'It shall be the duty of every local education authority to make provision for nursery education and pre-school facilities for all those children under the statutory school age whose parents desire them to receive it, and to ensure that all those children who are admitted to primary school before the statutory school age benefit from appropriate facilities, space, equipment and staffing provision; and section 24 of the 1980 Act is repealed.'.—[Mrs. Clwyd.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.
Mr. Deputy Speaker
With this it will be convenient to discuss the following: New clause 4—Rising fives—'Where pupils are admitted to infant or primary schools before the statutory school starting age, they shall be taught in classes staffed at least by a qualified teacher and a qualified nursery nurse if such classes contain more than 12 pupils.'.
New clause 5—Staffing of nursery schools and classes—
'Within 12 months of the coming into force of this Act the Secretary of State shall make a report to Parliament on the training and supply of nursery teachers and nursery nurses, and the development of a training and career structure for nursery nurses.'.
New clause 27—Pre-school schemes—
'It shall be the duty of every local education authority to prepare a scheme in accordance with this section.
(2) The scheme shall provide for—
- (a) the determination of proposals to enable every eligible child to attend a pre-school group or class approved for the purpose by the authority for a period of not less than one year before attaining the age of five (including in particular, determination after consultation on draft proposals with parents, interested voluntary organisations and other interested persons);
- (b) the publication of information and advice to promote the attendance of every eligible child at such a group or class; and
- (c) publication of an annual report on the scheme.
(3) A child is an eligible child for the purposes of subsection (2) above if that child has attained the age of three years six months and is not a registered pupil at a school (other than in a nursery class of a school).
(4) A scheme prepared by a local education authority in accordance with the preceding provisions of this section—
- (a) shall be reviewed by the authority at intervals of no more than five years; and
- (b) may be varied or replaced by a further scheme.
(5) No provision of this section shall be deemed to require or to promote the admission of children to a school (other than to a nursery class of a school).'.7.45 pm
§ Mrs. Clwyd
It is 20 years, almost to the day, since my hon. Friend the Member for Eccles (Miss Lestor) organised the first-ever lobby of under-fives in this House. We are especially glad that she is here for the debate this evening. However, she must feel disconsolate that so little has changed in that time.
It never ceases to amaze any of us that in nine years of wailing and wringing of hands about the rotten educational standards of our school leavers compared with those of other countries, we hear comparatively little about school beginners. One reason for that is that educationists, politicians and Governments have tended to concentrate on the reform of secondary and tertiary education, despite the growing mass of evidence to support the old Jesuit maxim, "Give me a child for the first seven years and you may do what you like with him afterwards." Indeed, the United States Harvard pre-school project, completed in 1979, after a 14-year study of the development of children from six months to six years, concluded that the magic age was as young as three years. As the Harvard team wrote, to get to the heart of the matter:It appears that a first-rate educational experience during the first three years of life is required if a person is to develop his or her full potential. While excellent early development does not guarantee lifelong excellent development, poor progress in the early years seems to be remarkably difficult to overcome.William Fowler, professor of applied psychology at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education, looked down the telescope the other way and declared that he could notfind a single individual of high ability who had not experienced this intensive early stimulation.Britain has a long tradition of nursery education, dating from the pioneering work of Rachel and Margaret Macmillan, but successive Governments have been reluctant to make a major investment in the expansion of nursery schools and classes. The lack of local authority places for the under-fives, together with a strong demand for pre-school education, has created a unique community response in Britain in the form of playgroups. They are the cheaper alternative to local authority nursery schools and have attracted considerable official support, mainly because they reduce the pressure on local and central Government to provide more comprehensive pre-school education. That, in turn, has led to the system of mixed voluntary and maintained sector provision that we have today.
As well as the failure—and it is a massive failure—to meet the needs and wishes of parents, both those who are in paid work and those who are not in paid work, and to provide them with a choice of different ways of sharing child care, the greatest lack is in day care for the children of working women. Of couse, here the Government have a vested interest in keeping working women out of the economy.
269 The 1967 Plowden report estimated that places were needed for 90 per cent. of four-year-olds and 50 per cent. of three-year-olds. In 1974 a survey by the Office of Population, Censuses and Surveys revealed that 89 per cent. of mothers of three and four-year-olds, and 65 per cent. of mothers of nought to four-year-olds desired daycare provision. That was considerably more than Plowden had estimated.
Overall, Plowden's recommendations for nursery education were heeded in 1972, when the Prime Minister, then Secretary of State for Education and Science, issued a White Paper in which the Government's aim was declared to bethat within the next 10 years nursery education should become available without charge, within the limits of demand … to those children of three and four whose parents wish them to benefit from it.That radical change did not take place.
§ Mrs. Clwyd
I shall give way in a moment.
The promises of 1972 were easily broken. Instead, the number of part-time places in LEA nursery schools more than doubled between 1975 and 1985. In England some of the places in reception classes that were occupied by under-fives were transferred into nursery class places. Despite this large increase, there were still almost as many under-fives in primary school reception classes as in nursery classes or schools by 1985.
§ Mr. Raison
Does the hon. Member for Cynon Valley (Mrs. Clywd) recall that the Plowden report contained a minority report signed by Professor David Donnison and Dr. Michael Young—both of whom were then members of the Labour party and one of whom subsequently defected, I believe—as well as Lady Plowden and, as it happens, myself? We said that it would be a very good idea to promote the provision of nursery schools by charging fees to those who could afford them. Looking back over this period, and in the light of the fact that there has been very limited expansion, would it not have been better to accept that at the time?
§ Mrs. Clwyd
It was clear that that view was not shared by the then Secretary of State, now the Prime Minister.
At the same time, the number of places in registered playgroups continued to expand in England and Wales. This expansion in part-time places did nothing at all to address the demands for day care and of working mothers. The apparently laudable increase of 10 per cent. in provision that did take place between 1975 and 1985 has been achieved through part-time places. There has been a very heavy dependence on the playgroup movement, again with an increase in places of 10 per cent.
This has had only a marginal impact on the level of demand for more comprehensive day care, as well as education. Indeed, free nursery education, like so many promises made by this Government, for 70 per cent. of three to four-year-olds, which was pledged in the 1972 DES White Paper, has been completely reneged upon by the Prime Minister and the present Secretary of State.
The growth in the nought to four population between 1980 and 1984 showed that the infant population would increase in the latter half of the 1980s, with the result that fewer under-fives will gain access to local education authority places. At present, day care supervision does not meet demand. In some parts of the country there are no 270 day nursery places; in others there is no pre-school provision. The picture is of gross underfunding and of enormous and unfair local variations in the level of provision.
In 1945, Beth Wellman published a review of about 50 American studies, the earliest of which was dated 1918. These studies compared the average IQ of children who had attended pre-school centres with that of children who had had no pre-school education. The results showed conclusively that children with pre-school educational experience had an increased IQ score compared with those who had not attended pre-school programmes. Indeed, compared with the North Americans, British educationists have been somewhat lukewarm about the value of preschool education.
Last year, the publication of Osborne and Millbank's study of the effects of early education was the first British study to show conclusively that nursery schools and playgroups gave children an important and lasting educational advantage. It was based on data from the child health and education study of 16,000 children who were born in Britain in one week in April 1970, and a series of tests on those children at the ages of five and 10. The study reveals that eccentric and haphazard arrangements are made for under-fives in Britain.
In answer to the question whether pre-school education could have a beneficial effect on the subsequent development, educational achievements and behaviour of the children concerned, the study was convinced that the simple answer is undoubtedly yes.
Children who attend LEA nursery classes that are tacked on to primary schools are a cause for concern. The study suggests that these classes may not be very much different from primary reception classes, as children attending those classes did not show consistently high test scores, and therefore clearly had a worse deal.
The expansion of nursery education since 1975 has been almost entirely in part-time LEA nursery and reception classes. There is an urgent need to ensure that these children are being properly treated for their particular needs. Hence our new clause 4, which will ensure that these classes are appropriately staffed.
The study to which I have referred went on to conclude that the findings should not be used as a justification for LEAs to sponsor playgroups, as a more economical alternative to maintained schools or classes. Children attending playgroups, as we all know, generally come from relatively secure and middle-class homes, whereas those attending LEA-maintained institutions tend to come from relatively underprivileged homes. This factor may explain why playgroup children do well, but it also demonstrates the benefits of the LEA nursery sector.
Another equally cogent, but less obvious, argument for maintaining and expanding LEA nursery provision is the number of children who reach the age of five without any organised form of pre-school education. The main conclusion of the study was the contrast between children who had and children who had not been exposed to preschool education. Adequate pre-school provision can improve the quality of life of young children and their families, as well as aiding the child's development and increasing his or her educational potential.
Investment in pre-school provision and the improved quality of life that it bestows clearly pays good dividends in future, particularly in preparing for the kind of test that 271 the Secretary of State has in mind. Despite this factor, preschool services remain haphazard. They are uncoordinated and all too often in short supply. According to the latest figures from the under-fives unit and the National Children's Bureau, only 22 per cent. of three and four-year-olds receive nursery education in England, compared with 28 per cent. in Scotland and 34 per cent. in Wales. I shall not make the very obvious comment about those figures.
Clearly there is an urgent need for co-ordinated and integrated expansion of pre-school provision. New clause 5 asks that the Secretary of Stateshall make a report to Parliament on the training and supply of nursery teachers and nursery nurses".Within the education sector there is no career structure for nursery nurses to progress beyond the position of nursery nurse, except for starting again with teacher training, and that is plainly wrong.
With integration of special needs children into the mainstream schools under the Education Act 1981, this is ridiculous. Some progressive local authorities are attempting to move forward towards the integration of services with joint education and social services funding. In inner London—and in Leeds—nursery liaison posts, to link local playgroups and mother and toddler groups with local schools, are being set up, but the programmes are being cut under the Secretary of State's savaging of ILEA's budget.
The demand for pre-school provision and day care has never been higher. The educational benefits of pre-school experience have never been better demonstrated. Yet what does the Bill say about pre-school provision? At the end of chapter I, it says:Nothing in this Chapter shall apply in relation to a nursery school or a nursery class in a primary school.There is a desperate need for increased provision for the under-fives and their families. A start to addressing the need would be the repeal of section 24 of the Education Act 1980 and the introduction of a duty on local education authorities to provide nursery education and pre-school facilities, for which we call in new clause 3. There is a need to ensure that pre-school provision is adequately resourced and an immediate need to ensure that children in primary school reception classes get adequate educational experience, as expressed in new clause 4.
There is also a need for services for the under-fives to be brought together and not fragmented, as they are too often at present, and for a career structure for nursery nurses as expressed in new clause 5.
Given that there is an abundance of evidence to show conclusively that nursery schools and playgroups give children an important and lasting educational advantage, the Government's refusal to provide the necessary resources means that thousands of young children will be crippled educationally by callous disregard for their needs.
§ Mr. Ashdown
I listened with great interest to what the hon. Member for Cynon Valley (Mrs. Clwyd) said, and I agree with all of it. The omission of provision for nursery and pre-school education marks the Bill out not as a great reform Bill looking to the future, but as a measure which looks back to the rigidities and failures of the past. If we had a great reform Bill, it would tackle such things as 272 nursery education and participation post-16. The absence of nursery education provision is a major omission, just as was the absence of provision for special needs until it was taken up effectively in Committee by members of the Opposition parties.
I go further and agree with the hon. Lady that there is probably no area of education in which we could make an investment which would provide a surer, quicker or larger return than pre-school and nursery education. As she rightly said, the studies have pointed clearly to the fact that if we were to invest small amounts in such provision we would get a much greater return in a very short time in faster and more able learning and particularly in a reduction in the number of children whom we classify as having special needs. If the Government are serious about tackling special needs—we heard brave and important speeches from all Ministers; who can doubt their sincerity?— surely they must take into account the evidence, which is now incontrovertible.
I hate to introduce another note of dissent between myself and Her Majesty's Official Opposition, but, although I can subscribe to the sentiments of what they say and agree completely with the arguments which they use to support their case, I must tell them that I shall go very unhappily indeed into the Lobby to vote for what I regard as three clauses as badly and sloppily drafted as one could imagine. [Interruption.] That is true; I shall explain why in a moment.
It is a great shame that the clause on which we will vote is not new clause 27. It sets out specifically and in detail how nursery education might be delivered. It lays down a requirement for a scheme to be provided by a local education authority and says how the determination of the proposals will be made. It defines what would be regarded as a child in need. It lays down a requirement for a year's pre-school education before a child attains the age of five. It sets out mechanisms for providing information and advice to parents, for changing the scheme of a local education authority and for reporting back.
Instead of that new clause, we are considering three new clauses which seem to make no sense. Well, that is not true; new clause 5 uses the classic Labour party ploy of calling for a report. I have to assume that that is to discover whether new clauses 3 and 4 will work. I am not surprised, because when we read the new clauses we find something remarkable.
New clause 3 requiresevery local education authority to make provision for nursery education and pre-school facilities for all those children under the statutory school age whose parents desire them to receive it".One assumes that that could apply from the date of birth. It does not refer to day care but to nursery education and pre-school facilities for all children. From the day a child leaves the mother's womb in hospital, the parents may say, "Provide us now under the Labour measure with preschool and nursery education for our child."
§ Mr. Ashdown
Yes, indeed, following labour they could do that.
I cannot imagine a more ludicrous or more expensive clause. Clearly it has not been thought through.
§ Mr. Ashdown
The hon. Member for Cynon Valley shakes her head, but the new clause says that the local 273 education authority should make provision for all children under the statutory school age. There is no definition or limit.
The clause also refers to the provision ofappropriate facilities, space, equipment and staffing provision".There is no definition of those. It would give lawyers a field day. I cannot imagine a more crazy clause. I cannot believe that the Labour party is serious in putting it forward.
§ Mr. Andrew F. Bennett
We put down what parents desire. If the hon. Gentleman had been going around schools he would have come across a substantial number of community schools where successful mother and toddler groups are run. We put into the new clauses what parents desire; therefore, we would have thought that the Liberal Democrats would have gone along with us in accepting that parents were good judges of what was appropriate for their children.
§ Mr. Ashdown
I believe that parents will be good judges, but in many cases parents will abuse the facilities by using them for child-minding and day care. I do not mind that, but I object to their provision through the local education authority and to them being called nursery education and pre-school facilities. I would not object to a body being set up to direct attention to what is needed, but it is ludicrous to suggest that a child at one day old requires nursery education and pre-school facilities.
§ Mr. Flannery
Are there not Liberal councils which make no provision? What about the Isle of Wight?
§ Mr. Ashdown
No. It has long been part of Labour party propaganda that the Isle of Wight makes no such provision. That is monstrous. The Isle of Wight helps to assist and fund non-LEA organised bodies. [Interruption.] That is reasonable. There is a statutory requirement for provision, but I believe strongly that it is up to the LEA to decide whether it should be delivered through the LEA on an organised LEA basis or whether in rural areas some LEAs might wish to pump prime and assist.
§ Mr. Ashdown
Of course it is. The hon. Gentleman should know that.
If new clause 3 is odd, new clause 4 is positively destructive. I draw the attention of the House to its wording. It says that in every case where pupils are admitted to an infant or primary school classbefore the statutory school starting agethere shall bea qualified teacher and a qualified nursery nurse".That will immediately put a block on provision for the education of rising-fives in many areas of Britain, and I will tell the hon. Member for Cynon Valley why : "before the statutory school age" means anything up to the term following a child's fifth birthday. In 210 primary schools in Somerset alone, the rising-fives — caught by the definition in new clause 4—are taught as part of a class. If there was a requirement to have a qualified nursery nurse and a qualified nursery teacher in every class in which there was one rising-five, such provision would stop the day after tomorrow. The first result of the new clause would be a complete uproar from parents whose rising-fives could no longer take part in that provision.
274 I have taken the trouble to discover what the proposal would cost in Somerset. If it were put into operation tomorrow, it would cost a minimum of £500,000. The Labour party could have suggested that, where 10 per cent. of children in a given class were aged less than four and a half, such provision was needed. A cut-off point could have been included. Then I would have understood the clause. But the suggestion that if there is one child aged four years 11 months in a primary school class there must be a qualified nursery nurse and a qualified nursery teacher will bring to an end provision for the rising-fives in Britain the day after tomorrow. I cannot believe that that is the Labour party's intention.
§ Ms. Armstrong
May I refer to new clause 27? Is the hon. Gentleman saying that no child should have provision until he or she is aged three years six months? Is that what the new clause means?
§ Mr. Ashdown
Yes, indeed. Three years six months is the age at which we think it best that provision should first be made for a child's education. One might argue the case for such provision at the age of three, but at least we give a definition. The Labour new clauses contain no such definition.
I shall vote in favour of the new clauses, because that is the only way in which we can express our concern for nursery education. That is the position in which the Social and Liberal Democrats find themselves time and again; the agenda is established between the Government and the official Opposition and one has either to choose between two inadequate solutions or to abstain. I shall not abstain on this occasion, although I have never seen two new clause as unworkable, impracticable, ludicrous and damaging to the cause of nursery education as those standing in the name of the Labour party.
§ Mr. Raison
As the House may know, the Select Committee on Education, Science and Arts will shortly embark on a study of the under-fives. As Chairman of that Committee, I do not propose to come to the House in a very assertive mood this evening. Nevertheless, I have one or two comments to make and questions to ask about this topic, and it is certainly a good thing that it has been raised on Report, because it is important.
The new clause is a bit odd, for reasons that have been explained already, and I should like to have it made clear whether the duty of the local authority to make provision really means that it must provide the facilities, or simply that it has a duty to ensure that someone is providing a pre-school education in its area.
§ Mr. Andrew F. Bennett
Our intention is that the local authority should facilitate provision. Whether it provides the education itself or uses other agencies is a matter for it. We should have a menu of provision from which parents can choose for their children. Part of that will come from the voluntary sector, and part from the local authority.
§ Mr. Raison
Whether that is compatible with the wording of the new clause, I do not know. Nevertheless, that is the most sensible approach.
One of the lessons that has been learnt — certainly this impressed itself on Lady Plowden when she was considering the matter—is the great value of the work that can be done by playgroups. I know that playgroups are often seen as something of a middle-class 275 phenomenom, and they have been described as such already in the debate. I accept that there is some truth in that, although I do not think that they need be a middle-class phenomenom. As has been stressed repeatedly, the great merit of playgroups has been the way in which they have succeeded in involving parents.
Whatever we think about the statutory education services, we must admit that very few schools can claim a triumphant success in involving parents. Indeed, one of the main problems of the state education system is the difficulty that it is having in getting parents sufficiently involved. Therefore, I am glad to hear from the hon. Member for Denton and Reddish (Mr. Bennett) that he is thinking along those lines. The playgroup, if it is run well, has a special value. That is not to say that the well-run nursery school is not also very important.
The hon. Members for Yeovil (Mr. Ashdown) and for Cynon Valley (Mrs. Clwyd) talked about a return on investment and the research that has been taking place recently apparently showing the sustained benefits to be derived from pre-school education. I confess that, although I hope to be considering that research shortly, I have not followed it recently. A few years back, what seemed to be emerging was the suggestion that there was a short-term gain from nursery education — perhaps lasting two or three years—but there was no evidence of a long-term gain. If the evidence shows us something different today, we must consider it.
It is also worth making the point that one should not consider nursery education simply in terms of long-term gain or investment. The years between the ages of three and five are just as important as any other years in the life of a human being, and there is much to be said for spending them as well and as beneficially as one can. When pre-school education is conducted well, it can enrich that period, and that makes it attractive and valuable. That is an intrinsic merit of pre-school education.
Having said all that, I think that the official Opposition and, indeed, the Liberal party, or whatever it is called now, must try to face the questions of cost and economics. It is no good thinking that one can propose a new clause providing pre-school education for everybody in whatever form they want—
§ Mr. Win Griffiths
The Chancellor of the Exchequer has just offloaded about £4 billion on to people who do not need the money. Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that he could equally well have used it to provide nursery school places?
§ Mr. Raison
The money has already been allocated to a great many causes by the Opposition. I doubt whether it would stretch to cover every cause.
We need to be realistic and recognise that no Government will simply wake up one day and announce that there are unlimited funds for pre-school education. We know the record of previous Labour Administrations only too well — they never got within miles of such provision—and it serves no purpose to come forward with proposals such as this. It is a question of priorities, of which there are many in education.
As I said, I am very sympathetic to pre-school provision, but there are other priorities. For example, the 276 hon. Member for Linlithgow (Mr. Dalyell) would tell us of the important needs of science in the community, and he is right in saying that science is an important discipline that is clamouring for more money. Hon. Members on both sides of the House will say that more money is needed for many of the activities dealt with in the education budget.
That takes me back to the point that I made when I intervened in the speech of the hon. Member for Cynon Valley. It is a great pity that the Plowden minority recommendation, with its remarkable all-party support, was not taken rather more seriously. It would not have applied to those who could not have afforded it, and it would have brought more money into the pre-school sector at a time when it was badly needed and would have been very valuable. The Opposition cannot propose a new clause such as this without giving some estimate of the possible cost of its implementation. It is irresponsible not to take the trouble to do that when one is trying to persuade the House to support such a proposal.
§ Mr. Ashdown
We have asked consistently whether the Government will provide the cost of establishing the national curriculum and whether they will say how many teachers will be required. They have not managed to do that. If they cannot do that with their resources, how on earth does the hon. Gentleman expect the Opposition to do it?
§ Mr. Raison
The Government are often better placed than the Opposition to give us that sort of detail, but it is not beyond the hounds of possibility for an Opposition party to come up with some idea—not perhaps a precise proposal — of the scale of resources which, by implication, they would be adding to the sector if they were ever to find themselves in power.
§ Mr. Raison
I assume that that is an increase of 10 per cent. in nursery provision. Surely the impact of the new clause would be more than a 10 per cent. increase in nursery provision if it is to be provided for everybody. It seems quite evident that 10 per cent. is an underestimation. As I was saying, one must have a clear idea of what the cost would be before one could seriously contemplate supporting it.
One other point is worth making in this discussion. If I understood her correctly, the hon. Member for Cynon Valley spoke with pride about the provision in Wales and said that it was higher than average. Other hon. Members from time to time say that Labour authorities are doing more than Conservative authorities in providing nursery schools. I put it to them that there is an extremely simple explanation, and it is based on the rate support grant. In my view, absolutely rightly, rate support grant is directed towards areas where needs are greatest and where resources are most scarce.
One of the assumptions that has always lain behind the judgment about where needs are greatest is that where there are greater social needs there is a good case for providing additional nursery schools. That was the view of the Plowden committee, and I support it. Therefore, rate support grant is tipped generously towards areas of the country with higher social deprivation.
A special factor is that Wales gets a particularly good deal out of the rate support grant. A little gratitude might 277 have been expressed by the hon. Member for Cynon Valley. It is well known that Wales has always had an especially favourable rate support grant. It received an 18 per cent. surplus on top of what the poor English received. Opposition Members must realise that if they say that Labour authorities are doing well in providing nursery schools, it is essentially because the rate support grant treats them generously.
§ Mr. Flannery
The right hon. Gentleman is the Chairman of the Select Committee, and he has probably heard me say this on that Committee. There are now 27,000 schools using the assisted places scheme, and another 126 are coming in. One school alone, a private school in Newcastle-under-Lyme, has 459 pupils out of 1,200 paid for out of public funds. Instead of building up private education, does the right hon. Gentleman not think that that money could be far better used for children who need nursery education?
§ Mr. Raison
No, I do not. What I said earlier is true. Many different priorities are being advanced in education. People have to make up their minds on which priorities they think are important. Simply to pick on whatever bit of the education system one does not like and say that that should be scrapped and the money put into nursery education does not meet the point.
I do not want to go on, but the essential point is that I would welcome an expansion of pre-school education. However, the way in which it is proposed by the Opposition cannot be accepted as sensible.
§ Miss Joan Lestor (Eccles)
I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Cynon Valley (Mrs. Clwyd) on remembering the lobby of the under-fives that took place in 1968. One of the only good thing that the Daily Express has done for me in my political life was to produce a brilliant cartoon of that event. A copy of it is in my house as a reminder of how slow progress has been since 1968.
In my naivety and youthfulness 20 years ago I really believed that if hon. Members on both sides of the House, who see so little of their under-fives because of the lifestyle of this place, actually saw under-fives en masse and realised what their wives had to put up with every day of the week, they might be persuaded that there was an urgency in recognising the needs of the parents of those children and of the under-fives themselves. Unhappily, despite the lobby and all that went with it, as my hon. Friend the Member for Cynon Valley pointed out, there has been little progress.
However, having made that point, I am bound to say that the quality of what is provided today is much better than it was 20 years ago. We have all learnt a great deal about the needs of the under-fives since then. Unfortunately, the amount of provision is not better.
What we were demanding in 1968 and what those of us who have been associated with campaigns for the under-fives asked for was that it should be a statutory obligation for local authorities to make provision for all children from the age of three. We wanted to end the administrative confusion that surrounds facilities for the under-fives and would ensure that primary schools that took in pre-school children were properly equipped to do so, and were not simply putting under-fives into classes of 30 or more children with no assistance and with none of the play 278 facilities or the equipment for development that we know those children need. They were our demands then and they are still the demands we are making today.
Looking at the EEC table of provisions, one can see that we rank very low in the amount of provision we make for nursery education and for many other facilities for the under-fives.
I do not want to go over ground that has been covered about the variations in what other local authorities provide. However, I want to comment on something mentioned by the right hon. Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Raison). I agreed with much of what he said. However, we have moved on a little from the Plowden report. The mistake that he and many other Conservative Members make is to assume that the provision of nursery education in particular should be geared to children who come from deprived areas. Nothing can be less stimulating for a young child than to have a crowd of deprived children all put together. That does not stimulate children. They are stimulated by mixing social classes and social groups and by making similar provision for all of them.
§ Mr. Raison
Surely charging fees would be a good way of ensuring that. Obviously those paying fees would be the better-off ones and the poorer children would not have to pay fees. They could then be mixed happily together, which is what the hon. Lady advocates.
§ Miss Lestor
The mistake that the hon. Gentleman makes is that, if one goes to a nursery school, one does not pay anything. However, if one is availing oneself of some of the other provisions made such as day nurseries, playgroups or whatever, one has to pay. Many of those forced to pay are people who cannot afford to do so. In a sense, we have things the wrong way round. I believe that the facility should be free and available for all and it should be a mixed facility.
This is where I quarrel with the spokesman from the Liberal party, or whatever it is called now. We have talked about pre-school facilities. This is a Bill about education, not social services. Pre-school facilities include a large number of facilities which, as the right hon. Member for Aylesbury said, were commented upon in the Plowden report. It includes playgroups and all sorts of other things.
§ Miss Lestor
I will not give way at the moment.
I recently spent a happy day in a nursery centre in my constituency in Winton, in Eccles. It is a nursery centre funded by social services and the Department of Education and Science. I still list in "Who's Who" that one of my occupations and amusements is playing with children. There is nothing more relaxing than playing with children.
Centres which include day care and education under one umbrella and which offer a flexible day from 8 o'clock in the morning until 6 o'clock in the evening catering for the needs of a variety of children from different social backgrounds offer the way forward. There are all sorts of other facilities such as the voluntary sector, the private sector and child minders, which I believe we have to look at again in more detail, but that is not the subject of this. Bill. We need to co-ordinate our services.
We have gross housing problems in this country for a large number of our children. Many children lack any form of play space. Many children are in high-rise flats or 279 in accommodation provided for the homeless. Last year, child abuse emerged as a significant problem in child care. In the 1960s, we talked about the battered baby syndrome. Many people, including some who were in the House at that time, did not believe that it existed. "Not in our country," they said. Then we talked about non-accidental injury, which is what the battered baby syndrome became. Now we know to our cost that child abuse of various kinds is widespread in this country.
I have always believed that one of the safeguards for parents under stress and one of the ways by which to detect when young children are being mistreated is to put them in regular daily contact with trained expert people from outside the family who can monitor their progress. Many of the tragedies over the past years could have been avoided if people who had been trained to spot child abuse had been able to look after our young children.
Deprived children suffer from delayed development, expression and so on. But I do not want any hon. Member to believe that middle-class children cannot be deprived in many other ways. I have met them and their over-anxious parents, who have told me—it seems only yesterday that I was doing this work—that their children do not need to play because they want to read; or that their children do not like percussion because they like Beethoven. They were children of two or three years of age, living in homes in which one would have assumed there was no need for pre-school education, because they fitted into a stereotype of what many people believe we should aim at for our children. So it is not only children who are in need for whom pre-school education is important.
In circumstances in which there is deprivation and in which parents suffer tremendous stress because of tensions between them, poor diet, poor cooking facilities and— sometimes — homelessness, pre-school education is essential.
I mentioned language development and the social acclimatisation of all our children. Education is basically about curiosity. Education is about harnessing a child's curiosity and offering it the stimulation and facilities to express that curiosity and learn from it. The child is at its most curious roughly between the ages of two and five. If we miss out on those years and do not provide the stimulation and facilities to use that curiosity and translate it into the correct attitude to learning, we can never retrieve them. That is the tragedy of the past 20 years.
§ Mr. Dunn
The tune is well worth playing on many occasions, but I do not like it.
This has been an interesting debate and I fully recognise the contribution made to it by hon. Members on all sides. Opposition Members rarely paid tribute to voluntary sector activity in pre-school education. They did not welcome the growth of playgroup provision in this country 280 in that sector, which complements and supports that provided by local education authorities and other local agencies.
I enjoyed the frisson that passed between the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Ashdown) and the Opposition during his destructive analysis of Labour's new clauses. I often wonder what might happen if a time came when the interests of their respective parties had to coalesce, as in the past. Would this be remembered or forgotten in the sweet joy of spring?
My right hon. Friend the Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Raison) made a telling speech, which I welcomed. He paid tribute to the work of the voluntary sector—
§ Mr. Dunn
My right hon. Friend referred to the importance of financial resources and of the cost. We have heard a great deal tonight about the need for more public expenditure on this or that aspect of educational provision, but rarely have we heard anything about how the money is to be found. Something was said about the Chancellor finding more money from other sources, but we did not hear about the constant advice given to local authorities—that if they wish to spend more money on pre-school provision they can do so by making savings in other areas, such as school caretaking, cleaning and the vexed area of administration.
The hon. Member for Eccles (Miss Lestor), whom I welcome back after her translation from Slough, made an important speech in which she mapped out the developments that have taken place—or not, in her view —since her time at the Department of Education and Science 20 years ago. I agree with her that the quality of provision is undoubtedly much better today than in 1968, and I shall return to the point about quantity later.
The effect of new clause 3 will be to repeal section 24 of the Education Act 1980, under which local education authorities have a power, but not a duty, to provide nursery schools in classes and education for children below compulsory school age. The hon. Member for Yeovil was right : the new clause would place, instead, a duty on local education authorities to provide nursery education and pre-school facilities for all children below compulsory school age whose parents desired that. Earlier in the debate there was an exchange about the numbers who might present themselves at the doors of institutions provided by local authorities and demand access on the basis of this clause.
Opposition Members spoke of the 1972 White Paper entitled "Framework for Expansion". It endorsed a number of the points made tonight, and set a target for the expansion of nursery education over the decade that followed the White Paper. I must remind the House that Labour Governments were in power between 1964 and 1970, and again between 1974 and 1979. At that time there was no material impact on the trend of numbers—
§ Mr. Dunn
It is amazing how Opposition Members will not let me make my point. They must concede that the objectives were abandoned in practice, if not formally, during the Labour Government of 1974 to 1979. I seek honesty and candour from Opposition Members about this point. If they agreed that I was right about it, our debate would be the better for it.
§ Mr. Dunn
I have quoted no figures, so how can they be rubbish? I am, however, about to do so.
The Government recognise the benefits of school and other collective experience for children under the age of five. Our view is clear : it would be wholly misconceived to impose a general duty of this sort on local educational authorities. As my right hon. Friend the Member for Aylesbury said, publicly funded education for the under-fives, important and desirable though it is, must compete with other educational needs and sectors for the finite resources that are available.
Government policy since 1980 has been and remains, first, to preserve the discretionary basis on which education for the under-fives is provided by local authorities; secondly, to maintain level funding of this sector in real terms; and thirdly, to encourage local flexibility and diversity and maximum consumer choice.
§ Mr. Dunn
Sit down. I am coming to the matter of provision, if the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) will wait one moment.
The success of our policies can be measured in a number of ways. The Opposition will attach most importance to the figures for publicly funded educational provision. Since 1979, the proportion of four-year-olds in primary or nursery classes has risen from about 55 per cent. to about 74 per cent. If rising-fives were counted in, the proportion would be almost 90 per cent.
In addition — these are the figures for which the Opposition are waiting; they cannot wait to write them down and rush back to their constituencies to spread the good news—an estimated 750,000 children, equivalent to 60 per cent. of three and four-year-olds, now go to playgroups and others attend local authority or privately provided day nurseries or independent nursery schools. This diversity and choice are some of the strengths of our current arrangements. They would clearly be undermined if a duty were placed on local education authorities.
I have paid tribute to the work of the playgroup movement. I was delighted that my Department was able to double the grant made to the Pre-School Playgroups Association in the coming financial year, which at £150,000 will be double that for 1986–87. I pay tribute to the voluntary sector and to the work that takes place, but we must not accept these new clauses. They are an attack on the discretion of local education authorities.
The Opposition chose to chide us in Committee on how we were taking powers from local authorities but when we propose to leave local authorities with the discretionary power, the Opposition want to take that power away—[Interruption.]—from local authorities. The case speaks for itself.
Mrs. Clwyd: Despite the Minister's kind greetings for my birthday yesterday, I am sorry that he did not take this subject as seriously as I had hoped. Labour Members 282 know that there is gross under-funding and enormous and unjustified local variations in nursery and child care provision for the under-fives, and we believe that something should be done about it.
It is clear that some authorities—mainly Labour—have taken their responsibilities seriously, even though they have been severely restrained by the Government in funding cuts. We all know that central Government have cut education funding and that local authorities have made up the shortfall and looked after education. Others —mainly Tory authorities—do not care. In some areas there are no day nursery places, and in others there is no pre-school education. The general picture is of neglect and insensitivity to the needs of the young. That is why it is incredible that the Liberal party should indulge in petty carping over the wording of the new clauses instead of supporting and welcoming the expansion of pre-school education.
We pay tribute, as we have always done, to the voluntary sector. Unlike the Government, we believe that the primary responsibility for funding and developing preschool education lies with the Government. The money is there, and again it is a matter of priorities. The demand for pre-school provision and day care has never been higher. The educational benefits of pre-school experience have never been better demonstrated, but the Government do not want to know.
Far too many children start school without a reasonable command of language, without having had their imaginations stretched or their physical skills extended. Learning to socialise with other children at this formative age can be of enormous benefit. Depriving children of these benefits because of inadequate provision and high private charges can be an unnecessary handicap to child's development. Investment in the future of the young and the very young is at the core of our policies. It is clear that many authorities, especially Labour authorities, have taken their responsibilities seriously. We care, and these new clauses are part of our fight to ensure a better future for all our children. I ask my hon. Friends to support new clause 3.
§ It being fifteen minutes to Nine o'clock, MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER proceeded, pursuant the Orders 1 and 17 February] and the resolution this day, to put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair.
§ Question put, That the clause be read a Second time:—
§ The House divided: Ayes 204, Noes 261.285
|Division No. 225]||[8.45 pm|
|Abbott, Ms Diane||Blair, Tony|
|Adams, Allen (Paisley N)||Boyes, Roland|
|Allen, Graham||Bradley, Keith|
|Archer, Rt Hon Peter||Brown, Gordon (D'mline E)|
|Armstrong, Hilary||Brown, Nicholas (Newcastle E)|
|Ashdown, Paddy||Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)|
|Ashley, Rt Hon Jack||Buchan, Norman|
|Ashton, Joe||Callaghan, Jim|
|Banks, Tony (Newham NW)||Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)|
|Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE)||Campbell, Ron (Blyth Valley)|
|Barnes, Mrs Rosie (Greenwich)||Campbell-Savours, D. N.|
|Barron, Kevin||Canavan, Dennis|
|Beckett, Margaret||Carlile, Alex (Mont'g)|
|Bell, Stuart||Cartwright, John|
|Benn, Rt Hon Tony||Clark, Dr David (S Shields)|
|Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & R'dish)||Clarke, Tom (Monklands W)|
|Bermingham, Gerald||Clay, Bob|
|Bidwell, Sydney||Clelland, David|
|Clwyd, Mrs Ann||Lewis, Terry|
|Cohen, Harry||Livingstone, Ken|
|Cook, Frank (Stockton N)||Livsey, Richard|
|Cook, Robin (Livingston)||Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)|
|Corbett, Robin||McAllion, John|
|Corbyn, Jeremy||McAvoy, Thomas|
|Cousins, Jim||McCartney, Ian|
|Cox, Tom||Macdonald, Calum A.|
|Crowther, Stan||McFall, John|
|Cryer, Bob||McKay, Allen (Barnsley West)|
|Cummings, John||McKelvey, William|
|Cunliffe, Lawrence||McLeish, Henry|
|Dalyell, Tarn||McTaggart, Bob|
|Darling, Alistair||McWilliam, John|
|Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)||Madden, Max|
|Davis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H'I)||Mahon, Mrs Alice|
|Dewar, Donald||Marek, Dr John|
|Dixon, Don||Marshall, David (Shettleston)|
|Dobson, Frank||Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)|
|Doran, Frank||Martin, Michael J. (Springburn)|
|Douglas, Dick||Maxton, John|
|Duffy, A. E. P.||Meacher, Michael|
|Dunnachie, Jimmy||Michael, Alun|
|Dunwoody, Hon Mrs Gwyneth||Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)|
|Eadie, Alexander||Michie, Mrs Ray (Arg'l & Bute)|
|Eastham, Ken||Millan, Rt Hon Bruce|
|Evans, John (St Helens N)||Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby)|
|Ewing, Harry (Falkirk E)||Moonie, Dr Lewis|
|Ewing, Mrs Margaret (Moray)||Morgan, Rhodri|
|Fatchett, Derek||Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)|
|Faulds, Andrew||Mowlam, Marjorie|
|Fearn, Ronald||Mullin, Chris|
|Field, Frank (Birkenhead)||Murphy, Paul|
|Fields, Terry (L'pool B G'n)||Nellist, Dave|
|Fisher, Mark||Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon|
|Flannery, Martin||O'Brien, William|
|Flynn, Paul||O'Neill, Martin|
|Foot, Rt Hon Michael||Orme, Rt Hon Stanley|
|Foster, Derek||Patchett, Terry|
|Fraser, John||Pendry, Tom|
|Fyfe, Maria||Pike, Peter L.|
|Galbraith, Sam||Powell, Ray (Ogmore)|
|Galloway, George||Primarolo, Dawn|
|Garrett, John (Norwich South)||Quin, Ms Joyce|
|Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John||Randall, Stuart|
|Godman, Dr Norman A.||Redmond, Martin|
|Golding, Mrs Llin||Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn|
|Gordon, Mildred||Reid, Dr John|
|Gould, Bryan||Richardson, Jo|
|Graham, Thomas||Robertson, George|
|Grant, Bernie (Tottenham)||Rogers, Allan|
|Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)||Rooker, Jeff|
|Grocott, Bruce||Rowlands, Ted|
|Haynes, Frank||Ruddock, Joan|
|Healey, Rt Hon Denis||Salmond, Alex|
|Heffer, Eric S.||Sedgemore, Brian|
|Henderson, Doug||Sheerman, Barry|
|Hinchliffe, David||Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert|
|Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)||Shore, Rt Hon Peter|
|Holland, Stuart||Skinner, Dennis|
|Home Robertson, John||Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)|
|Howarth, George (Knowsley N)||Smith, C. (Isl'ton & F'bury)|
|Howell, Rt Hon D. (S'heath)||Smith, Rt Hon J. (Monk'ds E)|
|Howells, Geraint||Steel, Rt Hon David|
|Hoyle, Doug||Steinberg, Gerry|
|Hughes, John (Coventry NE)||Stott, Roger|
|Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)||Strang, Gavin|
|Hughes, Roy (Newport E)||Straw, Jack|
|Hughes, Sean (Knowsley S)||Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)|
|Hughes, Simon (Southwark)||Taylor, Matthew (Truro)|
|Illsley, Eric||Thomas, Dr Dafydd Elis|
|Janner, Greville||Thompson, Jack (Wansbeck)|
|John, Brynmor||Turner, Dennis|
|Jones, Barry (Alyn Deeside)||Vaz, Keith|
|Jones, leuan (Ynys Môn)||Wall, Pat|
|Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald||Wallace, James|
|Kennedy, Charles||Walley, Joan|
|Kirkwood, Archy||Wardell, Gareth (Gower)|
|Leadbitter, Ted||Wareing, Robert N.|
|Lestor, Joan (Eccles)||Welsh, Andrew (Angus E)|
|Welsh, Michael (Doncaster N)||Wise, Mrs Audrey|
|Wigley, Dafydd||Young, David (Bolton SE)|
|Williams, Rt Hon Alan|
|Williams, Alan W. (Carm'then)||Tellers for the Ayes:|
|Wilson, Brian||Mr. Adam Ingram and|
|Winnick, David||Mr. Nigel Griffiths.|
|Adley, Robert||Dunn, Bob|
|Aitken, Jonathan||Durant, Tony|
|Alexander, Richard||Emery, Sir Peter|
|Alison, Rt Hon Michael||Evans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd)|
|Allason, Rupert||Evennett, David|
|Amess, David||Fallon, Michael|
|Amos, Alan||Favell, Tony|
|Arbuthnot, James||Fenner, Dame Peggy|
|Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)||Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)|
|Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove)||Forman, Nigel|
|Ashby, David||Forsyth, Michael (Stirling)|
|Aspinwall, Jack||Forth, Eric|
|Atkins, Robert||Fowler, Rt Hon Norman|
|Baker, Rt Hon K. (Mole Valley)||Fox, Sir Marcus|
|Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N)||Franks, Cecil|
|Baldry, Tony||French, Douglas|
|Batiste, Spencer||Fry, Peter|
|Beaumont-Dark, Anthony||Gale, Roger|
|Bellingham, Henry||Gardiner, George|
|Bendall, Vivian||Garel-Jones, Tristan|
|Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)||Gill, Christopher|
|Benyon, W.||Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian|
|Bevan, David Gilroy||Glyn, Dr Alan|
|Biffen, Rt Hon John||Goodlad, Alastair|
|Biggs-Davison, Sir John||Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles|
|Blackburn, Dr John G.||Gorman, Mrs Teresa|
|Blaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter||Grant, Sir Anthony (CambsSW)|
|Boscawen, Hon Robert||Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)|
|Bottomley, Mrs Virginia||Grist, Ian|
|Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)||Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)|
|Bowis, John||Harris, David|
|Boyson, Rt Hon Dr Sir Rhodes||Hawkins, Christopher|
|Braine, Rt Hon Sir Bernard||Hicks, Mrs Maureen (Wolv'NE)|
|Brandon-Bravo, Martin||Holt, Richard|
|Brazier, Julian||Howard, Michael|
|Bright, Graham||Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)|
|Brittan, Rt Hon Leon||Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)|
|Brooke, Rt Hon Peter||Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)|
|Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's)||Hunt, David (Wirral W)|
|Bruce, Ian (Dorset South)||Hunter, Andrew|
|Buchanan-Smith, Rt Hon Alick||Irvine, Michael|
|Budgen, Nicholas||Jack, Michael|
|Burns, Simon||Jackson, Robert|
|Burt, Alistair||Janman, Tim|
|Butcher, John||Jones, Robert B (Herts W)|
|Butler, Chris||Kilfedder, James|
|Butterfill, John||King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)|
|Carlisle, John, (Luton N)||Knapman, Roger|
|Carrington, Matthew||Knight, Greg (Derby North)|
|Carttiss, Michael||Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston)|
|Cash, William||Knowles, Michael|
|Chalker, Rt Hon Mrs Lynda||Knox, David|
|Chapman, Sydney||Lamont, Rt Hon Norman|
|Chope, Christopher||Lang, Ian|
|Churchill, Mr||Latham, Michael|
|Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)||Lawrence, Ivan|
|Clarke, Rt Hon K. (Rushcliffe)||Lee, John (Pendle)|
|Colvin, Michael||Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)|
|Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)||Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark|
|Cormack, Patrick||Lester, Jim (Broxtowe)|
|Couchman, James||Lilley, Peter|
|Cran, James||Lloyd, Sir Ian (Havant)|
|Currie, Mrs Edwina||Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)|
|Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)||Lord, Michael|
|Davis, David (Boothferry)||Lyell, Sir Nicholas|
|Day, Stephen||Macfarlane, Sir Neil|
|Devlin, Tim||MacGregor, Rt Hon John|
|Dickens, Geoffrey||MacKay, Andrew (E Berkshire)|
|Dicks, Terry||Maclean, David|
|Dorrell, Stephen||McLoughlin, Patrick|
|Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James||McNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury)|
|Dover, Den||McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest)|
|Madel, David||Shaw, David (Dover)|
|Major, Rt Hon John||Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)|
|Malins, Humfrey||Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')|
|Mans, Keith||Shelton, William (Streatham)|
|Maples, John||Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)|
|Marland, Paul||Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)|
|Marshall, John (Hendon S)||Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)|
|Marshall, Michael (Arundel)||Shersby, Michael|
|Martin, David (Portsmouth S)||Sims, Roger|
|Maude, Hon Francis||Skeet, Sir Trevor|
|Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin||Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)|
|Miller, Hal||Speed, Keith|
|Mills, Iain||Speller, Tony|
|Miscampbell, Norman||Spicer, Sir Jim (Dorset W)|
|Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)||Spicer, Michael (S Worcs)|
|Mitchell, David (Hants NW)||Stanbrook, Ivor|
|Moate, Roger||Steen, Anthony|
|Monro, Sir Hector||Stern, Michael|
|Montgomery, Sir Fergus||Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)|
|Moore, Rt Hon John||Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)|
|Morris, M (N'hampton S)||Stokes, John|
|Morrison, Hon P (Chester)||Stradling Thomas, Sir John|
|Moss, Malcolm||Sumberg, David|
|Moynihan, Hon Colin||Taylor, Ian (Esher)|
|Neale, Gerrard||Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)|
|Nelson, Anthony||Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman|
|Neubert, Michael||Temple-Morris, Peter|
|Newton, Rt Hon Tony||Thompson, D. (Calder Valley)|
|Nicholls, Patrick||Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)|
|Nicholson, David (Taunton)||Thorne, Neil|
|Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)||Thornton, Malcolm|
|Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley||Thurnham, Peter|
|Oppenheim, Phillip||Townend, John (Bridlington)|
|Page, Richard||Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)|
|Patnick, Irvine||Tracey, Richard|
|Patten, John (Oxford W)||Tredinnick, David|
|Pawsey, James||Trippier, David|
|Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth||Trotter, Neville|
|Porter, Barry (Wirral S)||Twinn, Dr Ian|
|Porter, David (Waveney)||Vaughan, Sir Gerard|
|Portillo, Michael||Waddington, Rt Hon David|
|Powell, William (Corby)||Wakeham, Rt Hon John|
|Price, Sir David||Walden, George|
|Raison, Rt Hon Timothy||Walker, Bill (T'side North)|
|Rathbone, Tim||Waller, Gary|
|Redwood, John||Walters, Dennis|
|Renton, Tim||Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)|
|Rhodes James, Robert||Watts, John|
|Riddick, Graham||Whitney, Ray|
|Ridsdale, Sir Julian||Widdecombe, Ann|
|Rifkind, Rt Hon Malcolm||Wilkinson, John|
|Roberts, Wyn (Conwy)||Wilshire, David|
|Roe, Mrs Marion||Wolfson, Mark|
|Rost, Peter||Wood, Timothy|
|Rowe, Andrew||Woodcock, Mike|
|Rumbold, Mrs Angela||Yeo, Tim|
|Ryder, Richard||Young, Sir George (Acton)|
|Sackville, Hon Tom|
|Sainsbury, Hon Tim||Tellers for the Noes:|
|Sayeed, Jonathan||Mr. David Lightbown and|
|Scott, Nicholas||Mr. Kenneth Carlisle.|
§ Question accordingly negatived.