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New draft SEN bill would enhance pupil/parent rights in relation to academies

On 3 September 2012, the Department published the long-awaited draft SEN bill. Here is the Ministerial Statement which announced the draft. And here is the draft itself, being published now for...

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No longer a presumption that new schools will be academies?

The legal presumption that new schools should academies is in tatters after a court judgment given on 14 December 2012. On 16 November 2012, the British Humanist Association (BHA) and Richmond...

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How much do academies use their legal ‘freedoms’ in practice

See pages 44 and onwards in the Pearson Commission report on academies here. The report identifies the following ‘freedoms’: set their own curriculum, subject to teaching a broad and balanced...

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conversion to becoming a “sponsored academy”– what does it mean?

The Department uses words like “partner” to describe the relationship between a school and its “sponsor” but that seems very misleading to me. As indeed does the word “sponsor”. I recently attended a...

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Academies breach their funding agreements

MP John Healey put down the following Parliamentary Question: To ask the Secretary of State for Education which academies, from which academy groups, have breached their funding agreements since May...

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Changes to planning rules make councils powerless to stop existing buildings...

From 30 May 2013, changes to the “Town and Country Planning General Permitted Development Order” (TCPGPDO) mean that it will be almost impossible to stop an an existing building and its grounds being...

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How have the legal structures for schools become so complicated, does it...

The Education Law Journal has kindly published the following article in which I reflected on how changes to the legal arrangements for schools have left us with something which can barely be described...

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Children and Families Act 2014 gets Royal Assent

What was previously the Children and Families Bill was given Royal Assent on 13 March 2014. It has been substantially amended in the course of the parliamentary process but, as I reported earlier, it...

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Government extends requirement to teach evolution and banning of...

This is all from the British Humanist Association: “The Government has revised the single Academies model funding agreement to bring it in line with the Free Schools model funding agreement in...

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Free School meals implementation adds new complexity to Funding Agreements

Behind the political controversy over the Government’s policy of compulsory free school for all under 7′s lies the latest new complexity for the legal structures and the  funding agreements for...

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