Government protects student governors after heavy NUS lobbying

The Government has reversed its plans to remove the compulsory legal requirement of having two student governors at each college.

Skills Minister Lord Hill has confirmed the coalition will bring a new amendment to secure staff and student governors when the Education Bill is returned to Parliament on November 14, 2011.

The decision follows heavy lobbying of both Government ministers and parliamentarians by the NUS, who has worked closely with unions such as UCU and UNISON to try and change the proposals.

Lord Hill announced the Government’s change of heart in response to a counter amendment the Labour party tabled at the House of Lords yesterday.

Lord Hill said: “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.”

Baroness Jones of Whitchurch said in response that she would temporarily withdraw the counter amendment from Labour:

Baroness Jones said: “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.”