DES Circular 12/76 (1976)
This circular was one of a series which dealt with the isssue of comprehensivisation. They were:
Circular 10/65: Harold Wilson's Labour government asked local education authorities to submit plans for reorganising their schools on comprehensive lines.
Circular 10/70: Edward Heath's Conservative government, with Margaret Thatcher as Education Secretary, allowed local authorities to decide whether or not to proceed with comprehensivisation, effectively cancelling Labour's Circular 10/65.
Circular 4/74: Harold Wilson's Labour government reinstated the requirement that local education authorities should submit plans for comprehensivisation.
Circular 11/76: Harold Wilson's Labour government explained that local authorities which had not submitted schemes for comprehensive reorganisation would now be expected to do so.
Circular 12/76: Harold Wilson's Labour government explained that arrangements made by local authorities with non-maintained schools must be 'consistent with the Government's policy of abolishing selection for secondary education'.
See also Circular 10/66 School building programmes.
The text of DES Circular 12/76 was prepared by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 15 July 2017.
Circular 12/76 (1976)
Education Act 1976: Support by Local Education Authorities of Education in Non-Maintained Schools
Department of Education and Science
Circular No 180/76
Joint Circular from the
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND SCIENCE, ELIZABETH HOUSE, YORK ROAD, LONDON SE1 7PH and
WELSH OFFICE, CATHAYS PARK, CARDIFF
EDUCATION ACT 1976: SUPPORT BY LOCAL EDUCATION AUTHORITIES OF EDUCATION IN NON-MAINTAINED SCHOOLS
1. As local education authorities will be aware, the Education Act 1976 received the Royal Assent on 22 November. The purpose of this Circular is to draw the attention of authorities to the provisions of Section 5 of the Act and to explain how they will operate.
2. Section 5 of the Act gives the Secretary of State for Education and Science and the Secretary of State for Wales powers in relation to the exercise by local education authorities of their functions concerning education at non-maintained schools. These powers are described in more detail in paragraphs 3-6 of this Circular. It is the intention of the Secretaries of State to use them in such a way as to ensure that local education authorities' arrangements for the exercise of the functions in question are consistent with the Government's policy of abolishing selection for secondary education. For this purpose the Secretaries of State require certain information about existing arrangements to be supplied by all local education authorities. They intend in due course, after consultation with the local authority associations, to issue further guidance in this matter and will subsequently discuss with any authorities whose arrangements appear to be unsatisfactory how they should be amended. They recognise that many authorities will have reason to make such arrangements, for example, to provide essential school places, to ensure the provision of boarding education or to extend the range of choice available on grounds such as denominational preference.
DETAILED PROVISIONS OF SECTION 5(1)
3. Section 5 affects the exercise by local education authorities of their powers under three different statutory provisions. These are -
(1) Section 9(1) of the Education Act 1944;The effect of the new provisions in respect of these three is considered separately below.
SECTION 9 OF THE EDUCATION ACT 1944
4. Circular 350 of 24 March 1959, paragraph 6, required the formal submission of any proposals to assist non-maintained schools under Section 9(1) of the Education Act 1944 but indicated that local education authorities could assume that approval would follow automatically. Section 5(1) of the 1976 Act empowers the Secretaries of State to revoke any such approval. Any future proposals which may be made under Section 9(1) of the 1944 Act, or existing approvals which come to light as a result of authorities' replies to this Circular, will in due course be considered in the light of the Government's secondary education policies.
SECTION 6(1) OF THE EDUCATION (MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACT 1953
5. Paragraph 7 of Circular 350 conveyed a general approval to the making by authorities of arrangements under this Section. Section 5(1) of the 1976 Act empowers the Secretaries of State to revoke any approval of arrangements made under Section 6(1) of the 1953 Act and they now revoke that general approval in its application to future arrangements other than those for the education of handicapped pupils at recognised efficient independent schools, with effect from 1 July 1977. In consequence any new arrangements which authorities propose to make after 30 June 1977 should be submitted for approval. Existing approved arrangements will in due course be reconsidered in their application from 1 September 1978.
REGULATIONS UNDER SECTION 81 OF THE EDUCATION ACT 1944
6. It is proposed in due course to make new regulations to revoke and replace the Regulations for Scholarships and Other Benefits 1945. The new regulations will require authorities to exercise their powers in relation to assistance with fees etc at non-maintained schools in accordance with arrangements approved by the Secretaries of State.
SUBMISSION OF DETAILS OF ARRANGEMENTS
7. In the first instance all local education authorities should submit by 31 January 1977 details of all standing arrangements already made, and as soon as possible details of any new arrangements they may make before 1 July 1977, under the statutory provisions specified in paragraph 3 above. The details given should include the following:
a. Assistance to the school under Section 9(1) of the Education Act 1944 -8. Details are not required of arrangements made by authorities with non-maintained special schools, or of arrangements made on an ad hoc basis in respect of individual pupils.(i) the name of the school concernedb. Provision of education under Section 6(1) of the Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1953
To Local Education Authorities Governors of Direct Grant Schools Proprietors of Independent Schools
To Local Education Authorities