Schedule 5 — Repeals

Part of Rental Accommodation (Thermal Insulation Standards) – in the House of Commons at 9:30 pm on 23rd February 2010.

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Photo of Vernon Coaker Vernon Coaker Minister of State (Department for Children, Schools and Families) (Schools and Learners) 9:30 pm, 23rd February 2010

Of course I can give my hon. Friend that assurance. What we are trying to do is reassure faith schools that they will be able to teach PSHE in a way that is consistent with their religious characteristic and ethos. That is what the amendment does; that is the reassurance we seek to give. The amendment has to be read alongside the other parts of the clause, which describe certain principles that will also have to be upheld. We should pay tribute to the faith schools: for the first time they are saying that when PSHE becomes compulsory, not only will they need it to be consistent with their religious ethos, but they will accept that these other principles are also important.

In order to allow other Members to say a few words, let me conclude. Alongside PSHE, there are radical changes to the primary school curriculum, which will make a huge difference. We also discussed the guarantees, which are the state's offer on education for the future of this country. Report cards will result in a significant change in the accountability of schools. The licence to practice, with a guaranteed curriculum of continuing professional development, is also a huge step forward. I might also mention special needs and the inspection of schools by Ofsted to see how well they meet the needs of children, and the right of parents to appeal where local authorities do not amend a statement. There is to be alternative provision as well. For the first time, there will be mandatory full-time provision for those who are out of school but who have not been permanently excluded.

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