Commentary on provisions of Bill
Clause 1: Issuing guidance
10 This clause inserts new section 551A into Chapter III (Other Provisions about Schools) of Part X (Miscellaneous and General) of the Education Act 1996.
11 Sub-section (1) imposes a statutory duty on the Secretary of State to issue guidance to the appropriate authorities of relevant schools on the costs aspects of school uniform policies. This duty only applies to schools in England.
12 Sub-section (2) provides a broad definition of the costs aspects of school uniform policies. It provides that the ‘costs aspects of school uniform policies’ means ‘any aspects of school uniform policies that the Secretary of State considers relevant to the costs of school uniforms’.
13 Sub-section (3) sets out who has to comply with the guidance issued by the Secretary of State – namely the appropriate authority of a relevant school. The meaning of ‘appropriate authority’ is set out in sub-section (6) (see paragraph 16 below) and the meaning of ‘relevant school’ is set out in paragraph 15 below. The requirement imposed on the appropriate authority by sub-section (3) is to have regard to the guidance issued by the Secretary of State when developing and implementing their school uniform policies.
14 Sub-section (4) allows the Secretary of State to revise the guidance from time to time.
15 Sub-section (5) explains which schools are covered by the Bill. They are: Academy schools (including special academies), alternative provision Academies, maintained schools (which include community, foundation or voluntary schools and community or voluntary special schools not in a hospital), non-maintained special schools and pupil referral units.
16 Sub-section (6) explains what ‘appropriate authority’ means in the Bill – for Academy schools, alternative provision Academies and non-maintained special schools, the proprietor, for maintained schools, the governing body and for pupil referral units, the local authority.
Clause 2: Extent, commencement and short title
17 Clause 2 covers extent and commencement. The Bill extends to England and Wales and applies to England only. It will come into force two months after Royal Assent.