Friday 03-03-2017 - 15:46
Your weekly round-up of NUS' work in parliament.
Westminster this week:
Brexit in Parliament
The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill has continued its journey through the House of Lords, following its passage through the House of Commons. The Government was defeated this week on an amendment that would require formal reassurances for EU citizens resident in Britain. Peers voted for the amendment with 358 votes to 256. However, the Government have indicated that it will challenge the amendment in the remaining stages of the Bill. You can read the debates so far here.
Technical and Further Education Bill – Committee stage
The Technical and Further Education Bill continued through Committee stage in the House of Lords this week. Peers regularly discussed how to ensure high quality in apprenticeships and further education, as well as the framework of the technical education sector. The Government accepted an amendment to put careers education into the Bill, and to better protect care leavers through specific legislative provision: both of which NUS have been calling for. You can read the debates here and here.
Higher Education and Research Bill
The Government has proposed amendments to the Higher Education and Research Bill. These include requirements for universities to publish the degree attainment levels of their students by gender, ethnicity and socio-economic background; an obligation for the Office for Students to have regard for the benefits of collaboration between higher education providers, not just competition; and amendments to require the Office for Students to seek expert advice – including from student representation – before making decisions about degree awarding powers. These will be debated in the House of Lords next week; you can read find the amendment papers here.
Bus Services Bill
The Bus Services Bill had its second reading in the House of Commons this week. Discussion included concerns that provisions are not outlined in the Bill for students and young people. You can read the debate here.
Relationship and Sex Education
The Government announced this week that it would be making amendments to the Children and Social Work Bill that will require secondary schools to teach relationships and sex education. You can read the press release here.
NUS in Parliament:
NUS was mentioned several times in the House of Lords during the Technical and Further Education debate on Monday. Lord Watson of Invergowrie cited recent NUS research done in conjunction with the Times Educational Supplement, which reveals that apprentices are excluded from a number of means of support available to their counterparts in further education institutions. Baroness Garden of Frognal quoted NUS briefing materials on the importance of financial support for apprentices. You can read the debate here.
Private meetings with peers were had regarding the Higher Education and Research Bill, which begins report stage in the House of Lords next week.
What’s coming up?
- The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill will continue to be debated in the House of Lords next week.
- The Higher Education and Research Bill will enter Report stage in the House of Lords on Monday 6 March.
- There will be a Westminster Hall debate on financial support for apprentices on Wednesday 8 March.
- The Spring Budget will be published on Wednesday 8 March.