The Technical & Further Education Act 2017 (“the Act”) will be coming into force from early 2018. The Act aims to reform technical education and help boost the country’s productivity by addressing skill shortages. A way that the government wishes to do this is through what has become known as the Baker clause as it arises from an amendment proposed by Lord Baker.
New careers requirement on schools
As part of the overall reforms, the Baker clause amends previous requirements (in the Education Act 1997) and places added careers duties on Local Authority maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England. These institutions now must allow a range of education and training further education providers (“FE providers”) access to their pupils in order to inform pupils about technical education and apprenticeships.
Practically, this will mean FE providers will inform pupils in years 8 – 13 about the courses and qualifications they offer. Schools must have clear arrangements in place to ensure that all pupils have opportunities to hear from providers of post-14, post-16 and post-18 options, set out by the DfE here.
Schools must also publish a policy statement outlining how FE providers can access their pupils, the school’s rules for granting and removing access, and what providers can expect once access is granted. An example policy statement has been provided by the DfE here for schools to use as a starting point.
The new requirement for schools will be effective from 2 January 2018. The DfE also intends to publish further guidance for schools, available from January 2018.
All schools and FE providers should be aware of these requirements and if they have not yet done so begin to write and examine policy statements.
The policy should be approved by governors and updated regularly. Once the DfE guidance is released, schools may wish to review the policy and the timeframe for how often and when FE providers can enter schools.
FE providers should seek to review a range of schools’ policies and consider the best and most efficient way of encouraging young people into further education. Questions about a school’s policy, the practicalities of entering the school and the school’s safeguarding requirements should be directed towards individual schools.
This information is necessarily of a general nature and doesn’t constitute legal advice. This is not a substitute for formal legal advice, given in the context of full information under an engagement with Bates Wells.
All content on this page is correct as of December 14, 2017.