Leighton Andrews, Minister for Education and Skills
The School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Bill proposes that the Welsh Ministers be required to issue a School Organisation Code (‘the Code’). In accordance with the consultation requirements set out in the Bill, the Welsh Government is today launching a 12 week consultation on a draft Code.
The draft Code imposes mandatory requirements on relevant bodies (the Welsh Ministers, local authorities, governing bodies and other proposers). It also includes practical guidance to which relevant bodies must have due regard and sets out the policy context, general principles and factors that should be taken into account by those bringing forward proposals to reconfigure school provision and by those responsible for determining proposals.
The consultation asks for views on the draft Code and the period for responses finishes on 16 January 2013. Consultees include local and diocesan authorities, school governing bodies, Estyn, children and young people and other interested parties. The consultation documents are available on the Welsh Government's website.
Assuming the relevant provisions in the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Bill are passed, and after taking into account the outcome of this consultation, it is anticipated that a finalised draft Code will be laid before the National Assembly in spring 2013. The provisions included in the Bill, and the mandatory requirements contained in the Code, are expected to come in to force in autumn 2013 and would apply to any school organisation proposal published after the coming into force date.