Commons debate second reading of new education Bill

12 January 2010

The House of Commons debated the second reading of the Children, Schools and Families Bill. It was moved by the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Ed Balls and passed its second reading by 287 votes to 206. The Bill now moves into committee where it will be discussed in detail

The Bill aims to provide guarantees for parents and pupils, setting out what they are entitled to expect from the schools system. It will also reform the curriculum and introduce a new licensing scheme for teachers.

Key areas of the Bill cover:

  • creates new pupil and parent guarantees; a series of specific entitlements and a means of redress if expectations are not met
  • provides for school inspections to take into account the needs of pupils with special educational needs and disabilities and for an additional right of appeal for parents of children with special educational needs statements
  • amends existing provisions regarding Home School Agreements, which outline parents' rights and responsibilities for their child’s schooling
  • extends the remit of school improvement partners, and provides for the introduction of new school report card
  • reforms the primary curriculum following its review by Sir Jim Rose in 2009
  • puts personal, social and health Education (PHSE) on a statutory footing and ensures that all young people receive at least one year of sex and relationship education
  • introduces a licence to practise for teachers to promote professional standards and development and a registration system for home educators
  • creates new powers for local authorities and the Secretary of State to intervene to raise standards in schools
  • creates new powers for governing bodies to help schools work in partnership and to make it easier for successful schools to sponsor new maintained schools and academies
  • makes provisions for the supply of information to Local Safeguarding Children Boards
  • gives the Secretary of State new powers to intervene in relation to failing youth offending teams
  • introduces new arrangements for the publication of information from family court proceedings, enabling the media to report these proceedings more widely

Image: iStockphoto

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