Academies Bill [HL] — Report (2nd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:00 pm on 7th July 2010.

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Photo of Viscount Eccles Viscount Eccles Conservative 6:00 pm, 7th July 2010

My Lords, I start by saying that I was nothing like so fortunate behind the bicycle sheds as the noble Baroness, Lady Gould.

I have been waiting to hear what the House thinks the reaction of the teachers would be to making this a statutory requirement at this particular moment. There was a report done by the Merits Committee and the noble Lord, Lord Knight, gave the committee his evidence on two occasions, written and spoken. The memorandum submitted by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers said:

"In the recent past, too many professional judgements about curriculum, assessment and pedagogy have been removed from teachers and placed in the hands of ministers, government departments and agencies".

It went on to say that this,

"shows a lack of trust in the profession and a denial of complexity".

The whole House is agreed with the objectives of the noble Baronesses opposite and the objectives of my noble friend Lady Walmsley. The teaching profession is in agreement with those objectives as well. The question is how you best get those objectives achieved; in my submission, that will not happen by including a statutory requirement in this Bill.