Documents to download


The Skills and Post-16 Education Bill was introduced in the House of Lords on 18 May 2021 and passed its third reading on 25 October 2021. The Bill received its first reading in the House of Commons on 26 October 2021.

The Bill forms the legislative underpinning for reforms set out in the Department for Education (DfE) White Paper, Skills for Jobs: Lifelong Learning for Opportunity and Growth (January 2021). It also includes measures to address some of the recommendations of the Review of Post-18 Education and Funding (the Augar Review) which was published in May 2019.

The briefing follows the outline of the Bill as brought from the House of Lords and introduced to the House of Commons. It is not intended to be an exhaustive clause-by-clause analysis.

The Bill

The Bill currently has four parts and 36 substantive clauses.

Part 1: Skills and education for work

  • Chapter 1 (clauses 1-5) sets out provisions which aim to tailor education and training to meet local needs through the creation of local skills improvement plans and the involvement of employer bodies.
  • Chapter 2 (clauses 6-14) sets out provisions which aim to increase the role of the Institute for Apprenticeships and Training in the provision of technical qualifications and to improve careers advice.
  • Chapter 3 (clauses 15 to 18) sets outs provisions to support lifelong learning through the introduction of the Lifelong Loan Entitlement.

Part 2: Quality of provision

  • Clauses 19 and 20 set out provisions relating to initial teacher training in the FE sector and the assessment of HE provision using student outcomes and minimum standards.

Part 3: Protection of learners

  • Chapter 1 (clauses 21 to 26) relates to the regulation of post-16 education and training and the process of intervening in further education providers.
  • Chapter 2 (clauses 27 and 28) sets out provisions on the insolvency regime for FE providers.

Part 4: Miscellaneous and general

  • Chapter 1 (clauses 29 to 33) sets out new offences criminalising cheating services for post-16 students in England.
  • Chapter 2 (clauses 34 to 36) sets out provisions on the designation of 16 to 19 academies with a religious character and other educational institutions in the further education sector.
  • Chapter 3 (clauses 37 to 39) sets out the bill’s extent, commencement, and short title.

Territorial extent

The provisions of the Bill apply to England. Provisions in clauses 15-16 and clauses 27, 28 and 34 also apply to Wales. Clauses 11, 16(3), 37-39 and clause 15 in the Bill extend to Scotland and Northern Ireland, so far as it modifies provisions that extend there. Clause 10 extends to Northern Ireland also, but not to Scotland.

Further reading

The Department for Education has published the following accompanying documents:

Memoranda have also been published on the Bill for the following committees: Joint Committee on Human Rights and House of Lords Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee (DPRRC). A supplementary memorandum for the DPRRC has also been published for the Government’s Lords amendments.

The following library briefing papers also provide relevant information:

Documents to download

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