We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Education Bill [HL]

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

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Baroness Morris of Bolton Baroness Morris of Bolton Conservative 6:45 pm, 24th January 2005

I apologise: I was not quick enough to my feet. In speaking to Clause 102 stand part, I shall speak also in support of Amendment No. 147, which is tabled by the noble Lords, Lord Dearing and Lord Sutherland. I wish to associate these Benches with everything that the noble Lord, Lord Sutherland, said.

Shocking as it might seem, I find myself in one of those rare positions where I can support a government proposal—in this case, the concept of a school being able to offer its pupils courses in higher education. However, we have questioned that Clause 102 stand part of the Bill because there are a number of important questions that need to be answered.

This is a sensible step forward, which will allow head teachers the freedom to provide a greater variety of education in their schools that will act as a stepping stone from school to university. We are also pleased that such courses should not be offered if they would have a detrimental impact on the provision of other education offered in a school. Teachers are already under immense pressure simply coping with their existing duties. We would not want them swamped by additional responsibilities.

I would like briefly to outline our support for Amendment No. 147. As the Bill stands there exists no mechanism for either inspecting or assessing how effective such courses would be. I have seven practical questions. Going through them now would require a detailed analysis. If the Minister does not mind, I am happy to let her have the questions, to which she can reply in writing. I hope that she will be able to provide the assurances that we seek.