Education Bill: third reading

10 November 2011

The House of Lords completed the third reading - the final chance to make changes and close loopholes - of the Education Bill on Wednesday 9 November.

Issues discussed included the improved linkage between databases which hold information on qualified teachers and changes to school governance structures.

The House of Commons will now consider the House of Lords' changes to the Bill.

About the Bill

The Education 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.

Report stage, which finished on 31 October, 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.

Joint Committee report on pupil searches

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.

What happens at third reading?

Third reading gives all Members of the Lords further opportunity to ‘tidy up’ a Bill and change its contents.

Image: iStockphoto

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