Results 201–220 of 1242 for speaker:Mr John Butcher

Prayers: Drug and Alcohol Abuse (21 Jul 1989)

Mr John Butcher: I am grateful to have the leave of the House to respond to the many powerful points made during the debate. It is almost customary for Ministers to begin their reply with the words "We have had an interesting and informative debate." Those words would not properly describe this debate because—I choose my words advisedly—it has been remarkable and possibly historic. We began by agreeing...

Prayers: Drug and Alcohol Abuse (21 Jul 1989)

Mr John Butcher: There is no danger of the importance of this message not being put across in schools, and that is what matters. How formally we include it in the curriculum is less important than commitment to it, and we are close to getting an agreement that the message must be got through. It can be got across within existing subjects, such as science, that are formally written into the curriculum. There...

Prayers: Drug and Alcohol Abuse (21 Jul 1989)

Mr John Butcher: There is no difference between us on that. My hon. Friend the Member for Altrincham and Sale (Sir F. Montgomery) was not able to stay for the winding-up speech for reasons I entirely understand, so I record my intention to write to him about the confiscation of drug barons' money. I am sure that my colleagues at the Home Office will be advised of his comments. Drug pushers and drug barons...

Prayers: Drug and Alcohol Abuse (21 Jul 1989)

Mr John Butcher: General promotion of health images is the responsibility of my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Health. Let me assure the hon. Gentleman, however, that the Under-Secretary of State for Health and I talk regularly about the need to ensure that any programmes that the Department launches in the future will be dovetailed with the health education programmes for schools....

Prayers: Drug and Alcohol Abuse (21 Jul 1989)

Mr John Butcher: It is unusual to be able to begin a debate with a statement that I believe every hon. Member will support: educating our young people to be alert to the dangers of drugs and alcohol, and to be able to resist them, is a necessary and important aspect of what our schools do today. But before addressing myself to the work schools are doing, and the way the Government are supporting them, I...

Prayers: Drug and Alcohol Abuse (21 Jul 1989)

Mr John Butcher: In a few moments I shall be talking about a 10-point plan, which I have put together with the help of officials and advisers from various groups. In the middle of that plan, there is a statement about getting more information to parents. I believe entirely—if I am understanding my hon. Friend correctly—that, when getting awareness of the problem to parents, we have to be very subtle and...

Prayers: Drug and Alcohol Abuse (21 Jul 1989)

Mr John Butcher: I thank my hon. Friend for putting forward a timely reminder. I can reassure him that Alcohol Concern will have a response shortly. I shall turn now to the drug education co-ordinators and my Department's support for in-service training. We have, since 1986, provided through the education support grant arrangements funding for local education authorities' activities in relation to education...

Prayers: Drug and Alcohol Abuse (21 Jul 1989)

Mr John Butcher: I would not want to create the impression that the money is simply for supporting the activities of the co-ordinators, their salaries and associated costs or simply just for training. We have stated clearly that we must give more resources for the training of teachers. I shall not barge into the area into which my hon. Friend the Member for Battersea (Mr. Bowis) invites me about the job of...

Prayers: Drug and Alcohol Abuse (21 Jul 1989)

Mr John Butcher: The hon. Gentleman is anticipating, and rightly so, another major aspect of this debate, which is what we say within the overt and hidden curriculum and across those curricula covering personal and social education. I shall deal with that point in a few moments. The work of the drug education co-ordinators with schools, and of course the work of the teachers themselves, is at the heart of...

Prayers: Drug and Alcohol Abuse (21 Jul 1989)

Mr John Butcher: Earlier, I remarked that we must be cautious in interpreting and examining the American experience. Almost any generalisation is dangerous, and we should not debate the question in terms of particular sections of the community. As the Americans so openly comment, one may start with the belief that it is an inner-city problem, but in truth it rapidly affects the whole cross-section of society....

Prayers: Drug and Alcohol Abuse (21 Jul 1989)

Mr John Butcher: Yes, I do accept that. My hon. Friend was right to interpret my remarks as emphasising the work done in the classroom in particular, but when dealing with the attitudes of young people, one must bear in mind also the youth and community service—which is, in my view, a very underestimated resource. Many of our advisers and others dealing with drug policy acknowledge that one cannot reach...

Prayers: Drug and Alcohol Abuse (21 Jul 1989)

Mr John Butcher: We have various sources of information. My colleagues at the Department of Health sponsor a major survey of the attitudes of school children that is undertaken through the Health Education Authority and Mr. John Balding in Exeter, covering about 17,000 young people a year. It monitors their changing attitudes on an annual basis, and therefore represents a very large and useful database for...

Orders of the Day — Education (Assisted Places) (20 Jul 1989)

Mr John Butcher: First, I give my hon. Friend the Member for Dartford (Mr. Dunn) the assurance that we shall be looking at the outcome of the scheme. It is right that we should follow up and examine the achievements of those who pass through the assisted places scheme as they move into higher education or careers. The speech of the hon. Member for Southwark and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes) was pretty mixed up....

Orders of the Day — Education (Assisted Places) (20 Jul 1989)

Mr John Butcher: That is, I think, an interesting commitment from the Liberal party to grant-maintained schools, and I am grateful for that. If the hon. Gentleman is to stay true to his logic, I hope that he will declare his commitment to city technology colleges. I understand that he runs with both the hare and the hounds in his constituency on that matter.

Orders of the Day — Education (Assisted Places) (20 Jul 1989)

Mr John Butcher: The Liberal party is clearly all over the place and that explains why it is no longer concerned about policy formation and is descending into the sort of agitprop irrelevancies which now pose as policy in that party.

Orders of the Day — Education (Assisted Places) (20 Jul 1989)

Mr John Butcher: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman. It is at this point that the cross-party consensus comes into question. The hon. Member for Durham, North-West (Ms. Armstrong) began by talking about the social mix in independent schools which take pupils under the approved places scheme. I thought that she was leaning towards the proposition that in order to improve the social mix in her terms, and even...

Orders of the Day — Education (Assisted Places) (20 Jul 1989)

Mr John Butcher: Under the direct grant arrangements a capitation fee was paid by the DES on behalf of every pupil. Therefore, the hon. Gentleman, laugh as he may at the moment, was the beneficiary of state assistance to attend a selective school. Why is it that tonight he and his privileged team of colleagues, who are perched on the Opposition Front Bench like starlings, wish to say to Brentwood school, the...

Orders of the Day — Education (Assisted Places) (20 Jul 1989)

Mr John Butcher: The hon. Gentleman has done nothing to persuade me or, I think, the House that the inconsistency embodied in his own career does not remain strong. The privileged bunch on the Opposition Front Bench is saying that it will deny opportunities to children of poor and less well-off families through the APS. It is a scheme which benefited one of the bunch directly. Two more of its members enjoyed...

Orders of the Day — Education (Assisted Places) (20 Jul 1989)

Mr John Butcher: Let me finish. There was the Coventry boy whose four A grades and one B at A-level won him a place at Oxford, where he is now reading mathematics. I am sure that his father, an unemployed labourer, is rightly proud. There was the London assisted pupil who achieved two As and a C at A-level last year. Both parents are blind. I am sure that with that handicap bringing up children can be a...

Orders of the Day — Education (Assisted Places) (20 Jul 1989)

Mr John Butcher: No, I am not saying any of those things. The hon. Lady has just dug herself a very deep hole. If she examines the Education Reform Act 1988, which she opposed root and branch, she will find that a theme runs through it. It will be seen that in the case both of grant-maintained schools and CTCs the Government will be giving the independent sector real competition and a real run for its...


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