The education authority consult with all interested parties (schools, teachers, parents, pupils) on all issues concerning education provision and in particular on any proposed changes to education within schools run by the authority.
A headteacher may decide to permanently exclude a pupil under strict circumstances to protect education or welfare of the pupils and staff in the school. The education authority provide support and advice for parents of excluded children and for the child.
All maintained schools, academies, city technology colleges and city colleges for the technology of the arts are required to publish a home-school agreement and associated parental declaration. A home-school agreement is a statement explaining the schools aims and values, the schools responsibilities towards its pupils who are of compulsory school age, the responsibility of each pupils parents and what the school expects of its pupils. Schools must take reasonable steps to ensure that all registered parents of pupils sign the parental declaration to indicate that they understand and accept the contents of the home-school agreement.
Each local authority is responsible for forming for its area one or more local curricula for pupils in Key Stage 4 and pupils age 16 to 18. This applies to Wales only.
With the agreement of the school pupils may be permitted to be absent from school for a limited period of time during the academic year. Parents or guardians need to request permission from the school for the absence.
Performance and assessment reports help schools look at their strength and weaknesses, compare their performance with other schools and develop plans to raise their standards.
Schools should have a policy which sets out clearly what is considered as bullying and/or harassment, how pupils and parents should do if they suspect bullying is taking place and how the school should deal with reports of such incidents.
Information about non-routine school closures (eg for bad weather) and how pupils and parents will be advised about such occurrences.
A complaint about an incident or school must be made to the headteacher. A further formal complaint can be made to the governing body and later to the authority with national responsibility for education. It is the responsibility of the local education authority to investigate complaints and to take appropriate action.
All school pupils aged 5 to 16 follow the national curriculum programme of study in full range of subjects. The education authority and the school governors have a responsibility to make sure that the National Curriculum is taught. In Scotland the 'National Priorities In Education', as approved by the Scottish Parliament in December 2000, are defined under the following headings: Achievement and Attainment; Framework for Learning; Inclusion and Equality; Values and Citizenship; Learning for Life
School governors are typically volunteers from the school's community. They must be aged 18 or over at the date of their election or appointment. They have three key roles of setting strategic direction, ensuring accountability and monitoring and evaluating school performance. In Scotland, parent councils replaced school boards. They help decide the direction, focus and ethos of schools, and represent and communicate with parents. Each school can write its own constitution for its parent council.
A pupil's educational record is made up of their academic achievements, other skills and abilities and pupil reports. Also, communications of headteachers and teachers or other education authority employees form part of a pupil's record. These must be retained and parents or pupils may request to see them.
Schools must take the attendance register at the start of the first session of each school day and once during the second session. On each occasion they must record whether every pupil is: present; attending an approved educational activity; absent; or unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances.
Regulations which apply to all schools including procedures to be followed in the event of any breach of the rules by pupils.
School session times (the timing of the school day) are set by the governing body of each school. Governing bodies are expected to consult with parents, staff, local schools and the local authority on any proposal to change the school day or session times and to adhere to any regulations regarding the number of half day sessions in a school year.
The education authority set and publish school term and holiday dates for the forthcoming academic year. In the UK term dates are usually published for up to 3 years in advance.
Education Development Plans (EDPs) are documents in which an education authority, in consultation with schools and other stakeholders, sets out costed plans for school improvement and raising pupils standards. In England EDPs are a statutory requirement of all education authorities. In Scotland legislation integrates school development plans into the new School Improvement Framework. The education authorities have a role in ensuring that a development plan and a summary are prepared for each school. After consultation, the date set for these plans is by June each year. There are also now specific criteria outlined for these plans.
The schools forum is made up of representatives from schools and academies in the local area. There is also some representation from non-school organisations, such as nursery and 16-19 education providers. The forum acts as a consultative body on issues such as changes to the local funding formula, arrangements for children with special educational needs, in pupil referral units and in early years provision. On other issues such as how much funding may be retained by the local authority within the dedicated schools grant (eg for providing an admissions service or providing additional funding for growing schools), proposed carry forward of deficits etc. the schools forum acts as a decision making body.
Every local authority with responsibility for education must establish a SACRE which advises the LA on matters relating to religious education, in accordance with its agreed syllabus, and on collective worship in community schools. A SACRE is made up of representatives from the council, local religious groups and teachers organisations and is mandated by law.
An 'area-wide prospectus' for 14- to 19-year-olds published by any local authority with responsibility for education. The 14-19 area prospectus is a learners' first choice of information for accessing all 14-19 learning opportunities and can be used in conjunction with guidance professionals to enable young people (supported by their parents) to make informed choices about where and how they would like to undertake their learning.