Representation of the People (Young People's Enfranchisement and Education) Bill (HC Bill 15)

A

BILL

TO

Reduce the voting age to 16 in parliamentary and other elections; to make
provision about young people's education in citizenship and the constitution;
and for connected purposes.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Part 1 Young people's enfranchisement

1 Voting age (elections)

(1) The Representation of the People Act 1983 is amended as follow—

(a) 5In section 1(1)(d) (definition of voting age for parliamentary elections),
for “18” substitute “16”; and

(b) For section 2(1)(d) (local government electors) and subsection 1A
substitute—

(d) is of voting age (that is, 16 years or over)”.

(2) 10In the Representation of the People Act 1985, in section 1(5) (entitlement to vote
of overseas electors), for “18” substitute “16”.

2 Voting age (referendums)

The voting age for referendums held in—

(a) England;

(b) 15Northern Ireland;

(c) Scotland;

(d) Wales; or

(e) any combination thereof


shall be 16.

Representation of the People (Young People\qs Enfranchisement and Education) BillPage 2

3 Electoral Registration

(1) Electoral registration officers shall take all reasonable steps—

(a) to register:

(i) 16 and 17 year olds enfranchised by this Act; and

(ii) 515 year olds in preparation for enfranchisement under this Act

prior to the coming into force of section 1 and 2; and

(b) to store, use and share personal data collected under paragraph (a) in
ways appropriate to the age of the persons to whom it relates.

(2) The Secretary of State or other appropriate authority may issue guidance to
10electoral registration officers in relation to subsection (1).

Part 2 Young people's education (citizenship and the constitution)

4 Citizenship and the constitution education in maintained schools

(1) In section 84 of the Education Act 2002 (“EA 2002”) in subsection (3)
15(foundation subjects), after paragraph (h) add—

(i) Citizenship and the constitution education (“CCE”)”.

(2) In section 85 of EA 2002 (curriculum requirements for the fourth key stage), in
subsection (4) (foundation subjects), at the end insert , and

(d) Citizenship and the Constitution Education (“CCE”)”.

(3) 20Before section 86 of EA 2002 insert—

85B Citizenship and the constitution education

(1) For the purposes of this Part, citizenship and the constitution education
(“CCE”) shall comprise formal lessons which aim to develop the
knowledge, skills and confidence of pupils to prepare them for the
25opportunities and responsibilities of enfranchisement and
participation in public life.

(2) For the purposes of this Act, the topics to be covered under subsection
(1) shall include, but not be limited to—

(a) the ways in which societies and communities take collective
30decisions and concerted action;

(b) the role of democratic political structures in—

(i) identifying and defining the decisions to be made, and

(ii) gathering consensus or majority support in relation to
such decisions;

(c) 35the evolution and development of the United Kingdom’s
constitutional arrangements; and

(d) the United Kingdom’s current executive, democratic,
legislative, judicial, legal and economic structures, including—

(i) constitutional arrangements and political system,

(ii) 40the electoral system and role of political parties,

(iii) the economy, public finances and money,

(iv) the judiciary, courts and other justice systems, and

Representation of the People (Young People\qs Enfranchisement and Education) BillPage 3

(v) any international organisations and treaties to which the
United Kingdom is party.

(3) The detail of the curriculum under subsections (1) and (2) shall be
determined by the governing body and head teacher.

(4) 5The Secretary of State may—

(a) by order amend subsections (1) and (2), and

(b) issue guidance on the delivery of the objectives in subsection (1)
and the topics in subsection (2).

(5) The National Curriculum for England is not required to specify
10attainment targets or assessment arrangements for CCE (and section
84(1) has effect accordingly).

(6) It is the duty of the governing body and head teacher of any school in
which CCE is provided in pursuance of this section to ensure that the
principles set out in subsections (7) to (9) are complied with.

(7) 15The first principle is that information presented in the course of
providing CCE should be accurate, balanced and politically impartial.

(8) The second principle is that CCE should be taught in a way that is
appropriate to the ages and backgrounds of the pupils concerned.

(9) The third principle is that CCE should be taught in a way that—

(a) 20encourages acceptance of diversity and difference; and

(b) emphasises the importance of responsibilities and rights.

(10) The Secretary of State shall issue guidance about the teaching of CCE
and the exercise of functions under this Part of local authorities,
governing bodies or head teachers.

(11) 25The Secretary of State must—

(a) ensure that CCE is included in accredited initial and continuing
teacher education; and

(b) issue guidance on best practice in delivering and inspecting
CCE education.

(12) 30The Secretary of State must review the guidance mentioned in
subsection (11) at least annually, and in reviewing the guidance the
Secretary of State must consult such persons as the Secretary of State
considers appropriate and must amend and reissue the guidance if
such a review concludes that considers it would otherwise not be fit for
35purpose.”

5 Citizenship and the constitution in other state funded schools

(NONE) In Chapter 4 of Part 7 of the Education Act 1996 (city colleges), after section
483A insert—

483B Citizenship and the constitution education

(1) 40For the fourth key stage, the curriculum for a school to which this
section applies shall include citizenship and the constitution education
(“CCE”), comprising the matters set out in section 85B(1) and (2) of the
Education Act 2002.

Representation of the People (Young People\qs Enfranchisement and Education) BillPage 4

(2) It is the duty of the proprietor and head teacher of a school in which
CCE is provided in pursuance of this section to secure that the
principles set out in section 85B(7) to (9) of the Education Act 2002 are
complied with.

(3) 5In carrying out functions exercisable by virtue of this section, the
proprietor and head teacher of a school to which the section applies
shall have regard to any guidance issued from time to time by the
Secretary of State.

(4) The schools to which this section applies are city technology colleges,
10city colleges for the technology of the arts and academy schools.

(5) In this section the “fourth key stage” has the meaning given by section
82(1)(c) and (d) of the Education Act 2002.

(6) Section 4 of the Representation of the People (Young Persons’
Enfranchisement and Education) Act 2017 applies to schools
15mentioned in subsection (4) as though they were maintained schools.”

Part 3 General

6 Financial provisions

(NONE) There is to be paid out of money provided by Parliament—

(a) 20any expenditure incurred under or by virtue of this Act, and

(b) any increase attributable to this Act in the sums payable under any other Act
out of money so provided.

7 Extent, commencement and citation

(1) Part 1 and this Part of this Act extend to the whole of the United Kingdom

(2) 25Part 2 of this Act extends to England and Wales.

(3) This Act (other than sections 1 and 2) comes into force two months after the day
on which it is passed.

(4) Sections 1 and 2 come into force on 1 September in the second academic year
following the coming into force of Part 2.

(5) 30This Act may be cited as the Representation of the People (Young People’s
Enfranchisement and Education) Act 2017.