Nursery Schools and Special Schools

Orders of the Day — EDUCATION (No. 2) BILL – in the House of Commons at 9:45 pm on 12th February 1980.

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Photo of Mrs Ann Taylor Mrs Ann Taylor , Bolton West 9:45 pm, 12th February 1980

I beg to move amendment No. 16, in page 9, line 23, leave out from beginning to 'in' in line 24 and insert— 'A local education authority may, at its discretion, implement the provisions of sections 6, 7 and 8 above'.

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

With this amendment we may take amendment No. 123, in page 9, line 24, leave out from 'nursery schools' to end of line 25.

Photo of Mrs Ann Taylor Mrs Ann Taylor , Bolton West

I will speak briefly on this amendment not because it is unimportant but because there are many hon. Members on both sides of the House who wish to speak on amendment No. 123.

The amendment seeks to ensure that the provisions in clauses 6, 7 and 8—the clauses relating to parental preference, the appeals system and to information about schools—should apply at the discretion of the local education authority to nursery schools and special schools as well as to those already covered by the provisions of these clauses.

Many hon. Members wish to speak on the issue of special schools. The Opposition feel that as far as possible special schools should be treated as ordinary schools. We do not see why the provisions of clauses 6, 7 and 8 should not apply to special schools. We accept that different arrangements may be, and often are, made about admissions. These clauses do not relate simply to admissions to special schools and the criteria laid down for admission. The clauses relate to the position of parents and the degree to which they can exercise influence or choice about the special school to which their child may be allocated and the information to which such a parent is entitled about that school. We see no reason why that information should not be forthcoming to the parents and we believe, as do many organisations outside the House such as the National Society for Mentally Handicapped Children, that the way in which the Government have presented the matter discriminates against children and parents of children in special schools. We cannot see any hardships that would ensue if the Government accepted our proposals.

10.15 pm

In a recent debate, the Under-Secretary referred to the Warnock report. He said that the Government would make a statement about their position in relation to that report. We believe that the amendment is in line with the spirit of the report. The amendment would allow special schools and children in those schools to be treated in almost the same way as children in ordinary schools. We hope that the Minister will accept the principle of our amendment.

The clause and the amendment also relate to nursery schools. We discussed the subject briefly in Committee. At that time, some interesting facts emerged. At times, the Minister surprised the Committee with indications about possible appeals for certain under-fives. He indicated that there would be different rights for parents of different 4-year-olds in different circumstances. For example, the parents of a 4-year-old child who were asking for a place at an infant school for that rising-five would have a right of appeal under clause 7 if the application were turned down.

We welcome the extension of the appeal system to that extent, but it creates an anomaly. The Secretary of State spent some time this afternoon telling the House that it was his duty to clarify the law and clear up anomalies. However, by their approach to this question, the Government are creating another anomaly. The 4-year-old whose parents wish him to go to an infant school as a rising-five will have a right of appeal if the place is refused but a 4-year-old whose parents wish him to go to a nursery school will have no right of appeal. While many parents would welcome the admission of their 4-year-old into an infant school, others believe that under-fives can be taught more effectively and appropriately at nursery school. That is one difficulty that the Minister has not faced.

In view of the new clause relating to the provision of nursery education that was passed today, and because of our fears about the way in which the new clause will work in practice and the reduction in available nursery school places, we believe that it is more important that the subject of clause 8, relating to information, should be made to apply as widely as possible and should relate to nursery schools. We believe that there is a possibility that many local authorities will reduce the number of nursery school places. It is therefore even more important that parents have a right to know the basis on which allocations are made.

Those are important points. In Committee the Minister was not particularly forthcoming. Indeed, some of his remarks added to the confusion and the anomalies. I hope that he will clarify the position. I also hope that he will indicate his sympathy towards the problems that he is creating for children in special schools and for their parents. I hope that he will take action to clear up the anomaly of the treatment of 4-year-olds in infant and primary schools, and those in nursery schools. We need some re- assurance about the Minister's attitude towards the issues that we have raised.

Photo of Sir David Price Sir David Price , Eastleigh

I wish to speak to amendment No. 123. If the amendment is accepted, it will remove the words special schools or children in need of special educational treatment. from the clause. The clause excludes the parents of children in special schools from the provisions of the preceding three clauses. Those clauses assist parents. They give them rights.

I had hoped that it would be unnecessary to argue the case. However, I must apparently do so. When the clause was discussed in Committee, the Minister said: This clause was drafted with the best of intentions". Of course, my hon. Friend always has the best of intentions. He continued: but if it can be shown that there would be overwhelming advantage in changing it, we shall come back to it on Report."—[Official Report, Standing Committee D, 18 December 1979; c. 847.] The case has been made. There is an overwhelming disadvantage in leaving the clause as it is. If our amendment is accepted it will remove the disadvantage that my hon. Friend is imposing on the parents of disabled children. That is entirely in line with Government thinking. When the present Leader of the House—that most distinguished of my many distinguished colleagues—was Shadow spokesman for education, he spoke during a debate on a previous education Bill. With his normal ability to get to the heart of the matter, he said: We also welcome that part of the new clause under which parents are brought in. Mark those words. He continued: That is in accordance with our philosophy of increasing parental influence in education and our belief that, if a child is to go to a special school, parental consent is required."—[Official Report, 1 July 1976; Vol. 914, c. 724.] That is entirely in line with the recommendations of the Warnock report on the special educational needs of handicapped children. The chapter in the Warnock report entitled "Parents as Partners"—I suggest that clause 9 denies that concept—begins: We have insisted throughout this report that the successful education of children with special educational needs is dependent upon the full involvement of their parents; indeed, unless the parents are seen as equal partners in the educational process the purpose of our report will be frustrated. Are we, so early on in the consideration of the report, to frustrate its whole purpose?

May I anticipate my hon. Friend's reply? He gave us a trailer in an earlier debate. He indicated that it was possible, come the spring and the crocuses and tulips, that some Green Paper, some White Paper, or a White Paper with green edges—a little discussion paper on Warnock—would be published. That response is not adequate, because my hon. Friend gave no indication about early legislation upon or implementation of the Warnock report. Even had he done so, we know that the best of departmental legislative intentions in February have a habit of being frustrated by other priorities of Governments come October and November and the Queen's Speech.

If my hon. Friend insists on that as his only defence, I am reminded of a young man who has been walking out for many months with a girl. He is asked "John, how are you getting on? Have you proposed yet?" He replies "Oh, yes. I popped the question." "Did she accept you or refuse you?" "No. She said 'Ask me again in a year's time.' "One knows the value of that sort of acceptance, and that is what we have so far been offered by my hon. Friend.

I suggest that the amendment has the merit that it does justice but does not cost public money. My hon. Friend will not be hauled over the coals by the Chief Secretary or any of his satellites. All members of his Department will be able to look their Treasury colleagues straight in the eye.

The clause is a grey provision, drafted by grey little lawyers, with grey little hearts. I invite my hon. Friend to reject the grey advice. He is a bigger man than that. He should allow his natural instincts for generosity to have the better of that little grey bit of paper with the black, but not the grey, words on it "Resist, resist." We all know the way that it is done. He would do better to have in front of him the words of that great American poet, Emerson, who said Let us treat men and women well; treat them as if they were real; perhaps they are. I promise my hon. Friend that if he treats the parents of handicapped children as if they were real—and I suggest that they are—he will not run into difficulty with his Treasury colleagues and he will do justice to those real people whom the whole House respects and wishes to help.

Photo of Mr Jack Ashley Mr Jack Ashley , Stoke-on-Trent South

I support most of what the hon. Member for Eastleigh (Mr. Price) said, but he is wrong in saying that the clause is drawn up with the best of intentions. The clause is based on a misunderstanding. I do not know whether the intention is good or bad, but it is a condescending and patronising clause, which some of us bitterly resent. It will deprive parents of disabled children of the rights given to the parents of non-disabled children.

I know that the Minister is sympathetic, and I am sure that the Secretary of State is, too. But somehow, they have been persuaded to put the clause in the Bill. Why should they prevent parents of handicapped children having a voice in the choice of their child's school?

I do not want to make this a party political issue. It is not. I simply remind the Secretary of State that in the previous Government the Minister with responsibilities for the disabled went out of his way to bring into Warnock a representative of the disabled—Mrs. Tumin.

10.30 pm

With this clause, the disabled are still being deprived of that voice. The parents of disabled children, who should be allowed to speak out are being gagged. There is nothing worse than parents of a disabled child seeing that child beaten in the rat race. In life's rat race, disabled children suffer. No matter how much sympathy is expressed, no matter how many warm words are uttered or bromides offered, they suffer and fall behind. Disablement is exactly what it has been called. It is a handicap.

The parents of disabled children want to speak out and help their children as much as, if not more than, other parents. This clause deprives them of that voice. I believe that the clause must be based on some misunderstanding. I hope that the Minister will give an assurance that it is to be withdrawn. The question of principle is applicable to the clause. If the Minister accepts the principle adumbrated in our amendment he should withdraw the clause. There is no point in giving an assurance that it will be withdrawn at a later date.

A principle is a principle. If public expenditure were involved I would still argue as a Labour Member, but public expenditure is not involved. The Minister should be able to say that although there are difficulties and problems the Government are prepared to deal with them and give parents the vital voice that they require.

I beg the Secretary of State to think again. It is rumoured that we may have to go to a Division. I hope that the rumours are wrong. I hope that the Government will withdraw clause 9 and show that, whatever their faults, they are not prepared to gag the parents of disabled children when the education of their children is discussed.

Photo of Mr John Hannam Mr John Hannam , Exeter

I wish to follow the line taken by the right hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, South (Mr. Ashley), who plays an important part in the affairs of the disabled and is chairman of the All-Party Disablement Group. It is through that group that this amendment has been tabled. Hon. Members have taken part in discussions prior to this debate with the Under Secretary of State, who received us with great understanding and sympathy. I should like to capitalise on that in my contribution.

Usually, on Report, when amendments are tabled on behalf of the disabled, we find ourselves squeezed out at the end of the debate. It is unusual to find that we are opening the batting twice, in separate guillotined periods, with a better chance of debating the matter fully and giving everyone a chance to hear the Minister's reply.

I find myself in some difficulty. I cannot believe that this fearful clause is intentional. The clause must be intentional, because it discriminates against the disabled and the handicapped. No financial implication is involved. The Government cannot, therefore, be taking a defensive posture because of pressure from the Treasury. The words of the clause stating that none of the much-welcomed provisions of clauses 6, 7 and 8 shall have effect in relation to nursery schools, special schools or children in need of special educational treatment strike a fierce blow at all those concerned with progress towards greater integration of disabled people. That is the main objective, and it is the objective stated by the Minister in the previous debate.

The clause expressly withholds parental choice and information on parental preferences from parents whose children are to go to nursery schools or special schools, and from parents whose children are deemed to be in need of special educational treatment. I and other members of the All-Party Disablement Group, plus all the organisations representing the handicapped, see no reason for this, particularly when these provisions are very carefully hedged already with safeguards in the Bill.

I was very pleased to hear, in the debate on clauses 2 and 5, that my hon. Friend is planning to bring forward proposals on the Warnock report possibly in the next parliamentary year. He will obviously want to deal with many of these aspects in that legislation, but that inevitably is some way off; in fact it may never come. This Bill is with us now, in the present, and it represents discrimination in its worst form against handicapped people because it widens the gap when we should be closing it in preparation for Warnock and the fuller integration of the disabled in our society.

Clauses 6 to 8 provide for arrangements to be made for parents to express a preference for a particular school, and those responsible for admissions are required to comply with such a preference, except where to do so would prejudice the provision of efficient education or the efficient use of resources. There is a get-out for any local authority or local education authority. Another hedge is where it would be incompatible with admission arrangements agreed between the governors of an aided or special agreement school and a local education authority.

Another hedge is where it would be incompatible with admission arrangements based upon selection by reference to ability or aptitude. That is in clause 6. There are provisions for appeals in clause 7 and schedule 2. Clause 8 provides for information to be published for each year in terms of admissions, parental preferences and appeals, and other information required by regulations made by the Secretary of State. Parents of handicapped children are no less anxious to exercise choice in respect of the schools to which their children go than are parents of non-disabled children.

As hon. Members will know from constituency cases, parents of handicapped children often have to face very difficult arguments with local education authorities to secure what they believe is right for their children. They often have to fight, for example, to get their child into an ordinary local school, or into a special nursery school a year or so earlier than the non-handicapped child, or even into a special school specialising in a particular disability.

If the clause is enacted the position of those parents will be weakened when all other parents' rights are being strengthened. The Government really cannot believe that to be right. I know that they agree in principle with the arguments that my hon. Friends and Opposition Members are putting forward on this amendment.

It has been suggested that handicapped children's parents have been excluded from the provisions of clauses 6 to 8 because the needs of such children have to be carefully assessed and the provision that is required is often very specialised. Against this argument I would argue, first, that the expression of choice of a school for a handicapped child by the parents is in no way incompatible with careful assessment of the handicapped child's needs and the provision of what is required. There is no contradiction in agreeing that the pupils going to special schools have to be particularly assessed and still giving the parents the rights under the Bill.

Secondly, I argue that the provisions required are often not at all specialised. Sometimes it is merely a question of physical access to the school buildings.

Thirdly, in respect of many insubstantially handicapped children, I argue that the decisions about the right school for such children are not different in kind or degree from the decisions made in respect of a non-disabled child. The spectrum of disabilities of all kinds runs from the disabled at one end to the non-disabled at the other, and there is no clear dividing line between the two that could possibly justify treating the parents of handicapped children differently from the parents of non-handicapped children.

We have little time tonight to debate the matter, but I strongly entreat the Government, and the Minister when he winds up, to make a concession to all hon. Members. It is an act of discrimination that we cannot possibly tolerate.

Photo of Alan Beith Alan Beith Opposition Whip (Commons)

It was in response to an amendment that I moved in Committee that the Minister said that we should look at this matter again on Report and that in the meantime we should see what the strength of feeling and attitudes were. He has now seen how strong the feeling is in all parts of the House. I am sure that he has received, as we have done, representations from the organisations dealing with the handicapped, which feel very bitter that they should have been treated in this way by a clause in the Bill.

The decision where a handicapped or disabled child should go is one that has to be taken with a great deal of care, but that is no reason why the rights of parents of handicapped children should be undermined, either in relation to special schools or to those children who are simply in need of some special educational treatment. There are now strong feelings about this, and I do not believe that it would be right for the Bill to be left as it is while we wait for wider recommendations affecting the disabled.

I hope that the Minister recognises the strong feelings that exist and that he will give way now instead of being forced to do so.

Photo of Mr Michael Colvin Mr Michael Colvin , Bristol North West

The trouble about being too far down the line is that one has one's foxes successfully shot by other hon. Members. That has happened to me this evening. Therefore, my contribution can be short and necessarily sharp.

All hon. Members have referred to the Warnock report. I should like to quote briefly from another section entitled "Dialogue with Parents". It states: Parents of children with special needs require three principal forms of co-operative support—information, advice and practical help. Information is power, and information about schools is parent power. That is something of which we should all approve. However, without the amendment, a most important section of parents is in danger of being denied information on which to base important decisions about special schools for their handicapped children. That is something that we should not tolerate. I hope that that is not really intended by the Government.

Many Conservative Members with a particular interest in the needs of the handicapped and the disabled cannot stand by and see the parents of these children relegated to the status of second-class citizens. Why should they not be treated like the parents of ordinary children? Why should they be denied the information, as the clause suggests? It can be argued that in the case of special schools there is little choice. That is regrettable, but it is no reason for a denial of parental rights, and certainly no reason why discretion in this matter should be left to the local authorities.

The Tory Party believes in freedom of choice and information. Both are denied by the clause. That is why I commend amendment No. 1:23 to the House.

Photo of Mr Lewis Carter-Jones Mr Lewis Carter-Jones , Eccles

I shall speak briefly in order to give the Minister a chance to recant and to see the light. If he does not see the light now, I promise him that the other place will see it and that this debate will occur twice. On both occasions there will be attacks on the Government for not conceding a reasonable amendment.

I should like to quote from a reply that the Minister gave me on this subject, in which he said: I give the assurance that wherever possible we shall give maximum choice, not only to the parents of normal children but to the parents of handicapped children, to ensure that they have a say about the schools to which their children go. A quotation from Warnock clearly makes the case. Parents almost always care for a child for a larger part of each day than any professional. They endure the disturbed nights and the disruption of social life which a handicapped child brings. To try to prevent the parent of a handicapped child from having a choice is quite disgraceful in this day and age. I know that some difficulties will emerge as a result of amendment No. 123 being carried, but those slight difficulties will be as nothing compared with the joy with which this success will be received by the handicapped. They have been denied this opportunity for far too long.

For example, if a parent knows his or her child well, whether the child is mentally or physically handicapped or deaf or blind, the parent will know which of those handicaps requires greatest attention. If the child is to spend some time in a hospital school, the parent is able to advise where the child should go when he comes out. The parent knows best. I appeal to the Government not to delay any further.

10.45 pm

The last all-party Act that passed through the House was the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970. It passed through the House without a Division. That would not have been passed if we had been kept waiting. We were told to wait for the Amelia Harris report. On this occasion we have the Warnock report. There is one part of it that we can implement now, and I urge the Minister to do so.

Photo of Mr Robin Maxwell-Hyslop Mr Robin Maxwell-Hyslop , Tiverton

I wish to remind my hon. Friend about the difference in function between the expert adviser and the taker of decisions. Much of the Bill is about the right of parents to participate in the taking of decisions. That applies as much in cases of handicapped children as it does anywhere else.

It is the function of educational psychologists and child psychiatrists to give expert advice. That does not, and ought not, to disenfranchise the parents of their responsibility and their participation in decisions that are made.

Photo of Mr David Crouch Mr David Crouch , Canterbury

I intervene at this stage—

Photo of Dr Rhodes Boyson Dr Rhodes Boyson , Brent North

Will my hon. Friend please make his point quickly?

Photo of Mr David Crouch Mr David Crouch , Canterbury

I shall not be hurried when I am talking about the disabled. There is not an hon. Member in the House who is not concerned about disabled children. I am extremely concerned to add my voice to everything that has been said, because I have received so much representation about the need for parents to have a choice in the matter. I would be dismayed if my hon. Friend did not give way on this amendment.

Photo of Dr Rhodes Boyson Dr Rhodes Boyson , Brent North

This is the second debate that we have had on a similar topic this evening—the first on the question of the election of governors, and this, which is concerned with the application of clauses 6, 7 and 8. At the present time, because of clause 9, they do not apply to nursery schools, special schools or children in need of special educational treatment.

On the question of the appeal system, raised by the hon. Member for Bolton, West (Mrs. Taylor), the distinction is that where a school normally recruits rising-fives, it will have the right to establish an appeals system where parents can appeal as though their children were joining that school at the age of 5, 11, or whatever.

I appreciate that there is some danger of confusion on the matter. It was discussed for a long time in Committee. We considered whether it was appropriate to amend the Bill in another place to make clear the limit of the extent to which, in practice, these provisions will apply to the rising-fives. As the hon. Member for Bolton, West has raised the matter again tonight, we shall consider what can be done, as there could be some confusion in interpretation.

Photo of Mrs Ann Taylor Mrs Ann Taylor , Bolton West

We accept the Minister's explanation. The confusion is not to do with what he has already said; it arises because of the anomaly that he is giving rights to certain parents of 4year-olds and denying them to others. That is what needs to be considered again.

Photo of Dr Rhodes Boyson Dr Rhodes Boyson , Brent North

I appreciate that point. Quite honestly, we are considering the matter again. The clause makes a distinction between two sorts of parents as to the way in which they can appeal.

The amendment has been supported by hon. Members on both sides of the House. It was supported by my hon. Friend the Member for Eastleigh (Mr. Price), who told the tale of the girl who waited a year before she gave an answer. In this case I trust that it is not such a long-term answer. I trust that with the blood that runs in the spring there will be a big flow. I hope that my hon. Friend will pass that information on to his friends outside the House. Similarly, I trust that on the question of what we can do about the extension of the rights of parents and of the information being given to parents with handicapped children, we do not need to wait for a year.

As I have already said, my right hon. and learned Friend hopes to make a statement to the House before the Easter Recess so that we can move further on the matter. There are greater problems with the exercise of parental choice, and many hon. Members accept that. Some of these children are in special schools, some in ordinary schools, some in independent schools and some in hospital schools, and some receive home tuition. Not only education advice but medical advice has to be given in many cases.

Having said all that, I believe that none of us differs on the principle that is involved. Parents of handicapped children should have as many rights as—if not more rights than—parents of normal children. It is merely a question of the right vehicle through which to achieve this. That is the only difference that exists between many of us this evening.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Exeter (Mr. Hannam) and the right hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent (Mr. Ashley) said, parents of handicapped children are more concerned than parents of normal children because they know that they must totally commit themselves to seeing that their children live their lives as advantageously as possible. We have to find the right vehicle through which to give them the choice of school and the right of appeal.

We realise that there is deep feeling on this matter throughout the House, My right hon. and learned Friend expects to make a statement on the Warnock report before the Easter Recess. He is the president of the association for handicapped children in his constituency. We consider that it would not be right to use this Bill to further involve parents in the education of handicapped children.

Photo of Mr John Hannam Mr John Hannam , Exeter

Does not my hon. Friend agree that the Government's actions through this Bill are widening the gap between the parents of handicapped children and the parents of normal children? It is not a question of holding the line until future legislation comes through. This Bill will actually widen the gap.

Photo of Dr Rhodes Boyson Dr Rhodes Boyson , Brent North

I do not accept that. I know how strongly my hon. Friend the Member for Exeter feels about this, but the only reason why this clause was included was that we knew that we were moving towards doing something specific for handicapped children. If we were not in the process of doing that, clause 9 would not have been drafted as it has been drafted. We felt that it would be better to deal with handicapped children at a later time in a separate Bill.

Photo of Mr Anthony Grant Mr Anthony Grant , Harrow Central

I know that my hon. Friend does not lack compassion and that he and the Secretary of State are trying to do their best,—

Photo of Mr Jack Ashley Mr Jack Ashley , Stoke-on-Trent South

It is a very important matter.

Photo of Mr Anthony Grant Mr Anthony Grant , Harrow Central

—but if my hon. Friend is going to consider Warnock, why on earth does he not leave the parents of handicapped children in the same position as the parents of normal children?

Photo of Dr Rhodes Boyson Dr Rhodes Boyson , Brent North

The Bill was drafted with children in the ordinary State schools in mind, and to extend the choice of parents. Similarly, the work that we are doing on the Warnock report will be used to extend parental preference and the information available to them. If we insist that every school within the State sector should issue its own prospectus—a card identity kit about what the school is achieving—it would seem that similar provisions should be made for the issue of such a prospectus by special schools inside and outside the State sector. My hon. Friend the Member for Exeter told me this week how parents often move around to find a school that offers what they want for their children. We accept completely that the parents of handicapped children would appreciate it if the provisions about the publication of information and effective parental involvement in schools could be extended to special schools. I assure the House that we shall take account of that in any projected Warnock legislation.

We have used the Bill to extend parental choice. We insist on schools issuing information to parents so that when they make a choice they can make a wise choice.

Photo of Mr Michael Colvin Mr Michael Colvin , Bristol North West

My hon. Friend seems to be lost for words. I think that he would argue black was white if he were given the opportunity. In this instance the Warnock report is incidental. We are talking about social justice.

Photo of Dr Rhodes Boyson Dr Rhodes Boyson , Brent North

In the light of the views that have been expressed, and bearing in mind the strength of feeling on this issue, we shall be prepared to reconsider our position before the Bill goes to another place if the amendment is withdrawn.

I am not trying to browbeat anybody. I would be blind if I could not see the strength of feeling that exists. If the amendment is withdrawn, we shall be prepared to consider the matter before it goes to another place to ascertain what we can do to give the same opportunity for information and parental choice to the parents of handicapped children.

Photo of Mrs Ann Taylor Mrs Ann Taylor , Bolton West

The Minister has acknowledged the strength of feeling in the House. However, I remind the House that the issue was discussed in Committee. The Minister was made well aware of the strength of feeling in the House and in organisations outside. It is not sufficient at this stage to defer a decision and to say that he will consider the matter once again. He has had a great deal of time to reconsider the issue. Many organisations have made representations. He has not taken notice of them, and it is extremely important that the House makes its views known.

Photo of Mr Mark Carlisle Mr Mark Carlisle , Runcorn

I confirm what my hon Friend said. The Government do not desire to react against the interests of the parents of handicapped children.

Photo of Mr Mark Carlisle Mr Mark Carlisle , Runcorn

I am advised that the issue is not as simple as it appears. Some of the provisions in the admission clauses would not happily fit special schools. My hon. Friend has said that in view of the clear expressions of opinion from both sides of the House—including those of the hon. Member for Eccles (Mr. Carter-Jones) and my hon. Friend the Member for Exeter (Mr. Hannam)—we are prepared to consider the matter again before the Bill goes to another place. We are prepared to do so. I ask my hon. Friends to accept that course.

Photo of Mr John Hannam Mr John Hannam , Exeter

Mr. Hannam rose

Photo of Mr Mark Carlisle Mr Mark Carlisle , Runcorn

I still believe that the Warnock report should be considered generally. If my hon. Friends think that it will help, I give the undertaking to reconsider the information clause and to do anything else that is possible before the Bill goes to another place.

Photo of Mrs Ann Taylor Mrs Ann Taylor , Bolton West

The right hon. and learned Gentleman has given such assurances in the past. He had an opportunity to reconsider the matter before Report. These are not satisfactory responses. To

enable the House to come to a decision on amendment No. 123, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment proposed: No. 123, in page9, line 24, leave out form 'nursery schools' to end of line 25.—[Mr. Hannam.]

Question put, That the amendment be made:—

The House divided: Ayes 259, Noes 299.

Division No. 175]AYES[11 pm
Abse LeoDubs, AlfredKaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Adams, AllenDuffy, A. E. P.Kerr, Russell
Allaun, FrankDunn, James A. (Liverpool, Kirkdale)Kilroy-Silk, Robert
Alton, DavidEadie, AlexKinnock, Neil
Anderson, DonaldEastham, KenLamble, David
Archer, Rt Hon PeterEllis, Raymond (NE Derbyshire)Lamborn, Harry
Armstrong, Rt Hon ErnestEllis, Tom (Wrexham)Lamond, James
Ashley, Rt Hon JackEnglish, MichaelLeadbitter, Ted
Ashton JoeEvans, Ioan (Aberdare)Leighton, Ronald
Atkinson, Norman (H'gey, Tott'ham)Evans, John (Newton)Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough)
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)Ewing, HarryLewis, Arthur (Newham North West)
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood)Faulds AndrewLewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Beith, A.. J.Fell, AnthonyLitherland, Robert
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony WedgwoodField, FrankLofthouse, Geoffrey
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N)Flannery, MartinLyon, Alexander (York)
Bidwell, SydneyFletcher, Ted (Darlington)Lyons, Edward (Bradford West)
Booth, Rt Hon AlbertFoot, Rt Hon MichaelMabon, Rt Hon Dr J. Dickson
Boothroyd, Miss BettyForrester, JohnMcDonald, Dr Oonagh
Bradley, TomFoster, DerekMcElhone, Frank
Bray Dr JeremyFoulkes, GeorgeMcKay, Allen (Penistone)
Brown Hugh D. (Provan)Fraser, John (Lambeth, Norwood)McKelvey, William
Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W)Freeson, Rt Hon ReginaldMacKenzie, Rt Hon Gregor
Brown, Ronald W. (Hackney S)Freud, ClementMaclennan, Robert
Brown, Ron (Edinburgh, Leith)Garrett, John (Norwich S)McMahon, Andrew
Buchan, NormanGarrett, W. E. (Walisend)McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, Central)
Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P)George, BruceMcNally, Thomas
Campbell, IanGilbert, Rt Hon Dr JohnMcNamara, Kevin
Campbell-Savours, DaleGinsburg, DavidMcWilliam, John
Canavan, DennisGolding, JohnMagee, Bryan
Cant, R. B.Gourlay, HarryMarks, Kenneth
Carmichael, NeilGraham, TedMarshall, David (Gl'sgow, Shettles'n)
Carter-Jones, LewisGrant, George (Morpeth)Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)
Cartwright JohnGrant, John (Islington C)Marshall, Jim (Leicester South)
Clark, Dr David (South Shields)Grimond, Rt Hon J.Martin, Michael (Gl'gow, Springb'rn)
Cocks, Rt Hon Michael (Bristol S)Hamilton, James (Bothwell)Maxton, John
Cohen, StanleyHamilton, W. W. (Central Fife)Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Coleman, DonaldHannam, JohnMaynard, Miss Joan
Colvin, MichaelHarrison, Rt Hon WalterMeacher, Michael
Concannon, Rt Hon J. DHart, Rt Hon Dame JudithMellish, Rt Hon Robert
Conlan, BernardHattersley, Rt Hon RoyMikardo, Ian
Cook, Robin F.Haynes, FrankMillan, Rt Hon Bruce
Cowans, HarryHealey, Rt Hon DenisMiller, Dr M. S. (East Kilbride)
Craigen, J. M. (Glasgow, Maryhill)Heffer, Eric S.Mitchell, Austin (Grimsby)
Crowther, J. S.Hogg, Norman (E Dunbartonshire)Mitchell, R. C. (Soton, Itchen)
Cryer, BobHolland, Stuart (L'beth, Vauxhall)Morris, Rt Hon Alfred (Wythenshawe)
Cunliffe, LawrenceHome Robertson JohnMorris, Rt Hon Charles (Openshaw)
Cunningham, George (Islington S)Homewood, WilliamMorris, Rt Hon John (Aberavon)
Cunningham, Dr John (Whitehaven)Hooley, FrankMorton, George
Dalyell, TamHoram JohnMoyle, Rt Hon Roland
Davidson, ArthurHowells, GeraintMulley, Rt Hon Frederick
Davies, Rt Hon Denzil (Lianelll)Huckfield, LesNewens, Stanley
Davies, I for (Gower)Hughes, Mark (Durham)Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon
Davis, Clinton (Hackney Central)Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen North)Ogden, Eric
Davis, Terry (B'rm'ham, Stechford)Hughes, Roy (Newport)O'Halloran, Michael
Deakins, EricJanner, Hon GrevilleO'Neill, Martin
Dempsey, JamesJay, Rt Hon DouglasOrme, Rt Hon Stanley
Dewar, DonaldJohn, BrynmorOwen, Rt Hon Dr David
Dixon DonaldJohnson, Walter (Derby South)Palmer, Arthur
Dobson, FrankJohnston, Russell (Iverness)Park, George
Dormand, JackJones, Rt Hon Alec (Rhondda)Parker, John
Douglas, DickJones, Barry (East Flint)Parry, Robert
Douglas-Mann, BruceJones, Dan (Burnley)Pavitt, Laurie
Pendry, TomSilkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Penhaligon, DavidSilkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Powell, Raymond (Ogmore)Silverman, JuliusWalker, Rt Hon Harold (Doncaster)
Prescott, JohnSmith, Cyril (Rochdale)Weetch, Ken
Price, Christopher (Lewisham West)Smith, Rt Hon J. (North Lanarkshire)Wellbeloved, James
Price, David (Eastleigh)Snape, PeterWelsh, Michael
Race, RegSoley, CliveWhite, Frank R. (Bury & Radcliffe)
Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds South)Spearing, NigelWhite, James (Glasgow, Pollok)
Richardson, JoSpriggs, LeslieWhitehead, Phillip
Roberts, Allan (Bootle)Stallard, A.. W.Whitlock, William
Roberts, Ernest (Hackney North)Steel, Rt Hon DavidWickenden, Keith
Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)Stoddart, DavidWigley, Dafydd
Robertson, GeorgeStott, RogerWilley, Rt Hon Frederick
Robinson, Geoffrey (Coventry NW)Strang, GavinWilliams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W)
Rodgers, Rt Hon WilliamStraw, JackWilson, Rt Hon Sir Harold (Huyton)
Rooker, J. W.Summerskill, Hon Dr ShirleyWilson, William (Coventry SE)
Roper, JohnTaylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton West)Winnick, David
Ross, Ernest (Dundee west)Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)Woodall, Alec
Ross, Stephen (Isle of Wight)Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)Wrigglesworth, Ian
Rowlands, TedThomas, Mike (Newcastle East)Wright, Sheila
Ryman, JohnThomas, Dr Roger (Carmarthen)Young, David (Bolton East)
Sandelson, NevilleThorne, Stan (Preston South)
Sever, JohnTilley, JohnTELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Sheerman, BarryTinn, JamesMr. Hugh McCartney and
Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert (A'ton-u-L)Torney, TomMr. Joseph Dean.
Short, Mrs RenéeUrwin, Rt Hon Tom
NOES
Adley, RobertClarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)
Aitken, JonathanCockeram, EricHampson, Dr Keith
Alexander, RichardCope, JohnHaselhurst, Alan
Amery, Rt Hon JulianCormack, PatrickHastings, Stephen
Ancram, MichaelCorrie, JohnHawksley, Warren
Arnold, TomCostain, A.. P.Heyhoe, Barney
Aspinwall, JackCranborne, ViscountHeddle, John
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne)Critchley, JulianHenderson, Barry
Atkins, Robert (Preston North)Crouch, DavidHaseltine, Rt Hon Michael
Atkinson, David (B'mouth, East)Dean, Paul (North Somerset)Hicks, Robert
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone)Dickens, GeoffreyHiggins, Rt Hon Terence L.
Baker, Nicholas (North Dorset)Dorrell, StephenHill, James
Banks, RobertDouglas-Hamilton, Lord JamesHogg, Hon Douglas (Grantham)
Beaumont-Dark, AnthonyDover, DenshoreHolland, Philip (Carlton)
Bell, Sir Ronalddu Cann, Rt Hon EdwardHooson, Tom
Bendall, VivianDunn, Robert (Dartford)Hordern, Peter
Benyon, Thomas (Abingdon)Durant, TonyHowe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey
Benyon, W. (Buckingham)Eden, Rt Hon Sir JohnHowell, Rt Hon David (Guildford)
Best, KeithEdwards, Rt Hon N. (Pembroke)Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)
Bevan, David GilroyEggar, TimothyHunt, David (Wirral)
Biffen, Rt Hon JohnElliott, Sir WilliamHunt, John (Ravensbourne)
Biggs-Davison, JohnEmery, PeterHurd, Hon Douglas
Blackburn, JohnFairbairn, NicholasIrvine, Charles (Cheltenham)
Blaker, PeterFairgrieve, RussellJenkin, Rt Hon Patrick
Body, RichardFaith, Mrs SheilaJohnson Smith, Geoffrey
Bonsor, Sir NicholasFarr, JohnJopling, Rt Hon Michael
Boscawen, Hon RobertFenner, Mrs PeggyJoseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith
Bowden, AndrewFinsberg, GeoffreyKaberry, sir Donald
Boyson, Dr RhodesFisher, Sir NigelKershaw, Anthony
Bradford, Rev. R.Fletcher, Alexander (Edinburgh N)Kimball, Marcus
Braine, Sir BernardFookes, Miss JanetKing, Rt Hon Tom
Bright GrahamForman, NigelKitson, Sir Timothy
Brinton TimFowler, Rt Hon NormanKnight, Mrs Jill
Brittan, LeonFox, Marcus Knox, David
Fraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St)Lamont, Norman
Brocklebank-Fowler, ChristopherFraser, Peter (South Angus)Lang, Ian
Brotherton, MichaelFry, PeterLangford-Holt, Sir John
Brown, Michael (Brigg & Sc'thorpe)Galbraith, Hon T. G. D.Latham, Michael
Browne, John (Winchester)Gardiner George (Reigate)Lawrence, Ivan
Bruce-Gardyne, JohnGardner, Edward (South Fylde)Lawson, Nigel
Bryan, Sir PaulGarel-Jones, TristanLee, John
Buck, AntonyGilmour, Rt Hon Sir IanLe Merchant, Spencer
Budgen, NickGlyn, Dr AlanLennox-Boyd, Hon Mark
Bulmer, EsmondGoodhart, PhilipLester, Jim (Beeston)
Burden, F. A..Goodlad, AlastairLewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
Butcher, JohnGorst, JohnLloyd, Ian (Havant & Waterloo)
Butler, Hon AdamGow, IanLloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Cadbury, JocelynGower, Sir RaymondLoveridge, John
Carlisle, John (Luton West)Gray, HamishLuce, Richard
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)Greenway, HarryLyell, Nicholas
Carlisle, Rt Hon Mark (Runcorn)Grieve, PercyMcCrindle, Robert
Chalker, Mrs LyndaGriffiths, Eldon (Bury St Edmunds)McCusker, H.
Channon, PaulGriffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)Macfarlane, Neil
Chapman, SydneyGrist, IanMacGregor, John
Clark, Hon Alan (Plymouth, Sutton)Gummer, John SelwynMacKay, John (Argyll)
Clark, Sir William (Croydon South)Hamilton, Hon Archie (Eps'm&Ew'll)McNair-Wilson, Michael (Newbury)
McNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)Patten, John (Oxford)Stevens, Martin
McQuarrie, AlbertPatten, GeoffreyStewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Mattel, DavidPawsey, JamesStewart, John (East Renfrewshire)
Major, JohnPercival, Sir IanStokes, John
Marland, PaulPeyton, Rt Hon JohnStradling Thomas, J.
Marlow, TonyPink, R. BonnerTapsell, peter
Marshall, Michael (Arundel)Pollock, AlexanderTaylor, Robert (Croydon NW)
Marten, Neil (Banbury)Porter, GeorgeTebbit, Norman
Mates, MichaelPowell, Rt Hon J. Enoch (S Down)Temple-Morris, Peter
Mather, CarolPrentice, Rt Hon RegThomas, Rt Hon Peter (Hendon S)
Maude, Rt Hon AngusPrior, Rt Hon JamesThompson, Donald
Mawby, RayProctor, K. HarveyThorne, Neil (Ilford South)
Mawhinney, Dr BrianPym, Rt Hon FrancisThornton, Malcolm
Mayhew, PatrickRaison, TimothyTownend, John (Bridlington)
Mellor, DavidRees, Peter (Dover and Deal)Townsend, Cyril D. (Bexleyheath)
Meyer, Sir AnthonyRees-Davies, W. R.Trippier, David
Miller, Hal (Bromsgrove & Redditch)Renton, TimTrotter, Neville
Mills, Iain (Meriden)Rhodes James, Robertvan Straubenzee, W. R.
Mills, Peter (West Devon)Ridley, Hon NicholasVaughan, Dr Gerard
Miscampbell, NormanRidsdale, JulianViggers, Peter
Mitchell, David (Basingstoke)Rifkind, MalcolmWakeham, John
Moate, RogerRoberts, Wyn (Conway)Waldegrave, Hon William
Molyneaux, JamesRoss, Wm. (Londonderry)Walker, Bill (Perth & E Perthshire)
Monro, HectorRoyle, Sir AnthonyWaller, Gary
Montgomery, FergusSainsbury, Hon TimotnyWalters, Dennis
Moore, JohnSt. John Stevas, Rt Hon NormanWard, John
Morris, Michael (Northampton, Sth)Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)Warren, Kenneth
Morrison, Hon Charles (Devizes)Shelton, William (Streatham)Watson, John
Morrison, Hon Peter (City of Chester)Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)Wells, John (Maidstone)
Mudd, DavidShepherd, Richard (Aldridge-Br'hills)Wells, Bowen (Hert'rd & Stev'nage)
Murphy, ChristopherShersby, MichaelWheeler, John
Myles, DavidSilvester, FredWhitelaw, Rt Hon William
Neale, GerrardSims, RogerWhitney, Raymond
Needham, RichardSkeet, T. H. H.Wiggin, Jerry
Nelson, AnthonySmith, Dudley (War, and Leam'ton)Wilkinson, John
Neubert, MichaelSpeed, KeithWilliams, Delwyn (Montgomery)
Newton, TonySpeller, TonyWinterton, Nicholas
Nott, Rt Hon JohnSpence, JohnWolfson, Mark
Onslow, CranleySpicer, Jim (West Dorset)Young, Sir George (Acton)
Page, John (Harrow, West)Sproat, IainYounger, Rt Hon George
Page, Rt Hon Sir R. GrahamSquire, Robin
Page, Richard (SW Hertfordshire)Stainton, KeithTELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Parkinson, CecilStanbrook, IvorMr. David Waddington and
Parris, MatthewStanley, JohnMr. Peter Brooke.
Patten, Christopher (Bath)Steen, Anthony

Question accordingly negatived.

Mr. Deputy Speaker:

I am now required to put the Questions on all Government amendments until the end of schedule 3—that is amendments Nos. 17 to 27, inclusive. Does any hon. Member wish to divide on any of those amendments?