The Government has withdrawn its proposed amendment on student governors following pressure from NUS.
The Government's proposed amendment to the Education Bill that would remove the compulsory legal requirement to have two student governors was heard again in the House of Lords yesterday, with Labour tabling a counter amendment to retain that requirement on college corporations.
In advance of the debate, NUS worked closely with UCU and UNISON in lobbying both Government ministers and parliamentarians on this issue and this led to the Government withdrawing its proposed amendment on student governors.
In response to Labour peer, Baroness Jones of Whitchurch's counter proposal to retain the requirement for student and staff governors, Skills Minister Lord Hill confirmed the Government would bring a new amendment to secure staff and student governors when the Bill returned to Parliament on Monday 14 November 2011:
"Having listened to the arguments that were put to him by the noble Baroness, Lady Jones of Whitchurch, my honourable friend Mr Hayes and I have spoken further. We have decided that the Government will return at Third Reading with their own amendment, which will give effect to what the noble Baroness's amendment seeks to achieve. With that assurance, I hope that the noble Baroness will feel able to withdraw the amendment.
In response, Baroness Jones of Whitchurch said she would temporarily withdraw the Labour amendment:
"I am therefore grateful that the Minister has agreed to reconsider this issue and to come back with a form of words that will reinstate the right to student and staff representation at Third Reading. On this basis, we are prepared to withdraw Amendment 84ZLA. We of course reserve the right to return to this issue at Third Reading should we feel that the new proposals are lacking in any way, but I am sure that that will not be the case. For the moment, I thank the Minister for the progress made on this issue."
Read the debate here.
NUS has been assured that the government plans to bring forward another amendment to the Third Reading of the Bill that reintroduces the requirement to have student and staff governors. We will remain vigilant and be keeping the pressure on the Government to keep to that promise in the meantime, but this is a really important step forward and our campaigning has forced the government to commit to the legislation on student governors.