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Education Bill [HL]

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:45 pm on 24th January 2005.

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Photo of Lord Filkin Lord Filkin Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Sure Start, Early Years and Childcare), Department for Education and Skills, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education and Skills) (Sure Start, Early Years and Childcare) (also Department for Work and Pensions) 6:45 pm, 24th January 2005

Before the noble Lord sits down, perhaps I may make explicitly clear what my noble friend was signalling—I thought very clearly—before we adjourned for dinner. We have had a number of important debates about the role of parents generally in the Bill. We debated their role in inspection and in the governance and accountability of the school, as exhibited through annual reports and other mechanisms.

I am signalling to the Committee very clearly that these are absolutely critical issues. We think the role of parents is fundamental to raising school attainment. I am giving as clear signals as possible that we wish to give very serious reflection and consideration to the points that Members of the Committee have made. The Committee knows what that means; it means that we shall go away and reflect on these issues. It does not guarantee that we will completely transform the issue, but it does signal that we are very serious in reflecting on these issues to see whether we can address the concerns of the Committee.