Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments First Report


Further memorandum from the Department for Education and Skills

EDUCATION (TEACHER STUDENT LOANS) (REPAYMENT ETC.) REGULATIONS 2002 (S.I. 2002/2086)

1. Following its meeting on 28th October 2002 the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments requested the Department to submit a memorandum on the following points:

Regulation 6 refers to a person who has ceased to be an "eligible teacher". Given the definition of that expression in regulation 2(1), explain the circumstances (other than under regulation 9(3)(a)) in which a person can cease to be an eligible teacher. Should regulation 6 have referred to a person who has ceased to be in eligible employment?

2. Eligibility for benefits under the Regulations is set out in regulation 3. Therefore, the circumstances (other than under regulation 9(3)(a)) in which a person can cease to be an eligible teacher are:

(a) a person ceases to be in eligible employment (regulation 3(1)(a) and (2)(a));

(b) a person ceases to have an outstanding loan (regulation 3(1)(c) and (2)(c)). For example a person makes voluntary repayments;

(c) a person is in breach of an obligation contained in a loan agreement or in a statutory instrument under which the loan was made. For example, a part-time eligible teacher with loans made pursuant to the Education (Student Support) Regulations 2002 (made under section 22 of the Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998) will remain liable to repay the proportion of the loans for which he does not receive a reduction under these Regulations. Therefore, if he goes into arrears then the Secretary of State may determine that he is not eligible under regulation 3(3)(a);

(d) a person has outstanding charges or penalties in relation to loan (regulation 3(3)(b)). For example, a person in the example in (c) may incur penalties for late payment; and

(e) a person has shown himself by his conduct to be unfitted to be eligible (regulation 3(3)(c)).

3. Given that a person who has ceased to be an eligible teacher includes a person who has ceased to be in eligible employment the Department does not consider that regulation 6 should have referred to the latter wording.

Explain how regulation 8(5) is intended to operate where an eligible teacher recommences eligible employment (as envisaged in regulation 6).

4. Where a person ceases to be in eligible employment he ceases to be an eligible teacher. However, a person may regain eligibility if he meets the conditions set out in regulation 6. Regulation 8(2) requires a person who recommences eligible employment under regulation 6 to make an application. The purpose of such an application is for the person to provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate to the Secretary of State that he comes within requirements of regulation 6. If the Secretary of State considers that the applicant is eligible then he is obliged to notify him of that fact and then that person shall be considered to be an eligible teacher again.

Explain the purpose of regulation 8(6), given paragraphs (1) to (3) of that regulation.

5. The purpose of regulation 8(1) to (3) is to provide for the application procedure for persons applying for benefits under the Regulations whethelr new applicants or persons who were previously eligible teachers and are recommencing eligible employment under regulation 6. The purpose of regulation 8(6) is to provide for the procedure for persons who are already eligible (ie eligible teachers) to demonstrate their continued eligibility to benefits under the Regulations. Every year whilst a person remains an eligible teacher a person will be sent an "annual review" form which will set out the details of his employment and the benefits he is eligible for. The person will be asked to confirm these details and provide details of any changes.

8th November 2002



 
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