Education Act 1996

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1996 c. 56


Education Act 1996

1996 Chapter 56

An Act to consolidate the Education Act 1944 and certain other enactments relating to education, with amendments to give effect to recommendations of the Law Commission.

[24th July 1996]

B e it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I General

Part I

General

Chapter I

The statutory system of education

General

General

S-1 The stages of education.

1 The stages of education.

(1) The statutory system of public education consists of three progressive stages: primary education, secondary education and further education.

(2) This Part—

(a) confers functions on the Secretary of State and local education authorities with respect to primary, secondary and further education and

(b) provides for functions with respect to primary and secondary education to be conferred on the funding authorities constituted under Chapte0000r IV.

(3) Part I of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 confers functions with respect to further education on the further education funding councils established under section 1 of that Act.

(4) Apartfrom section 10 (general duty of Secretary of State), nothing in this Act confers any functions with respect to higher education.

S-2 Definition of primary, secondary and further education.

2 Definition of primary, secondary and further education.

(1) In this Act ‘primary education’ means —

(a) full-time education suitable to the requirements of junior pupils who have not attained the age of 10 years and six months; and

(b) full-time education suitable to the requirements of junior pupils who have attained that age and whom it is expedient to educate together with junior pupils within paragraph (a).

(2) In this Act ‘secondary education’ means—

(a) full-time education suitable to the requirements of pupils of compulsory school age who are either—

(i) senior pupils, or

(ii) junior pupils who have attained the age of 10 years and six months and whom it is expedient to educate together with senior pupils of compulsory school age and

(b) (subject to subsection (5)) full-time education suitable to the requirements of pupils who are over compulsory school age but under the age of 19 which is provided at a school at which education within paragraph (a) is also provided.

(3) Subject to subsection (5), in this Act ‘further education’ means—

(a) full-time and part-time education suitable to the requirements of persons who are over compulsory school age (including vocational, social, physical and recreational training), and

(b) organised leisure-time occupation provided in connection with the provision of such education,

except that it does not include secondary education or (in accordance with subsection (7)) higher education.

(4) Accordingly, unless it is education within subsection (2)(b), full-time education suitable to the requirements of persons over compulsory school age who have not attained the age of 19 is further education for the purposes of this Act and not secondary education.

(5) For the purposes of this Act education provided for persons who have attained the age of 19 is further education not secondary education but where a person—

(a) has begun a particular course of secondary education before attaining the age of 18, and

(b) continues to attend that course,

the education does not cease to be secondary education by reason of his having attained the age of 19.

(6) In subsection (3)(b) ‘organised leisure-time occupation’ means leisure-time occupation, in such organised cultural training and recreative activities as are suited to their requirements, for any persons over compulsory school age who are able and willing to profit by facilities provided for that purpose.

(7) References in this section to education do not include references to higher education.

S-3 Definition of pupil etc.

3 Definition of pupil etc.

(1) In this Act ‘pupil’ means a person for whom education is being provided at a school, other than—

(a) a person who has attained the age of 19 for whom further education is being provided, or

(b) a person for whom part-time education suitable to the requirements of persons of any age over compulsory school age is being provided.

(2) In this Act—

‘junior pupil’ means a child who has not attained the age of 12 and

‘senior pupil’ means a person who has attained the age of 12 but not the age of 19.

(3) The definition of ‘pupil’ in subsection (1) also applies (unless the context otherwise requires) for the purposes of any instrument made or having effect as if made under the Education Acts.

Educational institutions

Educational institutions

S-4 Schools: general.

4 Schools: general.

(1) In this Act ‘school’ means an educational institution which is outside the further education sector and the higher education sector and is an institution for providing any one or more of the following—

(a) primary education,

(b) education which is secondary education by virtue of section 2(2)(a), or

(c) full-time education suitable to the requirements of persons who are over compulsory school age but under the age of 19,

whether or not the institution also provides part-time education suitable to the requirements of junior pupils, further education or secondary education not within paragraph (b).

(2) For the purposes of this Act an educational institution that would fall within subsection (1) but for the fact that it provides part-time rather than full-time education shall nevertheless be treated as a school if that part-time education is provided under arrangements made under section 19(1) (pupil referral units).

(3) For the purposes of this Act an institution is outside the further education sector if it is not—

(a) an institution conducted by a further education corporation established under section 15 or 16 of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 , or

(b) a designated institution for the purposes of Part I of that Act (defined in section 28(4) of that Act)

and references to institutions within that sector shall be construed accordingly.

(4) For the purposes of this Act an institution is outside the higher education sector if it is not—

(a) a university receiving financial support under section 65 of that Act,

(b) an institution conducted by a higher education corporation within the meaning of that Act, or

(c) a designated institution for the purposes of Part II of that Act (defined in section 72(3) of that Act)

and references to institutions within that sector shall be construed accordingly.

S-5 Primary schools, secondary schools and middle schools.

5 Primary schools, secondary schools and middle schools.

(1) In this Act ‘primary school’ means (subject to regulations under subsection (4)) a school for providing primary education, whether or not it also provides part-time education suitable to the requirements of junior pupils or further education.

(2) In this Act ‘secondary school’ means (subject to regulations under subsection (4)) a school for providing secondary education, whether or not it also provides further education.

(3) In this Act ‘middle school’ means a school in respect of which proposals authorised by section 49, 198(6) or 291 are implemented (that is, a school providing full-time education suitable to the requirements of pupils who have attained a specified age below 10 years and six months and are under a specified age above 12 years).

(4) The Secretary of State shall make regulations for determining, or enabling him to determine, whether a middle school is to be treated for the purposes of this Act and the other enactments relating to education as a primary school or as a secondary school.

(5) The powers conferred by sections 49, 198(6) and 291 and subsection (4) above are exercisable—

(a) notwithstanding anything in this Act (and in particular section 1); but

(b) without prejudice to the exercise of any other power conferred by this Act.

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT