Clause 25

Part of Further Education and Training Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 1:45 pm on 14th June 2007.

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Photo of Nick Ainger Nick Ainger Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Wales Office 1:45 pm, 14th June 2007

No, that is not the case. I attended the Education and Lifelong Learning Committee in February—it is their equivalent of our Select Committee—to answer questions from Assembly Members on this Bill, the framework powers and so on. There has been that relationship. I also have regular bilateral talks with Assembly Ministers, where these matters are discussed. There has been considerable involvement by the Assembly itself in taking forward and developing the clause.

I think that I have responded to all the hon. Gentleman’s questions and points. The hon. Member for Brent, East, going back to clause 17, asked why clause 25 does not give further education colleges in Wales the power to award foundation degrees. Wales is a small country with only 25 FE colleges. Its further and higher education consortia have a good reputation for working together. They enable education institutions to provide a wide range of opportunities for learners through the sharing of resources, such as staff, equipment and infrastructure. The current evidence base suggests that delivery should continue to be via consortia arrangements between further and higher education providers.