Lords strengthen consultation plans

    Peers have amended the Education Bill to force councils to
    consult parents and other local authorities who send pupils to
    special schools out of borough on proposals to close them.

    At its third reading in the House of Lords last week, Baroness
    Sharp of Guildford, who supported the amendment, argued that
    councils did not always recognise that their special schools served
    pupils from other authorities.

    Lord Hanningfield, who tabled the amendment, said that he was
    concerned about consultation with parents when children came to
    schools from such a wide area. He added that he knew of a case in
    which none of the parents of pupils at a school were consulted
    about its closure.

    Education minister Lord Filkin said the amendment’s proposals
    were already in statute, regulations and guidance, but Hanningfield
    said these were not “strong enough at present”.

    The bill has its second reading in the House of Commons on 14


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