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Financial cap for preschool education to be scrapped under new law

Financial cap for preschool education to be scrapped under new law

Thursday 19 January 2023

Financial cap for preschool education to be scrapped under new law

Thursday 19 January 2023

Entitlement to pre-school education will be universal, homeschooling regulated and minimum standards for physical activity legally enshrined under the proposed new education law.

The Committee for Education, Sport and Culture is now out to consultation on the legislation to replace the current law which dates from the 1970s.

Within that document, the committee says that the benefits of early childhood education are well established.

“It is proposed that the new education law includes a statement of a universal entitlement and will require sufficient places to be available,” the consultation document says.

The current threshold to qualify for the 15 hours of free pre-school education for three to four-year-old children is a joint parental annual income of up to £150,000.

“This cap would be removed if the entitlement in law was universal, although current modelling suggests that this would not materially increase the cost to the States.”


Pictured: The earnings cap for pre-school hours will be removed under the current plans.

Education are asking the public about how many hours should be provided.

The current law does not explicitly make provisions for children educated at home and Education wants to rectify this in the new one, recognising it as a choice for parents but also establishing what needs to be provided.

They will work with the home schooling community on this.

It wants to set out what monitoring will be done by Education of those being homeschooled and when it can intervene.

The committee also wants to establish a record of all children of compulsory school age, including those being home schooled, because the new law will require to be able to identify anyone missing out on education.

The compulsory education age will remain at five to 16 years under the updated  legislation.

 It will also address safeguarding, something not in the current law.

“One of the proposed objectives of the new law is to protect learners and ensure their safety by implementing and maintaining high standards of safeguarding, ensuring that the educational environment supports their health and wellbeing,” the document says.

It asks if people agreed that the new law should include the need for schools and colleges to comply with minimum standards for recreation and physical activity.

It is also looking at the legal requirement for the provision of school meals and when they should be free.

The current law does not recognise The Ladies’ College, Blanchelande College and Elizabeth College as independent schools. 


Pictured: The Ladies' College.

“To make it simpler and clearer about which requirements of the law will apply to different types of schools, it is proposed that they would fall under an updated definition of an independent school.”

It asks people how strongly they agree independent schools should be required to meet the same standards regardless of whether they receive any States funding.

The law will also cover children that may need additional support to help them learn.

Currently, a code of practice sets out how the existing duties and powers should be put into action, but this is not a legal requirement.

“How strongly do you agree that the new law should require there to be a code of practice, which sets out commitments for supporting learners who may need additional provision to help them learn?” the consultation asks.

You can access the survey HEREThe consultation closes on 6 March.

The final proposals will be debated by the States later this year.


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