Third Reading

Part of Academies Bill [HL] – in the House of Lords at 3:30 pm on 13th July 2010.

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Photo of Lord Lucas Lord Lucas Conservative 3:30 pm, 13th July 2010

My Lords, I agree that this is a problem which needs to be sorted out as we move to a world where there are many more academies and they play a greater role in the local provision of schooling. As my noble friend Lady Sharp says, there is this budget for SEN support services. I think private providers, in particular not-for-profits, will come into this area, given the chance. I do not see why the RNIB should not play a role in the provision of services for blind people. It would mean that good practice spread pretty rapidly round the country rather than being isolated in little pockets, so I can see a lot of advantages in moving away from pure local education authority provision. None the less, the mathematics of dealing with low incidence means that if you distribute the funding, all you can be certain of is that the funding is not where you want it when you need it, and we have to solve that problem.