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 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) 7:00 pm, 26th February 2008

The successful delivery of 14-to-19 education depends entirely on there being a collaborative approach within a local area. The local authority, the learning and skills council, employers, higher education institutions and providers of pre and post-16 education need to work together to ensure that the full range of curriculum and qualifications can be delivered. We said in the 14-to-19 education and skills implementation plan published in 2005 that we expected all areas to set up 14-to-19 partnerships that would be led by the local authority and local LSC. We know that that has happened on a voluntary basis, and there are many strong examples of 14-to-19 partnerships, such as the one in south Gloucestershire near the constituency of the hon. Member for Bristol, West. Such partnerships are driving developments locally.

All areas have some sort of collaboration arrangements in place for 14-to-19 partnerships—I hope that helps the hon. Member for South Holland and The Deepings—but we know that their quality varies. The next few years will be crucial for the local planning of the infrastructure needed for 14-to-19 delivery. We need to be confident that 14-to-19 partnerships are consistent, secure and able to have a strong voice in their localities. The clause will strengthen and underpin the arrangements that local authorities have set up for local co-operation in 14-to-19 education by placing a legal duty on them to  make the necessary collaboration arrangements. It will also ensure that 14-to-19 education is an important part of local children’s trust arrangements to provide better outcomes for young people. The clause should stand part of the Bill.