Memorandum submitted by LGA (CS 23)



Statutory responsibilities of councils - education



Elective Home Education - Guidelines for Local Authorities (enclosed) was issued by DCSF and states in paragraph 2.1:


2.1 The responsibility for a child's education rests with their parents. In England, education is compulsory, but school is not.


The responsibilities of local authorities are set out in some detail from paragraph 2.5.



However, the guidance fails to mention s.1 of the Education & Inspections Act (EIA) 2006 - which inserts s.13A to the Education Act 1996. This makes the position even clearer:


1 Duties in relation to high standards and the fulfilment of potential


For section 13A of EA 1996 substitute-


"13A Duty to promote high standards and the fulfilment of potential


(1) A local education authority shall ensure that their functions relating to the provision of education to which this section applies are (so far as they are capable of being so exercised) exercised by the authority with a view to-


(a) promoting high standards,

(b) in the case of a local education authority in England, ensuring fair access to educational opportunity, and

(c) promoting the fulfilment by every child concerned of his educational potential.


(2) This section applies to education for-

(a) children of compulsory school age (whether at school or otherwise); and

(b) children under or over that age who are registered as pupils at schools maintained by the authority,

and in subsection (1) "functions" means functions of whatever nature.

(3) In this section "child" means a person under the age of 20."


Thus it is our understanding that councils have a statutory duty to promote high standards, ensure fair access to educational opportunity and promote the fulfilment by every child of his or her educational potential. This applies whether or not children attend school.


January 2010