The Baker clause

The Baker clause – what exactly is it?

The Baker clause, introduced in January 2018, aims to raise awareness of technical education. From 2nd January, it requires schools to publish a policy statement explaining how external further education providers can access the school and talk to their students about further education (FE).

Which FE providers can students talk to?

At age 14, students can talk to:

  • studio schools – a type of secondary school that offers students practical skills in the workplace as well as subjects taught in traditional schools
  • university technical colleges – another type of secondary school that delivers technical education, sponsored by a university
  • further education colleges – these colleges can offer vocational and specialist qualifications that relate to the workplace

Students are entitled to access these routes if the providers have opportunities for 14-year-old enrolment.

At age 16, students can talk to:

  • apprenticeship providers
  • further education colleges
  • sixth form colleges
  • work-based training providers

And at age 18, young people can talk to apprenticeship and higher education (HE) providers.

An update

It has now been reported that schools are not implementing this amendment to the Technical and Further Education Act, causing the Department for Education (DfE) to threaten direct intervention.

Anne Milton, Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, has encouraged providers to report schools who have refused access directly to her. 

The DfE aims to share best practice guidelines across the sector and strengthen relationships between schools and providers.

It has been reported that the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), a sector body that represents training companies, carried out a survey for the DfE. AELP has refused to publish its findings but did say that some schools were either unaware or choose to ignore the law.

Another investigation, carried out by FE Week, showed that only 2 out of the 10 largest academy trusts were fully compliant.

How does it affect schools?

If your school is fully compliant – then great!

But if your school hasn’t written a policy statement for training providers yet, Milton has communicated some options that your school can use.

Milton had written in March that she expects to see schools invite providers in to talk to their students in career events, assemblies and options evenings. Options evenings can also give parents a chance to digest all this new information.

She also wants to change student’s perception of the ‘alternative routes’ available to them.  In an FE Week column, she stated, “I don’t want one route to a career to be considered better than any other”. Offering alternative providers could result in a higher level of students choosing apprenticeships and vocational qualifications, instead of A levels.

What can you do to meet it?

The Baker clause is just one of the reforms from Anne Milton for careers advice. In December 2017, the careers strategy was released and in February 2018, the guidance setting out the expectations for colleges, based on the Gatsby Benchmarks, was also published.

The Baker clause directly relates to Gatsby Benchmark 7, “encounters with further and higher education”.

Kudos supports advancement to post-16 and post-18 learning and training as part of a balanced careers education and guidance programme. Integrating your careers strategy with a future-readiness programme such as Kudos enables schools to identify colleges and universities they can engage to boost their students’ awareness.


Find out more

For further information, take a look at some of our other blogs on this subject:

Alternatively, contact our friendly team who will be more than happy to help – telephone +44 (0) 1509 226868 or email