HC Deb 01 July 1976 vol 914 cc728-76

'3.—(1) At least one quarter of the body of managers of every county primary school and of the body of governors of every county secondary school shall consist of persons who are parents of pupils attending at the school.

(2) It shall be the duty of every local education authority to provide in accordance with arrangements approved by the Secretary of State for the election to the body of managers of each county primary school and to the body of governors of each county secondary school maintained by them, of the one-quarter or more of the total number of the governors or the managers who are parents of pupils attending at the school by the parents of pupils attending the schools, and for a patent so elected ceasing to be on such body of managers or governors (as the case may be) on the parent ceasing to have a child attending as a pupil at that school but without prejudice to the right of that parent to be otherwise appointed to that body of managers or governors.

(3) Parent governors or managers shall be elected annually.

(4) Courses of training for governors or managers of schools are to be provided by local education authorities and these courses shall include instruction on the rights, powers and duties of governors and managers'.—[Mr. St. John-Stevas.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

7.0 p.m.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Bryant Godman Irvine)

It will be convenient to discuss at the same time New Clause No. 46 (Composition of governing bodies).

Mr. St. John-Stevas

The ecumenical interlude is over, and we return to our normal robust diversity of approach.

The rôle of governors and managers of schools is a subject which is very much in the forefront of our minds because we are awaiting the report of the Taylor Committee on the rôle of governors and managers and how they should be selected. I am glad to see with us the former Secretary of State for Education and Science, the right hon. Member for Newham, North-East (Mr. Prentice), because he it was who, in response to promptings from the Opposition, set up that committee and got this most important inquiry under way. It is fitting that the right hon. Gentleman should be here, however briefly, to see that his initiative is bearing fruit. It is no reflection on the present Secretary of State to say that we never cease to miss the right hon. Gentleman from our debates. They seem to have lost something since he departed, and not even the new Minister of State makes up for that.

It is the policy of the Opposition to encourage parents to take a very full part in the education process and in our schools. As we pointed out yesterday, we want to have links between the maintained and independent sectors. We want to see a very wide exchange of facilities and ideas. We should like to see widely followed the example set by schools such as Wellington, which has generously cooperated with other schools in its area, so that what can be misrespresented as privilege for a few can become for the benefit of all.

Mr. Ronald Bell


Mr. St. John-Stevas

My hon. and learned Friends call that "heresy". That must be based on the assumption that what he says is orthodoxy. If my hon. and learned Friend is orthodox, I am probably better off as a heretic.

One of the benefits of schools in the private sector is that, by and large, they have strong and effective governing bodies. That is why in so many cases the schools are of a very high quality. As the Minister of State might put it, why should the devil have all the good tunes? Why should we not look at the private sector to see what good ideas are there and what is working there and apply them pari passu or even mutatis mutandis

The Minister of State, Department of Education and Science (Mr. Gerry Fowler)

Or "as the case may be".

Mr. St. John-Stevas

Or as the case may be—in the maintained sector.

Why should not people have as much pride in their local comprehensive as they do, for example, in Eton or Harrow? I hasten to point out that I was educated at neither of those establishments. This relates to the wider social point that what is needed in our society more than anything else today is not great outpourings of public money on various projects. What is needed is something very much more important, which is the restoration of a sense of community in our society. We can achieve that with very little money, and here we can link up such matters as the preservation of small schools, the fostering of village schools and the strengthening within the maintained sector of boards of governors and managers so that they are effective in their activities and create a pride in their schools which will be of the greatest benefit to the children who will attend them. It will also help solve a lot of the problems of the impersonal, large comprehensive school if the headmaster or headmistress can be backed up by an active, interested and informed board of governors.

From time to time during these debates we have talked about parental choice, and it is right that we should do so. We wish to extend parental choice. But of equal importance is parental influence. Some people would say that it is even more important than parental choice.

When I launched the now famous Parents' Charter at Stockport in 1974, it was greeted rapturously by the official spokesman of the NUT who, unfortunately, had got the party line wrong. He was immediately silenced and his statement was replaced by another statement from the Secretary, Mr. Fred Jarvis, who referred to the Parents' Charter as the greatest cover-up since Watergate". Even for the extravagant language to which one is used in educational circles, that was hitting a new high—or low. It was the proviso about parental managers and governors which led to that statement of support and to a great many other statements of support which were not as evanescent as that of the official spokesman of the NUT.

In the course of these debates, we have referred to various provisions of the Parents' Charter. I now wish to refer to the third provision, which comes after the amendment of Section 76 of the Education Act to give greater effect to parental wishes and after providing a system of appeals, which is point 2. We say: Third, we will give parents the right to be represented on all school boards of managers and governors. The proportion of parents should be substantial. It could be between a third and half of the governing body. Parental governors should be elected by a postal ballot of all parents with children at a particular school. In this way parents will be enabled to take and show an interest in the schools which their children attend and secure improvements. My hon. Friend the Member for Dorking (Sir G. Sinclair) has been working during the past 12 months on giving flesh and blood to the skeleton of the Parents' Charter. The Opposition are deeply indebted to him for his work in this respect. He has been canvassing the opinions and getting the advice and help of those engaged in education. Shortly, we shall be in a position to put forward a revised version of the charter with very wide educational support.

New Clause 31 is a foreshadowing of what is to come. It states that At least one quarter of the body of managers of every county primary school and of the body of governors of every county secondary school shall consist of persons who are parents of pupils attending at the school. A minimum is laid down—not a maximum. There has been some discussion on the proportion of parents who should serve on a governing body. Some would fix the proportion as high as 50 per cent. Others want a smaller proportion. That matter may be the subject of continuing debate. It is important that there should be a reasonable proportion.

I do not think that one parent governor should be isolated among officials, education experts, from which may heaven deliver us, and teachers—may they prosper. One parent alone faced with such fierce competition cannot he an effective influence. The question of numbers, proportion and percentage is of vital importance. My hon. Friend the Member for Dorking—should he be so fortunate to catch your eye, Mr. Deputy Speaker—will expatiate succinctly on that point.

Mr. Gerry Fowler

As ever.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

I am grateful for that amen from the Minister. I hope that we shall have a more formal amen later. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will be in a more benevolent mood when he addresses the House. He became out of control when he left the subject of education. Last night he provoked hon. Members, with disastrous effects, on the subject of the Government's timetable. We all trust that the same will not occur this evening. It is a valediction, benediction and imprecation all at the same time.

In New Clause 31(3) we suggest that Parent governors or managers shall be elected annually. That is a matter of debate. Some people think that an election annually is too often and that the election should coincide with the appointment of the general governing body. Fortunately, those who give such advice have retired temporarily from the scene. We are not wedded to particular words. We put forward clauses to probe Government intentions and to stimulate Government action, if that is possible.

We are perfectly happy to receive an assurance from the Minister on what the Government intend to do. We shall be happy to withdraw the clause and wait for something better. However, we require something fairly definite in the way of a commitment from the Minister. If he has the power to give it, we shall gratefully accept it.

New Clause 31(4) states that Courses of training for governors or managers of schools are to be provided by local education authorities and these courses shall include instruction on the rights, powers and duties of governors and managers". It is difficult to be an effective manager or governor of a school. It is a function that cannot be carried out simply by the use of native shrewdness. There are problems that must be dealt with, and it would be useful to have brief courses to help and encourage people to take on this work. New Clause 31 is a constructive contribution to the educational argument.

My hon. Friend the Member for Streatham (Mr. Shelton) produced a Private Member's Bill to put into operation certain provisions of the Parents' Charter. Here we have another opportunity to do so. I hope that the Minister will take the clause seriously.

7.15 p.m.

New Clause 46 deals with the composition of governing bodies. That is governed by Section 17 of the Education Act 1944, which provides that not more than one-third of the managers or governors of a maintained school shall be appointed by the local education authority. That is an important change. It recognises the legitimate rôle of the local education authority, which should have one-third of the places. It says that other considerations are involved. Too often, although not by any means in all cases, appointment to a governorship is regarded as a reward for political services. It is the local government equivalent of an MBE. This is a waste and misuse of a potentially important position.

We go on to suggest that in a county school two-thirds of the managers or governors should be appointed by approved local interests, in accordance with the rules of management in the case of primary schools and in accordance with the articles of government in relation to secondary schools.

There is another entrenched one-third provision in the case of voluntary controlled schools. Besides the one-third of the governors or managers who are to be appointed by the local education auth- ority, another one-third must be approved by local interests, as agreed.

We then come to this most important provision for voluntary aided schools, where two-thirds of the governors or managers shall be appointed by the foundation. That is the position at present. We want to make it clear that although we want a revision of the proportions of governors under Section 17 of the 1944 Act, we do not wish to do anything to weaken the position of the voluntary aided school. That, alas, is being done in other parts of the Bill. Voluntary aided schools are being attacked as no other Government in our history have dared to attack them. They are taking away their rights over the organisation of their own schools. We want no part in that. We want to strengthen those schools. We fear that the attack on the organisation and powers of the voluntary aided schools will be followed by a further attack on their powers over the curriculum, which is a vital part of the independence of the schools. The safeguard lies in the two-thirds of the governors appointed by the foundation. We confirm that in the clause.

New Clause 46(5) suggests that there should be among the governors appointed by local interests at least one parent-governor elected by the parents at the school, one teacher-governor elected from the teachers of the school, and the head teacher or a governor appointed by the head teacher. It is suggested that there should be other local representatives. It is important that there should be an election.

I return to the question of parent governors. The advantage of having an election of parent governors by parents of other children of the school is that we involve those parents with the school and give them a focal point of interest. That is all to the good. It strengthens the school. We suggest that that election should be by secret postal ballot.

I hope that we may make progress this evening. If the Minister of State is not provocative, we shall no doubt make better progress than we made last night. If he is in a good mood, if I have not put him in a bad mood by what I have said, we shall all be happy and shall all benefit. This is an extremely important clause. The fact that our remarks upon it may be brief in no way detracts from the importance we attach to it.

I have indicated to the Minister why we have tabled the clauses and I have spoken of the difficult issues involved. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will give a constructive reply and see what he can do to increase parental influence in the schools and so make them more effective in educating the children entrusted to them.

Mr. Gerry Fowler

I have no idea why the hon. Gentleman suggested that I was provocative or in a bad mood yesterday evening. It is true that on occasions I had to raise my voice slightly to make myself heard above the informed educational comments of his hon. Friends, but I thought that in general I was in one of my more cheery, benevolent moods.

Why the hon. Gentleman should have suggested that this was the end of the infusion into our debates today of the ecumenical spirit is beyond my comprehension. I thought that the hon. Gentleman was well aware that he and I were the founders of the ecumenical movement in educational administration. That alliance was firmly cemented in Committee. It is true that on occasions we both had to look with disapprobation at some of the hon. Gentleman's hon. Friends—I do not cast my glance in any particular direction—who made some extremely provocative remarks, but the hon. Gentleman and I always remained unified in our devotion to ecumenism in education. That ecumenical spirit continues.

If I may strike a personal note rather than a ministerial note, I thought that the hon. Gentleman was excessively moderate in what he said today. I say that with great care, because, knowing his dedication to research, I have no doubt that he has read my speech to the annual conference of the National Association of Parent-Teacher Associations in 1972 or 1973. He will find that what I said then went rather further than what he said today. Indeed, I do not know why he should suggest in subsection (5) of New Clause 46 that only one parent governor should be elected by and from the parents of the school". That seems to me—again I speak in a purely personal capacity—to be excessively modest.

The hon. Gentleman will not be surprised to know that my ecumenism does not extend to legislation at present. Here I think I can speak for my right hon. Friend. We hold firmly to the principle that we must extend the rights of parents and teachers in the government and management of schools, but that it would be unwise to pass legislation while the Taylor Committee, which we appointed to investigate exactly that problem, is still deliberating on what may prove to be one of the most important reforms in the administration of education for a very long time.

I do not want to dwell on the words of the new clauses or on some of their drafting defects, because I readily concede that the hon. Gentleman had acute difficulty, when he had to draft 95 new clauses overnight, in getting the detail of every one of them precisely right. The whole House will have sympathised with him in his task. We all imagine him sitting in his bath set into the floor, with a wet towel round his head as he scribbled new clauses madly throughout the night.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

The hon. Gentleman has left out the harp.

Mr. Fowler

Then we imagine the hon. Gentleman scribbling new clauses with one hand while playing his harp with the other.

It is not apparent exactly how the clauses are to be reconciled. I assume that the hon. Gentleman will again say that the Government have a choice, but it is not apparent, on looking at them, that there is intended to be a choice. The first subsection suggests that At least one-quarter of the body of managers of every county primary school and of the body of governors of every county secondary school shall consist of persons who are parents of pupils attending at the school. The second discusses the mode of appointment of managers and governors and moves into the language of "thirds". I do not wish, by accepting such clauses, to cause grave mathematical problems for local education authorities. Therefore, whilst I think that the hon. Gentleman's intention is admirable, it seems to me that the clauses would not be suitable for passage into law.

When we have the report of the Taylor Committee we might want also to question the proposition that governors or managers should cease to be governors or managers when they cease to be parents of pupils at the school. I raise here an old familiar problem about parental governors or managers, namely, that by the time they have become known to the generality of the body of parents, and have become elected to be governors or managers, not much of their own child's period at the school may be left. There is a positive weakness here in that one gives an advantage to those with large families so spaced that they regularly have a child at the same school and may, therefore, remain governors or managers for a long period. It is open to question whether one should want to provide that when the child leaves school any parent governor or manager should automatically cease to be a governor or manager of that school.

There is a problem that we discussed at some length in Committee, that of election by postal ballot of the body of parents. It was never clear in Committee who would keep the electoral roll and how the ballot papers would be distributed. I think that one hon. Member suggested that it would be done by giving the papers to the children, but I suspect that other Conservative Members did not much like that proposition. It was not clear how a postal ballot would be conducted. There are details that need much more examination than we can give them today.

The same goes for the proposition that Courses of training for governors or managers of schools are to be provided by local education authorities and these courses shall include instruction on the rights, powers and duties of governors and managers. That may well be right, and I have much sympathy with what the hon. Gentleman said. There would be some public expenditure implications. I draw attention to them in an almost ritual fashion, but it is important that we all recognise that there are those implications, and that we cannot ignore them.

Again, while they may be desirable, we shall want to see the recommendations of the Taylor Committee, first as to whether it is necessary or desirable and, secondly, if it is necessary or desirable, how it is to be accomplished. That is not spelt out by the hon. Gentleman. The hon. Gentleman does not say whether the LEA would lay on special instruc- tion at the school, whether the further education colleges would provide such courses, or whether he would lay them on in Smith Square.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

What part of Smith Square?

Mr. Fowler

Perhaps I should be laying them on in Smith Square. I leave that matter open.

7.30 p.m.

Strong views are held about this subject. The hon. Member for Chelmsford holds strong views and he knows that I also hold strong views, but we both know that although we are full of ecumenical spirit, there are zealous heretics in the opposite camp and there may be zealous heretics in the local authority camp. Clearly, it is better to await the report of the Taylor Committee, to go as swiftly as possible through consultation with the interests affected—the local education authorities, teacher organisations and others—and then come to a conclusion. That would be the appropriate time for legislation. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will accept that I am not being unsympathetic, but I must ask the House to reject the new clause as anticipatory to Taylor.

Mr. Freud

I totally agree with the Minister that while the Taylor Committee is sitting it is extravagant to come forward with proposals conceived in a short time with insufficient thought. Although I may be too late to express this view, I should like the Taylor Committee to look at several matters of deep concern to many people.

The Taylor Committee should examine the failure of governors and school managers. I am not talking about political influence, because it is right for local authorities to appoint politicians to sit on the boards of management and to serve as school governors. But often such appointments are made as a reward for years of incompetent local service. An appointment to a board of management should never be a reward for anything but should be given to people who are passionately interested in something.

There should be more representation of parents and teachers and local citizens such as shopkeepers who live nearby, householders who might have their windows broken by passing children, and people who are interested in education. Perhaps we should eliminate from boards of management anyone who has been or has toyed with becoming an educational psychiatrist.

The Taylor Committee might also consider that "lollipop" ladies or gentlemen and school meals organisers should have a say in the management of a school. They should be people to whom parents can go in an official rather than an unofficial capacity. Youth club leaders, almost of their own right, and churchmen, where they exist and have relevance, should also serve on boards of management.

I disagree with New Clause 31 which says that parent governors should be elected annually. When a parent becomes a governor of a school, that is often the first time that he has had any experience of sitting on a committee. It takes nearly a year to master the art of tabling amendments and moving a motion. The average school does not have many meetings of school governors and a parent who sensibly decides to spend his first two or three meetings learning the procedure and the next few meetings feeling his feet, will find that the year is over before he has made a real contribution.

It is wrong to disqualify a parent governor merely because his child has left the school. By all means if the child left a long time ago, have a provision granting a year's grace on either side. It is important to remember that the job of governor depends on his having learned something of the procedure.

Mr. Nicholas Winterton (Macclesfield)

Will the hon. Member for Isle of Ely (Mr. Freud) concede that the most valuable work done by governors or managers is not necessarily that which they do at formal meetings, but the interest that they take in the running of the school between meetings? While I sympathise with him when he says that parents should not necessarily have to stand for election each year, most of the good work that they do is that of taking an active interest in the school—in the teaching, sport and social activities between meetings.

Mr. Freud

I agree. If the intervention by the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton) has helped to stop him from rising to his feet, we shall be the richer. The hon. Gentleman is right, but if it had not been for his intervention, I might now be seated.

Mr. Peter Morrison (City of Chester)

Basically the hon. Member for Isle of Ely (Mr. Freud) is against governors being elected annually, but surely he is in favour of elections.

Mr. Freud

I am totally in favour of elections. I was saying that parent governors should have more than one year to prove themselves. I should be happier if they could have an initial period of two years, although perhaps there should be a right to disqualify after a year. If someone has attended a course or read books about being a governor, one year is a short time for him to put that knowledge into practice.

Sir G. Sinclair

I am grateful for the kind words that my hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. JohnStevas) said about my campaign to bring into use, for the benefit of schools, one of the additional resources in education which is grossly under-used today. I refer to the continuing responsibility by parents for the future of their children during schooldays, the amount of work that they are prepared to do and the ideas that they are prepared to bring forward to improve their children's schools. We are proposing in New Clause 31 to bring the strength of parents into a more valuable association with the schools.

We hoped earlier in the debate by a new clause, to ensure that parents had a greater freedom of effective choice of schools for their children. We hoped that if their preferences were unduly thwarted there would through other new clauses be an independent appeal board. By this new clause we are hoping to bring the parents into a natural alliance with the school, and I think that the Minister sees the force of our case.

Children are at home for far longer than they are at school, and the overriding responsibility for bringing up children must remain, where it has always been, with the parents. They cannot rightly delegate that responsibility unless they have great confidence in the school. When society is changing so rapidly and parents are worried about the problems which their children face, it is right that parents should make their influence more widely felt in the schools in which their children are spending so much of their formative years.

We put forward this proposal in a constructive way. It is not right that parents should continue to be so isolated from what goes on in the school. Some headmasters, management committees and governing bodies welcome the closer association of parents with the school. There are also headmasters who resent attempts by parents to become more closely involved in the school, and there are management committees which take the same view. That is wrong and unhealthy.

In some parts of the country, by tradition parents have been very close to the individual members of the staff and to the head. Once again I refer to the pre-eminence of the Welsh experience. Such arrangements can give satisfaction to the parents and can help the school, and great benefits can result from parents, teachers and young all being associated together, not pulling against each other but working in the same direction.

Greater parental representation on boards of governors will carry this association a step further both symbolically and in the working activities of management committees and governing bodies. Local authorities and headmasters who run good schools will welcome this reinforcement, which can carry the influence of the home into the school and the influence of the school into the home, so that the child does not feel that there is conflict between the two.

There are other schools where, unfortunately, the standards of learning and conduct are failing the young. If parents served on the management committees or boards of governors of those schools, they would at least have the right, on behalf of other parents, to bring these failing into the open They would be able to get parents to bring pressure on local authorities through the elected members and through direct representations, and to make a fuss if they thought that the school was going to the bad. This activity will encourage the local authorities to seek remedies where they are needed.

7.45 p.m.

We often hear of local authorities which are unwilling to cope with difficulties in schools which may continue for years and prejudice the whole outlook and future of the children who attend schools in that area. We want the parents there to fight for the best education they can get for their children by bringing their ideas before the headmaster and the local authority. Representatives of the local authority will be sitting beside them on the management committee and governing boards. This dialogue should give a new edge to the discussions. Parents have a live interest on behalf of their children and can provide the momentum for bringing about remedial measures if they are necessary. I hope that such appointments will be helpful to good headmasters and local authorities and will prove to be a tonic where a headmaster or local authority has been less than adequate in maintaining good standards of learning and conduct in the school.

I have heard various remarks about the representation of the local authorities on management committees and boards of governors. Some members are appointed because they have a real interest in education. Others are appointed because they have not been appointed to one of the more influential committees of the local authority and are being fobbed off with an empty facade job as governor of a school. Parent governors, who have a sharp interest in the success of the school, will tone up and make more enthusiastic those members who, after all, have some qualities which enable them to be elected to the local authority.

Doubts have been expressed about the method of election of parent governors. We prefer the most open possible form of election, but the ballot itself must be secret, and I personally prefer a postal ballot.

The length of service of such governors is arguable. A parent whose child leaves school would not necessarily be disqualified; he could be appointed a governor in one of the other categories. But it is important to ensure that parent governors are not the parents of children who have left school. They must have children at the school and be able to talk to other parents with children at that school. That is what matters. That is what gives them the driving force and the sharp interest to press for improvements.

When the Secretary of State examines the possibilities, having accepted the principle that there is a valuable and under-used resource that could be brought to help in upgrading the schools, I am sure that we shall overcome the purely administrative difficulties of how the vote should be conducted and how long people should stay, keeping to the principle that at least a third of the governors should be parents of children at the school at that time. As I have said, that gives them the interest and the right to speak on behalf of other parents who have children at the school.

That should be the driving force, and the strength for good, of governors appointed in this way. I believe they will be able to bring the worries of parents in a proper, disciplined way to the decision-making body of the school, and serve as a good and open form of communication among the parents, the local authority and the headmaster. I believe that that is healthy and good, and I hope that the Government will accept it as a principle.

Mr. Christopher Price (Lewisham, West)

It is pleasant to be released after 12 months of them from one's Trappist vows as a Parliamentary Private Secretary in the Department of Education and Science and to be able to say something about the Bill—for the first time. I cannot remember how many Committee sittings I sat through, mute but attentive, listening to the balderdash and nonsense poured out from the Opposition Benches. It is a relief and a pleasant change for me to be able to say something at this stage. Having served a year as a PPS, I think it only sensible and right to hand over to someone younger. It is also pleasant to be able to rebut some of the hypocrisy and cant about parents which poured out from the Opposition Benches in Committee.

Historically, the Conservative Party has done nothing, in the local education authorities it has controlled, to promote the advent of parents to governing bodies. The first local education authority which arranged for the appointment of parents to its governing bodies under a general local-authority-wide scheme was the county borough of Sheffield in 1968. I was the deputy-chairman of the education committee for some years, from which I take some pride. At the time the scheme was considered an amazing innovation. It astonished most other local education authorities in the country. It was not a Conservative local education authority. It was Labour controlled.

Sir G. Sinclair


Mr. Price

May I make my speech in my own way?

Sir G. Sinclair


Mr. Price

No. I want to make my speech in my own way, if the hon. Gentleman does not mind. I shall give way in a moment.

Sir G. Sinclair

I was going to say something very helpful.

Mr. Price

I am sure.

It was a Labour local education authority, urged on by the first nationwide parent organisation—namely, the Confederation for the Advancement of State Education. That organisation always had as one of its first tenets the appointment of parents to governing bodies.

The second local education authority in Britain to appoint parents to its governing bodies generally was not a Conservative local education authority but the Inner London Education Authority. Parents were appointed immediately following the three years of Conservative control. Then the Inner London Education Authority was decked out with such luminaries as Mr. Christopher Chataway and others who talked a great deal about these matters but historically, when in power, did nothing about them.

I agree that on local government reorganisation quite a few Conservative counties brought in parental representation.

Mr. Tony Durant (Reading, North)

Will the hon. Gentleman tell us when the ILEA introduced parent representation? I am interested in the year.

Mr. Price

I am not able to put an exact year before the House, but it was about 1970. It was the year following Labour's regaining of the ILEA, which, I think, was 1970 or 1971. That is when the ILEA started its scheme.

There is a great deal of cant and hypocrisy involved in proposals of this sort that stem from the Opposition Benches. Opposition Members do not understand, and seem incapable of understanding, that the move to bring parents on to governing bodies, which started with Labour Sheffield, followed by Labour London, followed by a number of other authorities of all political persuasions, came about because schools became comprehensive.

Mr. Nicholas Winterton


Mr. Price

When there were grammar schools taking pupils from an enormously wide catchment area—in Sheffied it was a city-wide catchment area—no schemes were ever put forward, to my knowledge, to have elected parent representatives. Perhaps I shall be given some examples, but I know of no local authority authorised scheme for elected parent representatives for grammar schools. If there are any, I shall be pleased to hear about them.

When local education authorities went comprehensive, those which took their jobs seriously had to think about the purpose of the schools within the communities they were to serve. When schools go comprehensive, for the first time they serve, hopefully, a clearly defined community. In Sheffield and London, and I am sure in many other local education areas, only because the schools were comprehensive did it become the natural thing for members of the community, especially parents, to join in the work of the schools by being on governing bodies. Had it not been for the move towards comprehensive education the position now would probably be as it was in the 1940s and 1950s, when, as far as I know, elected parent representation on governing bodies did not exist. I am sure that there are only isolated examples of elected parent representatives on the governing bodies of county schools; if so, I shall be pleased to hear of them. However, I have never heard of an example in the past.

When we set up the Sheffield scheme I think that the authority wrote to every local education authority in Britain ask- ing for its experience, as it was building up a scheme from scratch. There did not seem to be any experience in any other local education authority.

8.0 p.m.

It is absurd for the Opposition to try to pretend that there is some division, either in the House or in the country, about whether it is a good thing for parents to serve on governing bodies.

There are many governing bodies, and some of them resolutely keep the parents away. This applies particularly to voluntary schools, and certainly to those in London. Although all the county schools have parents serving on governing bodies because the local education authorities have the power to say that they shall be on them, very few voluntary schools have parents serving on their governing bodies because the local education authority has no standing to insist that that happens.

Mr. Nicholas Winterton

Although parents are not directly elected to governing bodies and to voluntary aided and similar schools, often parents serve on governing bodies because they are elected through old girls' and old boys' associations.

Mr. Price

I readily agree that from time immemorial a very wide number of both voluntary and county schools have had representatives from old boys', old girls' or old pupils' associations, but that is not what we are talking about here. What the hon. Gentleman has in mind is a body such as a parent-teacher association. One is sometimes represented on those bodies by good parents, but at other times I am not so sure that that is the case.

If parents are to serve on governing bodies, I believe that the only proper way in which to achieve that situation is for them to be elected, by some method or other, out of the whole body of parents. It is interesting that Conservative Members put forward a suggestion for postal ballots when at the same time they appear to want to keep down further expenditure.

Mr. Nicholas Winterton

How are parents at a meeting to be held, say, once a year likely to be able to make up their minds which parents are able to represent their interests? The parent-teacher associations frequently have social functions and meet one another to discuss the problems of their schools. Is that not a better forum for the election of parents to school government bodies?

Mr. Price

The short answer is "No". I agree that, as the system works at present in London, it is not wholly satisfactory. The election of parents normally takes place every three years when the governors are reconstituted. Therefore, a body of parents elected on those lines may have a slightly better idea of what is taking place. When parents meet to elect parental representatives in genuine community comprehensive schools, that is not the first time that they have seen one another because they all come from the same community and know one another through many other activities in the community. Difficulty arises in selective schools which cover a wide catchment area, especially a county area, where parents may well not meet one another on other occasions.

The Inner London Education Authority adopted a courageous attitude, because obviously it was not easy to get the parent governor idea through the powerful Inner London Teachers Association, because that body was not very keen on parents serving on such bodies. Therefore, that courageous action has already borne fruit.

There are many other places in which these things have come about—for example, at the William Tyndale School. Some people will say that one side or the other is right in that affair, but what is certain is that the fact that there were parent representatives on the managers of the William Tyndale School brought the issue out into the open. Therefore, the inquiry took place very much more quickly than would have been the case if those representatives had not existed.

I believe that it would be absurd to pass these new clauses as they stand. However, it is important that we should air these matters in the House and, therefore, this occasion has not been in vain.

Taken at face value, this is another example from the Conservative Party by which it seeks a hundred and one ways of wanting to go clean against all the devolved traditions of English education which lay down exactly how the local education authorities should work. My view is that it is far better on issues such as this to let local education authorities, along with their teachers and parent organisations, work out schemes and systems of their own.

We must all remember that the report of the Taylor Committee is almost complete. We must also remember that the Conservative Party, which has been so eloquent on these topics today, made no attempt to set up a committee to investigate the government and management of schools. That was left to a Labour Government. The Conservative Government over a period of four years had in office an eminent Secretary of State for Education and Science, but during that period she did nothing about bringing about parental representation on managing and governing bodies. The report of the Taylor Committee, and what flows from it in legislative form, may do more to change the face of English education than almost anything that has happened since the passing of the Education Act 1944.

The Labour Party has sent in a published memorandum of evidence to the Taylor Committee—which, strangely enough, is somewhat on the lines of the proposals in these two Conservative clauses. But one cannot complete the membership of governing bodies merely by taking on parents. There are other elements to be considered, such as the teachers and the pupils, who need to be represented.

I do not know whether the Conservative Party has put in any evidence to the Taylor Committee. If so, I should be interested to read it to see whether Conservatives have bothered to work out what they think. I want to know whether they have put their considered opinion where their parliamentary mouth is. We can then see whether it is a lot of hot air or whether it has any real substance. I hope that we shall discover whether Conservatives have a genuine commitment to the idea of parent governors. I believe that there is a broad feeling on these lines among many Conservatives. I know that there are no statistics in the local education authorities on this subject and, therefore, we cannot know the exact position, but I am confident that if we could obtain such statistics it would be found that it is the Conservative, and particularly the "independent", controlled local education authorities which are the backsliders in the provision of schemes for parent-governors of county schools. In fact, many voluntary schools have not got around to this idea. It is difficult for them because it could upset their delicate built-in majority under the 1944 Act.

In conclusion, I cannot believe that the Conservatives really intend to vote on this matter, even though it was right that it should have been aired in a debate, but just to deflate them a little, we on this side of the House have far more to be proud of than they have in bringing elected parent governors on to the boards of governors of schools.

Mr. Roger Sims (Chislehurst)

I have listened with interest to the speech of the hon. Member for Lewisham, West (Mr. Price), not least to the point he made about the desirability of the Minister not telling local authorities how to organise local education, that he should leave them to get on with it. Those sentiments will be read with interest by a lot of local authorities, particularly Tameside.

Whatever the outcome of this clause, this has been a useful debate in that it has given hon. Members on all sides an opportunity of ventilating the matter. I endorse the case put by my hon. Friends the Members for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas) and Dorking (Sir G. Sinclair). One of the great faults of the present system is that many of the appointments to governing bodies are almost entirely party political appointments. All political parties are involved in this.

I was, in fact, one such appointment to the governing body of a school. It was neither a reward nor an attempt to fob off trouble elsewhere. I hope that I was appointed because it was thought that I could give some assistance to that body. In my case I had a particular advantage because at the time one of my children was a pupil at the school in question. The fact that I had this connection with the school made me a more useful member of the board than I should have been otherwise. It gave me quite an insight into what was going on.

When one's own children attend a particular school, one hears all sorts of things that one would not hear as an ordinary governor. At the time I was the only governor who was a parent, and that situation continued for some time. Later I was joined by another who was also a parent, but he was also a political appointment. Nevertheless, the value of having two of us with this close connection with the school was very obvious to me.

From time to time I found that I was approached by the parents of pupils anxious about the way in which the school was being run. They put to me their points of view about certain changes they thought should be implemented, and it was up to me to listen to the voices and act upon them. The extent to which parents' voices are heard by the governing body depends to a large extent on the willingness of individual governors to pass on information.

8.15 p.m.

It would be much better if parents themselves elected their own representatives to the governing body to voice their views. The other advantage of the proposals we are discussing tonight is that parents themselves could get a much better understanding of the way in which the school is run, the powers of the governors—which are somewhat limited —and the constraints within which the school is operating.

Quite recently in my constituency there was a case when parents asked for a meeting with the governors of a school and the point which emerged from that rather noisy meeting was the parents' ignorance. I use that word in the kindest way. They did not know, or realise, the powers of the governors and what they could do or could not do. The parents spent a lot of time criticising that board of management for decisions which were quite outside the managers' responsibility. This is a concrete example of the sort of case put forward by my hon. Friends, and I hope that the House will support the clause.

Mr. Durant

I intervene in this debate because I was chairman of an excepted district in a local education authority and played some part in changing the whole philosophy on management and governors in schools in my area.

I am sorry that the hon. Member for Lewisham, West (Mr. Price) took a harsh political line, because he is well-known for his expertise in these matters.

Mr. Ronald Bell

He is also known for his harsh political lines.

Mr. Durant

As I said, he is well known for his knowledge of this subject, which I respect, and I am sorry that he took a political line early in his speech.

However, he said that he would prefer local education authorities to decide their own formulae. I strongly believe in this, and that is why I am against this Bill in principle. The hon. Member said that the Labour Party had had great success in promoting the idea of parent participation in managing bodies. He mentioned Sheffield and ILEA in particular, but many of us were beginning to do battle on this matter at that period as well. Sheffield and ILEA may have been first, but that does not mean that others were not discussing the matter in their local education authorities.

What the hon. Member did not mention was that many teachers were far more resistant to the idea than parents. It was the teachers who felt that this was an incursion into the management of their schools.

Mr. Christopher Price

I did mention that. I said that ILEA had difficulty in persuading the Inner London Teachers' Association to support the scheme, but eventually patience and consultation were rewarded.

Mr. Durant

I accept that. This was a difficulty which I encountered.

Mr. Flannery

I am a Member for Sheffield, and I assure the hon. Member as an executive member of the National Union of Teachers representing Sheffield that there was not the slightest difficulty from Sheffield teachers. They were more than willing to join in and all our governing and managing bodies now have two elected teachers.

Mr. Freud

Well done!

Mr. Durant

As the hon. Member for Isle of Ely (Mr. Freud), "Well done". I said that in some parts of the country there was some resistance on the part of teachers. I am not saying that Sheffield was good, bad, or indifferent. I am talking about the general problem of persuading teachers to take this matter seriously and to involve more parents in participation. One of our aims in these clauses is to increase the percentage of parent participation.

I agree with the hon. Member for Lewisham, West that the present system of having one parent appointed by some special sanctimonious agreement gives rise to the parental fanatic who turns up with tremendous pressure and bias, and with his own axe to grind. The idea of having a percentage is a better approach which will overcome that difficulty, and I welcome that element of the proposals because some of the parents who wish to participate are not always the most suitable.

I do not mean that in an unkind way. It is a natural tendency to have a fanatic on the board, but that is not good for the school. The governing bodies need someone who can contribute, not someone who is joining, as my hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. JohnStevas) said, because a secondary school means an OBE or a primary school means an MBE. The governing body needs someone who will participate in the school, contribute to it and enter into its activities.

I welcome the proposal on training. The local education authority of which I was chairman before I became a Member of Parliament carries out such training. Recently it operated a postal ballot for governorships in the way that has been suggested. That is not as expensive as has been suggested. It does not cost an enormous amount of money, and it is a step worth considering.

I should like the governors to have more power. We are told that the Taylor Committee is considering this point. I should like governors to be as they were under the old LCC when they had financial powers of their own, provided from central funds, with which they could express their own view on how to help the school. Unfortunately, most governors have no monetary power, and that is a pity because often they know better than others the priorities of the school. They would not need to have large sums at their disposal, but there are schemes with which they would like to assist.

The Minister says that we should await the Taylor Committee report and then act upon it. Since I came to the House I have become a little jaundiced about such Committees. We all waited for the Layfield Committee and I am not sure that that has not been a damp squib. I am a little worried that the Taylor Committee may go the same way. I am therefore not entirely convinced that there is a valid argument for doing nothing. I believe that we should press on rather than wait for the Committee. We can always evaluate the Committee against what is now proposed, but it would be wrong to sit and do nothing.

My criticism of our proposals centres on the question of annual elections. I have a reservation here. Most school governors have one meeting per term, and if they are annually elected, it will take them a couple of terms to get to know what the job is all about.

I spent a considerable amount of my time trying to secure fewer councillors sitting on local governing bodies. Often the school mistrusts them, and it is said that often they only arrive at the prize-giving because it could mean a few extra votes at the next election. Of course I do not suggest that the councillor who takes a genuine and long-standing interest in a particular school should be excluded. But if a councillor is put on to a governing body because it is one member short, that is the wrong approach. Head teachers mistrust such appointments. The hon. Member for Isle of Ely spoke about local shopkeepers and other local people joining such bodies, and that is an excellent avenue to explore in the search for people who will back a school. My proviso concerns the annual election, but I believe the principle is right.

Mr. John Cope (Gloucestershire, South)

I was not a member of the Standing Committee on the Bill and I have not habitually spoken in education debates. I was lightly educated at a direct grant grammar school. I hold certain views on this question, although I express them with the diffidence of one who has nothing like the experience in this matter of the hon. Member for Lewisham, West (Mr. Price) or others. I go along with the principle of New Clause 31 but I do not like the suggestion in New Clause 46 that there should be only one parent governor. It is important that there should be several.

Sir G. Sinclair

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I see that the Minister is absent from the debate. It would be a great help—I am glad to see that he has now returned.

Mr. Gerry Fowler

When I discuss matters within the Chamber with the hon. Member for Brent, North (Dr. Boyson), the hon. Member for Dorking (Sir G. Sinclair) should not suggest that I have left.

Mr. Cope

We were not suggesting that the Minister was either Left or Right.

Mr. St. John-Stevas

Will my hon. Friend perhaps take on board that the Minister is doing much better here than in Committee? This time he is disappearing behind the Speaker's Chair, but in Committee he used to disappear behind Hadrian's Wall.

Mr. Flannery

What does that mean?

Mr. Cope

The hon. Member may well ask. I have not the faintest idea.

Mr. Gerry Fowler

The explanation of that remark is that the hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas) is so confused in his geography that he believes that Lancashire is beyond Hadrian's Wall.

Mr. Cope

Geography was included in my curriculum and I know where Hadrian's Wall is, even if my hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas) does not.

I was saying that it is not sufficient to have one parent governor elected. What happens when the pupil whose parent is on the board leaves school? It is important to have continuity in these posts. If there is only one parent governor, the newcomer will be unfamiliar with the procedure. It is therefore important that there should be overlapping periods of service of parent governors. The different parent governors will have different contributions to make.

The value of governing bodies is that they bring together a variety of interests which can be contributed to the life of the school. There are many schools, including those in Gloucestershire, which have parents on the governing bodies. These parents are not elected and that is an important consideration.

Some parents might get on to a governing body whether there was a system of election or appointment. If there are elections, that draws into the governing of the school those who vote as well as the individuals who are elected to the managing body. This is a key point in the new clause. It is intended to give a role not only to the parents who get on to the governing body, but to those who take part in the elections.

8.30 p.m.

Mr. Flannery

Would the hon. Member agree that many parents could do a good job on governing bodies but might not be capable of reporting back? If an elected representative of the parents could report back to them, would that not bring even more democracy into the system?

Mr. Cope

The hon. Member is right. It would be difficult to lay down the methods of doing this either centrally in an education authority or throughout the country. This is one of the purposes of, for example, parent-teacher associations. Parent governors should play a big part in the associations and elected representatives would be answerable to PTA members.

The Minister referred to the problems which parents might have in getting known to other parents while they had children at school. Parents with only one child would have a relatively short time in which to get known. It was suggested that parent governors should be allowed to continue after their children had left school. I agree that governors should be allowed a decent interval in office after their children have left the school, but it would defeat the whole principle and make a nonsense of the system if they were allowed to stay on indefinitely.

Parents might decide not to elect one of themselves as a governor. They might think that, for example, a local priest or minister might be a good person to help in the running of the school even though he had no children at the school and maybe never would have. It is the election with which we are particularly concerned in this clause rather than having parents on the governing body.

The Minister suggested that difficulties might arise over who should keep the electoral roll, but that sounded like no more than a quibble over the details of the new clause. I do not think that any problems arise in those authorities where parents are currently elected to man aging bodies.

The Minister also seemed to suggest that schools might not know the addresses of their pupils. That is so absurd that I cannot really believe the Minister meant to say it. It is a bogus argument on which we need to waste no time.

In a typical aside, the hon. Member fo the Isle of Ely (Mr. Freud) suggested that parents should be able to go officially to the "lollipop" lady or gentleman about the running of the school. It is sometimes difficult to tell whether the hon. Member is being serious. These ladies and gentlemen often have something to contribute which can be useful in the running of the school.

I attended a meeting a few weeks ago between the governing bodies of a primary school in my constituency and the two local parish councils. It was called to discuss with representatives of the county council the problem of the safety of the schoolchildren coming out of the school, which is on a very busy and dangerous road. The principal witness who took the major part in the discussion, was, indeed, the "lollipop" lady. She was in the best position to say what would contribute to the safety of the schoolchildren, because she stood in the road twice a day to watch them across the street.

I am glad to note that the Secretary of State has now joined us. When he was Minister of Transport we tried to persuade him to improve the road—unfortunately, without success. We are still working on that.

I was rather shocked by the suggestion from the Minister of State that the courses which, it was said, should be provided by the local education authorities for governors and managers might be provided on either side of Smith Square. It seems to me that a very important element in both these new clauses relates to the attempt to reduce rather than increase the political element in the bodies of school managers and governors. The idea that, parent governors having been elected, they should attend courses run by political parties seems to run totally counter to the suggestions being made in these two new clauses.

The important element in these new clauses is the attempt to get away from the appointment of most or all of the school governors by the local education authority. This brings us back to considering having governors or managers at all in a school.

The point is not to have a subcommittee of the local education authority which happens to be involved with certain aspects of running the school, appointed by the authority and just there for the purpose of carrying out the LEA's wishes. The point is to have a separate body that will take a different view and help to build up the institution of the school and to give the school a flavour of its own, apart from the rules and the controls which come from the LEA.

Of course, the LEA will still have the strongest hand in the running of the school. That is inevitable. It directly pays for it and has the greatest control. But the point of having governors and managers is to have a separate body with different ideas which will also help to form the institution which is the school. That is the idea of it, and that is the point of these new clauses.

I support very strongly the last sentence of the last subsection of New Clause 46, which suggests that certain other bodies also—it is only a permissive phrase, not a binding one—might be permitted to appoint governors to schools. That is a very sensible arrangement, and one which would help to build up the separateness of the governors or managers of the school, which is what I should like to see.

Mr. Arnold Shaw (Ilford, South)

The hon. Gentleman has been talking a lot about the governors being, as it were, an entity that more or less reflects the local authority as it now is. I have been a member of a board of management and of governors in the capacity of a representative of a local authority, and at no time did I ever find the board to be a part of the establishment. Each board looked after its school.

However, one thing that struck me all the time was the lack of power that these boards of governors and managers had. I have been listening for some time to various Opposition Members talking very loosely. If even 25 per cent. of the managers of governors were parents, how would that affect the working of the managers or governors and their effectiveness?

Mr. Cope

Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will give way. He makes an important point. The only way in which these two new clauses would affect the powers would be by making the bodies themselves more powerful—that is the hope, at any rate—and more separate from the LEA and more able to stand up to it.

Neither of these new clauses affects the actual powers or duties of these governing bodies. My hon. Friends have said that they think the powers ought to be increased, but that is not what the debate is about. Any remarks of that kind were made, as it were, only in the margins of this debate. However, I hope, that it is something on which the Taylor Committee will be able to guide us a little.

I was concluding my remarks by emphasising the importance of having bodies of governors and managers whch are as far as possible separate from the LEA. Otherwise, how can they carry out any separate rôle that may be assigned to them?

Mr. Nicholas Winterton

It is a pity that the hon. Member for Lewisham, West (Mr. Price) is no longer in the Chamber. He made a valuable contribution to the debate, but he spoilt it by bringing into it a totally party view by endeavouring to persuade the House that it was only Socialist education authorities that were keen to bring parents on to governing and managing bodies. That is very far from the truth. Many education authorities under Conservative control have for years practised one system or another of parents being members of such bodies.

Perhaps I may briefly establish my own credentials in this matter. I was elected to a county council. I am delighted that the hon. Member for Coventry, South-East (Mr. Wilson), who sat on that county council with me, is present in the Chamber to listen to some of the remarks I intend to make. To make a party point perhaps, I was elected in an area which hitherto had been represented by Socialists for many years.

I was the first Tory to be elected there. [Interruption.] If Labour Members want some statistics, I shall give them. When the swing was going against the Conservative Party at the next round of local government elections, I increased my majority by six times. I say that really for the benefit of the hon. Member for Sheffield, Hillsborough (Mr. Flannery) and the hon. Member for Rossendale (Mr. Noble).

Having been elected for a division of the Warwickshire County Council, one had the opportunity, through the various county education committees, of recommending people as governors and managers. I made it my job to sit on every board of managers and governors in the area that I served. At the same time, I had people appointed. My nominations were always accepted by the committee —and this practice was carried on by members of the Labour Party representing their wards.

Mr. William Wilson (Coventry, South-East)

Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will tell the House that he was a member of a political party that controlled the county council. My experience with my nominations was certainly not the same as his.

Mr. Winterton

It was so in my area of North Warwickshire, in which many members of the Labour Party served as county councillors. Their nominations to boards of managers and governors were generally accepted. We endeavoured to find the very best people to serve on these boards. In many cases, without having it as part of any set plan in the county, we had parents brought on to the governing bodies among the nominations of the county councillor representing the area.

8.45 p.m.

I made a great effort to ensure that those people, male and female, took an active part in the life of the school. I made the point, when I intervened in the speech of the hon. Member for Isle of Ely (Mr. Freud), that we want people who are interested in education to serve on the governing and managing bodies of schools. That is why these new clauses are of the utmost importance.

The Secretary of State and the Minister of State can no doubt fault the wording of the new clauses but it is the principle that is important. I share the view expressed by my hon. Friend the Member for Reading, North (Mr. Durant). Why should we wait for the Taylor Committee? In the end it might come forward with proposals that are totally unacceptable.

It would seem from the speech of the hon. Member for Lewisham, West that he supports the need for more parents to come on to the governing bodies. The Government have often said that there is no time like the present to get things done. Here we are giving them the opportunity to ensure that more parents may serve on these important bodies.

Yesterday the Government were not terribly keen to provide parents with statistics about examination results and the performance of a school. Today we are asking them to accept these new clauses because that will mean that more parents will be on the governing and managing bodies and they will themselves be able to find out, as part of the governing body of that school, what the examination record is. They can then pass this information back to other parents or parents likely to have children going to that school.

Mr. Lawrence

They can put it in a prospectus.

Mr. Winterton

My hon. Friend says that they can put it in a prospectus. But with parents coming on to these bodies in greater numbers perhaps, irrespective of what the local education authority may say, although they no doubt will submit it to the education authority, they will get their governing body to issue a prospectus so that people are genuinely in the picture about the type of school, its teachers, its successes, its statistics and its record.

I hope that the hon. Member for Isle of Ely, who was obviously in support of the principle behind these new clauses, will reconsider his view. Rather than criticise the detail, I hope he will support the principle. I hope that he will come into the Lobby with us, because it is an important matter.

Dr. Rhodes Boyson (Brent, North)

I rise to support my hon. Friends, particularly my hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas), on this new clause. It is not just a probing new clause but is a statement of intent in respect of the Opposition's views.

If the Government will not accept the new clause as it stands, we should like to think that something like it would be put into the Bill so that thet least co-operative authority would then do at least as well as the average authority, or even the best, does now.

I think there is a movement away from political governors. We suggest in the new clause that the proportion of political governors should be no more than one third. In the other new clause—this was a point clearly made by my hon. Friend the Member for Reading, North (Mr. Durant) and referred to by my hon. Friend the Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton)—we suggest that a minimum of 25 per cent. of the governors should come from the parents.

At one time, two-thirds of governors came from the majority party and a third from the minority. After each election there was a turn around. That was the arrangement until 1972 in ILEA. The balance was changed that year, unfortunately, and the majority party took four-fifths of the seats on governing bodies, which is not proportional to the voting. With this big turn around, political governors almost had to ask where their schools were. When action was taken in Marylebone, a map had to be issued so that the new Labour governors could find their way to the school concerned.

This is not true of only one party. One political governor, not a Labour governor, attended only governors' meetings and was never involved in the running of the school. There is no point in governors just attending meetings and not getting to know the staff and children and the aims of a school.

Elected councillors can be a link between the governing body and the authority. We have a debate ahead of us on the educational voucher which could change the financing of schools, but so long as local authorities control the purse strings, it is helpful if members of the county authority are on the governing bodies. I was fortunate in Highbury Grove to have Dame Evelyn Dennington, Chairman of the GLC, as one of my governors. She was a better link than my telephone to County Hall.

What I have said is true so long as not more than a third of the governors are councillors. My hon. Friend the Member for Chelmsford, my hon. Friend the Member for Chislehurst (Mr. Sims), who was himself a governor, and the hon. Member for the Isle of Ely (Mr. Freud) have all said that it is important to get governors involved in a school.

Many people look upon governorships rather like MBEs and BEMs, as a reward at the end of a political career. There is even a political pecking order. I have known governors to object to being put on the governing body of school X rather than school Y because more political power was to be derived from school Y where sitting on the platform was useful whatever the colour of the hat that person wore.

Mr. Patrick Mayhew (Royal Tunbridge Wells)

Would my hon. Friend not agree that it was not unknown for a shift in the political balance of the education authority to mean that someone with excellent qualifications as a governor had to make way for someone whose qualifications were far less discernible?

Dr. Boyson

That is perfectly true.

I hope that something will come out of the Taylor Committee. If the new clause is accepted, we might not have to wait for its report. It may have to move faster.

Every governor should spend at least one full day a term inside his school. He should not confine himself to open days and prize days when he can be on public view. On that day, he should go around and talk to the children and the staff and see the lessons, without the head being present. At 4 o'clock, he should discuss with the head and his staff what he has seen.

I always tried to get governors of my school—and I failed only once—to agree to come for at least a minimum of one day a term and spend the whole day there, from 8.30 or 9 a.m. until about 6 p.m. when the activities declined. This should be more a requirement of governors, far more than going on a course, because some people are professional course-goers. Governors should actually come to a school and see how it works.

Parent governors are important. If parents have selected a school and a child knows that its parents want it to go to that school and if the parents are involved in the running of the school, that school will be better than others where there is not this degree of involvement by parent governors. Many parent governors, whether of boys' or girls' schools, had children within a school and many council political nominees with children chose to serve as governors of their schools.

In my headship in Lancashire, in the constituency of the hon. Member for Rossendale (Mr. Noble) two of my chairman governors in succession were old boys of the school, with their own children in the school, and we can do no better than that. They had been at the school, had liked it and had sent their children back to it.

At Highbury Grove we had one parent governor, another co-opted parent governor, three governors with children at the school and one other whose children had been at the school. There were seven out of 16 involved in that way, which was of great help in running the school.

Mr. Freud

Would the hon. Gentleman disqualify as governors those with children of school age who were not sending their children to the school of which they were governors?

Dr. Boyson

It is a fair question, but a difficult one. One says that it is difficult to give a breathing space for replying to it. If a child of a governor is attending another primary school in that area, he should not be a governor of that school. If it was a comprehensive area and a governor had his son or daughter in a school other than a comprehensive school in that area, he should not be a governor. The only distinction I would make would be where it was a selective school and the person was a governor of a non-selective school. There are problems. Serious consideration should be given in the election of governors to whether their children are in the schools and whether they are people who are backing it and want the system to work well. The hon. Member for the Isle of Ely made a valid point that we should bear in mind.

Reference was also made to the subject of university appointments. There should be one university appointment or an appointment from further education in all secondary schools. Similarly, reference was made to including a youth officer who was serving in the area, and employers and representatives of trade unions might also be considered so that those responsible for the school are aware of what people in the area want. The hon. Member for the Isle of Ely made the very interesting suggestion that people such as school meals supervisors and local shopkeepers whose windows get broken should also be considered, and why not?

At the William Tyndale trial reference was made to the dinner ladies wanting more order in the school and objecting to children running along the tables at lunchtime. Such people can see how a school is running and whether there is reasonable and polite behaviour. I do not object to the suggestion, which is becoming an all-party one, that there should be dinner lady representation in this way on the governing body.

I am personally not happy about an annual election. That provision slipped through among the other 90 or so new clauses. I am not completely happy about it. It takes at least a year to learn the role of a governor. My hon. Friends the Members for Reading, North, Gloucestershire, South (Mr. Cope) and Macclesfield suggested that one year was not enough. I do not think that it is. The ILEA practice is that a parent governor is a governor for the same term as other governors. After the four-yearly elections and the new governing body being set up, the parents elect a governor who remains a governor so long as his child is attending the school. When he stands for election, he has to say in which year his child is.

9.0 p.m.

The danger of a postal ballot involving the parents of 1,500 or 2,000 pupils at a comprehensive school is to decide who knows whom. That is particularly difficult. This, too, was a matter brought up by my hon. Friend the Member for Macclesfield. If the election was conducted at a meeting, in many cases it would be dominated by the political activists of whichever party controlled the area. We shall have to give more thought to whether it should be done by a postal ballot. However, these are minor matters. The important factor is the acceptance of the general principle.

We are now in the third day of these interesting discussions, and we had 83 hours of deep textual analysis in Committee. A great many suggestions have been put forward, many of them all-party one, designed to improve the Bill wherever possible within the present climate of opinion. I am sorry that the hon. Member for Lewisham, West (Mr. Price) is no longer with us. We are not dealing with the attitudes of the parties of 10 years ago. We on this side of the House have learned a few lessons, and we hope that in time Government supporters will learn. There is no doubt that a great many lessons have been learned on our side, and a political party must absorb the climate of opinion at any given time if it is to develop and continue to exist.

This succession of new clauses dealing with the issuing of prospectuses, the right of appeal, how schools are to be run and the election of parent and teacher governors are all concerned with more general public control of and involvement in the running of our schools and, to repeat a phrase which I used last night, with more open government so that people can get to know and decide and help run affairs in their areas. By that, I do not mean by leaks. I mean by genuine open government.

Mr. Nicholas Winterton

Does not my hon. Friend agree that an increase in the number of parents on governing and managing bodies is likely to improve the standards of literacy, numeracy and behaviour in our schools?

Dr. Boyson

I have no doubt about that. People want good academic schools for their children. They also want well-disciplined schools, and the best force for this is to bring in parent governors.

I appeal to the Minister of State to absorb some of our attitude to these matters and not to bother with little footnotes about the way that we put them forward. This is the climate of the time, and I hope that he will accept our proposals. I hope that we shall have his assurance, even if he cannot accept this drafting, that the principle will be put into the Bill. If we do not have that assurance, I am sure that my hon. Friends will wish to divide the House.

Mr. Gerry Fowler

The whole House will have welcomed the audible as well as the visible presence of my hon. Friend the Member for Lewisham, West (Mr. Price) in an education debate once more. We are glad to have his expertise with us. I thought that he was perhaps unduly belligerent this evening, however. It may be that he has not learned that there is more joy in heaven over one repentant sinner than over those of us who have long been on the side of the angels. That is why in my opening remarks I adopted that ecumenical spirit which is so well known to the hon. Member for Chelmsford (Mr. St. John-Stevas) and me. I am always ecumenical with him when he comes over to join my camp.

This debate has been a source of delight. However, it is sad that some of the real difficulty over the detail of these new clauses which I and my hon. Friend pointed out were not dealt with by the hon. Member for Brent, North (Dr. Boyson). We heard a little about the operation of postal ballots. That presents a difficulty. However, the two clauses have not been squared in terms of the fractions that are mentioned in them. We have not had a full explanation of how the system would work whereby a governor ceased to be a governor after perhaps only one year on the governing body merely because his child had left the school.

Nor have those who spoke in the debate been clear about the distinction between parents by intent and parents by accident. I think that the hon. Member for Macclesfield (Mr. Winterton) was somewhat confused about that. He seemed to think that, if someone appointed on a different principle was a parent of a child at the school, that demonstrated that the system had long operated. That is not what we are debating. We are debating an entirely new principle. That is what I mean when I refer to the appointment of parents by intent.

Mr. Nicholas Winterton

I ask the Minister to withdraw that disrespectful comment. My point was that many county councillors who opted to take up their right to serve on the boards of managers and governors often set out to gets parents on to those boards to benefit the school.

Mr. Fowler

I was well aware of the point made by the hon. Gentleman. However, that was not the point he made in one of his earlier interventions when he referred to voluntary schools. The same applies to his present reformation. Neither the Government nor local government accepted the principle that parents should be represented as of right. That is what we are debating tonight.

The hon. Member for Brent, North, in winding up the debate, asked whether dinner ladies should be represented. Let us broaden that. Should the non-teaching staff of schools be represented? That is a real point. It makes my case for me when I ask the House to reject the new

clauses. The Taylor Committee is considering all these complex questions. The matter is best left until the Taylor Committee has reported. If the Opposition press this matter to a vote, I must ask my hon. Friends to reject the new clause.

Several Hon. Members


Mr. James Hamilton (Vice-Chamberlain of Her Majesty's Household)

rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.

Question put, That the Question be now put:—

The House divided: Ayes 287, Noes 256.

Division No. 216.] AYES [9.9 p.m.
Abse, Leo Cunningham, Dr J. (Whiteh) Hart, Rt Hon Judith
Allaun, Frank Dalyell, Tam Hatton, Frank
Anderson, Donald Davidson, Arthur Hayman, Mrs Helene
Archer, Peter Davies, Bryan (Enfield N) Healey, Rt Hon Denis
Armstrong, Ernest Davies, Denzil (Llaneill) Heffer, Eric S.
Ashley, Jack Davies, Ifor (Gower) Hooley, Frank
Ashton, Joe Davis, Clinton (Hackney C) Horam, John
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N) Deakins, Eric Howell, Rt Hon Denis
Atkinson, Norman Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) Howells, Geraint (Cardigan)
Bagier, Gordon A. T. de Freitas, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Hoyle, Doug (Nelson)
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Dell, Rt Hon Edmund Huckfield, Les
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood) Dempsey, James Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey)
Bates, Alf Dolg, Peter Hughes, Mark (Durham)
Bean, R. E. Dormand, J. D. Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)
Beith, A. J. Douglas-Mann, Bruce Hughes, Roy (Newport)
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Duffy, A. E. P. Hunter, Adam
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Dunn, James A. Irvine, Rt Hon Sir A. (Edge Hill)
Bidwell, Sydney Dunnett, Jack Irving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford)
Bishop, E. S. Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth Jackson, Colin (Brighouse)
Blenkinsop, Arthur Eadie, Alex Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln)
Booth, Rt Hon Albert Edge, Geoff Janner, Greville
Boothroyd, Miss Betty Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE) Jeger, Mrs Lena
Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur Ellis. John (Brigg & Scun) Jenkins, Hugh (Putney)
Boyden, James (Bish Auck) English, Michael John, Brynmor
Bradley, Tom Ennais, David Johnson, James (Hull West)
Bray, Dr Jeremy Evans, Fred (Caerphilly) Johnston, Russell (Inverness)
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Evans, loan (Aberdare) Jones, Dan (Burniey)
Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W) Evans, John (Newton) Judd, Frank
Brown, Ronald (Hackney S) Ewing, Harry (Stirling) Kaufman, Gerald
Buchan, Norman Fernyhough, Rt Hon E. Kelley, Richard
Buchanan, Richard Fitch, Alan (Wigan) Kerr, Russell
Callaghan, Rt Hon J. (Cardiff SE) Flannery, Martin Kilroy-Silk, Robert
Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P) Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) Kinnock, Neil
Campbell, Ian Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Lamble, David
Canavan, Dennis Foot, Rt Hon Michael Lamborn, Harry
Cant, R. B. Ford, Ben Lamond, James
Carmichael, Neil Forrester, John Latham, Arthur (Paddington)
Carter, Ray Fowler, Gerald (The Wrokin) Leadbltter, Ted
Carter-Jones, Lewis Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd) Lee, John
Cartwright, John Freeson, Reginald Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough)
Castle, Rt Hon Barbara Freud, Clement Lever, Rt Hon Harold
Clemitson, Ivor Garrett, John (Norwich S) Lewis, Arthur (Newham N)
Cocks, Michael (Bristol S) George, Bruce Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Cohen, Stanley Gilbert, Dr John Upton, Marcus
Coleman, Donald Ginsburg, David Lomas, Kenneth
Concannon, J. D. Golding, John Loyden, Eddie
Conian, Bernard Gould, Bryan Luard, Evan
Cook, Robin F. (Edin C) Gourlay, Harry Lyons, Edward (Bradford W)
Corbett, Robin Graham, Ted Mabon, Dr J. Dickson
Cox, Thomas (Tooting) Grant, George (Morpeth) McCartney, Hugh
Cralgen, J. M. (Maryhill) Grant, John (Islington C) McElhone, Frank
Crawshaw, Richard Grocott, Bruce MacFarquhar, Roderick
Cronin, John Hamilton, James (Bothwell) McGuire, Michael (Ince)
Crosland, Rt Hon Anthony Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife) Mackenzie, Gregor
Crowther, Stan (Rotherham) Hardy, Peter Mackintosh, John P.
Cryer, Bob Harper, Joseph Maclennan, Robert
Cunningham. G. (Islington S) Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C)
McNamara, Kevin Peart, Rt Hon Fred Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
Madden, Max Pendry, Tom Swain, Thomas
Magee, Bryan Perry, Ernest Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)
Mahon, Simon Phipps, Dr Colin Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)
Mallalieu, J. P. W. Prentice, Rt Hon Reg Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Marks, Kenneth Prescott, John Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E)
Marquand, David Price, C. (Lewisham W) Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)
Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole) Price, William (Rugby) Tierney, Sydney
Marshall, Jim (Leicester 8) Radlce, Giles Tomlinson, John
Maynard, Miss Joan Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds S) Tomey, Tom
Meacher, Michael Richardson, Miss Jo Tuck, Raphael
Mellish, Rt Hon Robert Roberts Albert (Normanton) Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Mendeleon, John Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock) Wainwright, Edwin (Dearne V)
Mikardo, Ian Robinson, Geoffrey Walden, Brian (B'ham, L'dyw'd)
Millan, Bruce Roderick, Caerwyn Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride) Rodgers, George (Chorley) Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
Miller, Mrs Millie (Ilford N) Rodgers, William (Stockton) Ward, Michael
Mitchell, R. C. (Soton, Itchen) Rooker, J. W. Watkins, David
Molloy, William Roper, John Watkinson, John
Moonman, Eric Rose, Paul B. Weetch, Ken
Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock) Weitzman, David
Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Rowlands, Ted Wellbeloved, James
Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Sedgemore, Brian White, James (Pollok)
Moyle, Roland Selby, Harry Whiteheed, Phillip
Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South) Whitlock, William
Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-u-Lyne) Willey, Rt Hon Frederick
Newens, Stanley Shore, Rt Hon Peter Williams, Alan (Swansea W)
Noble, Mike Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford) Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)
Ogden, Eric Silverman, Julius Williams, Rt Hon Shirley (Hertford)
O'Halloran, Michael Skinner, Dennis Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Orbach, Maurice Small, William Wilson, Rt Hon H. (Huyton)
Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Smith, John (N Lanarkshire) Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
Ovenden, John Snape, Peter Wise, Mrs Audrey
Owen, Dr David Spearing, Nigel Woodall, Alec
Padley, Walter Stallard, A. W. Woof, Robert
Palmer, Arthur Stewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham) Young, David (Bolton E)
Park, George Stoddart, David
Parker, John Stott, Roger TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Parry, Robert Strong, Gavin Mr. Frank R. White and
Pavitt, Laurie Strauss, Rt Hon G. R. Mr. James Tinn,
Adley, Robert Cooke, Robert (Bristol W) Gow, Ian (Eastbourne)
Aitken, Jonathan Cope,John Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry)
Alison, Michael Cordle, John H. Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C)
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Cormack, Patrick Gray, Hamish
Arnold, Tom Corrie, John Grieve, Percy
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne) Costain, A. P. Griffiths, Eldon
Awdry, Daniel Critchley, Julian Grist, Ian
Baker, Kenneth Crouch, David Grylls, Michael
Banks, Robert Davies, Rt Hon J. (Knutsford) Hall, Sir John
Bell, Ronald Dean, Paul (N Somerset) Hall-Davis, A. G. F.
Bennett, Sir Frederic (Torbay) Dodsworth, Geoffrey Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury)
Bennett, Dr Reginald (Fareham) Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Hampson. Dr Keith
Berry, Hon Anthony du Cann, Rt Hon Edward Haruiam, John
Biffen, John Durant, Tony Harrison, Col Sir Harwood (Eye)
Biggs-Davison, John Dykes, Hugh Harvle Anderson, Rt Hon Miss
Blaker, Peter Eden, Rt Hon Sir John Hastings, Stephen
Body, Richard Edwards. Nicholas (Pembroke) Havers, Sir Michael
Boscawen, Hon Robert Elliott, Sir William
Bottomley, Peter Eyre, Reginald Hayhoe, Barney
Bowden, A. (Brighton, Kemptown) Falrbalrn, Nicholas Heath, Rt Hon Edward
Boyson, Dr Rhodes (Brent) Fairgrleve, Russell Hcseltine, Michael
Braine, Sir Bernard Farr, John Hicks, Robert
Brittan, Leon Fell, Anthony Higgins, Terence L.
Brocklebank-Fowler, C. Fisher, Sir Nigel Holland, Philip
Brotherton, Michael Fletcher, Alex (Edinburgh N) Hordem, Peter
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Howell, David (Guildford)
Bryan, Sir Paul Fookes, Miss Janet Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)
Buchanan-Smith, Alick Forman, Nigel Hunt, David (Wirral)
Buck, Antony Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd) Hunt, John
Budgen, Nick Fox, Marcus Hurd, Douglas
Bulnter, Esmond Fraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St) Hutchison, Michael Clark
Burden, F. A. Fry, Peter Irving, Charles (Cheltenham)
Butler, Adam (Sosworrh) Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D. James, David
Carlisle, Mark Gardiner, George (Reigate) Jenkin, Rt Hon P. (Wanst'd & W'df'd)
Chalker, Mrs Lynda Gardner, Edward (S Fylde) Johnson Smith, G. (E Grinstead)
Channon, Paul Gilmour, Sir John (East Fife) Jones, Arthur (Daventry)
Churchill, W. S. Glyn, Dr Alan Jopling, Michael
Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton) Godber, Rt Hon Joseph Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith
Clark, William (Croydon S) Goodhart, Philip Kaberry, Sir Donald
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Goodhew, Victor Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine
Clegg, Walter Goodlad, Alastair Kershaw, Anthony
Cockcroft, John Gorst, John Kimball, Marcus
King, Evelyn (South Dorset) Morris, Michael (Northampton S) Sims, Roger
King, Tom (Bridgwater) Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Sinclair, Sir George
Kirk, Sir Peter Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester) Skeet, T. H. H.
Kitson, Sir Timothy Neave, Airey Speed, Keith
Knight, Mrs Jill Nelson, Anthony Spence, John
Knox, David Neubert, Michael Spicer, Jim (W Dorset)
Lamont, Norman Newton, Tony Spicer, Michael (S Worcester)
Lane, David Normanton, Tom Sproat, Iain
Langford-Holt, Sir John Nott, John Stainton, Keith
Latham, Michael (Melton) Onslow, Cranley Stanbrook, Ivor
Lawrence, Ivan Oppenheim, Mrs Sally Stanley, John
Lawson, Nigel Osborn, John Steen, Anthony (Wavertree)
Le Marchant, Spencer Page, John (Harrow West) Stewart, Donald (Western Isles)
Lester, Jim (Beeston) Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby) Stokes, John
Lloyd, Ian Parkinson, Cecil Stradling Thomas, J.
Loveridge, John Pattie, Geoffrey Tapsell, Peter
Luce, Richard Percival, Ian Taylor, R. (Croydon NW)
McAdden, Sir Stephen Peyton, Rt Hon John Tebbit, Norman
McCrindle, Robert Price, David (Eaatlelgh) Temple-Morris, Peter
Macfarlane, Nell Prior, Rt Hon James Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret
MacGregor, John Pym, Rt Hon Francis Thomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S)
Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham) Raison, Timothy Townsend, Cyril D.
McNair-Wllson, M. (Newbury) Rathbone, Tim Trotter, Neville
McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest) Rees, Peter (Dover & Deal) Tugendhat, Christopher
Madel, David Rees-Davies, W. R. van Straubenzee, w. R.
Marshall, Michael (Arundel) Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts) Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Marten, Nell Renton, Tim (Mid-Sussex) Viggers, Peter
Mates, Michael Ridley, Hon Nicholas Wakeham, John
Mather, Carol Ridsdale, Julian Walder, David (Clitheroe)
Maude, Angus Rifkind, Malcolm Walker, Rt Hon P. (Worcester)
Mawby, Ray Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey Wall, Patrick
Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Roberts, Wyn (Conway) Warren, Kenneth
Mayhew, Patrick Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks) Weatherill, Bernard
Meyer, Sir Anthony Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey) Wells, John
Miller, Hal (Bromsgrove) Rost, Peter (SE Derbyshire) Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Mills, Peter Sainsbury, Tim Wiggin, Jerry
Miscampbell, Norman St. John-Stevas, Norman Winterton, Nicholas
Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Scott, Nicholas Wood, Rt Hon Richard
Moate, Roger Scott-Hopkins, James Young, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)
Monro, Hector Shaw, Giles (Pudsey) Younger, Hon George
Montgomery, Fergus Shaw, Michael (Scarborough)
Moore, John (Croydon C) Shelton, William (Streatham) TELLERS FOR THE NOES
More, Jasper (Ludlow) Shepherd, Colin Mr. W. Benyon and
Morgan, Geraint Shersby, Michael Mr. Michael Roberts.
Morgan-Giles, Rear-Admiral Silvester, Fred

Question accordingly agreed to.

Question put accordingly, That the clause be read a Second time:—

The House divided: Ayes 265, Noes 285.

Division No. 217.] AYES [9.24 p.m.
Adley, Robert Budgen, Nick Edwards, Nicholas (Pembroke)
Aitken, Jonathan Bulmer, Esmond Elliott, Sir William
Alison, Michael Burden, F. A. Eyre, Reginald
Amery, Rt Hon Julian Butler, Adam (Bosworth) Falrbairn, Nicholas
Arnold, Tom Carlisle, Mark Farr, John
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthoroe) Chalker, Mrs Lynda Fell, Anthony
Awdry, Daniel Channon, Paul Fisher, Sir Nigel
Baker, Kenneth Churchill, W. S. Fletcher, Alex (Edinburgh N)
Banks, Robert Clark, Alan (Plymouth, Sutton) Fletcher-Cooke, Charles
Beith, A. J. Clark, William (Croydon S) Fookes, Miss Janet
Bell, Ronald Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe) Forman, Nigel
Bennett. Sir Frederic (Torbay) Clegg, Walter Fowler, Norman (Sutton C'f'd)
Bennett, Dr Reginald (Fareham) Cockcroft, John Fox, Marcus
Benyon, W. Cooke, Robert (Bristol W) Fraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St)
Biffen, John Cope, John Freud, Clement
Biggs-Davlson, John Cordle, John H. Fry, Peter
Blaker, Peter Cormack, Patrick Galbraith, Hon. T. G. D.
Body, Richard Corrie, John Gardiner, George (Reigate)
Boscawen, Hon Robert Costain, A. P. Gardner, Edward (S Fylde)
Bottomley, Peter Critchley, Julian Gilmour, Sir John (East Fife)
Bowden, A. (Brighton, Kemptown) Crouch, David Glyn, Dr Alan
Boyson, Dr Rhodes (Brent) Davies, Rt Hon J. (Knutsford) Godber, Rt Hon Joseph
Braine, Sir Bernard Dean, Paul (N Somerset) Goodhart, Philip
Brittan, Leon Dodsworth, Geoffrey Goodhew, Victor
Brocklebank-Fowler, C. Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James Goodlad, Alastair
Brotherton, Michael du Cann, Rt Hon Edward Gorst, John
Brown, Sir Edward (Bath) Dunlop, John Gow, Ian (Eastbourne)
Bryan, Sir Paul Durant, Tony Gower, Sir Raymond (Barry)
Buchanan-Smlth, Alick Dykes, Hugh Grant, Anthony (Harrow, C)
Suck, Antony Eden, Rt Hon Sir John Gray, Hamish
Grieve, Percy Macfarlane, Nell Roberts, Wyn (Conway)
Griffiths, Eldon MacGregor, John Rodgers, Sir John (Sevenoaks)
Grlmond, Rt Hon J, Macmillan, Rt Hon M. (Farnham) Ross, William (Londonderry)
Grist, Ian McNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury) Rossi, Hugh (Hornsey)
Grylls, Michael McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest) Rost, Peter (SE Derbyshire)
Hall, Sir John Madel, David Sainsbury, Tim
Hall-Davis, A. G. F. Marshall, Michael (Arundel) St. John-Slevas, Norman
Hamilton, Michael (Salisbury) Marten, Nell Scott, Nicholas
Hampson, Dr Keith Mates, Michael Scott-Hopkins, James
Hannam, John Mather, Carol Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)
Harrison, Col Sir Harwood (Eye) Maude, Angus Shaw, Michael (Scarborough)
Harvie Anderson, Rt Hon Miss Mawby, Ray Shelton, William (Streatham)
Hastings, Stephen Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin Shepherd, Colin
Havers, Sir Michael Mayhew, Patrick Shersby, Michael
Hawkins, Paul Meyer, Sir Anthony Silvester, Fred
Hayhoe, Barney Miller, Hal (Bromsgrove) Sims, Roger
Heath, Rt Hon Edward Mills, Peter Sinclair, Sir George
Heseltine, Michael Miscampbell, Norman Skeet, T. H. H.
Hicks, Robert Mitchell, David (Basingstoke) Speed, Keith
Higgins, Terence L. Moate, Roger Spence, John
Holland, Philip Molyneaux, James Spicer, Jim (W Dorset)
Hordern, Peter Monro, Hector Spicer, Michael (S Worcester)
Howe, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Montgomery, Fergus Sproat, Iain
Howell, David (Guildford) Moore, John (Croydon C) Stainton, Keith
Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk) More, Jasper (Ludlow) Stanbrook, Ivor
Howells, Geraint (Cardigan) Morgan, Geraint Stanley, John
Hunt, David (Wirral) Morgan-Giles, Rear-Admiral Steen, Anthony (Wavertree)
Hunt, John Morris, Michael (Northampton S) Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)
Hurd, Douglas Morrison, Charles (Devizes) Stokes, John
Hutchison, Michael Clark Morrison, Hon Peter (Chester) Stradling Thomas, J.
Irving, Charles (Cheltenham) Neave, Airey Tapsell, Peter
James, David Nelson, Anthony Taylor, R. (Croydon NW)
Jenkin, Rt Hon P. (Wanst'd & W'df'd) Neubert, Michael Tebbit, Norman
Johnson Smith, G. (E Grintead) Newton, Tony Temple-Morris, Peter
Johnston, Russell (Inverness) Normanton, Tom Thatcher, Rt Hon Margaret
Jones, Arthur (Daventry) Nott, John Thomas, Rt Hon P. (Hendon S)
Jopling, Michael Onslow, Cranley Townsend, Cyril D.
Joseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith Oppenheim, Mrs Sally Trotter, Neville
Kaberry, Sir Donald Osborn, John Tugendhat, Christopher
Kellett-Bowman, Mrs Elaine page, John (Harrow West) van Straubenzee, W. R.
Kershaw, Anthony Page, Rt Hon R. Graham (Crosby) Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Kimball, Marcus Parkinson, Cecil Viggers, Peter
King, Evelyn (South Dorset) Pattie, Geoffrey Wakeham, John
King, Tom (Bridgwater) Percival, Ian Welder, David (Clitheroe)
Kirk, Sir Peter Peyton, Rt Hon John Walker, Rt Hon P. (Worcester)
Kitson, Sir Timothy Price, David (Eastleigh) Wall, Patrick
Knight, Mrs Jill Prior, Rt Hon James Warren, Kenneth
Knox, David Pym, Rt Hon Francis Weatherill, Bernard
Lament, Norman Ralson, Timothy Wells, John
Lane, David Rathbone, Tim Whitelaw, Rt Hon William
Langford-Holt, Sir John Bees, Peter (Dover & Deal) Wiggin, Jerry
Latham, Michael (Melton) Rees-Davles, W. R. Winterton, Nicholas
Lawrence, Ivan Renton, Rt Hon Sir D. (Hunts) Wood, Rt Hon Richard
Lawson, Nigel Ronton, Tim (Mid-Sussex) Young, Sir G. (Ealing, Acton)
Le Marchant, Spencer Rhys Williams, Sir Brandon Younger, Hon George
Lloyd, Ian Ridley, Hon Nicholas
Loveridge, John Ridsdale, Julian TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Luce, Richard Rifkind, Malcolm Mr. Anthony Berry and
McAdden, Sir Stephen Rippon, Rt Hon Geoffrey Mr. Jim Lester.
McCrindle, Robert Roberts, Michael (Cardiff NW)
Abse, Leo Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur Cohen, Stanley
Allaun, Frank Boyden, James (Bish Auck) Coleman, Donald
Anderson, Donald Bradley, Tom Concannon, J. D.
Archer, Peter Bray, Dr Jeremy Conlan, Bernard
Armstrong, Ernest Brown, Hugh D. (Provan) Cook, Robin F. (Edin C)
Ashley, Jack Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W) Corbett, Robin
Ashton, Joe Brown, Ronald (Hackney S) Cox, Thomas (Tooting)
Atkins, Ronald (Preston N) Buchan, Norman Craigen, J. M. (Maryhill)
Atkinson, Norman Buchanan, Richard Crawshaw, Richard
Bagier, Gordon A. T. Callaghan, Rt Hon J. (Cardiff SE) Cronin, John
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich) Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P) Crosland, Rt Hon Anthony
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood) Campbell, Ian Crowther, Stan (Rotherham)
Bates, Alf Canavan, Dennis Cryer, Bob
Bean, R. E. Cant, R. B. Cunningham, G. (Islington S)
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony Wedgwood Carmaichael, Nell Cunningham, Dr J. (Whiteh)
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N) Carter, Ray Dalyell, Tam
Bidwell, Sydney Carter-Jones, Lewis Davidson, Arthur
Bishop, E. S. Cartwright, John Davies, Bryan (Enfield N)
Blenkinsop, Arthur Castle, Rt Hon Barbara Davies, Denzil (Llanelli)
Booth, Rt Hon Albert Clemitson, Ivor Davies, Ifor (Gower)
Boothroyd, Miss Betty Cocks, Michael (Bristol S) Davis, Clinton (Hackney C)
Deakins, Eric Kaufman, Gerald Price, C. (Lewlsham W)
Dean, Joseph (Leeds West) Kelley, Richard Price, William (Rugby)
de Freitas, Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Kerr, Russell Radice, Giles
Dell, Rt Hon Edmund Kilroy-Silk, Robert Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds S)
Dempsey, James Kinnock, Neil Richardson, Miss Jo
Doig, Peter Lambie, David Roberts Albert (Normanton)
Dormand, J. D. Lamborn, Harry Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)
Douglas-Mann, Bruce Lamond, James Robinson, Geoffrey
Duffy, A. E. P. Latham, Arthur (Paddington) Roderick, Caerwyn
Dunn, James A. Leadbitter, Ted Rodgers, George (Chorley)
Dunnett, Jack Lee, John Rodgers, William (Stockton)
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth Lestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough) Rooker, J. W.
Eadie, Alex Lever, Rt Hon Harold Roper, John
Edge, Geoff Lewis, Arthur (Newham N) Rose, Paul B.
Edwards, Robert (Wolv SE) Lewis, Ron (Carlisle) Ross, Rt Hon W. (Kilmarnock)
Ellis, John (Brigg & Scun) Lipton, Marcus Rowlands, Ted
English, Michael Lomas, Kenneth Sedgemore, Brian
Ennals, David Loyden, Eddie Selby, Harry
Evans, Fred (Caerphilly) Luard, Evan Shaw, Arnold (Ilford South)
Evans, Ioan (Aberdare) Lyons, Edward (Bradford W) Sheldon, Robert (Ashton-u-Lyne)
Evans, John (Newton) Mabon, Dr J. Dickson Shore, Rt Hon Peter
Ewing, Harry (Stirling) McCartney, Hugh Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)
Fernyhough, Rt Hon E. McElhone, Frank Sillars, James
Fitch, Alan (Wigan) MacFarquhar, Roderick Silverman, Julius
Flannery, Martin McGuire, Michael (Ince) Skinner, Dennis
Fletcher, Raymond (Ilkeston) Mackenzie, Gregor Small, William
Fletcher, Ted (Darlington) Mackintosh, John P. Smith, John (N Lanarkshire)
Foot, Rt Hon Michael Maclennan, Robert Snape, Peter
Ford, Ben McMillan, Tom (Glasgow C) Spearing, Nigel
Forrester, John McNamara, Kevin Stallard, A. W.
Fowler, Gerald (The Wrekin) Madden, Max Stewart, Rt Hon M. (Fulham)
Fraser, John (Lambeth, N'w'd) Magee, Bryan Stoddart, David
Freeson, Reginald Mahon, Simon Stott, Roger
Garrett, John (Norwich S) Mallalleu, J. P. W. Strang, Gavin
George, Bruce Marks, Kenneth Strauss, Rt Hon G. R.
Gilbert, Dr John Marquand, David Summerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
Ginsburg, David Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole) Swain, Thomas
Golding, John Marshall, Jim (Leicester S) Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton W)
Gould, Bryan Maynard, Miss Joan Thomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)
Gourlay, Harry Meacher, Michael Thomas, Jeffrey (Abertlliery)
Grant, George (Morpeth) Mellish, Rt Hon Robert Thomas, Mike (Newcastle E)
Grant, John (Islington C) Mendeleon, John Thomas, Ron (Bristol NW)
Grocott, Bruce Mikardo, Ian Tierney, Sydney
Hamilton, James (Bothwell) Millan, Bruce Tinn, James
Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife) Miller, Dr M. S. (E Kilbride) Tomlinson, John
Hardy, Peter Miller, Mrs Millie (Illord N) Toroey, Tom
Harper, Joseph Mitchell, R. C. (Solon, lichen) Tuck, Raphael
Harrison, Walter (Wakefield) Molloy, William Wainwridht Edwin (Dearne V)
Hart, Rt Hon Judith Moonman, Eric
Hatton, Frank Morris, Alfred (Wythenshawe) Walden, Brian (B'ham, L'dyw'd)
Hayman, Mrs Helena Morris, Charles R. (Openshaw) Walker, Harold (Doncaster)
Healey, Rt Hon Denis Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon) Walker, Terry (Kingswood)
Heffer, Eric S. Moyle, Roland Ward, Michael
Hooley, Frank Mulley, Rt Hon Frederick Watkins, David
Horam, John Murray, Rt Hon Ronald King Watkinson, John
Howell, Rt Hon Denis Newens, Stanley Weetch, Ken
Hoyle, Doug (Nelson) Noble, Mike Weitzman, David
Huckfield, Les Ogden, Eric White, James (Pollok)
Hughes, Rt Hon C. (Anglesey) O'Halloran, Michael Whitehead, Phillip
Hughes, Mark (Durham) Orbach, Maurice Whitlock, William
Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N) Orme, Rt Hon Stanley Willey, Rt Hon Frederick
Hughes, Roy (Newport) Ovenden, John Williams, Alan (Swansea W)
Hunter, Adam Owen, Dr David Williams, Alan Lee (Hornch'ch)
Irvine, Rt Hon Sir A. (Edge Hill) Padley, Walter Williams, Rt Hon Shirley (Hertfoi
Irving, Rt Hon S. (Dartford) Palmer, Arthur Wilson, Alexander (Hamilton)
Jackson, Colin (Brighouse) Park, George Wilson, Sir Harold (Huyton)
Jackson, Miss Margaret (Lincoln) Parker, John Wilson, William (Coventry SE)
Jenner, Greville Parry, Robert Wise, Mrs Audrey
Jay, Rt Hon Douglas Pavitt, Laurie Woodall, Alec
Jeger, Mrs Lena Peart, Rt Hon Fred Woof, Robert
Jenkins, Hugh (Putney) Pendry, Tom Young, David (Bolton E)
John, Brynmor Perry, Ernest
Johnson, James (Hull West) Phipps, Dr Colin TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Jones, Dan (Burnley) Prentice, Rt Hon Reg Mr. Ted Graham and
Judd, Frank Prescott, John Mr. Frank R. White.

Question accordingly negaticed.

Forward to