UK Education Bill: Call for Evidence

Why not join us in our campaigns against half-baked reforms and muddle-headed UK education policy. Get involved by submitting your views to the Education Committee before it’s too late.

Do you have relevant expertise and experience or a special interest in the Government’s Education Bill?

If so, you can submit your views in writing to the House of Commons Public Bill Committee which is going to consider this Bill.

Aims of the Bill

The 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.

Measures in the Bill include proposed changes to early years provision, school discipline, public reporting on allegations made against teachers, the governance of Ofqual, and careers education and guidance. Certain duties on school governing bodies, local authorities and further education institutions would be removed, including the duty on local authorities to appoint school improvement partners. Other measures relate to school admissions, school meals, composition of school governing bodies, school inspection, school finance and permitted charges. The Bill would make changes to the arrangements for setting up new schools, and would make provision for 16 to 19 academies and alternative provision academies. Five quangos would be abolished: 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. New powers would be given to the Secretary of State as a consequence of some of these changes.

Post-16 education and training changes would affect the powers of the Chief Executive of Skills Funding, the entitlement to free education and training at level 2 and 3. The legislation relating to raising the participation age to 18 would be retained but the Bill would give the Secretary of State flexibility as to the timing of the commencement of enforcement procedures.

Reforms to the higher education funding and student finance system would enable the Government to charge a real rate of interest on higher education student loans and permit the Secretary of State for Education to place a cap on tuition fees for part-time higher education courses.

There would also be changes to the National Assembly for Wales’ framework powers.

The Bill can be viewed on the Parliamentary website.

The Explanatory Notes on the Bill are also available.

On Tuesday 08 February the House of Commons debated the main principles of the Bill and decided that the Bill should be given its Second Reading. The Bill has now been sent to a Public Bill Committee for scrutiny.

Deadline for submissions

The Committee is able to receive written evidence from Tuesday 8 February, when the Bill passes the Second Reading Stage; and will stop receiving written evidence at the end of the Committee stage on Tuesday 5 April. The sooner you send in your submission, the more time the Committee will have to take it into consideration. The Public Bill Committee is expected to meet for the first time on Tuesday 1 March.


Guidance on submitting written evidence

What should written evidence cover?

Your submission should address matters contained within the Bill and concentrate on issues where you have a special interest or expertise, and factual information of which you would like the Committee to be aware. It is helpful if the submission includes a brief introduction about you or your organisation. The submission should not have been previously published or circulated elsewhere. If you have any concerns about your submission, please contact the Scrutiny Unit (details below).

How should written evidence be submitted?
Your submission should be emailed to . Please note that submissions sent to the Government department in charge of the Bill will not be treated as evidence to the Public Bill Committee.

Submissions should be in the form of a Word document. A summary should be provided. Paragraphs should be numbered, but there should be no page numbering. Essential statistics or further details can be added as annexes, which should also be numbered. To make publication easier, please avoid the use of coloured graphs, complex diagrams or pictures. As a guideline, submissions should not exceed 3,000 words.

You should also include a separate covering email containing the name, address, telephone number and email address of the person responsible for the submission. The submission should be dated.

What will happen to my evidence?

The written evidence will be circulated to all Committee Members to inform their consideration of the Bill. Most submissions will also be published. They will be posted on the internet as soon as possible after the Committee has started sitting.

The Scrutiny Unit can help with any queries about written evidence. Contact details are as follows:
Telephone: 020 7219 8387, Email: Fax: 020 7219 8381, Post: Michelle Edney, Senior Executive Officer, Scrutiny Unit, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA.”

Ask yourself:

– Does the Secretary of State really need further powers? Shouldn’t he have less?
– Aren’t students being further penalised for the mistakes of the banks?
– Is Teach First the best way to train teachers for disadvantaged communities? Shouldn’t we continue to focus on improving the PGCE gold standard?
– Isn’t ringfenced taxpayer money being diverted to fund the ideological fantasies of the Coalition? Can we afford ‘free’ schools at a time of such austerity?

Let the Committee know.

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