual children that early years providers must provide to the government and their local authority if requested.

  • The School Information (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 (2017 Regulations) have been made and came into force on 14 February 2017. The 2017 Regulations make a number of amendments to the School Information (England) Regulations 2008.
  • On 9 January 2017 the Secretary of State for Education made the Coasting Schools (England) Regulations 2017, which define “coasting schools” for the purposes of section 60B of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 (EIA 2006) and section 2B of the Academies Act 2010. The regulations came into force on 11 January 2017, following the full commencement of section 1 of the Education and Adoption Act 2016, which inserts section 60B into the EIA 2006 and provides for intervention into “coasting” maintained schools.

Government consultations

The following consultation has been published:

  • On 14 March 2017, the Department for Education (DfE) published a consultation on its proposed revisions to the statutory guidance on the exclusion of pupils (exclusion guidance). The changes are aimed at providing greater clarity to head teachers, independent review panels and governing bodies on their responsibilities when they are considering exclusion decisions.

Government guidance and policy statements

On 22 March 2017, the DfE published a short guide setting out the criteria that parents of three and four year olds will be required to meet in order to be eligible for 30 hours free childcare.

On 1 March 2017, Justine Greening, the Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities, announced in a written statement to Parliament that the government had tabled amendments to the Children and Social Work Bill 2017. The amendments will make the teaching of relationships and sex education (RSE) a statutory requirement in secondary schools in England. Currently only pupils at local authority maintained secondary schools are guaranteed to be offered RSE.

On 26 January 2017, the Office of the Schools Adjudicator published the annual report of the Chief Schools Adjudicator for England. The report covers the period 1 September 2015 to 31 August 2016, and records the progress made by admission authorities in England in complying fully with the School Admissions Code. Also covered is a report on the first year of operation of the new timetable for the determination of arrangements by admission authorities and for making objections to those arrangements.

On 6 January 2017, the House of Commons Library published an updated briefing paper on Grammar Schools in England. Its earlier briefing paper in September 2016 provided an overview of the existing legal provisions affecting grammar schools and compared these to the provisions affecting other types of school.


Practical Law Education law digest

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