Highlights of the week ending 8 April

The Skills and Post-16 Education Bill completed its ten-month journey through parliament after peers agreed to the withdrawal of Lord Blunkett’s amendment that would have applied a three-year wait to the defunding of applied qualifications at level 3. This came after ministers clarified their position in order to address Lords’ concerns. This included Baroness Barran’s announcement that the government “expect(s) to remove just a small proportion of the total level 3 BTEC and other applied general style qualification offer – significantly less than half”. This represents a change in position from the start of the Bill’s passage when it was said only on small number of such qualifications would remain.