General election 2024: FAQs for schools and trusts

There will be a general election on Thursday 4 July 2024. Find answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about what this means for your school or trust.

New
on 24 May 2024
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 44658
Contents
  1. What have the different parties said about education?
  2. What will happen to legislation or guidance that is in draft, or under consultation?
  3. When will we hear about the pay deal?
  4. What happens if my school is asked to serve as a polling station?
  5. Will Ofsted inspections continue in the lead-up to the election?
  6. Can staff and older pupils leave school to vote?
  7. How should school staff talk to pupils about the election?

What have the different parties said about education?

We've summarised what the different parties have proposed for education and what those changes could mean for your school or trust. 

Remember, these proposals are not guaranteed to be carried out – changes may happen very slowly or not at all, even if the party that proposed those measures is elected.

What will happen to legislation or guidance that is in draft, or under consultation?

It isn't clear yet what will happen to it. 

The DfE has published draft guidance on:

It is also analysing the results of a consultation on proposed regulations to implement minimum service levels in education.

It's likely that these will be delayed, as the government will be dissolved on 30 May. Between that date and the election, public bodies will be following 'period of sensitivity' rules, which means they are cautious about announcing or deciding anything that could affect the election. 

Some of these pieces of draft legislation or guidance could be withdrawn after the election, if a party other than the Conservatives wins.

We will update this article with any further information as it's released. Select 'save for later' at the top of this article to be notified when we do.

When will we hear about the pay deal?

We're not sure at the moment. 

The government's response to the recommendations made by the School Teachers’ Review Body – including the pay ranges for teachers and school leaders – is usually published at the end of term.

However, the pre-election 'period of sensitivity' means the DfE might publish it later than usual.

This week, 4 major unions have written a joint letter to the education secretary, calling for the response to be published before the election.  

Staff might be worried or upset by this potential delay. Find out how your board can support staff wellbeing. 

What happens if my school is asked to serve as a polling station?

Your school leaders must comply with requests to use your school, if you are a state-funded school. 

Find out more about what happens when school buildings are used as polling stations

Will Ofsted inspections continue in the lead-up to the election?

Ofsted has not announced any pause to inspections for the election. 

It will continue to publish school reports and summary evaluations of multi-academy trusts – but it may withhold individual reports if a particular inspection has been in any way politicised (for example, if it has been a focus of significant local campaigning).  

This is explained in Ofsted's guidance about publications during pre-election silence.

Can staff and older pupils leave school to vote?

It's up to your school leaders to decide whether to allow staff and/or eligible older pupils to vote during the school day, as long as they:

  • Keep to the required staffing ratio for EYFS classes 
  • Can ensure the health and safety of pupils, and fulfil safeguarding duties

How should school staff talk to pupils about the election?

Staff can:

  • Teach pupils about the election
  • Encourage pupils' engagement and interest in political issues 
  • Present balanced opposing views when political issues come up
  • Allow hustings events and visits by local candidates or political party representatives
  • Run events such as mock elections involving pupils

Staff must not:

  • Promote partisan political views
  • Carry out activities that could be construed as favouring a particular political party
  • Use school ICT facilities to distribute political material

This is explained in the DfE's pre-election guidance for schools and multi-academy trusts, as well as its guidance on political impartiality in schools.

What did you think?

Rate this

Why did you give this rating?

Your feedback helps us to ensure our content is helpful to all members.

Our researchers read every comment.

Can't find what you need? Try searching, or .

The Key has taken great care in publishing this article. However, some of the article's content and information may come from or link to third party sources whose quality, relevance, accuracy, completeness, currency and reliability we do not guarantee. Accordingly, we will not be held liable for any use of or reliance placed on this article's content or the links or downloads it provides. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.