Clause 69

Part of Education and Skills Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 7:00 pm on 26th February 2008.

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Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Shadow Minister (14-19 Reform and Apprenticeships) 7:00 pm, 26th February 2008

The clause deals with collaborative arrangements for the education and training of 14 to 19-year-olds. The explanatory notes say that it

“also enables local education authorities to set up joint arrangements for co-operation on 14-19 education or training covering the areas for which they are responsible.”

Before I say more on that, I must say that the intervention that the hon. Member for Llanelli made on me about two hours ago, has just winged its way to me via a carrier pigeon from Bognor Regis. It asks,

“Who used to say that about doctors?”

My reply was going to be: a Doctor Who always has an important female assistant, who is usually gorgeous.

Coming back to clause 69, I should like to know whether its scope extends to the new diplomas. Their successful implementation will depend on the collaboration between institutions that is central to the clause. This issue has been raised in the House before by me and others, and I know that Ministers are sensitive about it, but there is doubt about how much collaboration is taking place in pursuit of that end. Will the Minister therefore take this opportunity to say a word about that sort of productive collaboration on diplomas?