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Higher Education — Motion to Take Note (9 April 2014)

Baroness Perry of Southwark: My Lords, I, too, thank my noble friend for having initiated this amazing debate. Already we have had so many extraordinary and memorable speeches. So many of the major issues have already been dealt with in such a learned and detailed way, but I shall not do that. I thought that it would perhaps be my role to talk about one particular university and to bring some practical examples of what...

Higher Education: Student Loans — Question (26 March 2014)

Baroness Perry of Southwark: My Lords, does my noble friend agree with me that, in the days when universities were funded through grant and not student loans, the Government could recoup none of the money that was given in grant? Even if we do not now recoup the whole 100%, we and the universities are still much better off all the time.

Education: Social Mobility — Motion to Take Note (13 March 2014)

Baroness Perry of Southwark: My Lords, I, too, thank the Minister for initiating this debate with such a powerful speech. His own record in offering truly life-changing opportunities to hundreds of children in the Pimlico Academy stands as an example to all providers, whether local authorities or sponsors of free schools and academies. Although I am a once-upon-a-time philosopher, I will resist the temptation to...

Consular Marriages and Marriages under Foreign Law Order 2014 — Motions to Approve (27 February 2014)

Baroness Perry of Southwark: My Lords, as one who was blessed with more than 50 years of a very happy marriage, I think it is appropriate just to pause for a moment to give tribute to marriage itself. I am so very happy for my many gay friends that they will be able to participate in something which is one of the great blessings to human beings. I join in the congratulations to my noble friend and her colleagues on...

Travel to School: Rural Areas — Question (26 February 2014)

Baroness Perry of Southwark: Following on from the right reverend Prelate’s intervention, does my noble friend agree that rather than closing rural schools it might sometimes make sense to bus the children from an overcrowded city school and take them out to the pleasant air of a country school so that they could enjoy the very good teaching that one often finds in small rural schools?

Children and Families Bill — Report (4th Day) (28 January 2014)

Baroness Perry of Southwark: My Lords, I am very much in sympathy with the noble Baroness, Lady Walmsley, in her wish to ensure quality in childminding. That is something that we all endorse and I feel a considerable amount of concern that childminders vary very much in the quality of what they offer and in the integrity of their offering to young children. However, I cannot see how Ofsted could conceivably provide this...

Children and Families Bill — Report (4th Day) (28 January 2014)

Baroness Perry of Southwark: My Lords, it is good to be able to give a very warm welcome to one of the amendments put down by the noble Baroness, Lady Massey. I agree entirely with what she said in her introduction to this amendment. It is a very good amendment. I particularly like the fact that she is asking all schools to make this explicit to parents, school governors and pupils. We have not talked about the role of...

Children and Families Bill — Report (4th Day) (28 January 2014)

Baroness Perry of Southwark: My Lords, I support a great deal of what the noble Baroness, Lady Jones, said, in her introduction. As others have said, it would be a terrible world in which children could learn about sex and relationships only through the pornography that they find on the internet. However, I suggest that that is an issue about what is on the internet and young people’s access to it much more than it...

Education: Academy Chains — Question (15 January 2014)

Baroness Perry of Southwark: My Lords, does my noble friend agree that the most important form of accountability is the accountability of the school to its pupils, and their parents, to raise the standards of achievement? The huge success that my noble friend has already described is surely evidence of the success of the accountability that has left academies accountable to their pupils to raise standards.

Ofsted: Annual Report 2012-13 — Question (8 January 2014)

Baroness Perry of Southwark: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the remarks about “lucky children” made by the Chief Executive of Ofsted during the launch of that organisation’s Annual Report 2012–13.

Ofsted: Annual Report 2012-13 — Question (8 January 2014)

Baroness Perry of Southwark: My Lords, I thank my noble friend for that heartening reply. Would he also join me in welcoming the chief inspector’s finding that children’s success in education is determined not by their background but by the quality of the school they attend and that lucky children are simply those who attend good schools? Does this not offer an end to the climate of low expectations for...

Children and Families Bill — Report (3rd Day) (7 January 2014)

Baroness Perry of Southwark: My Lords, I can imagine myself as a parent of a child with special education needs; I have listened to the debate trying to put myself into that person’s shoes. I can imagine taking my child along to discuss with the local education authority what provision could be made and being told, “I am sorry that you may want this, that and the other, and your child may have that particular...

Children and Families Bill — Report (1st Day) (9 December 2013)

Baroness Perry of Southwark: My Lords, pendulums do swing; it is very difficult to find a middle way. We are all agreed that it was wrong that for a period of time there was too much emphasis given to a child’s racial and religious background, as the noble and learned Baroness has said. That has resulted in appalling waiting times for children of some ethnic-minority backgrounds, who wait to be adopted for three or...

Education: Proficiency Levels — Question (3 December 2013)

Baroness Perry of Southwark: Does my noble friend agree that the hugely encouraging increase in performance that has taken place in many of the new academies bodes very well for the results of the PISA in three years’ time, when the young people who have been through them will be tested?

Education: Foreign Languages — Question (15 October 2013)

Baroness Perry of Southwark: Does my noble friend not agree with me that one very welcome development is that many universities now offer joint degrees? They teach modern languages alongside engineering or business studies, for example. This is exactly what employers tell us they want.

Children and Families Bill — Second Reading (2 July 2013)

Baroness Perry of Southwark: My Lords, in this debate many noble Lords have already put forward serious issues for the Minister to consider and they have suggested additions that they would wish to see. I know that the Minister will reply to their questions with his usual care and courtesy, and I myself have certainly listened to them with great sympathy. However, the Minister may have nothing to say to me, as I simply...

Education: Citizenship — Question for Short Debate (27 June 2013)

Baroness Perry of Southwark: My Lords, I, too, thank the noble Lord, Lord Cormack, for giving us this opportunity to debate an important subject and for introducing the debate so powerfully. Like others, I would like to concentrate on the educational issues raised by the topic and to widen the meaning of citizenship education. I think we all recognise that education is more than academic subjects. Parents in the wider...

Education: Academies and Free Schools — Question for Short Debate (4 February 2013)

Baroness Perry of Southwark: To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the contribution of academies and free schools to educational provision in the United Kingdom.

Education: Academies and Free Schools — Question for Short Debate (4 February 2013)

Baroness Perry of Southwark: My Lords, I welcome this opportunity to address the contribution of academies and free schools to our national education provision. I look forward to the summing up of this short debate by my noble friend the Minister, as this is the first opportunity for him to make a substantial speech in this House. I begin by declaring an interest as the unpaid chair of a commission on academies and free...

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