Clause 94

Education and Skills Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:30 pm on 28th February 2008.

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Power to inspect registered institution

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

I beg to move amendment No. 130, in clause 94, page 54, line 29, at end insert

‘, or any other standard considered to be relevant by the independent inspectorate.’.

The purpose of the amendment is to ensure that the Independent Schools Inspectorate can look beyond what is specified by the chief inspector. That concern was raised by the ISI in its comments on the clause. It said:

“We would want to look at more than an area which may be specified, if it was appropriate.”

The concern is that this provision might restrict that.

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)

The clause aims to strike a balance. It will not impose any requirement on the inspectorate to report on standards additional to those specified by the chief inspector. Equally, it will not restrict the freedom of the independent inspectorate to inspect against a wider range of standards than those specified by the chief inspector, if the independent inspectorate thinks it appropriate. The amendment would remove that flexibility by requiring the independent inspectorate to report on additional standards.

Given that the clause does not restrict the freedom of independent inspectorates and that if the Independent Schools Inspectorate wants to add additional standards and inspect against them, it is perfectly at liberty to do so, I hope that the hon. Gentleman will withdraw the amendment.

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

On the basis of that response, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 94 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 95 to 97 ordered to stand part of the Bill.