The Education Bill has its second reading – a general debate on all aspects of the Bill – in the House of Lords this afternoon (Tuesday 14 June). Lord Edmiston will make his maiden speech during the debate, with contributions expected from 50 Members with backgrounds in teaching, higher education and working with young people.
Robert Edmiston, a Conservative life Peer, is a sponsor of three secondary schools in the West Midlands.
The Bill completed its Commons stages on 11 May. A House of Lords Library Note summarises the Commons report stage and third reading debates.
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.
The wide-ranging Bill seeks to implement the legislative proposals in the Department for Education’s schools White Paper, 'The Importance of Teaching' and measures from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills relating to skills and 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.
Second reading is the first opportunity for Members of the Lords to debate the main principles and purpose of the Bill and to flag up concerns and areas where they think changes (amendments) are needed.