Report stage on the Education Bill – consideration of all the proposed changes (amendments) – continued in the House of Lords for a fourth day on Tuesday 1 November.
Amendments concerning the abolition of the General Teaching Council for England – the body that registers qualified teachers and regulates the profession –were discussed. A number of amendments about academy schools, including the qualifications of academy schools teachers, were also discussed.
The wide-ranging Bill seeks to implement the legislative proposals in the Department for Education’s White Paper, 'The Importance of Teaching' and measures from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills relating to the reform of higher education funding. The Bill:
- provides for the introduction of targeted free early years care for children under compulsory school age
- makes changes to provisions on school discipline, and places restrictions on the public reporting of allegations made against teachers
- abolishes five quangos: the General Teaching Council for England, the Training and Development Agency for Schools, the School Support Staff Negotiating Body, the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency and the Young Person’s Learning Agency, and gives new powers to the Secretary of State as a consequence of some of these changes
- removes certain duties on school governing bodies, local authorities and further education institutions, including the duty on local authorities to appoint school improvement partners
- makes changes to the arrangements for setting up new schools, and amends the Academies Act 2010 to make provision for 16 to 19 academies and alternative provision academies
- includes measures relating to school admissions, school meals, composition of school governing bodies, school inspection, school finance and permitted charges.
Grand Committee in the Lords on the Education Bill finished on 4 October. The House of Lords does not vote on amendments to a Bill during grand committee – unlike committee stage in the chamber. Amendments to Bills in grand committee can be agreed to or rejected without voting, and usually concern issues on which there is clear agreement.
Report stage, which began on 18 October, has provided the first opportunity for the Lords to vote on any amendments to the Bill. A number of proposals for changes to the Bill have been defeated.
A Lords Library note provides background information on the Bill and summarises the Bill’s stages in the House of Commons.
A report of the Joint Committee on Human Rights published on 13 June, made a number of recommendations in relation to the powers in the Bill for teachers to search pupils.
Passage of a Bill
Report stage gives all Members of the Lords further opportunity to consider all amendments – proposals for change – to a Bill.