On 27 April 2017, the much-awaited Technical and Further Education Act (“the Act”) received Royal Assent. The Act is aimed at supporting the Government’s ambition to create a world-class technical education system, to provide the labour force with the skills and opportunities to obtain skilled employment and serve the economy in reducing the skills gap.

Among the notable changes that the Act brings, the Institute for Apprenticeships’ remit and title is to be extended to include Technical Education more broadly, key among which will be its role in the implementation of the Post-16 Skills Plan and the “T-levels”. The Act also includes the introduction of an insolvency regime for Further Education (“FE”) colleges and the recently-dubbed “Baker clause” (after Lord Baker), which enshrines into law the right of FE providers to go into schools and promote vocational courses to pupils aged 13 – 18.

However, it is important to note that the effect of Royal Assent is put the Act onto the statute books, but the specific provisions of the Act will not be brought into force – and so be legally effective - until relevant statutory instruments are made by the Secretary of State.

It is not clear quite when this will be, at present.

As elections draw closer, Government activities are restricted. Parliament was dissolved on 3 May 2017 and it is convention that, during this pre-election period (otherwise known as Purdah), the current government exercises restraint when making decisions over matters that may impact or be impacted upon by the election (see here for BWB’s full briefing on the pre-election period).


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Emma Dowden-Teale

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Julian Blake

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Posted on 08/05/2017 in Legal Updates

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