Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Twenty-Fifth Report



APPENDIX V

First Memorandum by the Department for Education and Employment

FOUNDATION BODY REGULATIONS 1999 (S.I. 1999/1502)

  1. The Committee has requested a memorandum on the two following points.

      (1)  Identify the power which authorises the restrictions and pre-conditions on schools joining a group (and their governing bodies applying for the establishment of a foundation body) contained in regulations 2(1) and 21(1).

  2. A "foundation body" is defined in section 21(4)(a) of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 ("the 1998 Act") as a body corporate established under that section to perform, in relation to three or more schools each of which is either a foundation or a voluntary school, certain specified functions and a "group" is defined in paragraph (b) of that same subsection as the group of three or more schools for which the foundation body performs those functions.

  3. As regards regulation 2(1), it seemed to the Department to be part of making provision for establishing a foundation body and joining a group, under section 21(5) of the 1998Act, to specify in the Regulations which governing bodies could apply to the Secretary of State for the establishment of a foundation body and which schools could form part of the group for which the foundation body acts. Section 21(4) (a) of the 1998 Act refers to foundation or voluntary schools and so regulation 2(1) refers to schools which are already foundation or voluntary schools or which are grant-maintained or community schools which propose to become foundation or voluntary schools. To give an example, three grant-maintained schools, only two of which propose to become foundation or voluntary schools, would not be able to apply together for the establishment of a foundation body or to form the group for which the foundation body acts.

  4. Regulation 21(1) provides that a school may only join a group with the agreement of the governing bodies of all the schools already in the group. The Department considers that power for this is also to be found in section 21(5) of the 1998 Act. In requiring the agreement of the governing bodies of all the schools already in the group, the Secretary of State is making provision for and in connection with the membership of a foundation body and the steps to be taken in connection with schools joining a group.

      (2)  Explain what authorises the powers in regulations 5(2) and 8(5) for the Secretary of State to dissolve a foundation body otherwise than by an order (given the requirement for an order in section 21(6)(g) of the 1998 Act).

  5. The Department regrets that both regulations 5(2) and 8(5) are in error and that they should have provided for the dissolution of the foundation body to be by order of the Secretary of State. The Department has always intended to make additional Regulations to provide more generally for the dissolution of foundation bodies, in addition to the two very limited circumstances already set out in these Regulations, and the necessary corrections to regulations 5(2) and 8(5) will be made in those Regulations. The Secretary of State will not dissolve a foundation body until the necessary amending Regulations are in place.

22nd June 1999



Second Memorandum by the Department for Education and Employment

FOUNDATION BODY REGULATIONS 1999 (S.I. 1999/1502)

  1. The Committee has requested a further memorandum on the following points:

      As regards sub-paragraph (a) of regulation 2(1) read with the tailpiece-

        (a)  would the intention of the sub-paragraph be correctly expressed if it read: "a school may only take steps to form part of a group"?

        (b)  if not, explain why the sub-paragraph has been included and, in particular, the intended effect of the sub-paragraph read with the words "or if it is a grant-maintained or community school which the governing body propose should become a foundation or voluntary school", given that the definition of "the group" in section 21(4)(b) relates to three or more schools each of which is either a foundation or a voluntary school.

  2. The intention of regulation 2(1)(a) would have been better expressed if it had read "a school may only take steps to form part of a group". The group of schools for which the foundation body will act will contain only foundation or voluntary schools. Joining a group is one way for a school which is currently a grant-maintained school to become a foundation or voluntary school on 1st September.

6 July 1999


 
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