UK: The Education Bill

Version 1

    The Education Bill was introduced into the House of Commons on Wednesday 26 January 2011. The Bill is an important step in implementing the Government’s education reform programme and helping to create an education system that delivers ever higher standards for all children.

    What does the Bill do?

    The Education Bill takes forward the legislative proposals in the Schools White Paper, The Importance of Teaching and measures from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to improve skills, including two elements of the reforms to higher education funding.

    Helping teachers maintain good discipline

    The Bill will give teachers the power to search pupils for items banned under the school rules and issue same-day detentions. It will provide better protection for teachers from false allegations by pupils. Exclusion appeal panels will be replaced by review panels, which will review decisions but will not have the power to force a school to reinstate an excluded pupil.                          

    Freedoms for schools and colleges

    This Bill supports the Department's commitment to reduce bureaucratic burdens on schools by removing unnecessary legal requirements on governing bodies, teachers and local authorities. It also frees 'outstanding' schools and colleges from routine inspection; and expands the Academies programme to allow 16-19 and alternative provision academies.


    The Bill will abolish five arm’s length bodies and where some of their functions need to be retained, they will fall to the Secretary of State, accountable through him to Parliament. The Bill will focus school inspections on four core areas of: achievement, teaching, leadership and management, and behaviour and safety. It will make sure the Secretary of State has the powers he needs to intervene in schools that are failing their pupils. The Bill will ensure that we measure ourselves against the best in the world by requiring sampled schools to take part in international educational surveys and revising Ofqual’s standards objective to include international comparisons.

    Using resources fairly

    The Bill will give parents of disadvantaged two-year-olds a right to 15-hours free Early Years provision a week; and target the entitlements to free level 2 and level 3 qualifications to those under-24. The Bill will enable a real and progressive rate of interest to be charged on higher education student loans and allow fees for part-time undergraduate courses to be capped.


    For more information on the Education Bill go to the UK Department for Education website


    See related article in The Guardian, 27 January, 2011 Education bill lets government order closure of failing schools