Apprenticeships, Skills, Children And Learning Bill - continued          House of Commons

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Lords Amendment 127

66.     Amendment 127 would amend clause 146 so that reviews of decisions to withdraw recognition cannot be carried out by a member of Ofqual or of Ofqual’s staff or by any body whose members include members of Ofqual or Ofqual’s staff. This parallels Amendment 120 relating to the review arrangements of fee capping decisions.

Lords Amendment 128

67.     Currently the Secretary of State (on the advice of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority assigns values to qualifications to reflect the level of attainment that they represent for the purposes of Achievement and Attainment Tables and other school performance measures. Amendment 128 would introduce a new clause which would require Ofqual to keep under review any system used by the Secretary of State for allocating values to qualifications for the purposes of a qualifications-based performance management system, and gives Ofqual the power to require from the Secretary of State any information which it needs to do this.

Lords Amendment 130

68.     Amendment 130 would modify clause 164 to require Ofqual to include two extra things in its annual report:

  • An assessment of the extent to which Ofqual has met its objectives in the reporting period. In relation to the qualifications standards objective, this assessment must take account of any information detailed in the next bullet about the attainment of candidates.

  • Details of information Ofqual has obtained on the levels of attainment in regulated qualifications which are wholly or mainly taken in schools - for example GCSEs. This would allow Ofqual either to publish the information, or simply to describe the information it has obtained.

Lords Amendment 134

69.      Amendment 134 would make a minor and technical amendment to subsection (9) of clause 187, which itself amends section 21(9) of the Education Act 2002, to remove the provision made for the situation where a Children’s Trust Board does not produce a children and young people’s plan. This provision is not necessary given that the Government intends that all Children’s Trust Boards will be required to produce such a plan by regulations to be made under the new section 17 of the Children Act 2004 (inserted by clause 187).

Lords Amendment 135

70.     Amendment 135 would have the effect of requiring the first regulations made under the new section 9A of the Children Act 2004 (inserted by clause 188(1)) to be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure.

Lords Amendments 136 and 137

71.     Amendment 136 would make it clear that the Commissioner has the power to disregard complaints he considers to be vexatious.

72.     Subsection (2)(b) of clause 211 requires the Commissioner to publish information about the procedures for making complaints. Amendment 137 would require that information to include details of the assistance available to pupils who are, or have been in care, disabled children and parents, and children with special education needs.

Lords Amendments 138, 142 to 146 and 150 to 153

73.     These amendments would create a regulation-making power to add to the list of prohibited items for which staff in schools or in the further education sector can search. The regulations may specify what must or may be done by a person who seizes an article specified in the regulations. The regulations would be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure. Amendments 138, 142, 143, 144 and 145 relate to staff in schools and Amendments 146, 150, 151, 152 and 153 relate to staff within the further education sector.

Lords Amendments 139 to 141 and 147 to 149

74.     These amendments would remove the absolute requirement that a witness to a search, who must be present under the new section 550ZB(7)(b), be of the same gender as the learner being searched. A member of staff undertaking such a search must, however, ensure the witness is of the same sex as the learner where it is reasonably practicable to do so.

75.     Amendments 139, 140 and 141 relate to the powers of staff in schools and Amendments 147, 148 and 149 relate to the powers of staff in the further education sector.

Lords Amendments 154 to 157

76.     Amendments 154 and 155 would introduce new subsections (4A) and (4B) into the new section 93A of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 inserted by clause 239. Subsection (4A) provides an exception to the duty to report each use of force incident to the parent of the pupil at a school. Subsection (4A)(a) provides that the procedure must include provision that an incident must not be reported to the parent if it appears that it is likely to result in significant harm to the pupil. Subsection (4A)(b) provides that if there is no parent of the pupil that the incident can be reported to without it resulting in significant harm to the pupil, the incident should be reported to the local authority within whose area the pupil is ordinarily resident.

77.     Subsection (4B) provides that the Secretary of State will issue guidance on the meaning of significant harm and whether reporting an incident to a parent is likely to result in significant harm to the pupil.

78.     Amendments 156 and 157 would make corresponding changes in respect of further education colleges.

Lords Amendments 160 and 163

79.     Amendment 160 would have the effect that an order under clause 37 (specifying apprenticeship sectors for the purposes of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of the Bill) would be subject to the negative resolution procedure.

80.     Amendment 163 would achieve a corresponding effect for an order under clause 242(2) (making consequential amendments in connection with the change of name of pupil referral units to “short stay schools”).

Lords Amendments 167 and 168

81.     Amendments 167 and 168 would have the effect that clause 255 applies to directions given by any body, not just the Secretary of State. This would for example include the YPLA.

Lords Amendment 170

82.     Amendment 170 would have the effect that clause 51, so far as relating to Wales, would come into force on a day appointed by order made by the Welsh Ministers rather than the Secretary of State.

Lords Amendments 171, 172, 200 and 201

83.     Amendments 200 and 201 would include entries in Schedule 16 for repeals made elsewhere in the Bill. Amendments 171 and 172 would make consequential amendments to clause 261.

Lords Amendment 173

84.     Amendment 173 would require regulations under the new sections 63D and 63F(7) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (inserted by clause 39) to be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure. The regulations in question relate to the circumstances in which an employee can make a request in relation to study or training , and the grounds on which an employer can refuse such a request.

Lords Amendment 174

85.     Amendment 174 would ensure that the definition of learning difficulty in section 312(2) of the Education Act 1996 could be used to determine, for the purposes of section 18A of that Act (inserted by clause 47), whether a child had special educational needs.

Lords Amendment 177

86.     Amendment 177 would increase the minimum number of YPLA ordinary members from 6 to 10.

Lords Amendment 178

87.     Amendment 178 would amend Schedule 3 so that the Secretary of State must have regard to the desirability of the ordinary members of the YPLA including members who, together, have experience relevant to the full range of the YPLA’s functions, including functions conferred under Academy arrangements (see clause 75).

Lords Amendments 179 and 180

88.     The effect of Amendments 179 and 180 would be that only the first chief executive of the YPLA would be required to be appointed by the Secretary of State. Later chief executives would be appointed by the YPLA subject to the Secretary of State’s approval.

Lords Amendments 181 and 183 to 186

89.     Amendments 181, 184 and 186 would make minor drafting changes in connection with the transitional provision relating to the powers to appoint additional governors conferred on the Chief Executive of Skills Funding under Schedule 6 and local authorities and the YPLA under Schedule 8.

90.     Amendment 183 would amend Schedule 8 so that before a local authority may exercise its power under the new section 56F of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 to appoint members of the governing body of a sixth form college, it must consult the governing body in question.

91.     Amendment 185 would impose a corresponding consultation requirement on the YPLA before it could appoint governors under the new section 56I of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992.

*Lords Amendment 182

92.     Amendment 182 would change the period during which a sixth form college corporation is prohibited from converting back into a further education corporation from five years to two years.

Lords Amendments 187 to 189 and 191 to 193

93.     Amendments 188, 192 and 193 would amend Schedule 9 so that the power to appoint and dismiss the deputy chair of Ofqual is given to Ofqual rather than the Secretary of State. Amendments 187, 189 and 191 are consequential on those amendments.

Lords Amendments 190 and 194

94.     Amendments 190 and 194 would impose a new duty on the Secretary of State to consult the Chief Regulator in relation to the appointment or dismissal of Ofqual members. The amendments also make provision for circumstances in which it is not practicable to consult the Chief Regulator, if for example there was a vacancy for that position or the incumbent was seriously ill for an extended period. In such circumstances, and only if the matter for decision is urgent, the Secretary of State could consult the deputy instead (if one had been appointed and it was practicable to do so). The only circumstances under which the Secretary of State could act without consultation is if the matter was urgent (for example if Ofqual was inquorate owing to a vacancy) and it was not practicable to consult the Chief Regulator or any deputy (for example because one was seriously ill for an extended period and the other position was vacant).

Lords Amendments 195 to 198

95.     These amendments would address a technical drafting problem with amendments in the Bill to the Education Act 2002 and the Childcare Act 2006. Schedule 12 makes changes to the Secretary of State’s powers relating to the making of “supplementary provisions” as part of the processes for specifying how National Curriculum and Early Years Foundation Stage assessments should be organised. The amendments would ensure that the process of making “supplementary provisions” will work as intended.

Lords Amendment 199

96.     Amendment 199 would ensure consistency between the new sections 69A and 69B inserted by Schedule 13.

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Prepared: 11 November 2009