Clause 9 - Minor and consequential amendments

Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:15 pm on 22nd September 2021.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Michelle Donelan Michelle Donelan Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)

Clause 9 gives effect to the schedule to the Bill that makes minor and consequential amendments to other legislation. These consequential amendments are necessary to give effect to the main provisions of the Bill and to make all the legislation work together seamlessly and consistently.

Part 1 of the schedule provides for a number of amendments to be made to part 1 of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. For example, amendments to section 75 of the 2017 Act allow for the regulatory framework of the Office for Students, which gives guidance on how it will regulate, to include provision on student unions. That is a consequence of the new duties for student unions that are imposed under clauses 2 and 6 of the Bill.

Part 2 of the schedule makes amendments to the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015. Paragraph 13 makes consequential amendments. Paragraphs 14 and 15 make minor changes that are not consequential, but are technical corrections. The effect of the amendments is to match those providers that are monitored for compliance with the Prevent duty under section 32 of the 2015 Act to those listed in schedule 6 of that Act that are subject to the duty. That makes no difference in practice; it is simply to fix inconsistencies in wording.

Part 3 of the schedule amends section 43 of the Education (No. 2) Act 1986, which sets out the current freedom of speech duties on universities and colleges. It removes registered higher education providers from scope, since they will now be covered by this Bill. Part 3 also amends the Higher Education Act 2004 to ensure that the scheme operated by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education, which considers student complaints against providers, takes account of the new freedom of speech complaints scheme to be operated by the Office for Students.

The clause and schedule therefore contain amendments to other legislation that are necessary for the operation of the Bill.

Photo of Matt Western Matt Western Shadow Minister (Education)

I do not have any points to make on this clause.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 9 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.