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This note covers the main amendments made to Part 3 of the Children and Families Bill during the House of Lords consideration of the Bill. Part 3 of the Bill relates to children and young people in England with special educational needs (SEN) or, as a result of amendments made at Lords’ Report Stage, with disabilities.

The House of Commons is due to consider the Lords’ amendments on Monday 10 February 2014.

When the Bill was introduced in the House of Commons, the SEN provisions were heralded as the biggest reform to SEN provision in 30 years. At the start of the Grand Committee debate on Part 3, over 200 amendments had been tabled on it.

This note covers the main Lords’ amendments relating to Part 3 only. All Government amendments introduced to Part 3 in the Lords were agreed. The note is not intended to be an account of every amendment discussed and then withdrawn; however, it does include those Lords’ amendments proposed to Part 3 that were pressed to a division. (These were defeated).

The Bill also seeks to reform the legislation on adoption and children in care; education for looked after children; aspects of the family justice system; the Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England; statutory rights to leave and pay for parents and adopters; time off for ante-natal care; and, flexible working. The Bill, as amended in the Lords, also contains provisions on free school meals, the regulation of retail packaging of tobacco products, and smoking in private vehicles.

This note does not cover these provisions nor does it cover the Lords’ debates on education issues more generally – for example, the debates in the Lords on sex and relationship education or the Government amendment that underpins the commitment to extend free school meals to pupils attending state schools in England in reception, and years one and two. For information on any of above or related subjects, please contact the relevant Library specialist as follows.

School-related provision; SEN; education of looked after children: Christine Gillie

Child care, adoption and the Children’s Commissioner for England: Manjit Gheera

Family justice system: Catherine Fairbairn

Parental leave and flexible leave: Doug Pyper

Retail packaging of tobacco products, and smoking in private vehicles: Sarah Barber

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