Mr. Deputy Speaker
With this, it will be convenient to discuss the following Lords amendments: No. 65, in page 11, line 10, after "persons" insert ", or" No. 66, in page 11, line 12, leave outunder section 12 of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968and insertto whom section 12 of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968applies".No. 67, in page 11, line 14, leave out subsection (2) and insert—(2) In section 2 of the 1968 Act (social work committees and functions referred to them) in paragraph (a) of subsection (2) after the word "Act" there shall be inserted the words "as read with sections 1 and 2(1) of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 and the Disabled Persons (Services, Consultation and Representation) Act 1986".(3) The foregoing provisions of this section extend to Scotland only.".No. 68, after clause 9, insert the following new clause
Persons leaving special education: Scotland—
9A. — (1) Before an education authority make a report under section 65B(1) of the 1980 Act on a child they shall require the appropriate authority to give an opinion as to whether or not the child is a disabled person.
(2) Where the appropriate authority have given an opinion that the child is a disabled person, the education authority shall make a note of this opinion in the Record kept under section 60(2) of the 1980 Act and in the report made under section 65B(1) of that Act.
(3) Where an education authority—
(4) Where the appropriate authority have given an opinion that a child or young person is a disabled person it shall be the duty of that authority to make an assessment of the needs of that child or young person with respect to the provision by the authority of any statutory services for that person in accordance with the welfare enactments, and for that assessment to be carried out—
(5) Where the appropriate authority have given an opinion that a child or young person is a disabled person and it subsequently appears to the education authority—
(6) If at any time it appears to the education authority—
(7) The education authority and the appropriate authority shall keep under consideration the cases of all children and young persons on whom a report has been made under section 65B of the 1980 Act or, as the case may be, under subsection (4) and shall at such times as they consider appropriate review the information contained in the report.
(8) Nothing in subsection (4) shall require the appropriate authority to make an assessment of the needs of a child or young person—
(9) In this section "appropriate authority" means the local authority for the purposes of the 1968 Act falling to perform functions in relation to the child or young person; and expressions used in the 1980 Act have the same meaning in this section as in that Act.
(10) The foregoing provisions of this section extend to Scotland only.".
No. 69, in clause 10, page 11, line 15, leave out "Education (Scotland) Act 1980" and insert "1980 Act".
No. 70, in clause 10, page 12, line 26, after "persons" insert "— (a)".
No. 71, in clause 10, page 12, line 30, at end insert—
"(b) in subsection (2) before paragraph (a) there shall be inserted—
(aa) a decision of an education authority not to record the young person or, following a review under section 65A of this Act, not to continue to record him;";".
No. 72, in clause 10, page 12, line 32, after "paragraph(a)" insert — (a)".
No. 73, in clause 10, page 12, line 33, at end insert—
"(b) for the words "(2)(a)" substitute "(2)(aa) or (a)".
No. 74, in clause 11, page 12, line 36, leave out from beginning to "of" in line 38 and insert—
In relation to disabled persons the duty under section 13 of the 1978 Act".
No. 75, in clause 11, page 13, line 6, at end insert—
(2) The foregoing provisions of this section extend to Scotland only.
§ Mr. Clarke
We now come to the Scottish part of the Bill, and I am happy to say that most of the amendments 1342 are technical. Perhaps I should say that I have reached the "exclusively" Scottish part, as all the Bill applies to Scotland except clause 3, whose Scottish equivalent is the new clause represented by amendment No. 68. Its construction is significantly different from the English clause, because of the very different and, dare I say better, construction of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980, which seems to bridge the gap between school and further education that I mentioned in relation to clause 3.
The establishment of a Future needs assessment has already been represented as a method of improving the lot of youngsters before they leave school, in that it offers an opportunity for all involved with the child's education to consider progress to date and to plan for the future. Yet in many parts of the country, including in my constituency, improvement has not been effective because the agency that must take responsibility for helping the young person in the next stage of his life, the social work department, has not been involved.
The new clause will avoid that break in the link and will provide an opportunity for improving the considerable progress that has been made over the past few years. If any right hon. and hon. Members have detailed questions to ask about the new clause, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland will no doubt be delighted to reply.
Hon. Members will recall that on Report a clause relating to joint planning in Scotland was deleted after the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, the hon. Member for Argyll and Bute (Mr. MacKay), promised to arrange for the introduction of a clause in the other place to provided reserve powers to put joint planning in Scotland on a statutory basis. He wished, as we all did, to include the elderly. But the powers that be have decreed that it is impossible to make the necessary amendment to the long title.
Consequently, Lord Skelmersdale repeated a committment given to me privately that the Government would introduce the amendment to the National Health Service (Amendment) Bill. I find that arrangement entirely satisfactory. My aim is to see the legislation that we all want on the statute book and in force, and not to pack all and sundry into this Bill in order to boost the status of the so-called Tom Clarke Bill. I am sure that the Minister will appreciate that view.
Although I should like to place on record my appreciation for the Government's action on this matter, I must at the same time express some reservations. I am sure that the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland will convey them to his hon. Friend the Minister for Social Security. My reservations reflect the concerns expressed to me by the care in the community working party, which brings together a wide range of voluntary and professional organisations in Scotland. It is concerned that the Scottish Office has not been able to produce the relevant clauses for discussion. Its attitude has been in sharp contrast to that of its English colleagues, who have devoted time to consulting my advisers on the most effective means of improving the legislation.
I hope that the time scale for the implementation of the Bill in Scotland will be similar to that, or perhaps shorter than it is in other parts of the United Kingdom. At an earlier stage, I wondered whether the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland — the hon. Member for Argyle and Bute—and the Minister for Health were Mr. Nice and Mr. Nasty. I hope that they will prove themselves to be 1343 Mr. Quick and Mr. Speedy and that the Minister for Social Security will show the same urgency in implementing the Bill. They may be sure that my right hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe (Mr. Morris) and 1 and many other hon. Members on both sides of the House will pounce on any signs of lethargy or lack of application.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Allan Stewart)
The hon. Member for Monklands, West (Mr. Clarke) has explained the reasons for these amendments with his customary excellence and clarity.
I emphasise that the Government share the concern of the Bill's sponsors that effective joint planning arrangements should operate in Scotland and that voluntary organisations are brought into the process, because they have their proposals to contribute.
The hon. Member referred to specific provisions and the reasons why no amendment to clause No. 11 had been moved. I confirm that, when a suitably comprehensive clause is included in the National Health Service (Amendment) Bill, a motion to delete clause 11 will be tabled.
The hon. Gentleman asked me about commencement. I confirm that it is likely that the Government will wish the various provisions of the Bill to commence simultaneously throughout the country. However, we must recognise that commencement will depend in practice on a number of factors, including the availability of resources. That point was made clear during proceedings in the House and in another place. I can fully assure the House, however, that my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State has every intention of implementing the Bill as quickly as that can be done in the circumstances prevailing at the time and in the light of consultation with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities. However, the resources available may be subject to different pressures and priorities north and south of the border. A facility for separate commencement is therefore clearly necessary.
I add my congratulations to those of other right hon. and hon. Members to the hon. Member for Monklands, West.
§ Question put and agreed to.
§ Subsequent Lords amendments agreed to. [one with Special Entry.]