Clause 85

Education and Skills Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:15 pm on 28th February 2008.

Alert me about debates like this

“Material change”

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

I beg to move amendment No. 53, in clause 85, page 51, line 12, at end insert ‘one or more’.

Clause 86 requires an independent educational institution to apply to Ofsted for approval for any change that is material. “Material” is defined as a change involving any of the items listed in clause 82(3),

“(e) whether the institution provides accommodation for students;

(f) whether the institution is specially organised to make special educational provision for students with special educational needs”

If an institution changes to provide one of those two things, that is regarded as material.

The purpose of this probing amendment is to ascertain whether it would be material change, as specified in subsection (f), if a school catered for just one student with those needs, or whether the school would have to become wholly or mainly involved in special educational needs for it to be regarded as such. My question relates to the definition of what constitutes “material” in subsection (f).

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 will be brief, to help the Committee, and will answer the hon. Gentleman’s question simply. In legal terms, the use of the word “students” in the plural in this context includes institutions specially organised for just one student with special educational needs. The amendment would clarify unnecessarily matters that are covered by the existing drafting. On the basis of that direct, short answer to his direct question, I hope that he will withdraw the amendment.

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

I am grateful to the Minister for that clarification. On that basis, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 85 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 86 ordered to stand part of the Bill.