The HE Byte

Schools Bill 2022 – England

This page is being updated as the Bill progresses through Parliament: most recent revision – 30 June

Published Bill Documents

Trying to keep track of what is happening?

We recommend the Parallel Parliament’s Schools Bill page.

Unlike Parliament’s own website, links to all the relevant documents are displayed in a single list. The “Timeline of Bill Documents and Stages” list is ordered with the most recent publication at the top. Above that is a “Latest Key documents” list, which saves searching for the more important ones.

Other features include:

  • buttons to specific categories of information such as ‘Ministerial Extracts from Debates’ and a list of ‘Debates Contributors’;
  • a drop down ‘Learn more about this bill’ panel;
  • a very helpful “Receive Alert” button, which enables you to request an email whenever a new document becomes available.

Overall a very useful resource!

Official Parliamentary pages

Home page: Schools Bill [HL] – Parliamentary Bills

Various information is available via the ‘Publications ‘,News‘ & ‘Stages‘ tabs, but this information is more readily accessible on the Parallel Parliament website cited above.

Direct links to key PDF documents listed on the Publications tab:

Current progress of the Bill

The best place to track the progress of the Bill, including amendments, is via the Parallel Parliament website referred to above.

The Bill has now had its First and Second readings in the House of Lords [HL] and completed the Committee stage on 27 June. Parliament’s own News service’s summary of the Committee stage is available here: Lords concludes line by line examination of Schools Bill.

The next step is the Report stage.

Like the Committee stage this usually consists of several sitting days. On 29 June two dates were announced for this stage to begin, Tue 12 & Mon 18 July. The House rises for the Summer recess at the end of business on Thur 21 July. Whether or not further sittings will be required in September, or if the Government will try and complete the Report stage and Third reading before the recess starts is unclear at present.

However, throughout the Committee stage many Peers argued that in its published form the Bill was a shambles and not fit for purpose. Whilst their concerns were mainly about Parts 1 & 2 concerning schools, several had similar concerns about Parts 3 & 4 which are relevant to children receiving an education otherwise than in school. For instance, on 22 June Lord Shipley stated, “I note that the debate has raised a number of fundamental issues. Listening to it tells me that we have another set of issues that the Government need to take away and think carefully about. I understand that Report is due to start in little over a fortnight.” In the final paragraph of his speech he concluded, “I do not see how Report can happen in a fortnight to three weeks’ time. The Bill needs its Report deferred until the autumn.” Later, Baroness Brinton voiced her support for arguments advanced by Baroness Kennedy of Cradley and Lord Shipley’s “earlier comment that, with Report stage starting in under two weeks, it is completely wrong to proceed with this part of the Bill while there are so many unsolved problems: those of principle, language and attitude. Frankly, this means that there must be a delay to starting Report while the Government think again—at least until the autumn.”

We shall have to wait and see whether the Government will successfully push the Bill through the Lords, or whether they will hear the noble Peers’ concerns and extend it into September. In earlier Committee debates it was suggested that the Committee stage should be reconvened rather than proceeding directly to Report, but those calls have clearly been ignored.

Related Bytes

Resources provided through this website

MPs and Confidentiality

Information for home educating families contacting their Member of Parliament

Editable table containing extracts from the Bill for you to work with

These are tools for you to use to do your own work on understanding and tracking the Bill’s progress. They cover the sections listed below, not the whole Bill. If time allows we will keep each of them updated as more amendments are added at each stage.

Sections included: 48, 49 & 50 (CNiS registers) | 56 (Independent educational institutions) | 63 (Powers of entry and investigation – independent educational institutions)

Only containing relevant Bill clauses as it was introducedContaining relevant Bill clauses and Lords Committee stage amendments (updated 27 June)
Open Document FormatOpen Document Format
Word Document FormatWord Document Format
Portable Document FormatPortable Document Format

Notes on formats available:

  • Open Documents (odt) original formatting – space for you to type notes
  • Word Documents (doc) formatting may not be as reliable – space for you to type notes
  • Portable Documents (pdf) best for printing – can only be annotated on screen

Flow charts of a Bill’s progress through both Houses

Click on the links below each image to download the file type you prefer

House of LordsHouse of Commons

Note: the Bill may not be debated in the Commons until after the Summer recess.

House of Lords Bill Flow Chart
Graphic file
best for sharing on social media, etc.
Graphic file
best for sharing on social media, etc
PDF file
best for printing
PDF file
best for printing

If you want a more detailed explanation of the different stages of Government Bills in both Houses and how these differ, we highly recommend the Institute for Government’s Explainer “How are bills amended by Parliament?” For example it clarifies why all but the Government’s own amendments were either withdrawn or not moved in the Committee stage, “Amendments are routinely tabled, but rarely pushed to a vote at committee stage.” The reason for this is given in the Report stage section of the table on that page, “Any amendment can be made so long as it has not already been defeated during committee stage.” Thus withdrawing them allows the proposer more time to gather support for their amendment to be carried at a later date.

Helpful publications from others

It is impossible to list every item written by members of the various EHE organisations, communities and their supporters, so here is a very small selection which we hope you will find helpful.

Taunton Home Education

During the Second reading debate Baroness Meacher stated, “No doubt we have all had a briefing from Taunton Home Education asking us to oppose Parts 3 and 4. I have to say that I do not believe that these parts have anything really to do with Taunton Home Education, or indeed any other upstanding educational organisation.”
This is not the place to rebut Meacher’s misguided faith. We are pleased however that Taunton Home Education have given us permission to post their briefing here:

Ed Yourself | Fiona Nicholson

Helpful analysis of each stage of the Bills progress through Parliament – most recent item at the bottom of the list.

Counting Children | Schools Bill briefing | data protection

A god place for information on the data protection aspects of the Bill.

This page will be updated as the Bill progresses through both Houses.