Clause 132

Education and Skills Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:15 pm on 28th February 2008.

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Powers of National Assembly for Wales

Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Hugh Bayley Hugh Bayley NATO Parliamentary Assembly UK Delegation

With this it will be convenient to take Government new clause 6—Powers of National Assembly for Wales.

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)

It is our intention to seek to remove clause 132. We do not support clause 132 and, at whatever point you wish me to, I would want to move Government new clause 6.

Photo of Hugh Bayley Hugh Bayley NATO Parliamentary Assembly UK Delegation

If you wish to speak to it, you should speak now. You will formally be asked to move it when we get to that point in the Bill.

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)

I have already referred to new clause 6 in previous debates, so I do not need to detain the Committee simply to say that we are adding two new framework powers. The reason for replacing clause 132 with new clause 6 is to bring in the second framework power and merge them into one clause, which is neater in drafting terms. That is the basis for that particular change.

Photo of Nia Griffith Nia Griffith PPS (Mr Phil Woolas, Minister of State), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

It gives me great pleasure to add a comment on Government new clause 6 as we approach St. David’s Day and have this opportunity to celebrate the devolution settlement in Wales. Members of the Committee will be aware that there are a number of ways in which the National Assembly for Wales can exercise its powers. With a Bill such as this, it can use framework powers to introduce similar measures in Wales. It is entirely appropriate that the Assembly should have that option and I know that many people in Wales will be looking eagerly to the Assembly to determine how the issues that we have debated at much length here will be dealt with in Wales. Given the time restraints, I leave my comments there.

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)

I am grateful to my hon. Friend the Member for Llanelli for raising this matter. Naturally, I do not seek to interfere in matters Welsh where it is inappropriate for me to do so, but I will certainly reflect on what she said. I will pass on and discuss the comments with the Under-Secretary of State for Wales and, if we think it appropriate to address this on report, we certainly will.

Question put and negatived.

Clause 132 disagreed to.