Clause 3 - Other warning notices

Part of Education and Adoption Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:15 pm on 7 July 2015.

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Photo of Kevin Brennan Kevin Brennan Shadow Minister (Education) 3:15, 7 July 2015

As the Minister said, the clause affects warning notices that relate to teachers’ pay and conditions, amending section 60A of the Education and Inspections Act 2006. It raises some of the same issues that we debated at length on clause 2, and I do not propose that we do the same now.

In particular, the clause removes a school’s right to make representations in response to a warning notice. However, the process as a whole is more straightforward than the one in clause 2. Removing the Secretary of State’s power to issue an order clarifies responsibilities. It might be worth asking why, if it is appropriate here, it is not appropriate elsewhere.

The Opposition agree that it is important to maintain a national framework of pay and conditions or we could get into a process of a wasteful and continuous bidding war—even more than there is currently—between schools that are trying to attract staff from one another. A national framework also does something to ensure that all staff are treated fairly, reduces the ability to play favourites with staff, and has some bearing on something that is becoming more of a concern, which is the ability of heads and senior staff to pay themselves inflated salaries at the expense of other staff. That, potentially, is a growing feature, particularly in areas of the system where there is no requirement to adhere to the pay and conditions document. The Minister has taken the  opportunity to explain the Government’s thinking and, having had an extensive debate on clause 2 and the amendments, I do not propose to detain the Committee any further on clause 3.