The purpose of the Reducing Bureaucracy sub group will be to discuss the development and implementation of the programme of work to reduce bureaucracy in schools. The group will focus on the following three areas:

i) ideas on how best the Department for Education can free schools from external control and remove unnecessary bureaucracy;

ii) views on a ‘core minimum’ of requirements and guidance which should be in place for schools to run effectively and safely; and

iii) possible actions and measures to reduce the additional burdens imposed on schools from outside of the Department.

The sub group will support the Government’s priorities by providing a forum for members to work together constructively with DfE, contributing their professional and organisational perspectives to the consideration of the Secretary of State’s commitment to reduce bureaucracy in schools.

Principles and Terms of Reference underpinning the sub group will be as follows:

  • The sub group is time-limited and will have its last meeting in April 2010.  Members should participate on the basis that they fully intend to remain members for the duration of the sub group.
  • Discussions must take place in confidence to allow a free and frank exchange of views about developing policy.  Papers should be kept confidential to sub group members, unless there is clear agreement that a particular paper can be shared more widely.  All members will maintain the confidentiality of discussions and engage constructively in discussion so that progress can be made.  Organisations should not brief the media either before or after meetings on the proceedings of the sub group or on any items or papers discussed.
  • The Department for Education will provide Secretariat, agenda items and papers for sub group meetings. 
  • The sub group will consult on implementation of the Schools White Paper commitments to free schools from external control, remove unnecessary bureaucracy (including duties and guidance) and devolve responsibility to schools and their communities. 
  • The Secretary of State and his Ministers have ultimate responsibility for ensuring the development and implementation of education policy. Members will support and promote any agreed position and work together on its implementation.


The sub group will operate by means of a bi-monthly meeting, chaired by Department of Education officials, attended by the named representative of each organisation.

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