House of Commons Library

Academies Bill [HL] Bill 57 of 2010-11

Published Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Bill allows the governing body of each maintained school in England to apply to the Secretary of State to convert the school to an academy. The Secretary of State will also be empowered to convert schools that are ‘eligible for intervention’. The Bill also makes provision for ‘free schools’ - new schools set up by parents, teachers, charities, universities, business or community or faith groups where there is parental demand. Free schools will have the same legal requirements as academies. During the Bill’s passage through the House of Lords, a number of Government amendments were made, including those on special educational needs provision in academies, consultation during the conversion process and applying Freedom of Information legislation to academies. Many non-Government amendments were proposed, of which two were successful. One of these required the Secretary of State to publish an annual report on academies, which the Government welcomed; the other related to services for children with low incidence special educational needs, which the Government opposed.

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The Bill allows the governing body of each maintained school in England to apply to the Secretary of State to convert the school to an academy. The Secretary of State will also be empowered to convert schools that are ‘eligible for intervention’. The Bill also makes provision for ‘free schools’ - new schools set up by parents, teachers, charities, universities, business or community or faith groups where there is parental demand. Free schools will have the same legal requirements as academies. During the Bill’s passage through the House of Lords, a number of Government amendments were made, including those on special educational needs provision in academies, consultation during the conversion process and applying Freedom of Information legislation to academies. Many non-Government amendments were proposed, of which two were successful. One of these required the Secretary of State to publish an annual report on academies, which the Government welcomed; the other related to services for children with low incidence special educational needs, which the Government opposed.

Commons Briefing papers RP10-48

Authors: Paul Bolton; Christine Gillie

Topics: Local authorities: education, Schools, Special educational needs

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