§ Mr. Deakins
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will set out the powers of (a) governors and (b) head teachers of maintained schools in regard to the curriculum.
§ Dr. Boyson
The statutory framework for responsibility for the secular curriculum in county and voluntary schools in England is defined in section 23 of the Education Act 1944 and in the articles of government of individual schools. Section 23(1) of the 1944 Act specifies that in every county school and in every voluntary school other than an aided secondary school the secular instruction to be given to the pupils shall be under the control of the local education authority, save in so far as may be otherwise provided by the articles of government of the school. Section 23(2) specifies that the secular instruction to be given to pupils in every aided secondary school shall be under the control of the governors of the school, save in so far as may otherwise be provided by the articles of government.
Articles of government commonly assign to the governors responsibility for the general direction of the conduct and the curriculum of the school, and to the head teacher responsibility for the internal organisation and management of the school; and in practice, curricular matters are often devolved upon the head teachers and the staff.
The Government's view of how these responsibilities should be exercised is set out in "The School Curriculum" which was published in March 1981, a copy of which is in the Library.