Clause 21

Part of Further Education and Training Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 6:45 pm on 12th June 2007.

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Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Shadow Minister (14-19 Reform and Apprenticeships) 6:45 pm, 12th June 2007

I beg to move amendment No. 30, in clause 21, page 14, line 12, at end insert—

‘(1A) In subsection (1) after “principal of further education institution” insert “or Chief Executive of the Learning and Skills Council.”’.

This amendment is essentially another probing amendment to ascertain why principals of FE colleges need to have a leadership qualification and why this provision should not apply to others in the sector, particularly those whom the Government think should have the power to dismiss FE principals.

The whole Committee will be aware of the recent story about the LSC’s capability to make managerial mistakes. The BBC reported that some 150 charities say that they are unable to apply for Government money for training schemes because of the problems of the new online computer-based application system. The Minister will not necessarily want to comment on that issue in detail, but essentially the point that I am making is that managerial competence needs to apply across the board; it should not be stipulated for one party and not for another. It seems to me that we want consistency in the Government’s approach. If the Government make these demands of a few principals, they should make them across the board. As I said, this is, by its very nature, a probing assessment.