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The Government announced in the Queen’s Speech on 27 May 2015 that legislation would be brought forward to “improve schools and give every child the best start in life, with new powers to take over failing and coasting schools and create more academies”. The Education and Adoption Bill would introduce a number of provisions regarding schools in England that are causing concern, including provision about their conversion into academies and about intervention powers. The Bill would also provide for joint arrangements to carry out local authority adoption functions in England.

The Bill completed its passage through the House of Commons without amendment, though divisions took place on a number of issues such as warning notices, the inspection of academy chains and the proposed powers of the Secretary of State to make directions. The Bill was introduced in the House of Commons on 3 June 2015 and received its second reading on 22 June 2015. A Public Bill Committee took written evidence on the Bill, and examined it over ten sittings from 30 June 2015 to 14 July 2015. The Bill passed through its remaining stages in the House of Commons on 16 September 2015. Following its first reading on 16 September 2015, the Bill is scheduled to receive its second reading in the House of Lords on 20 October 2015.

This Library Note examines the background to the Bill; provides an overview of its provisions; summarises proceedings on the Bill in the House of Commons; and outlines selected reaction to the Bill. It should be viewed as complementary to, and should be read in conjunction with, the Education and Adoption Bill as introduced in the House of Lords and the Explanatory Notes published by the Department for Education to accompany the Bill. The House of Commons Library Briefing provides more detailed background to the Bill as introduced in the House of Commons on 3 June 2015. The Government has published an Impact Assessment, and ‘Illustrative Regulations’ which include an explanatory statement on the Government’s intended definition of a ‘coasting’ school.


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