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No.

of 2014 VIRGIN ISLANDS EDUCATION (AMENDMENT) ACT, 2014 ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section 1. Short title. 2. General amendments. 3. Section 2 amended. 4. Section 7 amended. 5. Section 10 amended. 6. Section 17 amended. 7. Section 22 amended. 8. Section 23 amended. 9. Section 26 repealed. 10. Section 28 amended. 11. Section 31 amended. 12. Section 32 amended. 13. Heading amended. 14. Heading inserted. 15. Section 50 amended. 16. Heading amended. 17. Section 55 repealed and replaced. 18. Section 60 amended. 19. Section 62 amended. 20. Heading amended. 21. Section 64 repealed. 22. Section 65 repealed and replaced. 23. Section 66 amended. 24. Section 67 amended. 25. Section 68 amended. 26. Section 69 repealed and replaced. 27. Division of 2 of Part 3 repealed. 28. Section 78 amended. 29. Heading amended. 30. Heading amended.


31. Section 84 amended. 32. Section 85 amended. 33. Section 89 amended. 34. Section 92 amended. 35. Section 121 amended. 36. Section 122 amended. 37. Section 131 amended. 38. Section 132 amended. 39. Section 143 amended. 40. Section 147 amended. 41. Section 148 amended. 42. Section 151 amended. 43. Section 153 repealed and replaced. 44. Section 170 amended. 45. Second Schedule amended.

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No. of 2014

Education (Amendment) Act, 2014

Virgin Islands

I Assent

Governor , 2014 VIRGIN ISLANDS No.

of 2014

A Bill for An Act to amend the Education Act, (No.10 of 2004). [Gazetted

, 2014]

ENACTED by the Legislature of the Virgin Islands as follows: 1. This Act may be cited as the Education (Amendment) Act, 2014.

Short title. General amendments. No. 10 of 2004

2. The Education Act, 2004 (referred to in this Act as “the principal Act”) is amended (a) by replacing the words “Executive Council” wherever they occur with the word “Cabinet”; (b) by replacing the words “Legislative Council” wherever they occur with the words “House of Assembly”; (c) by replacing the words “school attendance officer” wherever they occur with the words “truancy officer”; (d) by replacing the word “Technological” wherever it occurs with the word “Technical”; (e) by replacing the words “Juvenile Act” wherever they occur with the words “Children and Young Persons Act, 2005” and the marginal note with the words “No.8 of 2005”; (f) in sections 34, 122 and 148(1)(k) by replacing the words “Director of Health Services” with the words “Chief Medical Officer”; and

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(g) in sections 57(4), 58(1), 66, 67, 68(2), 70, 78, 93, 146(1)(v), 156(2), 159(2)(b) by replacing the words “Board of Management” wherever they occur with the words “School Management Committee”. Section 2 amended.

3. Section 2 of the principal Act is amended by (a) inserting alphabetically, the following definitions: ““Assisted Private School” means a private school established in accordance with PART 5, DIVISION 3; “Deputy Chief Education Officer” means a public officer holding such post in the Public Service of the Territory; “early childhood education” means education and care suited to the requirements of a child under eight years of age provided either within a primary school or in an early childhood education facility specially designed for that purpose; “Education Officer” means a public officer holding such post in the public service of the Territory; “member of the staff”, in relation to a school, means a teacher who works at the school and any other person who, with the authority of the principal, has lawful control or charge of students at the school;”. (b) in the definition of “compulsory school age” by replacing the words “sixteen years” with the words “seventeen years”; and (c) in the definition of “early childhood education” by replacing the words “five years” with the words “eight years”.

Section 7 amended.

4. Section 7 of the principal Act is amended (a) by replacing subsection (1) with the following new subsections: “(1) The Governor, acting in accordance with the provisions of section 92 of the Constitution, shall appoint (a) a suitably qualified person to be the Chief Education Officer who shall be the chief technical and professional adviser to the Ministry; and

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(b) such Deputy Chief Education Officers and such other

Education Officers to assist the Chief Education Officer as are necessary for the needs of the Education System. (2) The Chief Education Officer is, subject to section 4 and the directions of the Minister, responsible for the general administration of this Act.”. (b) in the marginal note, by replacing the words “Duties of Chief Education Officer” with the words “Appointment of Chief Education Officer, Deputy Chief Education Officers and Education Officers”. (c) by renumbering subsection (2) as subsection (3). Section 10 amended.

5. Section 10 of the principal Act is amended (a) by replacing subsection (2) with the following: “ (2) The Education Advisory Board shall comprise the following: (a) one representative from the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College; (b) six persons from among persons representing (i) expert educational opinion; (ii) parent teacher associations; (iii) technical, vocational or business education; (iv) organisations concerned with community development; and (v) the religious community; (vi) the business community (c) two Principal from either the primary or secondary level; (d) a representative of the sister islands; (e) one representative from a duly recognised organisation representing teachers.”. (b) by replacing subsection (3) with the following:

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“(3) The Education Advisory Board shall be appointed by the Minister, by instrument in writing, with the approval of Cabinet.”. (c ) by deleting subsections (4) and (5), and renumbering subsection (6) as subsection (4). Section 17 amended.

6. Section 17 of the principal Act is amended by replacing subsection (2) with the following: “(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), (a) tuition fees may be payable in such amounts, for such purposes and by such persons as the Minister may prescribe by Order published in the Gazette; (b) other charges, such as book loan fees and lab fees may be imposed at a public school or assisted private school, with the approval of the Minister.”.

Section 22 amended.

7. Section 22 of the principal Act is amended by replacing the words “any other educational programme” with the words “any other approved educational programme”.

Section 23 amended.

8. Section 23 of the principal Act is amended (a) by replacing subsection (1) with the following: “(1) Every principal shall establish and maintain a student record, in print, electronic or any other form approved by the Minister, for each student enrolled in the school managed by the principal.”; (b) in subsection (2), by inserting after the words “ termly report” the words “ which may be by print, electronic or any other form approved by the Minister”; (c ) by deleting subsection (3); (d) by renumbering subsections (4) to (10) as subsections (3) to (9), respectively; (e) in subsection (7) so renumbered, by replacing the words “ subsection (7)” with the words “subsection (6); (e) in subsection (8) so renumbered, by replacing the words “ subsection (8)” with the words “subsection (7)”; and

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(e) in subsection (9) so renumbered, by replacing the words “ subsection (5)” with the words “subsection (4)”. Section 26 repealed.

9. Section 26 of the principal Act is repealed.

Section 28 amended.

10. Section 28 of the principal Act is amended in subsection (1), by replacing the words “sixteen years” with the words “seventeen years”.

Section 31 amended.

11. Section 31 of the principal Act is amended by deleting subsection (4).

Section 32 amended.

12. Section 32 of the principal Act is amended (a) in subsection (2)(a) by, (i) replacing subparagraph (iii) with the following: “(iii) the name, telephone number (if any), email address (if any) and residence of the student's parent;”; and (ii) replacing the words “standard, class or form” wherever they occur with the word “grade”; (b) in subsection (2)(b)(iii), by replacing the words “standard, class or form” with the word “grade”.

Heading amended.

13. The heading “COMPULSORY SCHOOL ATTENDANCE AND SCHOOL GUIDANCE COUNSELLING” appearing after section 37 of the principal Act is amended by deleting the words “AND SCHOOL GUIDANCE COUNSELLING”.

Heading inserted.

14. The principal Act is amended by inserting the following heading immediately after section 49: “Division 5 SCHOOL GUIDANCE COUNSELLING”.

Section 50 amended.

15. Section 50 of the principal Act is amended by (a) deleting the word “and” after paragraph (e); (b) deleting the full stop after paragraph (f) and inserting the following words “;and”; (c) inserting the following new paragraph immediately after paragraph (f) : “(g)

Heading amended.

assisting in the development of individual education plans (lEPs) for students with special needs .”.

16. The heading appearing immediately after section 53 of the principal Act is amended by replacing the words “Division 5” with the words “Division 6”.

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Section 55 repealed and replaced.

17. Section 55 of the principal Act is repealed and replaced with the following: “ Students “55. In the enforcement of discipline in public schools, assisted private not to be schools and private schools degrading or injurious punishment shall not subjected to be administered.”. degrading punishment.

Section 60 amended.

18. Section 60(1) of the principal Act is amended in paragraph (g) by inserting the words “, deputy principal” after the words “the principal”.

Section 62 amended.

19. Section 62 of the principal Act is amended by deleting subsection (4).

Heading amended.

20. The heading “PART 3 ADMINISTRATION OF SCHOOLS DIVISION 1 MANAGEMENT OF PUBLIC PRIMARY SCHOOLS” appearing after section 63 of the principal Act is amended by deleting the word “PRIMARY”.

Section 64 repealed.

21. Section 64 of the principal Act is repealed.

Section 65 repealed and replaced.

22. Section 65 of the principal Act is repealed and replaced with the following: “65. All schools that are public schools shall be under the control of the “Management of public Minister.”.

Section 66 amended.

23. Section 66 of the principal Act is amended (a) in subsection (1) by deleting the words “primary school that is a”; (b) in subsection (2) by (i) replacing the words “primary school” with the words “public school”; (ii) replacing the words “single Board” with the words “single Committee”.

Section 67 amended.

24. Section 67 of the principal Act is amended in subsection (1), by replacing the opening paragraph with the following:

schools.

“(1) A School Management Committee appointed under section 66 shall consist of not less than seven and no more than nine members as follows: ”. Section 68 amended.

25. Section 68 of the principal Act is amended (a) by replacing subsection (1) with the following:

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“(1) Subject to subsection (2), a School Management Committee appointed under section 66 shall (a) advise the school's principal when requested or whenever it considers it necessary on any matter for the benefit of the students and their parents and to provide or cause to be provided an appropriate education for each student at the school for which that Committee has responsibility; (b) uphold, and be accountable for so upholding the characteristic spirit of the school as determined by the cultural, educational, moral, religious, social, linguistic and spiritual values and traditions which inform and are characteristic of the objectives and conduct of the school, and at all times act in accordance with this Act or Regulations made under this Act or other such instrument relating to the establishment or operation of the school; (c) prepare reports, information, and perform any duties as may be required under this Act, its Regulations and guidelines, or by the Minister; (d) review, modify if necessary, and approve the school plan prepared by the school administration for each school operated by it after consultation with the Minister or the Chief Education Officer; (e) establish policies for the administration, management and operation of the school in collaboration with the principal which it considers appropriate, including policies concerning (i) (ii) (iii) (iv)

participation in the school; dress code; expulsion and suspension of students and other punishments; admission of and participation by students with disabilities or who have other special education needs, and ensure that as regards that policy principles of equality and the right of parents are respected; and

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(v)

such directions as may be made from time to time by the Minister, having regard to the characteristic spirit of the school and the constitutional rights of all persons concerned, are complied with;

(f) analyse the progress of the school through investigation of (i) student progress; (ii) order among and discipline of students; (iii) the system of instruction; (iv) mode of keeping school records; and (v) conditions of buildings and premises; (g) in consultation with the Chief Education Officer, the principal and staff, establish a procedure for resolving disputes between schools, parents and teachers; (h) have regard to (i) the efficient use of resources and in particular, the efficient use of grants provided; (ii) the public interest in the affairs of the school; and (iii) accountability to students, parents, staff and the community served by the school; and (i) generally exercise any other function conferred on it by this Act or the regulations.”. (b) in the marginal note, by replacing the words “primary school” with the words “public schools.” Section 69 repealed and replaced.

26. Section 69 of the principal Act repealed and replaced with the following:   “Submission of reports,

69. Every School Management Committee shall, after consultation with the principal, submit to the Chief Education Officer, within one month after the end of the school year, a report containing information on the following: (i)

the discipline of students;

(ii)

the attainment levels of the students;

(iii)

the application of the curriculum;

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(iv)

the condition of the school and the maintenance of its property;

(v)

student attendance; and

(vi)

generally, any matter which directly or indirectly affects the school and its development.”.

Division 2 of Part 3 repealed.

27. The principal Act is amended by repealing in Part 3, Division 2 consisting of sections 71 to 77, not inclusive of section 78.

Section 78 amended.

28. Section 78 of the principal Act is amended (a) by replacing the words “sections 66 and 73 are,” with the words “section 66 is,”; (b) in the marginal note, by replacing the word “Board” with the word “Committee”.

Heading amended.

29. The heading appearing immediately after section 78 of the principal Act is amended by replacing the words “Division 3” with the words “Division 2”.

Heading amended.

30. The heading appearing immediately after section 82 of the principal Act is amended by replacing the words “Division 4” with the words “Division 3”.

Section 84 amended.

31. Section 84 of the principal Act is amended by replacing subsection (1) with the following: “(1) Subject to subsection (2), the system of public education shall be in the following stages: (a) pre-primary education; (b) primary education; (c) secondary education; and (d) tertiary education.”.

Section 85 amended.

32. Section 85(1) of the principal Act is amended by replacing the words “five years” with the words “eight years”.

Section 89 amended.

33. Section 89(3) of the principal Act is amended in paragraph (d) by inserting the words “, or any appropriate curriculum from an approved institution” after the words “under part 8”.

Section 92 amended.

34. Section 92(6) of the principal Act is amended by inserting the word “in” before the word “compliance”.

Section 121 amended.

35. Section 121 of the principal Act is amended by inserting after the word “regulations” the words “and any other information required by the Minister”.

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Section 122 amended.

36. Section 122 of the principal Act is amended by replacing the words “Public Health Department” with the words “Ministry of Health”.

Section 131 amended.

37. Section 131 of the principal Act is amended in paragraph (e) by replacing the word “Minister” with the words “Chief Education Officer”.

Section 132 amended.

38. Section 132 (1) of the principal Act is amended in paragraph (d) by inserting the words “or his designate” after the words “Chief Education Officer”.

Section 143 amended.

39. Section 143 (1) of the principal Act is amended by replacing the words “or deputy principal” with the words “, deputy principal or assistant principal”.

Section 147 amended.

40. Section 147 of the principal Act is amended (a) in subsection (1), by inserting (i) the words “or assistant principal” after the words “deputy principal”; (ii) the words “where applicable,” immediately after the word “teacher,”; (b) in subsection (2) by inserting the words “or assistant principal” after the words “deputy principal”; (c) in the marginal note, by inserting the words “Assistant Principal” after the words “Deputy Principal”.

Section 148 amended.

41. Section 148 of the principal Act is amended in subsection (1), (a) by replacing paragraph (j) with the following: “(j) attend meetings of the School Management Committee or the Parent Teacher Association for the school when requested by the relevant body to do so; (b) by replacing paragraph (m) with the following: “(m) prepare the school's operations and maintenance budget, where applicable;”.

Section 151 amended.

42. Section 151 of the principal Act is amended in subsection (1) (d), by replacing the words “sixteen years” with the words “seventeen years”.

Section 153 repealed and replaced.

43. Section 153 of the principal Act is repealed and replaced with the following: “Curriculum unit.

“153. (1) For the purpose of creating and revising the national curriculum from time to time, the Minister shall constitute a Curriculum Unit to develop curricula and syllabi for the core and 12 

 


foundation subjects of all public schools. (2) The curriculum unit shall comprise the following: (a) a Director; (b)

Education Officers of the Ministry with subject specialisation;

(c)

members of the teaching profession with expertise in the subject when necessary and to be determined by the Director; and

(d)

other persons, including parents, having relevant knowledge or experience in the subject as required.

(3) The Director shall coordinate the work of the Unit and ensure the testing and implementation of the recommended curricula or syllabi in the school system.”. Section 170 amended.

44. Section 170 (3) of the principal Act is amended in paragraph (a) by replacing the words “Director of Health” with the words “Ministry of Health”.

Second Schedule amended.

45. The Second Schedule to the principal Act is amended by replacing paragraph 1 with the following: “1. In this Schedule a reference to “Board” shall be construed as a reference to (a) a School Management Committee, in the case of Public Schools; and (b) the Board of Management, in the case of Assisted Private Schools.”.

Passed by the House of Assembly this

day of

, 2014.

 

Speaker.

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Clerk of the House of Assembly.

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OBJECTS AND REASONS This Act amends the Education Act, 2004 (No.10 of 2004) (referred to in this Act as “the principal Act”). Clause 1 would set out the short title. Clause 2 would amend the principal Act generally by replacing certain terms. Specifically, the Bill would seek to update certain terms so that the Act reflects the new terms used in the 2007 Constitution, such as “Cabinet” and “House of Assembly”. In addition, the Bill would seek to update other terms used in the Act such as “Director of Health Services” with the words “Chief Medical Officer” and “School Attendance Officer” with the words “Truancy officer” and “Board of Management” with the words “School Management Committee” etc. Clause 3 would seek to consolidate the definitions under the Act into one section. The Bill would also introduce some new definitions into the principal Act. Clause 4 would amend section 7 of the principal Act by providing for the Governor to appoint a Chief Education Officer and such other Education Officers as may be necessary including Deputy Chief Education Officers, in accordance with section 92 of the Constitution. Clause 5 would amend section 10 of the principal Act by revising the membership of the Board, as well as, increasing the number of persons on the Board. In this regard, the Bill would replace the representatives of the University of the West Indies School of Continuing Studies and the B.V.I Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association and with a representative from the sister islands and two Principal from either the primary or secondary level. Clause 6 would amend section 17 of the principal Act by giving the Minister the power to widen the categories of persons who may be required to pay tuition fees at a public school, as well as to provide for other charges to be imposed at a public school such as book loan fees and lab fees. Clause 7 would amend section 22 of the principal Act by providing for parents to choose only approved educational programmes as an alternative to the home educational programme provided for in section 89. Clause 8 would amend section 23 of the principal Act by providing for student records and reports to be kept in electronically or in other forms the Minister may approve. Clause 9 would repeal section 26. Clause 10 would amend section 28 of the principal Act by increasing the compulsory school attendance age from sixteen to seventeen in keeping with plans to add an additional school year. Clause 11 would amend section 31 of the principal Act by deleting subsection (4).

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Clause 12 would amend section 32 the principal Act to provide for the telephone number and email address of the parents to be included in the Students’ Register. It also replaces the words “standard, class or form” with the words “grade” in keeping with the OECS requirement to have consistency in the various Territories and countries. Clauses 13 and 14 would relate to the heading appearing after section 37. The Bill would amend the heading so that Compulsory School Attendance and School Guidance Counselling are addressed separately. Division 4 would therefore relate to Compulsory School Attendance while Division 5 would be inserted after section 49 and would relate to School Guidance Counselling. Clause 15 would amend section 50 of the principal Act to include School Guidance Counselors in the development of Individual Education Plans for students. Clause 16 would amend the heading appearing after section 53 by renumbering Division 5 as Division 6. Clause 17 would amend section 55 of the principal Act by deleting the paragraphs relating to corporal punishment in keeping with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Clause 18 would amend section 60 of the principal Act by including the Deputy Principal in the list of persons to whom a security officer may refer students who are not in proper uniform. Clause 19 would amend section 62 of the principal Act by deleting subsection (4). Clause 20 would amend the heading after section 63 by deleting the word “PRIMARY” so that Part 3 relates to all public schools. Clause 21 would repeal section 64. Clause 22 would repeal and replace section 65 of the principal Act by removing the reference to primary schools. Clause 23 would amend section 66 of the principal Act by replacing references to primary school. Clause 24 would amend section 67 of the principal Act by providing a limit on the number of persons to be appointed to a School Management Committee. Clause 25 would amend section 68 of the principal Act by removing the functions relating to control and management of finances from the School management Committees since that function is now the responsibility of the Accounting Officer. Clause 26 would amend section 69 of the principal Act by removing the requirement for School Management Committees to submit statements of expenditure and estimates. Clause 27 would amend the principal Act by repealing in Part 3, Division 2. Clause 28 would amend section 78 of the principal Act by removing the reference to section 73 which was repealed. Clauses 29 and 30 would amend the headings appearing after sections 78 and 82 by renumbering the divisions as division 2 and 3 respectively. 16   


Clause 31 would amend section 84 of the principal Act by widening the stages of the public education system to include Pre-Primary Education. Clause 32 would amend section 85 of the principal Act to reflect the age for early childhood education. Clause 33 would amend section 89 of the principal Act by allowing persons submitting a plan for home education to choose the curriculum of an approved institution instead of the national curriculum. Clause 34 would amend section 92 of the principal Act to correct a clerical error. Clause 35 would amend section 121 of the principal Act to give the Minister the authority to request from the proprietor of a private school further information in the returns to be submitted. Clause 36 would amend section 122 of the principal Act by replacing references to Public Health Department with Ministry of Health. Clause 37 would amend section 131 of the principal Act by providing for the annual returns of denominational schools to be sent to the Chief Education Officer. Clause 38 would amend section 132 of the principal Act by providing for the Chief Education Officer to nominate a designate to attend meetings of the Technical and Vocational Education Training Council when necessary. Clause 39 would amend section 143 of the principal Act by providing that assistant principals must also hold valid qualifications in order to be employed as teachers. Clause 40 would amend section 147 of the principal Act to provide for the duties of the assistant principal. Clause 41 would amend section 148 of the principal Act by removing the reference to school committee. Clause 42 would repeal and replace section 151 of the principal Act by increasing the compulsory age of education from 16 years to 17 years. Clause 43 would repeal and replace section 153 of the principal Act by providing for the Minister to constitute a Curriculum Unit for the purpose of creating and revising the national curriculum from time to time. Clause 44 would amend section 170 of the principal Act by replacing the words “Director of Health” with the words “Ministry of Health”. Clause 45 would amend the principal Act by replacing in paragraph 1 reference to Board of Management with School Management Committee.

Minister for Education and Culture. 17   


Education act amendment