Schools: Vocational Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 13th February 2019.

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Photo of Lord Watson of Invergowrie Lord Watson of Invergowrie Shadow Spokesperson (Education)

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many schools and multi-academy trusts the Secretary of State for Education intends to write to in order to remind those schools and trusts of the legal obligation under the "Baker Clause" of the Technical and Further Education Act 2017 to allow technical education providers access to speak to students.

Photo of Lord Agnew of Oulton Lord Agnew of Oulton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

It is important that young people are able to find out about all of the options available to them, including doing an apprenticeship or going to a further education college. This is why we have introduced a new law, commonly known as the Baker Clause, which requires all maintained schools and academies to make sure that there is an opportunity for a range of education and training providers to contact pupils from year 8 to year 13 for the purpose of informing them about approved technical education qualifications or apprenticeships.

A year on from the Baker Clause being introduced, we know that too many providers are still being blocked from going into schools to speak to pupils and we are determined to address this. In January 2019 my hon. Friend, the Minister of State for Skills and Apprenticeships, wrote to five of the largest multi-academy trusts that have not yet published arrangements for provider access on all of their academy websites to ask them to take action to comply with the law. We will shortly write to all local authorities to remind them of their role in making sure that all maintained schools in their area are compliant with the Baker Clause.

We are prepared to act on evidence of serious non-compliance by maintained schools and academies. We continue to encourage providers to report any difficulties that they are experiencing in accessing local schools to talk to pupils about their technical education or apprenticeships offer.

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