Governors may be aware that the Deregulation Act 2015 received Royal Assent on 26 March 2015. I would like to update you on the commencement of provisions set out within Schedule 16 (Schools: Reduction of Burdens.)
The following provision will commence from 1 January 2016:
Home School Agreements
Repeal of the requirement for governing bodies of maintained schools, city technology colleges, city colleges for the technology of the arts and academy schools to adopt Home School Agreements and associated parental declarations. If schools choose they can have voluntary home school agreements.
The Department for Education's Behaviour and Discipline advice for headteachers and school staff for schools will be updated as a result of this change in due course.
The following provisions will not be commenced:
Governing Body - Written statement of general principles on behaviour The provision which removes the requirement on governing bodies of Maintained schools, pupil referral units and non-maintained special schools in England to produce a written statement of general principles which the head teacher must have regard to when setting out the school's behaviour policy will not be commenced.
These governing bodies will still have to produce a written statement of general principles on behaviour.
The Government is clear, ensuring good pupil behaviour in all our schools is a necessary condition to raising academic standards and ensuring teachers can teach and pupils can learn. It is important, therefore, for schools to have a behaviour policy and that governing bodies should continue to set out in writing the principles on which the head teacher should base that policy.
School Term Dates
The provision which gives the governing bodies of community, voluntary controlled, community special schools, and maintained nursery schools in England the responsibility for setting their own school term and holiday dates will not be commenced. These schools will not therefore be given the power to set their own term dates.
Currently academies, free schools, foundation schools and voluntary-aided schools have freedom over their term dates. Local authorities already have the power to vary term dates for other schools including for individual schools, and there has been no real clamour from maintained schools which do not have this power to have this freedom. Given this it would not be appropriate to commence with widening this to those maintained schools themselves, but we encourage local authorities to listen sympathetically to arguments for change from these schools.
Those schools that are performing well can still choose to become academies in order to set their own term dates.