Landmark new Schools Bill introduced into Parliament

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The Government has today introduced the Schools Bill into Parliament. If enacted, the Bill, which can be read here, will implement much of the framework required for the rollout of the plans highlighted in the education White Paper earlier this year.

As all schools are expected to join a strong multi-academy trust by 2030, the Bill introduces new legally enforceable standards for academy trusts. Current rules on the operation of academy trusts are spread across various policies. The Bill will consolidate these standards into a ‘common rulebook’ for all academy trusts. The Department for Education will also be given new intervention powers to ensure maintained standards in trusts.

The Bill also sets out the statutory protections that will become available to faith schools joining multi-academy trusts to ensure existing freedoms are retained. Grammar schools will also be given protections to ensure their status continues when joining a trust.

In furtherance of expanding the trust network, local authorities will be given the power to make an application to the Secretary of State for an academy order in respect of any maintained schools in the local authority area provided relevant consultation takes place and in some cases, consent is obtained from the maintained school.

The Bill tackles important issues such as attendance, safeguarding and results. Local authorities will be required to maintain a register of children not in school and attendance support and management in schools will become more regulated and equal across the country. The Bill will also expand the scope of education providers who need to be registered with the Secretary of State to ensure as many providers of children’s education as possible are regulated in line with schools across the country.

This article highlights just some of the changes proposed by the Schools Bill with more updates to follow. If you have any queries about what the proposed changes could mean for your school, please contact the Muckle Education team.

Tony McPhillips on 0191 211 7908 or by emailing [email protected]

Joanne Davison on 0191 211 7958 or by emailing [email protected]

Jill Donabie on 0191 211 7933 or by emailing [email protected]