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School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013

The School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013 (‘the Act’) reforms the powers and responsibilities of local authorities, the Welsh Ministers, and other bodies in relation to maintained schools. The Act provides for school improvement guidance, school organisation arrangements, Welsh in education strategic plans, and other miscellaneous provisions. The Act also requires the Welsh Ministers to issue a School Organisation Code.

The Act has 6 Parts in total. Part 2 contains provisions concerned with maintaining and improving standards in maintained schools, and in the exercise of education functions by local authorities, including intervening in cases that are a cause for concern.

Part 3 contains provision about the organisation of maintained schools, including the need for a School Organisation Code. 

Part 4 makes provision for Welsh in education strategic plans, which are to be prepared by local authorities, approved by the Welsh Ministers, and published and implemented by local authorities.

Part 5 makes provision about miscellaneous functions relating to maintained schools.

Part 6 introduces Schedule 5, which makes minor and consequential amendments to other legislation arising from the provisions of this Act.

The Explanatory Notes to the Act provide detailed commentary on the various provisions.

Coming into force:

Sections 1, 100 and 101 came into force on 5 March 2013, which is the day after the day the Act received Royal Assent, in accordance with section 100(1).

Sections 88 to 90 and 92 to 93 came into force on 1 April 2013, in accordance with section 100(2).

The following provisions came into force at the end of the period of two months beginning on the day the Act received Royal Assent, in accordance with section 100(3):

  • Chapter 3 of Part 2; section 91;
  • sections 94 and 95;
  • paragraphs 31, 33, 34(1) and (3), 35 and 36 of Part 3 of Schedule 5 (and section 99 in so far as relating to those paragraphs).

The remaining provisions of the Act come into force on a day appointed by the Welsh Ministers in an order, in accordance with section 100(4). The following Orders have been made:

Subordinate legislation made under the Act:

TitleCitation numberMade dateComing into force dateSupporting documents
Modification of School Organisation Code (Wales) Notices 2021
Modification of School Organisation Code (Wales) Notice 2020 | GOV.WALES    
The School Organisation Code (Appointed Day) (Wales) Order 20182018 No. 1118 (W. 232)     27 October 2018   1 November 2018     
School organisation Code 2018   Explanatory Memorandum
School Organisation Code 2017    
The School Organisation Code (Appointed Day) (Wales) Order 20132013 No. 1799 (W. 181)     16 July 20131 October 2013    
The School Organisation Code 2013   Explanatory Memorandum

Consideration of the legislation by the Senedd:

The Bill was introduced on 23 April 2012 by Leighton Andrews AM, who was the Minister for Education and Skills at the time. The Bill was passed by Senedd Cymru (then known as National Assembly for Wales) on 15 January 2013.

More information about the Bill is available on the Senedd website including a record of the passage of the Bill through Senedd Cymru and the Explanatory Memorandum that was prepared by the Welsh Government (as revised after Stage 2).

The Act received Royal Assent on 4 March 2013.


Published on
Last updated
31 January 2024