Update on the Education and Adoption Bill

January 19th, 2016

Since my last update on 21 October 2015, the Education and Adoption Bill has been through the committee and report stages in the Lords. The next step will be Lords third reading, on a date to be confirmed.

After the committee stage, Lord Nash wrote to the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee about the proposed powers in respect of coasting schools and explained that the Bill would be amended as follows:

  1. the Bill will require the Secretary of State to make regulations about the definition of a coasting school (rather than just giving the SoS the power to do so);
  2. it may be unintentionally misleading to suggest that the Secretary of State will notify a school when she
    “considers” it to be coasting and we will therefore amend the Bill to be clear that a school will be notified when “it is coasting” as per the definition set out in regulations“;
  3. the Bill will “allow the Secretary of State, through regulations, to disapply the coasting definition to certain types of schools“. The SoS intends to disapply the definition to maintained nursery schools and at the time it was consulting on other types;
  4. the coasting regulations will be subjected to the affirmative procedure when they are first laid (but not for subsequent versions); and
  5. we will continue to consider whether it is appropriate to amend primary legislation [to include more detail on the coasting criteria] following the conclusion of the consultation“.

These amendments were introduced at the Lords report stage and agreed.

The consultation on coasting schools ended on 18 December 2015 and the Government’s response is awaited.

Rachel Kamm, 11KBW, @kamm11KBW

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