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Government launches consultation on minimum service levels for education

on Wednesday, 13 December 2023.

The Government is consulting on the implementation of Minimum Service Levels in education during strikes, following the introduction of the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act 2023.

New statutory powers

The Strikes Act allows the Secretary of State to define Minimum Service Levels (MSLs) for strikes in 'relevant services', including education. These MSLs must be preserved during strike action, which in practical terms means that an individual's ability to participate in the strike action might be removed if they are required to work to preserve MSLs.


The Government has spent a period of time attempting to agree MSLs with education unions. Having not been able to reach an agreement, the Government has now launched a consultation on the most appropriate approach for delivering MSLs in education services.

The consultation sets out proposals for MSLs in schools and colleges. It confirms the Government's current intention (subject to the consultation outcome) is to exclude independent schools from the scope of the Act.

The consultation presents two options for protecting face-to-face education on strike days. The first option focuses on prioritising attendance for vulnerable children and young people, exam groups and children of critical workers. The second option focuses on all pupils in primary school, and priority cohorts in secondary and further education settings. The consultation also seeks to gather evidence on the impacts of strike action in higher education, and the case for an MSL covering this sector.

The consultation is open until 30 January 2024.

For more information or advice, please contact Alice Reeve in our Education team on 07741 271 363 or complete the form below.


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