Cumulative impact of statutory instruments on schools

The Committee observed that in the 2006-07 session the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) schools made over  100 different regulations that affected schools, the majority of them in July to take effect in September. Witnesses included teachers, head teachers and school governors who explained the practical problems that this caused. Based on what they told us, the report  recommends that there should be less legislation and proposes ways in which it can be managed better.

Evidence given to the Inquiry indicated poor coordination of legislation within the DCSF, and virtually no evaluation being done before amending legislation was brought forward. Witnesses complained that systems were being amended before they had been fully implemented. The Merits Committee's report argues for less Government reliance on regulations, in order to leave greater room for the professionalism of teachers to deliver the objectives of improving education.

The Government response agreed to use common commencement dates and we received further comments on that response from some of the witnesses. The House debated the Merits Committee's report on 19 June. We are pleased to note that DCSF has continued to progress this agenda, a follow up letter from the Labout government is  included in our end of session report for 2008-09 and a letter from the current government's Education Minister is included in our 10th report of session 2010-12