Education Act 1994
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Part II of the Education Act gave effect to students' freedom of association by mandating that students must be permitted to opt out of any students' union without being unfairly disadvantaged; this provision has not proven nearly as damaging to students' unions as was expected at the time. This Part also places further restrictions on Students' Unions by requiring that affiliation to external organizations must be voted on at referendum in 5% of the membership requests a referendum and restricts the time a sabbatical officer can serve to two years. It also stipulates that a students' union must be governed democratically and must be accountable for its finances.
There are various other clauses about the finances and external affiliations of students' unions.
The Act states:
- the procedure for allocating resources to groups or clubs should be fair and should be set down in writing and freely accessible to all students
a clause whose meaning has generated some controversy over implementation. Some assert that it requires all university societies that draw on students' union funding to be open to membership by all students, whilst others assert that this does not explicitly prevent a society of a students' union from restricting its membership to those who share the aims and purposes of the society.
- "Records of the Teacher Training Agency and Successors". The National Archives. Retrieved 24 February 2012.
- "1994 Education Act".