Results 1–20 of 1178 for speaker:Mr Tim Collins

Oral Answers to Questions — Education and Skills: Further Education Colleges (24 Mar 2005)

Mr Tim Collins: Do not the Secretary of State's warm words about adult education, though welcome, fail to conceal the reality that charges are going up and courses are being axed in FE colleges throughout the land? Earlier this week, my hon. Friend the Member for Grantham and Stamford (Mr. Davies) pointed out that his local FE college has seen a 29 per cent. increase in the number of adult learners, but...

Oral Answers to Questions — Education and Skills: School Funding (Coventry) (24 Mar 2005)

Mr Tim Collins: Why did the Chancellor say in his Budget last week that the continuation of direct payment to schools in Coventry and elsewhere would be a guarantee, when the small print in the Red Book said that the figures were illustrative only? If direct payments to schools are such a good idea, why does not the Secretary of State follow the Conservative policy of making all such payments direct to...

Skills White Paper (22 Mar 2005)

Mr Tim Collins: This is a genuinely important subject and we are pleased that the Government decided to produce a White Paper. In January, the director general of the Institute of Directors said that the Government were failing to remedy the UK's shortage of skilled workers. He pointed out that some 25,000 16-year-olds were leaving school each year with no GCSEs, and that last year the skills shortage left...

Skills White Paper (22 Mar 2005)

Mr Tim Collins: If the Minister does not understand that A-levels in modern languages and the key sciences are vital to adult skills, no wonder the Government are performing so poorly. The numbers of A-level entrants for chemistry, for physics and for mathematics are all down by at least 10 per cent., and in some cases by nearly 20 per cent. In her statement, the Secretary of State rightly spoke of the...

Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation (21 Mar 2005)

Mr Tim Collins: Yes, the shadow Chancellor agreed to what I said. What my right hon. Friend said after the publication of the James report overtakes and replaces what was said at the time of the quotes the Minister used. I suggest that he gets his Labour party research officers to update their files.

Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation (21 Mar 2005)

Mr Tim Collins: I think that Members on both sides of the House would probably agree that the Secretary of State's speech was disappointingly thin, but let us begin on what I hope is a note of consensus: all Members of the House agree that schools, teachers and pupils are working very hard, and often very successfully. They are to be praised for what they do and congratulated on what they succeed in doing,...

Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation (21 Mar 2005)

Mr Tim Collins: The answer is yes. Indeed, I, too, visited the Christopher Whitehead school a little while ago, and unlike the Minister for School Standards, I did not claim that only by voting for my party was there any prospect of that school getting additional funding. Since he was quoted in the local newspaper as saying that that school would get extra funding—which it has needed for at least the past...

Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation (21 Mar 2005)

Mr Tim Collins: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for pointing out that any increases in public spending in the future, under this or any other Government, will depend on the state of the economy. I must tell him, however, that the turnaround in the economy occurred considerably before 1997, and that the longest period of economic growth since records began—to which the Chancellor seems always to...

Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation (21 Mar 2005)

Mr Tim Collins: No, I will not give way to the hon. Gentleman again. If head teachers are to be trusted more and more with running their own budgets, even under the Chancellor's schemes, why are they not trusted to exercise the same professional freedom in deciding their own policies on admissions and exclusions? The Secretary of State referred to the national literacy strategy. She used some very...

Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation (21 Mar 2005)

Mr Tim Collins: Gershon came up with a number of very interesting recommendations in his report, but if his bottom line is that—to summarise the hon. Gentleman's intervention—centralisation is a way of saving money, I should point out that that flies in the face of the experience of all Governments in at least the past 50 years. The fact is that the more decisions are taken in Whitehall, the less...

Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation (21 Mar 2005)

Mr Tim Collins: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his question. We propose to merge the Higher Education Funding Council and the Further Education Funding Council, reducing the number of quangos by one. We do indeed intend to apply to further education the principle of money following the student, as we already propose to do in secondary education, and as is the logical consequence of the changes...

Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation (21 Mar 2005)

Mr Tim Collins: What we established last week was that the Secretary of State had produced a figure that she alleged was the cost of the Conservative policy, but she could not provide a single Conservative quotation to justify it. We also established last week that the policy that she criticises us for advancing in respect of education is exactly the same policy that her Government are currently implementing...

Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation (21 Mar 2005)

Mr Tim Collins: The Secretary of State should apply one of the rules advanced by a former Labour Front Bencher in the House of Lords. It became known as Healey's first law of holes: when in one, stop digging. If the best that she can come up with is a reference to someone who has not been associated with the Conservative Government for nearly a decade—

Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation (21 Mar 2005)

Mr Tim Collins: Well, he has not been associated with the Conservative Front Bench for nearly a decade either. The Secretary of State will have to do rather better than that. If she wants to get into the business of quoting independent think-tanks, I was interested to hear that earlier in her speech she quoted the Institute for Fiscal Studies. I would have thought that that was somewhat unwise for any...

Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation (21 Mar 2005)

Mr Tim Collins: Is the Secretary of State seriously telling the House that she wants people to believe—I dare say that she does, so rather does she believe herself—that any incoming Government would sack every nurse, teacher and doctor? Why does she not treat these debates with a degree of seriousness?

Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation (21 Mar 2005)

Mr Tim Collins: Yes. Now can we have a real debate?

Orders of the Day — Education Bill [Lords] (14 Mar 2005)

Mr Tim Collins: The hon. Gentleman may be aware—I would be interested to hear his comments on this as Chairman of the Select Committee—that some of the people behind the exciting projects for new city academies say that they find it very frustrating to have to use a high proportion of the funds available to them on architects' fees. They would like standard, bespoke, off-the-shelf designs from which they...

Orders of the Day — Education Bill [Lords] (14 Mar 2005)

Mr Tim Collins: I start by making it clear that although I hold the Government responsible for a number of problems with our education system, unlike the hon. Member for Southport (Dr. Pugh) I do not think that a large number of schools in our country have a problem with telephone lines. I think that most of them have probably managed to get connected up.

Orders of the Day — Education Bill [Lords] (14 Mar 2005)

Mr Tim Collins: I think that I heard the hon. Gentleman clearly, and he said that some schools did not have telephone lines. Anyway, we have made progress and we all agree that, in the 21st century, even under a Labour Government, schools have got telephone lines. Indeed, more and more of them are getting broadband, which is even more important. We also need to recognise that, although the Secretary of State...

Orders of the Day — Education Bill [Lords] (14 Mar 2005)

Mr Tim Collins: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving me the opportunity to say that we have made it clear that we will not reduce the total amount spent on education—either what is spent now, or what would be spent under the Government's plans for the future. On the contrary, we propose to increase school spending, for example, by £15 billion a year by the end of a five-year Parliament—an...


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