Amendment 35A

Skills and Post-16 Education Bill [HL] - Report (2nd Day) – in the House of Lords at 1:00 pm on 21 October 2021.

Alert me about debates like this

Votes in this debate

Lord Baker of Dorking:

Moved by Lord Baker of Dorking

35A: After Clause 13, insert the following new Clause—“Amendments to section 42B of the Education Act 1997(1) Section 42B of the Education Act 1997 is amended as follows.(2) After subsection (1) insert—“(1A) In complying with subsection (1), the proprietor must give a representative range of education and training providers (including, where reasonably practicable, a university technical college) access to registered pupils on at least three occasions during each of the first, second and third key phase of their education.”(3) After subsection (2) insert—“(2A) The proprietor of a school in England within subsection (2) must—(a) ensure that each registered pupil meets, during both the first and second key phase of their education, with a representative range of education and training providers to whom access is given, and(b) ask providers to whom access is given to provide information that includes the following—(i) information about the provider and the approved technical education qualifications or apprenticeships that the provider offers,(ii) information about the careers to which those technical education qualifications or apprenticeships might lead,(iii) a description of what learning or training with the provider is like, and(iv) responses to questions from the pupils about the provider or technical education qualifications and apprenticeships.(2B) Access given under subsection (1) must be for a reasonable period of time during the standard school day.”(4) After subsection (5)(a), insert—“(aa) a requirement to provide access to a representative range of education and training providers to include where practicable a university technical college;”(5) In subsection (5)(c), after “access” insert “and the times at which the access is to be given;”(6) After subsection (5)(c), insert—“(d) an explanation of how the proprietor proposes to comply with the obligations imposed under subsection (2A).”(7) After subsection (9), insert—“(9A) For the purposes of this section—(a) the first key phase of a pupil’s education is the period—(i) beginning at the same time as the school year in which the majority of pupils in the pupil’s class attain the age of 13, and(ii) ending with 28 February in the following school year;(b) the second key phase of a pupil’s education is the period—(i) beginning at the same time as the school year in which the majority of pupils in the pupil’s class attain the age of 15, and (ii) ending with 28 February in the following school year;(c) the third key phase of a pupil’s education is the period—(i) beginning at the same time as the school year in which the majority of pupils in the pupil’s class attain the age of 17, and(ii) ending with 28 February in the following school year.””Member’s explanatory statementThis amendment will ensure that Section 2 of the Technical and Further Education Act 2017, commonly known as the Baker Clause, is legally enforceable.

Photo of Lord Baker of Dorking Lord Baker of Dorking Conservative

I am glad we have got that little bit right. I first thank all the Peers who have spoken, including some Conservatives, in support of my amendment.

As regards the number of days, I make it absolutely clear that there should be three meetings. These meetings will not last for the full day; they will last for two or three hours at the very most, with maybe two providers coming in. There would be meetings at ages 13 to 14, 14 to 16 and 16 to 18. That is not what the government amendment says—it says that they will have “at least one”. The legal advice I have is from Mr Stephen Ravenscroft, who is well known to the department because he is the leading figure on educational law, but I managed to get at him first before the department. He has given me a very clear legal position on this: the point about “at least one” is that if a provider gets in first, the others do not have a right to be heard. The school can say, “We have had at least one meeting”, so I think my amendment is actually stronger than the Government’s.

I seek to test the opinion of the House.

Photo of Baroness Barran Baroness Barran The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Before the noble Lord sits down, I am genuinely concerned that we have a fundamental understanding of the number of encounters that the two amendments seek to deliver. The government amendment says that

“the proprietor must give access to registered pupils on at least one occasion during each of”— that is, every time; those are my words, not the amendment’s—

“the first, second and third key phase of their education.”

So there would be three mandatory encounters. The following part of our amendment says that, during each of these phases,

“The proprietor of a school … must … ensure that each registered pupil meets … at least one provider”,

so, with the greatest respect to my noble friend, a single provider is not sufficient. That is what our amendment says, so I would just like to make that point clear.

Photo of Lord Baker of Dorking Lord Baker of Dorking Conservative

I would like to seek the opinion of the House.

Ayes 180, Noes 130.

Division number 1 Skills and Post-16 Education Bill [HL] - Report (2nd Day) — Amendment 35A

Aye: 180 Members of the House of Lords

No: 130 Members of the House of Lords

Aye: A-Z by last name

No: A-Z by last name

Amendment 35A agreed.

Consideration on Report adjourned.