Clause 37

Education and Skills Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:15 am on 21st February 2008.

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Parenting orders: appeals

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Shadow Minister (Education) (Schools)

I beg to move amendment No. 189, in clause 37, page 19, line 31, at end add—

‘(3) The grounds for an appeal under subsection (1) shall include a lack of suitable educational or training provision for the needs of the person to whom this Part applies.’.

The clause allows for appeals against parenting orders to be made to the Crown court. The amendment was tabled to enable the Minister to respond to the concern expressed by the National Union of Teachers in paragraph 20 of its briefing. The amendment applies equally to clause 43 and the grounds for appeal against attendance notices. The NUT says that the Bill provides for appeals

“but does not appear to allow for appeals on the grounds that the availability of the education or training available is not suited to their needs.”

The Minister’s response to its concerns would be appreciated.

Photo of Jim Knight Jim Knight Minister of State (Schools and Learners), Department for Children, Schools and Families, Minister of State (Department for Children, Schools and Families) (Schools and Learners) 9:30 am, 21st February 2008

The amendment is unnecessary, and I hope that the hon. Gentleman, who spoke on behalf of the National Union of Teachers, will pass that comment on to his comrades. Clause 37 provides for parents a clear right of appeal to the Crown court against the making of a parenting order, if they feel that one has been issued unjustly. The grounds for such an appeal are currently unspecified and unrestricted, so there is no need for the explicit provision in the amendment.

A parent who believed that the court making the parenting order was unjust to conclude that such an order would be desirable in the interest of the young person’s fulfilment of the duty—because, for example, no suitable provision was available locally—might appeal on that basis. Parents can appeal for whatever reason they choose. I hope that on that basis the hon. Gentleman will agree that the amendment is unnecessary, and withdraw it.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Shadow Minister (Education) (Schools)

I am sure that my comrades at the NUT, with whom we have a good relationship, which we hope will continue, will be reassured by the Minister’s response, and I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 37 ordered to stand part of the Bill.