Education Bill progresses to the House of Lords un-amended

May 13, 2011

The Education Bill had its Report Stage and Third Reading in the House of Commons this Wednesday (May 11th). Although the Bill was un-amended, two amendments that sought to retain existing safeguards that help ensure admissions in schools are fair and which the Accord Coalition had sent MPs a briefing in support of formed a prominent part of the parliamentary debate.

The amendments sought to ensure that local authorities responsible for education continue to organise a School Admission Forum, as well as that the power of the school adjudicator to amend any aspect of a school’s admissions arrangements when investigating a complaint be retained. Together, the two safeguards help to ensure that school admission policies do not break the Schools Admission Code and illegally disenfranchise or discriminate.

Chair of the Accord Coalition, Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain said ’it is with regret that the Bill has progressed to the House of Lords un-amended. However, we are greatly encouraged that such prominence was given to the importance and role of safeguards to stop schools acting unfairly in their admission arrangements at the Report Stage, as well as also Ofsted’s duty to inspect community cohesion and importance of school’s working to improve community cohesion during the Bill’s Committee Stage. We now look forward to the Bill passing through the House of Lords, where these issues can be debated in even further detail.’

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