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Update: education

Anita Chopra and Salima Mawji consider the Academies Act, special educational needs, pupils assaulting teachers, appeals against admission decisions, exclusions and students unhappy with decisions of the Office of the Independent Adjudicator

16 August 2010

The past few months have seen a number of notable developments in education law, both in the children and schools sector and in further and higher education. The new coalition government has worked quickly to address the education sector, and the next 12 months will witness significant changes in the way that schools are run in England. The Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education has also been challenged on key jurisdictional and public law issues, and the decisions of the courts have been surprising.

The route to academy status

The Queen’s Speech of 25 May 2010 indicated: “Legislation will be introduced to enable more schools to achieve academy status and give them greater freedoms over the curriculum.” This led to the Academies Act 2010 and, following agreement by both Houses on the text of the Academies Bill, it received Royal Assent on 27 July 2010.

The Act enables all maintained schools to apply to become academ...

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