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Baroness Walmsley Leads Lib Dem Team To Improve New Law

November 10, 2008 12:00 AM

The Lib Dem Education Team achieved a record number of improvements to the Education and Skills Bill in Parliament in November 2008. Here are the key achievements:

• Learning and support contracts - HMG accepted the idea first put forward by the Liberal Democrats in the Commons and pursued further in the Lords. HMG renamed them: 'Learning and Support Agreements'.

• HMG commitment to Personal, social and health education.

• A review in 2016 of the policy of applying the criminal standard to young people for failing to attend education or training and thus giving them a criminal record.

• Voice of the child - governing bodies in maintained schools must invite the views of pupils about the running of the school.

• School forums - ensuring that the requirement for a balance between governors and head teachers is enforced.

• Amendment 12 (report) - requiring academies through their funding agreements to have regard to the same guidance as maintained schools on improving behaviour and attendance.

• Assurances that a young person or nominated representative can make representations to an attendance panel before they reach a decision on enforcement actions against the young person (amendments 46, 51 and 56 at report - meeting with minister)

• Extend the duty for schools to provide careers education and information to all 16-18 year olds as it is to under 16 year olds.

• Assurances received that Connexions services and PCTs will be brought in to help young persons with health or mental health needs, under the partnership agreements of the Children Act. (Amendment 64)

• Amendment 73 (report) - HMG undertaking a review of transport provisions for learners with learning difficulties. Research in its final stages and HMG hope to bring forward legislation in next session toughing on this.

• HMG is consulting on giving pupils facing permanent exclusion the right to make representations and provide them with access to relevant information about their exclusion. Amendment 209/210.

• Stopped attempts by the DCSF to transfer the registration, regulation and monitoring of independent and non-maintained special schools to Ofsted.