The House of Commons Education Committee, chaired by the Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, met for the first time on Tuesday 12 September and agreed its initial programme of work for the new Parliament. The Committee agreed that its work in this Parliament will focus on two themes: social justice and productivity.
With further announcements about new inquiries to follow in the coming weeks, the Committee announced that it will hold early hearings with the Secretary of State for Education, Rt Hon Justine Greening MP, HM Chief Inspector of Schools for Ofsted, Amanda Spielman, and Ofqual’s Chief Regulator, Sally Collier, once Parliament returns from the party conferences in October.
Education Committee future programme
In addition to a series of high-profile sessions with key figures and organisations directly accountable to Parliament, the Committee agreed to conclude the previous Education Committee’s inquiry into fostering, which was paused by the General Election earlier in the year. The Committee will also look to follow up the previous Committee’s work by carefully considering the Government’s responses to previous inquiries.
Robert Halfon MP, Chair of the Education Select Committee, said: “Social justice and productivity will be at the heart of our work on the Education Committee over this Parliament. How our education system helps to improve young people’s lives and puts them on the ladder of opportunity will be placed front and centre of our programme of work.
“We have agreed to look carefully at a number of subjects spanning higher education and value for money, the quality of apprenticeships training and sub-contractors, public examinations and the life chances of children excluded from school.
"I’m pleased we will have an early opportunity to hear from the Secretary of State on the work of the Department, including on school funding, this year’s changes to GCSEs and the implementation of the 30 hours’ entitlement to free childcare for 3- and 4-year olds. I am particularly keen to question the Secretary of State on what the Government is doing to improve the educational outcomes for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Finally, I am delighted to announce that the Education Committee will be participating in the House of Commons Apprenticeship Scheme this year.”
Further details of the Committee's new inquiries will be announced in the coming weeks.
Membership of select committees was confirmed following an agreement of the House on Monday 11 September. The new members of the Education Committee are:
- Robert Halfon MP (Chair) – Con, Harlow
- Lucy Allan MP – Con, Telford
- Michelle Donelan MP – Con, Chippenham
- Marion Fellows MP – SNP, Motherwell and Wishaw
- James Frith MP – Lab, Bury North
- Emma Hardy MP – Lab, Kingston upon Hill West and Hessle
- Trudy Harrison MP – Con, Copeland
- Ian Mearns MP – Lab, Gateshead
- Lucy Powell MP – Lab, Manchester Central
- Thelma Walker MP – Lab, Colne Valley
- William Wragg MP – Con, Hazel Grove