Changes to the bill

June 12, 1998

Lords to renew fight against teaching bill

The Liberal Democrats say there have been 197 government changes to the Teaching and Higher Education Bill since its introduction. More were made this week during the report stage of the bill in the Commons.

The main changes were: Part 1: relating to the establishment and function of general teaching councils for England and Wales.

Clause 15: closes a loophole that could have allowed teachers guilty of misconduct, possibly child abuse, to resign before suspension and before disciplinary orders are made.

Schedule 2: teachers have the right to appeal to the High Court within 28 days of a disciplinary order being made against them.

Clause 19: teachers will not carry out their induction period in a school deemed to be failing and under special improvement measures.

Clause 19: teachers have the right to appeal against any decision by the secretary of state or GTCs for England and Wales to fail them after their induction period.

Part II: financial provision for further and higher education.

Schedule 2: three new clauses give the secretary of state power to transfer or delegate powers to collect student loans.

Clause 22: powers to the secretary of state to charge penalties, interest and surcharges in connection with loan repayments. These can be charged to the employers of graduates who owe money.

Clause 26: fees payable in respect of field trips run in connection with university courses, even if the trip has a tuition element, will be exempted in terms of the calculation of an institution's income.

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