New Clause 14

Part of Education and Skills Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:00 pm on 28 February 2008.

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Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Shadow Minister (Education) (Schools) 4:00, 28 February 2008

Further to that point of order, Mr. Bayley. This has been an interesting Bill Committee, as all Committees on which my hon. Friend the Member for South Holland and The Deepings serves tend to be.

I thank you, Mr. Bayley, for your objective and cheerful chairmanship. I thank my hon. Friend for sharing the burden of representing the Opposition viewpoint on the Bill. He has a charismatic style that is welcome and he can always be relied upon to fill space and time when needed. He is as much a part of the arts and crafts movement as William Morris—or at least a part of that era. He is also a ferret when it comes to detailed scrutiny of Bills. His support has been very welcome.

I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Upminster for her assiduous whipping and her contributions to  the debate. My hon. Friend the Member for North-East Hertfordshire reflected my passion for phonics with his equally passionate concern about reading standards. I am grateful to him for airing those concerns so assiduously and so frequently. I am also grateful to my hon. Friend the Member for Broxbourne for his friendly and always interesting contributions to the debate.

It has been pleasure dealing with both Ministers, who have always been polite and as full as they dare in explaining the clauses and opposing our amendments.

Finally, it has also been a pleasure listening to the hon. Member for Yeovil, who shares so many of our concerns about standards, and to the hon. Member for Bristol, West in his later contributions to the Bill.