Children, Schools and Families Bill

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Defence – in the House of Commons at 8:08 pm on 11th January 2010.

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Photo of Elfyn Llwyd Elfyn Llwyd Shadow PC Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow Chief Whip (Commons), Shadow Spokesperson (Business, Innovation and Skills), Shadow Spokesperson (Energy and Climate Change), Shadow Spokesperson (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), Shadow Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs), Shadow Spokesperson (Justice) 8:08 pm, 11th January 2010

It is a great pleasure to follow Mr. Allen, who made a thoughtful, thought-provoking and excellent speech. We can all agree with him, and I know that he has the best interests of children and young people at heart.

I should like to echo the remarks made earlier, and to send my condolences to the family of the late Member for North-West Leicestershire. He was an independent and fearless parliamentarian, and he will be genuinely thought of with great affection across the House for many years to come.

A number of hon. Members have already mentioned the Badman review, so I shall talk about it only briefly. It strikes a slightly discordant note, in that some of it has the taste of the nanny state about it. I was asked recently what plans the Welsh Assembly might have to use the new powers granted in the Bill. They will relate to England only, and could be introduced by Measure in Wales if the National Assembly believe that to be appropriate. My understanding is that there will be an early debate on this issue in the Assembly, but I believe that it will take a rather distinctive approach, in line with Welsh education policy. One of the first things that the Assembly did was to abolish standard assessment tests-SATs-and it was quite right to do so. I believe that there will be an in-depth consultation and that Badman will not be put into effect, at least in that manner, in Wales.

As hon. Members know, there has been a groundswell of concern about the Badman report. On 8 December, I presented to Parliament a petition on behalf of my constituents, and on that very day no fewer than 16 other petitions were presented. At the moment, I believe that there are 43 petitions about the Badman report. This is a live issue of great concern to many of our constituents.

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