Embargo: Immediate Wednesday 19 November 2008

Contact: Owen Williams 020 7219 8659


The House of Lords Committee on the Merits of Statutory Instruments, who are currently undertaking an inquiry into the cumulative impact on schools of Statutory Instruments (regulations) issued by Government, will next week hear oral evidence from the National Association of Head Teachers and the Implementation Review Unit - a body interested in how best to implement Government policies and initiatives in schools.

The Committee are focusing their inquiry into the cumulative impact of SIs on schools, as the Department for Children, Schools and Families issued significantly more SIs than any other Government department in the last Parliamentary session. The Committee have previously expressed concern that too many SIs, in many sectors, made too quickly without clear strategy or guidance may not achieve the policy objective behind them.

The Committee also noted that the peak time for bringing schools-related SIs into force has been in August or early September, giving little notice before the start of the new school year. The Committee will ask the witnesses how schools cope with the large number of SIs they must comply with each year and what could be done to improve feedback on SIs from schools practitioners to Government.

Giving evidence to the Committee on behalf of the NAHT will be Simon Decker, Headteacher at Rainham Mark Grammar School; Clarissa Williams, NAHT President; and Kathryn James, Head of Policy, Politics and Education Division, NAHT. The IRU evidence will be presented by its Chairman Dr Chris Nichols.

The Evidence session will start at 3.35pm Tuesday 25 November in Committee Room 3A of the House of Lords. The full details are:

3.35pm - Dr Chris Nichols, Chairman, the Implementation Review Unit

4.00pm - Mr Simon Decker, Headteacher at Rainham Mark Grammar School; Ms Clarissa Williams, NAHT President; Ms Kathryn James, -Head of Policy Politics and Education Division, The National Association of Head Teachers.

Notes to Editors

1. Further details of the Committee including their original call for evidence, written evidence received so far and Committee membership can be found at:

2. The House of Lords Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee (the Merits Committee) was established in 2003 and began work in April 2004. Its task is to examine each statutory instrument presented to the House and to draw attention to any which deal with matters of significant public policy interest or show defects in certain areas. The Committee's Reports are intended to inform the scrutiny process of the House of Lords, without seeking to determine what view the House will finally take of individual instruments.

3. Each year, the Merits Committee scrutinises about 1,100 statutory instruments laid by Government. These may be called Regulations, Orders or Rules, and are made under powers given to Government Departments by Acts of Parliament

4. The evidence session is open to the public. Those wishing to attend should access Parliament via St Stephen's Entrance and arrive in time to pass through security checks before proceeding to the Committee Corridor.

For media inquiries please contact Owen Williams, Head of Press and Media, House of Lords, on 020 7219 8659.