HL Deb 30 June 1998 vol 591 cc611-34

8.35 p.m.

Consideration of amendments on Report resumed on Clause 10.

[Amendments Nos. 35 to 37 not moved.]

Clause 11 [Establishment of Education Action Forum for zone]:

Baroness Blatch moved Amendment No. 38:

Page 10, line 27, at end insert— ("( ) An Education Action Forum shall be the employer of all teaching and non-teaching staff at all schools within the education action zone.").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, I shall speak also to Amendment No. 39. Amendment No. 38 relates to a management issue. It has always been my view, as borne out by successful management, that responsibility should be as close to the unit of operation as possible. Therefore, if there is such a thing as an action forum, it should have some of the levers of the control. One of the levers of control of course is control over staffing.

I am aware from the previous debate that some of the control over staffing will be those members of staff who are appointed on contract for the period of the action zone, presumably for three or five years. If they do not have control over staffing then they do not have control over one of the key factors in improving education. A factor in improving education is often sorting out the quality of the staff and ensuring that only staff of the highest quality are available to teach in an area that is especially challenging. That is the whole idea of action zones. They are to tackle failing education, failing LEAs and often failing schools. It is important that that should be the case.

Amendment No. 39 is tabled because the noble Lord, Lord Whitty, made a generous response to my noble friend Lord Skidelsky when he brought up this point in Committee. The noble Lord, Lord Whitty, appeared to be worried about the terminology. He explained that he was sympathetic and said: It may be that that is something which will be covered by the regulations and I shall think about that proposition. However, I am not sure that we want to start hares running by suggesting a new approach which would mean that an individual school could be treated separately from the whole action zone". The noble Lord, Lord Whitty said that in relation to a school: Although it will remain accountable in that it must fulfil its contract, it will be separate from the overall structure of the education action zone. Perhaps there is some terminology that is half-way between us, but the concept of leasing out gives the impression of not simply an arm's length relationship of the kind to which the noble Baroness referred but one in which the school is treated completely outside the education action zone where we want to see a mutually supportive system between all the schools in the zone". My noble friend asked: If there is some terminology that is half-way between us, why do the Government believe that it is not appropriate to put it on the face of the Bill?".—[Official Report, 19/5/98; col. 1599.] The impression given by the noble Lord, Lord Whitty, was that he would reflect on that matter. My noble friend ended by welcoming the Minister's assurance that he would reflect on the matter and possibly go half-way somewhere in the Bill to meet the arguments which my noble friends and I have been putting forward. With that assurance he begged leave to withdraw the amendment. This amendment is therefore in the vein of what appeared to be a very accommodating answer and a genuine willingness on the part of the Government to address the problem.

Referring to a point I made earlier, it is now common knowledge outside the Department for Education and Employment that Mr. Byers wants to see a tackling of individual schools where the challenges have eluded many well-intentioned educationalists in the past. There are some innovative, exciting and interesting ideas around and he has expressed a wish to be free to pursue some of them.

Amendment No. 39—it was Amendment No. 64 at Committee stage—suggests that a way should be found to facilitate such an eventuality. It might be through leasing from the action zone, where the forum believes there is a school with specifically defined problems which could be contracted out to a body which could address those problems effectively, fully accountable to the action forum. It seems to me that we are all talking about means to ends. If that improves education in a school which has hitherto failed, then it is worth trying.

We understand that the Minister in another place is receptive to these ideas; and we want to make it possible for him to pursue them over the coming years. I beg to move.

The Lord Bishop of Ripon

My Lords, I believe education action zones to be an innovative and exciting feature of this Bill, and I was most interested in the remarks of the noble Lord, Lord Taylor of Blackburn.

I have had some experience as chairman of a Leeds project working with an inner city group of schools, a pyramid of schools—high schools and feeder primaries. We have been working together with local businesses to raise standards. The local businesses have included such bodies as Marks & Spencer, British Gas, GE Capital and many others. Our experience has been that partnership with the local community is of enormous importance. I very much hope that that will be part of the feature of the education action zones. It is also entirely right that groups of schools should work together. Our great difficulty in Leeds was that there was no statutory exemption. That is why this initiative is of such importance. We also found a little difficulty in working closely with the local education authority. While I appreciate what the noble Baroness, Lady Maddock, said about local democracy, at times local democracy and local initiative need to learn to work together. In my experience that has not always been the case, both in relation to education and in relation to other issues.

I wish to raise this point with regard to Church schools. I very much hope Church schools will be involved in education action zones. I do not presently have information about whether any of them have been included in the zones already designated, but I take it that there will almost certainly be such schools. If they are aided schools then there is a problem in relation to the employment of staff. Church schools are in some cases committed to the inner city; this is because of the Church's belief that we need to be in such areas and working on behalf of those who live in them. The ambience and ethos of a Church school, however, is to some extent maintained by the power of the governing body as employers to employ staff. Were this amendment to be passed, as I understand it the right of employment would fall to the Education Action Forum. That would create a very considerable difficulty for Church-aided schools.

At Committee stage we passed an amendment to Clause 60 which strengthened the power of governing bodies to appoint to voluntary-aided schools those people whose religious opinions were in accordance with the tenets of the religion or religious denomination, together with a number of other specifications. If the employment power were to be removed from the governing body and placed with the Education Action Forum it would raise considerable difficulties for Church schools and Church governing bodies. It would undermine their power to contribute creatively to education action zones. I would therefore wish to resist this particular amendment at this stage.

8.45 p.m.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey

My Lords, I apologise that I am responding to this amendment, and not my noble friend Lord Whitty; we have two pinch-hitters instead of the original protagonists on Amendment No. 39. I shall do my best, however, and I shall respond to Amendment No. 39 in a rather different tone than to Amendment No. 38.

Amendment No. 38 is an amendment which we firmly resist, as we did at Committee stage. We are surprised that the noble Baroness has brought it back again. It means that the governing body of any school entering an education action zone automatically loses powers over employment. In introducing the amendment, the noble Baroness said that the intention is to remove employment powers from the local authority and to pass them on to the forum; but that is not what the school framework is, and we discussed that at Committee stage. The governing bodies and not the local authorities have the power over staffing functions. As the right reverend Prelate rightly pointed out, this means that the governors of voluntary-aided schools, and the Church voluntary-aided schools to which he referred, would automatically lose all of their say over staffing matters. I should be surprised if the representatives of governing bodies in all types of schools would welcome this amendment. The governors might believe that the task is so difficult, that governors are in such short supply, that it is in the interests of the children in the school for the forum to take over the governing body's role; in other words, to take over the staffing functions. If that is the case, then there is provision for it to happen. Provision in Clause 12(2)(b) allows the governors to cede their employment powers to the forum. But that is an option, not a requirement; and we believe it is right that it should be an option.

Perhaps I may come back to the helpful point made by the right reverend Prelate. We were asked whether there are any Church schools in the education action zones. We have not finished doing the counting yet but, when we have done that, on Friday of this week we shall put a full list in the Library of the House. It will be available and I shall make sure that the right reverend Prelate, in his capacity as a chairman, receives a copy.

Our response to Amendment No. 38 is therefore very definite. It is important that it should be an option and not a requirement to cede staffing powers; otherwise it would not be the LEAs who would lose their powers but the governing bodies, and that cannot he desirable.

On Amendment No. 39 the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch, is right. My noble friend was sympathetic to the objectives of the noble Lord, Lord Skidelsky, when he introduced this amendment in Committee. Incidentally, we understand that the noble Lord, Lord Skidelsky, has to get back to writing volume three of his magnificent biography of Keynes. He has, as far as we are concerned, full leave of absence from the House for that most important purpose. When the provision was introduced, my noble friend said that he would consider it carefully and see what commonality existed between the intent of the amendment and the Bill as it now stands. We have done that and we hope that the result will be helpful, although it has not resulted in a government amendment.

The Government support the idea that, for a failing school, a range of strategies should be available to turn that school round. They should be available in the first instance to governing bodies, but if the governing body does not take action of its own accord they should also be available to others, including, in some circumstances, education action forums.

I wish to clarify the position, first, outside education action zones and then to deal with what can happen within them. We have asked a number of consultants to draw up specifications for ways of turning around failing schools. We expect to see models which range from simple packages to improve the curriculum, management systems or staff training right through to models which allow a third party to be involved more directly in the running of the school; perhaps "an approved educational body", in the words of the amendment. The key in the models we are exploring is that accountability to parents, pupils and the Government remains with the governing body or the local authority if delegation is withdrawn. As to how that would work in an education action zone, the options that I have described would still be available. In addition, as I said in response to Amendment No. 38, the governing body could cede its powers to the forum which could then pursue its own strategy to turn around the school. This could include buying in third party help. Where powers have been ceded to the forum it would be accountable to its community and to the Government.

In terms of the amendment, while I realise its intention I am not sure that its effects would be clear. Most schools in most education action zones will not in any case be managed by the forum but by the governing bodies, so the forum would have no power to lease them out to third party managers. Where governing bodies' powers as regards the management of schools are ceded to the forum, schools would naturally expect the forum to take on the responsibility of management along with the powers. After all, it is on the forum and not the approved third party that they are represented.

Finally, where a third party can offer services which would be helpful to zoned schools, failing or otherwise, the forum can already purchase those services from education action zones' funds but without cutting any school off from the partnership structure which the zone was set up to encourage. We have made it clear that we will not tolerate failure without improvement. I hope that it is also clear that we take the issue of failing schools very seriously, whether they are within or outside an education action zone. The amendment before us relates only to schools within an education action zone. In view of the wide-ranging list of strategies that I have outlined, I hope that the noble Baroness will not move her amendment in due course.

Baroness Blatch

My Lords, that was an interesting answer. I gather that almost everything in my amendment can be achieved. I understand that a school can be leased to a third party which could be a private organisation made accountable to the action forum. That would apply if schools within the education action zone have ceded their powers to the forum. Alternatively, if the schools have decided to keep their powers, acting collectively, they could lease out to a private third party.

This is an important issue and I was cheered by that answer. However, I should be grateful if the Minister would point me to the powers in the Bill which allow that to happen. I have not seen them. Where is the power in the Bill which will achieve my amendment? Where are the powers to lease out a school which is failing with a properly defined contract accountable to the education action forum and funded under contract to the forum?

Lord McIntosh of Haringey

My Lords, the provisions are not on the face of the Bill. They will be provided for in the regulations, in particular under Clause 12(3) which contains the various provisions for regulatory powers. They are not and cannot be spelt out in detail on the face of the Bill.

Baroness Blatch

My Lords, I will look at subsection (3) again. The noble Lord is saying that the regulations contain a power to contract out to a third party which could be wholly private, even commercial. A defined set of criteria will be set out by the education action forum, or collectively by the governing bodies, to turn the school around. Perhaps the Minister will confirm that because I have looked at the provisions carefully and I do not interpret that power.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey

My Lords, at the risk of offending against the rules on Report, the amendment uses the word "leased". We do not and would not use that word because we do not believe it to be appropriate. However, it is possible for the management of a school under the regulations provided for in Clause 12 to be delegated in the way which the amendment intends. New legislation is not required.

Baroness Blatch

My Lords, I am re-reading subsection (3), which is linked to subsection (2). I should be grateful if the Minister could write to me telling me specifically how the provision will work. If that is the case it is good news, but it is not the understanding of some of the individuals and companies who have seen the Minister and requested involvement in single schools in order to turn them around. It would be helpful to have that spelt out.

Subsection (3)(a) states: as to the circumstances in which the governing body of a participating school may make arrangements under subsection (2)". Subsection (2) is about discharging the function on behalf of the governing body. It does not use the word "leased", but it does not go as far as contracting out. There is nothing about the conditions under which it contracts out. There is nothing to say whether profits can be made. My understanding is that unequivocally the statement has been made by Ministers in this House and in another place that profits cannot be made in this way. Subsection (3)(b) states: for the procedure to be followed by such a governing body in connection with the making of any such arrangements". Subsection (3)(c) states: for the procedure to be followed by an Education Action Forum when discharging any function by virtue of that subsection". I find it difficult to find the powers in the Bill and it would be helpful to have that properly spelt out.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey

My Lords, I can do slightly better than writing to the noble Baroness. Again, I apologise for any breach of Report procedures. As the noble Baroness has recognised, Clause 12(2)(b) means that the forum may assume responsibility for the discharge of functions. Schedule 1, paragraph 1, means that the forum can do anything incidental to the carrying out of its functions. I was speaking of those powers. I will gladly write to the noble Baroness, too.

Baroness Blatch

My Lords, not only would I like the noble Lord to write to me, but I would like to know what he means by "anything". Can schools be hived off into the private sector never to return again? Is the noble Lord saying that there is a power for them to do anything without any procedures whatever for parents and governors to be formally consulted and formally to take a view about whether that is what they want for their school and their children?

I turn to Amendment No. 38. Again, I have received another incredibly technical letter from the department explaining who employs teachers. I understand that the local authority employs the teachers. I realise that that does not apply to voluntary-aided schools. The noble Lord said that any school could cede its powers. It would be its decision to do so if the governors ceded them to the education action forum. However, they cannot cede the employment of the teachers. They may be able to see the day-to-day management of teachers or through procedures set out in the Bill disapply pay and conditions, but not the employment of the teachers. I understand from the letter that at the end of the day the local authority remain the employers. I was trying to break that link so that as regards an important issue relating to the management of the quality of teachers they should have full authority and not have to negotiate through a local education authority.

The noble Lord has promised to write to me with further clarification and to couple that with an explanation of what "any" action means. Perhaps he will tell me what are the limits of the power. I remember when I sat where the noble Lord now sits. If I had advocated that a Secretary of State under secondary legislation, not even primary legislation, would be given the power to do anything whatever, the noble Lord would have been first to say that the limits of those powers should be defined.

9 p.m.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey

My Lords, the noble Baroness must look at Schedule 1 because it states: An Education Action Forum may, subject to sub-paragraph (2)", which is concerned with the power to borrow money, do anything which is calculated to facilitate, or is incidental or conducive to, the carrying out of any of its functions". If that is not adequate for the noble Baroness, I shall write to her about it.

Baroness Blatch

My Lords, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 39 not moved.]

Clause 13 [Disapplication of pay and conditions order in relation to teachers at participating schools]:

Baroness Blatch moved Amendment No. 40:

Page 11, line 35, leave out ("For") and insert ("After").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, we have dealt with this issue before. However, it caused disconsolation because the Government are not even prepared to consider the possibility of allowing the 1991 Act to stay in play to allow existing schools to disapply those conditions, irrespective of how many use that provision now. That is one rather barren argument that was used by the Government. Nevertheless, the schools which use that disapplication procedure do so to effect and believe it is very important. I should mention in that context the Oratory School. Its wings will be clipped by the measures contained in this Bill.

I make no secret of the fact—and the Minister will not be surprised—that I believe that grant-maintained schools should remain part of the diverse provision available to parents and the community. However, my amendments are not dependent on that. I believe that the disapplication facility which is to be made available to education action zones should be made available more widely, with perhaps a system in place for approving the application of a school which wishes to disapply the provisions in relation to pay and conditions of service. I beg to move.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey

My Lords, I well recall that this is an issue which caused some difficult debate in Committee. I hope that by my reply I can help us through that debate.

We argue that the pay and conditions opt-out was not used widely when it was available to individual schools. In fact, as the noble Baroness was almost good enough to remind us, it applied to only two schools under the grant-maintained system. We argue that education action zones are areas for experimentation, but the noble Baroness argues implicitly that because GM schools are already doing that it is not an experiment.

A key part of our philosophy on education action zones is that they are areas which allow experimentation beyond the norm allowed in the rest of the sector. That means that although the system we have created for the school sector works in general, there will always be some areas which need additional support and flexibility to meet the same demanding standards. Therefore, we are determined to make sure that the teachers pay and conditions document is appropriate for schools elsewhere.

We have added considerable flexibility. We have added the possibility of advanced skill teachers, which are an extremely exciting prospect. After this year all schools will be able to take advantage of advanced skill teachers. They do not need to opt-out. There are two exceptions; namely, those two schools which opted out of the document under the previous administration. We do not wish to cause undue disturbance to the way those schools run by putting them back inside the document.

However, in zones, however good the current system, we want schools to have the opportunity to look ahead and experiment further because of the particular challenges they face. That is why the opt-out is appropriate in zones and almost always, with those two exceptions, inappropriate outside them. Therefore, I hope that the noble Baroness will not press this amendment.

Baroness Blatch

My Lords, I am deeply disappointed by that answer, as I was in Committee. There seems to me to be the most incredible irony. Education action zones are being established to deal with failing LEAs and failing schools. They are designed to put right some of the failures of the past. They will enjoy the freedom of being able to disapply the national curriculum and pay and conditions. I accept that my amendment would apply to only two schools so far, but those schools have more than proven their ability to manage their own affairs. However, they will be denied that freedom. That seems to me to be absurd. It costs the Government absolutely nothing to allow them that freedom. They have merely to agree to place a few words on the face of the Bill.

The Government have repeated an argument which they used before and I dismissed that when I introduced the amendment. They said that the power is not widely used. Why should those two schools lose that facility? What is the argument against my proposition? The Government's argument is absurd and has no intellectual depth whatever.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey

My Lords, they will not lose that facility. I made that clear in my response.

Baroness Blatch

My Lords, as I understand it, that part of the 1991 Act is to be repealed. Is the noble Lord saying that there is to be a bridging provision?

Lord McIntosh of Haringey

My Lords, I am not permitted to go on responding. I am sorry.

Baroness Blatch

My Lords, perhaps the Minister will write to me to tell me what will be the effect of repealing this provision. I should like to know whether it will be possible for any school to avail itself of the disapplication provisions. Under the new provision, which schools will be able to avail themselves of those provisions? I should be grateful if the noble Lord will write to me on that issue. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 41 not moved.]

Clause 15 [Cases where LEA may exercise powers of intervention]:

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 42:

Page 13, line 33, at end insert ("(whether or not the notice is combined with a notice under section 62(3)(c)).").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this is simply a consequential amendment to take account of the amendments made in Committee to Clause 62. We brought forward these amendments to Clause 62 to allow an LEA wishing to invoke Clause 62(1) (which gives such authorities reserve powers to prevent a breakdown in discipline) as well as one or both of Clauses 16 and 17 to do so without having to invoke two distinct warning notice procedures: a Clause 15 warning notice in respect of Clauses 16 and 17 and a Clause 62(2) warning notice in respect of Clause 62(1).

Those amendments which were made in Committee will now allow LEAs to make use of these different powers in a flexible way, without having to serve different types of notice, which could be confusing as well as bureaucratic. The amendment now needs to be reflected in Clause 15 and that is what the amendment seeks to achieve. I urge the House to accept it. I beg to move.

Baroness Blatch

My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for that explanation. However, can he tell the House what warning notices will now be given under the new arrangements?

Lord Whitty

My Lords, there will be a single warning notice if one wished to invoke either of those clauses for the action provided under Clause 62 and under Clauses 16 and 17. It is a single warning and one would not have to issue two distinct warnings if there was going to be an intervention.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 18 [Power of Secretary of State to appoint additional governors]:

Baroness Blackstone moved Amendment No. 43:

Page 17, line 21, at end insert— ("( ) Before making any such appointment in relation to a voluntary aided school, the Secretary of State shall consult—

  1. (a) in the case of a Church of England school, a Church in Wales school or a Roman Catholic Church school, the appropriate diocesan authority; or
  2. (b) in any other case, the person who appoints the foundation governors.").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, this amendment responds to the concerns raised in Committee by the right reverend Prelate. We have given further consideration to the points that he made and I am pleased that we have been able to meet his concerns.

The amendment is concerned with the case of a voluntary-aided school which requires special measures and to which the Secretary of State wishes to appoint additional governors. Before doing so, he must consult the relevant diocesan authority for a Church of England, Church in Wales or Roman Catholic school. For any other voluntary-aided school he must consult those entitled to appoint the foundation governors. I beg to move.

The Lord Bishop of Ripon

My Lords, I am most grateful to the Minister. When I moved a similar amendment in Committee I received—dare I say it?—a somewhat dusty answer. I am delighted that this fresh look at the issue has produced such a positive amendment. However. I have to point out to the House that the government amendment is almost word for word the amendment that I tabled at an earlier stage. I was delighted then to withdraw my amendment in favour of a government amendment. I should also point out that I have no amendments left to move at this stage as our concerns have been so thoroughly met. As I said, I am grateful to the noble Baroness.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 20 [New categories of maintained schools]:

Baroness Blatch moved Amendment No. 44:

Page 18, line 34, at end insert— ("( ) grant-maintained schools;

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, we are now dealing with an aspect of the Bill upon which the Minister and I must agree to differ. Nevertheless, it is important for us to put the case for grant-maintained schools.

I said a moment ago that I believe it is important that, among all the other variety of schools, GM schools should remain part of the educational scene. They have proven their worth and have been very successful. No one has advanced an argument against their record. They have enjoyed delegation both operationally and financially and, to my knowledge, they have risen to the challenge very well. Indeed, so much so that the Government have tried to re-invent something akin to GM schools in their stead. However, they have to achieve the same degree of autonomy. Having read the fair funding paper, I believe that there is a great deal left to be done.

Amendment No. 90 is consequential, but Amendment No. 45 relates to democracy. The parents of the children who attend these schools voted for them to become GM schools. It was a choice made by them. They had to overcome a number of hurdles in order to become GM schools. As I have said before, many schools suffered great trauma on the route to becoming grant maintained. In fact, only this week I met with a head teacher who I think may perhaps like to talk to the noble Lord, Lord McIntosh. He could describe exactly what he and his governors went through in the process of becoming grant maintained. I seem to remember the noble Lord challenging me to say whether the police were involved in a certain incident. It was indeed a very unpleasant situation.

Nevertheless, those people fought and won through the system in order to become grant maintained. But now, at the stroke of a pen, they will lose that status and have to choose whether to become foundation schools, community schools or voluntary-aided schools. It seems to me that nothing will be lost by leaving them as GM schools and, should they so wish, allowing the parents to do what they did to become grant maintained; namely, to take a ballot of parents and make a choice as to whether or not they wish the school to become a foundation school, a community school or a VA school.

I do not think that there is much more to be said other than to point out that this is a fundamental issue of democracy. I hope that the Minister will at least accept that a number of schools have very strong views on the matter. It is interesting that it has often been said that grant-maintained schools are happy with the position. That is not the case. However, they are realists. They are resigned to the massive majority in the other place. They know that the Government will go ahead with this measure. The grant-maintained schools have worked strenuously to achieve as many favourable changes as possible under the new proposals. They have been partially successful in that. However, we should still make the case to retain them and for them to retain their degree of autonomy under the new arrangements. That would not in any way inhibit the Government from making progress in raising standards of education in our schools. I believe they are genuinely interested in making that progress. I beg to move.

9.15 p.m.

Baroness Blackstone

My Lords, the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch, has raised many of the same points which we covered in Committee. She will find no disagreement from this side of the House on the many positive experiences of grant-maintained schools. I readily accept that many of them have been successful. However, she completely ignores the obvious flaws of the grant-maintained system.

Three years ago we published Diversity and Excellence. This set the principles underpinning our new framework for schools; namely, diversity, school self-management, fairness and partnership. We proposed a new foundation category which would preserve the best features of grant-maintained schools. We had absolutely no desire then or now to disrupt those aspects of the grant-maintained initiative which have worked well. Our proposals in that policy document formed a key part of the White Paper and are now reflected in the Bill.

The foundation and voluntary aided categories will allow grant-maintained schools to retain many of their key characteristics. For example, governing bodies will remain the employer of the school's staff. The governing bodies and trustees of grant-maintained schools will continue to own and manage the school's premises. This is something which we know grant-maintained schools value and it will, of course, be retained. Governing bodies of grant-maintained schools will remain their school's admission authority. They will have responsibility for determining the school's admission arrangements and for allocating places to the school. On statutory proposals, governing bodies will retain their powers to publish proposals to make significant changes of character to the school.

But in recognising the positive aspects of the grant-maintained initiative, we must also address its flaws. Dividing schools from LEAs is not the way to build a modern education sector. Giving one sector preferential treatment over another led to discord. We shall raise standards through encouraging partnership and co-operation, not competition and division. It is undeniable that some schools went grant-maintained because of a poor relationship with their LEA. Others went grant-maintained in order to avoid being closed. We want to see such disagreements left in the past. This Bill establishes a new role for LEAs and places schools firmly in control of their own success. The relationship between LEAs and schools must be a constructive and productive one if the challenging targets on raising standards we have set are to be met.

However, there may be occasions where LEAs and schools disagree about the best way to secure school improvement, and that may not apply just to former grant-maintained schools. It may apply to county schools or voluntary schools. Some relationships will need rebuilding. That is why we have a code of practice. The current draft reflects a consensus between all the key players—including representatives from the grant-maintained sector—about the general principles which must underpin successful working relationships, including intervention in inverse proportion to success. That is obviously sensible. It also represents general agreement on how LEAs should use their powers to ensure that schools receive the right level of support and are protected from unnecessary interference. Where disagreements occur we would expect that reference to the code would normally be sufficient to resolve the situation.

The noble Baroness will also be aware that we shall monitor LEA performance through a number of other mechanisms, such as EDPs and Ofsted inspections, to ensure that they are conducting themselves in an appropriate and effective manner. The new framework will also bring grant-maintained schools back into a local partnership with other schools. Dividing grant-maintained and LEA schools created damaging tensions. The Bill devolves power over admissions and planning of school places to a local level. These new arrangements will bring schools closer together. All schools, whatever their background, will have a role in building a consensus about how best to raise standards in their community.

I hope that on the basis of what I have said the noble Baroness will agree that once the new framework is in place we shall see an end to an obsession with structures which has so damaged the debate on education in the past decade. The stability that the new framework brings will allow schools to concentrate on achieving higher standards.

The noble Baroness wants to allow grant-maintained schools to continue in isolation from the new partnership. Her amendments seek to continue the debate about structures at the expense of standards. They leave the future of grant-maintained schools in the hands of constant parental ballots. That uncertainty is not in the best interests of grant-maintained schools, the children who are pupils in them or the education system as a whole. I therefore urge the noble Baroness to withdraw her amendment.

Baroness Blatch

My Lords, I am almost breathless with alarm at what the noble Baroness has just said; namely, that we are obsessed with structures. This Bill is almost all about structures and framework. A very small part of it is about standards. We are simply saying: leave the structures as they are. Foundation schools, community schools and voluntary aided schools will be set up, which were already part of the system anyway. I do not know whether the noble Baroness has read the Bill, but it is all about structures. Those are schools that will be structurally changed within the system. Therefore, to make that accusation of me is very strange in the circumstances.

I must ask the noble Baroness some questions. If, according to the rules, she is not allowed to answer, I should be grateful for answers by letter. When the grant-maintained schools become foundation schools or VA schools, they will be their own admissions authorities. But who agrees the admissions policies for those schools? Who in the future has the power to modify those admissions policies? Do foundation schools have a right of veto over any change whatsoever that may be suggested by a local education authority or which may come out of an education development plan? That is very important.

My understanding is that a proposal can be made by the local authority to close a foundation school, to enlarge it or to merge it. If that is objected to, as it almost certainly will be, the matter then goes to the organisational committee, which will decide the proposals if the votes cast are unanimous; if they are not, the adjudicator will make the decision. That was the information I received in a Written Answer from the noble Baroness.

However, there is a point that the noble Baroness has not addressed. I know that the LEA cannot change the admissions policies. I have the admissions document in front of me. There are one or two glitches in it. For example, the FAS is still spoken of as though it will remain in being. The FAS will disappear from the scene. Having telephoned an official at the department, it is my understanding that for "FAS" we should read "LEA". One then starts to become worried about some of the ramifications of the content of the amendments.

I remain concerned about the degree of autonomy of grant-maintained schools. The noble Baroness has made much of how these schools became grant-maintained and what were their motives. One matter is not arguable. It is that they have all made a very good fist of running their own schools, of rising to the challenge of full autonomy and running their budgets effectively. They have been so effective that the Government have adopted that approach as a policy.

The general perception and all the rhetoric of the Government during and since the election have been that these schools are treated more favourably; and according to the Government, that has created a two-tier system: what, then, will they lose as a result of becoming foundation schools? It would be helpful if. in a letter, the noble Baroness could spell that out. What will they lose by having their special favoured status—if that is what she believes they have had—taken away? What will be lost by amortising the favourable status across all schools? I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 45 not moved.]

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 46:

Page 19, line 19, at beginning insert ("(subject to subsection (4A))").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this group of amendments modifies Clause 20 which, as drafted, provides that when the new framework is established LEAs will maintain the former grant-maintained schools that are located in their area. That means that in the few cases where, before a school became grant-maintained, it was maintained by one LEA but situated geographically in another LEA's area, under this legislation the second LEA will inherit the school rather than the former maintaining LEA.

That will make sense where a school now has little or no connection with its former maintaining LEA, though we have recently become aware of at least one case where the school still has significant links with the former LEA but little or no connection with the LEA in whose area it is located. I trust noble Lords will recognise the fact that the school is Nonsuch High School for Girls and the former maintaining authority was the London Borough of Sutton. That does not mean that by pursuing the amendment the Government are pandering to the revanchiste ambitions of the noble Lord, Lord Tope. It is an amendment which makes sense in these unusual circumstances. We are not simply currying favour with the Lib Dems, though we hope to do so.

We consider that the general principle should still be that a GM school should be maintained in the area in which it is geographically located. However, there should be a mechanism for it to be maintained by its former LEA where that is justified. These amendments will enable the Secretary of State, in those few cases, to make an order providing that the former maintaining LEA should maintain the school rather than the area in which it is situated.

The power will be restricted to the following circumstances. First, that the school, before it became GM, was maintained by one authority and situated in another and that it is still situated outside its former maintaining LEA area; under Amendment No. 235 the former maintaining LEA or the LEA in whose area it is now situated must appeal to the Secretary of State by 30th November 1998. That deadline is needed to ensure that there is enough time to give the appropriate LEA the standard spending assessment credit for its school from April 1999.

To decide such cases the Secretary of State will consider the relative strength of the two connections. It will make sense for a school to be maintained by the LEA on whose scheme its funding is currently based, but there may be other considerations; for example, the school's age range or admissions' policy may fit one LEA's general pattern rather than another. The amendments will enable the Secretary of State, in those few cases, to take account of all considerations and reach a sensible judgment. I beg to move.

Lord Tope

My Lords, I must rise to speak to this amendment. I cannot imagine any noble Lords accusing the Government of in any way pandering to my ambitions—by that stage my colleagues were laughing so much that I was not sure what sort of ambitions the noble Lord, Lord Whitty, was describing.

I am grateful to the Minister and his department for attending to this problem. It was acknowledged that this problem, to which attention was recently drawn, was mine and uniquely mine. We have a school which was built before the war to serve what is now the London Borough of Sutton. In those days we were all in Surrey and it was not conceived as a problem.

Since the London boroughs were formed in 1964, the school has continued to be a Sutton school, albeit it is now GM. But it is located a few yards—literally—on the Surrey side of the boundary. As currently drafted, the Bill would have had the effect of transferring that school from Sutton to Surrey. I was certain that it was neither the intention of the Government nor the Bill arbitrarily to move a school from one LEA to another almost by accident. I am therefore grateful to the Minister for recognising the problem as soon as I drew it to his attention.

The Minister knows that I would have been much happier to amend the Bill to make it clear that that was not the intention for any school. I was told that other schools were in a similar position. I gather from the response of the noble Lord, Lord Whitty, that that may be so, but that his department is not yet aware of them.

I am grateful for this amendment, which I accept. I can assure the Minister and his department that they will receive one application well before 30th November and I hope that they will look upon it favourably. In moving the amendment, the noble Lord, Lord Whitty, gave some idea of the criteria which the Minister will use in considering whether or not to make such an order. In this case, I have no reason to believe that it will be opposed in any way. My understanding is that the head of the school—I am sure she speaks for her governors—would wish for things to remain as they are. I understand that, certainly at officer level in Surrey, there is a similar view. But it would be helpful if the Minister could say a little more about what criteria he will use in deciding whether or not to make an order. I would hope that if an application is not opposed it can be readily agreed. In other circumstances elsewhere in the country where there is a disputed application, what criteria will be used to judge the basis of whether or not to make such an order?

9.30 p.m.

Baroness Blatch

My Lords, I am amused on different grounds. My understanding is that it was a Liberal plot and the Government were going along with and co-operating with it.

I make a serious point. If this can be done by agreement, that is what should happen. However, my understanding is that there is a little controversy on this issue and I think it is important that it should be resolved. What consultation has taken place between the department and the school and the department and the two LEAs? There should have been some consultation, albeit that there is a period of reflection between now and then. I, too, would be interested in the criteria that will be considered. For example, if there is an objection from any of the three parties—one LEA or another and/or the school—how will the Government come to a decision on this matter?

Lord Whitty

My Lords, the criteria would relate principally to the continuing connections between the local authority catchment area and the school. They would relate to the appropriateness of the funding and to whether the school's admission policy would fit in with the general admission policy of the two local authorities concerned. There is not an absolute single criterion. Those criteria would all be followed, as of course would the assessment of the opinions of the two local authorities and of the school itself. All of those considerations have already been reflected to the department in relation to the Nonsuch High School. Indeed, officials have met both LEAs and the governing body of the school. All those considerations will be taken into account. Hypothetically, other schools might be in this position, but this is the only one which is actively being pursued. With that explanation, I hope that the House will accept the amendment.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Whitty moved Amendments Nos. 47 and 48:

Page 19, line 19, leave out ("is") and insert ("immediately before that day was").

Page 19, line 20, at end insert— ("(4A) Where a grant-maintained school within subsection (3)(b)—

  1. (a) was, immediately before becoming such a school, maintained by a local education authority ("the former maintaining authority") other than the one within whose area it was then situated, and
  2. (b) remains outside the area of the former maintaining authority immediately before the appointed day,
nevertheless, if an order made by the Secretary of State before that day so provides, as from that day the school shall be maintained (as a school falling within one of the categories set out in subsection (1)) by the former maintaining authority rather than the authority in whose area it is situated on that day.").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 49:

Page 19, line 26, after first ("day"") insert ("(except in Part I of Schedule 32)").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, this amendment is the first of a batch of largely technical amendments. Most of them are not new. They fall into three groups. Amendments Nos. 211, 233 and 69 are the only new ones and are relatively straightforward. Amendment No. 211 is required because of an amendment to the Teaching and Higher Education Bill made in another place. Amendment No. 233 is a minor drafting change. Amendment No. 69 clarifies the term "maintained nursery school" and I shall come back to it in a moment. All the rest of the amendments except one relate, with a few minor drafting changes—Amendments Nos. 49 and 204—to those amendments which were tabled on the second day of the Committee stage. However, following a strenuous intervention from the noble Lord, Lord Lucas, I withdrew them, partly because I had not provided to him or to the Front Benches any prior information at that stage. Since then, as with other technical amendments, I have written to the noble Baronesses, Lady Blatch and Lady Maddock, and to the noble Lords, Lord Tope, Lord Pilkington and Lord Lucas, explaining the effect of those amendments. I shall say a little more about that in a moment.

Amendment No. 210 relates to the interface with the further education sector. That amendment was tabled on the seventh day and withdrawn in the face of fairly detailed questioning from the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch.

I shall now say a little more about each of the amendments. Amendments Nos. 49, 204 and 233 all relate to the definition of the appointed day. "The appointed day" in Clause 20 should be read separately from the same expression in Part I and Schedule 32, which deals with transitional provisions.

Amendments Nos. 62, 83, 206 and 236 deal with land and property on trust for the purposes of the school and what that means. Amendment No. 62 is needed for clarification. Where land or property is held on trust for school purposes, that should include land or property actually used for the purposes of the school and held on trust for wider purposes. That includes the purposes of the school. In a number of places the Bill refers to land or property held on trust for the purposes of the school. Where the land is held on trust for a single school, the references are fine as they are, but sometimes the school land is held by wider trusts capable of being used for a number of purposes. That is why we need this particular amendment.

Amendments Nos. 63 and 64 provide for some clarification of property transfers. Amendment No. 64 deals with property transfers when a school joins or leaves a foundation body without changing the school categories provided for under Clause 21. When categories are changed that is covered by regulations in Schedule 8. We need the amendments to clarify the former case. Amendment No. 63 provides that rights and liabilities associated with property will transfer with the property itself.

Amendments Nos. 65 and 66 deal with foundation bodies and supplement the existing provisions in Clause 21 to enable the Secretary of State to make regulations governing foundation bodies which act for a group of schools. Amendments Nos. 67, 70, 207 and 211 to 214 all deal with charitable status. These all arise from discussions we have held with the Charity Commission. The new clause provided in Amendment No. 70 (which is the main one in this group) specifies that it is the governing body of a voluntary or foundation special school which is an exempt charity rather than the school itself. It does not in any way affect the school trustees or the relationship between them and governing bodies, and neither does it impose liabilities on governors which would not have applied had the Bill specified the school as the charity. Amendment No. 67 deletes provisions about charitable status of schools and foundations in the light of that new clause.

Amendments Nos. 51, 52, 55 and 61 deal with the allocation of schools to new categories. Amendment No. 51 allows regulations to require GM schools to provide information to persons other than parents—such as dioceses and school trustees. Amendment No. 52 follows from that. Currently, Schedule 2 allows regulations to be made only on the timing of the final decision on GM schools' governing bodies but not on arrangements for the meeting to take those decisions. Amendment No. 55 deals with that.

Amendment No. 69 refers to a "maintained nursery school". That needs to be defined to make clear that it does not apply to LEA-maintained special schools which provide for pupils aged two to five. They will be treated as special schools rather than in the category of a maintained nursery school.

I now come to the batch of amendments as regards Amendment No. 210 which was withdrawn on the seventh day, dealing with the interface with the Further and Higher Education Act. That Act contains a number of references that will have to be amended. The previous government established the FE sector and included within it sixth-form colleges, which, before they entered the sector, were classified as schools. The 1992 Act includes a range of provisions that deal with, for example, how those schools should be established as FE colleges and how the asset should be transferred.

A number of those provisions are time expired, but a surprising number are still technically live and require to be updated. Although following the 1992 Act it is no longer possible to propose that a school should become a local authority maintained sixth-form college, the Act includes a provision that any school which is principally concerned with the provision of full-time education suitable for the requirements of persons over compulsory school age may be incorporated into the FE sector. Accordingly, a considerable number of sections of that Act remain live, although their principal use was related to the establishment of the FE sector in 1993. It is therefore a necessary consequence of those provisions being still active upon the statute book that the draftsmen must update them. The consequential amendments to the 1992 Act seek to do nothing more than that.

Further education matters more generally, or other issues raised by the noble Baroness, are not affected by the amendments. Nevertheless, many sections of that Act are affected by the amendments and I can explain them at length. if required, either now or in writing. I believe that I have provided most of that information already to the noble Baroness and to the noble Lord, Lord Tope. Therefore, I hope that at this stage the House will be prepared with those explanations to accept the amendments, given that most of that information has already been provided to the Front Benches opposite in detailed form.

The Deputy Speaker (Baroness Lockwood)

My Lords, Amendment proposed: Page 19, line 26, after ("day"") insert ("(except in Part I of Schedule 32)"). I repeat, "Schedule 32", not "three—two"; nothing to do with the latest score!

Baroness Blatch

My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Whitty, for his letter and for the explanation that he has given. I have only two questions. The noble Lord said that it would be improbable or unlikely that a school would become an FE college but that it could on rare occasions. What would be the procedure for that? It would be very unusual, so what would he the procedure for a school which is known to educate young people up to and through the age of 16 then becoming an FE college? My other question is: what veto or what absolute protection would be enjoyed by a foundation school in such circumstances?

Lord Whitty

My Lords, I think that I am right in saying that the only circumstance in which that would happen under the 1992 Act would be where a sixth-form college transferred into the FE sector or became part of an existing FE institution. Given that most of that reorganisation occurred in the wake of the 1993 Act, it would be extremely unlikely that we would move into that situation under the terms of this legislation.

Apart from that, there is no specific additional protection. It is not easy to conceive of that situation with regard to a school which provides education from the beginning of secondary schooling through to the post-16 age group. If the noble Baroness requires further information, I shall be happy to write to her.

Baroness Blatch

My Lords, with the leave of the House, I should be grateful to have more information. The noble Lord's letter clearly stated that, in rare circumstances, a school could become an FE college and/or a sixth-form college which would be for post-16 education. All that I am asking is, in the event, however rare, of a school being considered appropriate to be closed as a school and to become a further education college, what would be the procedure, and what protection would there be for a foundation school against such a proposal. If the noble Lord could write to me about that, I should be very grateful.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Schedule 2 [Allocation of existing schools to new categories]:

9.45 p.m.

Baroness Blatch moved Amendment No. 50.

Page 114, line 22, after ("paragraph") insert ("1 or").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, I beg to move Amendment No. 50 and speak also to Amendments Nos. 53, 54, 56 to 60 and 89. We had an interesting debate on the subject of community schools becoming foundation schools. One knows that there was some resistance to this procedure on the part of local authorities. I am among those who believe in the freedom of schools to choose. I am sorry that it is not possible for schools, almost at Royal Assent, or at least when the framework provisions come into force, to have the opportunity to make choices. One of the concerns of the Government was that they could not allow so many schools to make that choice so quickly. If the Government believe that that many schools of the number that are potentially able to make that choice will make that choice quickly there must be some view that perhaps it is a good thing for them to do. I believe that it would happen rather slowly, just as schools which are thinking of becoming grant-maintained consider the matter very carefully. They think hard about the degree of autonomy and about leaving the cradle of the local education authority. The idea that all schools will do it immediately is perhaps a worry too far. I still press the Government not to be over-cautious and to allow community schools the freedom to make the choice to become foundation schools as soon as possible.

If the Minister who is to respond to this amendment repeats the same answer as last time, I should like to hear an outline estimate as to the date when the framework is likely to come into being. I understand that the period is a year. If that is the case, perhaps the Minister can provide an intelligent guesstimate as to when foundation schools will have the opportunity to exercise that choice.

Baroness Thomas of Walliswood

My Lords, in the absence of the noble Lord, Lord Rix, who has been called away on other business, it falls to me to draw attention to Amendment No. 89 which is part of this group. The amendment is an attempt to provide a period of stability for special schools because of the fears of many people that foundation status will not be desirable and we should not be positively encouraging the change from community to foundation special school status.

Baroness Blackstone

My Lords, I have some sympathy with the intention behind the amendment moved by the noble Baroness. We also believe that all schools, LEA-maintained and grant-maintained, should have a choice about which category they should be in, but there are compelling practical reasons why this choice should be phased.

The noble Baroness asked about the timetable. The new framework with the new categories will come into being on 1st September 1999. All schools will be able to publish proposals on 1st September 2000. Schedule 2 requires grant-maintained schools to take a decision on whether to accept their allocation or to opt for a different category. Their governing bodies must take that decision; it is not an option for the governing body simply to do nothing. These amendments would impose the same requirement on LEA-maintained schools. They would also be required to take an active decision on whether to accept their category or opt for another. We believe that to require all 23,000 maintained schools to go through this process at the beginning of the next academic year will create a lot of turbulence in the education system. We have therefore decided to phase the choice.

After the moratorium, however, all schools will have the option of publishing proposals to change category. It will last for one year following the introduction of the new categories on 1st September 1999. The advantage of that phasing of choice is that only those schools that wish to change category will be required to take any action. There will be no time constraints on the time by which schools have to publish proposals.

The proposals will be determined locally through the school organisation committees. We regard each new category as equally valid. We will reflect that principle in guidance to the school organisation committees. They will have to demonstrate that they have determined each proposal on its individual merits. They will be required, through guidance, to take particular account of the extent of support for any change of category proposals from governors and parents.

The amendments seemed to us to be the most practical way forward. They allow GM schools which will experience the most change under the new framework to choose their category at the outset. LEA-maintained schools, if they wish, will be able to choose a new category after a short period of time. I therefore hope that the noble Baroness will accept that that timetable will create less disruption. I urge her to withdraw her amendment.

Baroness Blatch

My Lords, the noble Baroness did not respond to Amendment No. 89.

Baroness Blackstone

My Lords, I apologise. Amendment No. 89 was spoken to by the noble Baroness, Lady Maddock. The Bill provides that the length of the moratorium before a school—mainstream or special—could apply to change category will be prescribed in regulations. We have indicated that we expect the moratorium to last for one year. Our White Paper and technical consultation paper suggested that all special schools should become community special schools, but responses to that suggestion were clear that it would be wrong to deny parents at GM special schools, who had voted for greater autonomy for their school, the right offered to parents at mainstream schools to participate in choosing the school's future category. That was a powerful point. The decision to give special schools a choice of category was made in that light.

We believe that special schools should be treated under the new framework in the same way as mainstream schools. They should have the same choices about change of category. We therefore see no reason why the length of the moratorium should be different for special and mainstream schools. We shall consult on the regulations governing proposals to make changes to special and mainstream schools. If, in response to that consultation, strong arguments are presented that suggest that the length of the moratorium should be different for special schools, Clause 135(7) provides the power for us to set a different moratorium. In the light of that commitment, I hope that the noble Baroness will not move her amendment.

Baroness Blatch

My Lords, I shall respond to my amendments. I am a little disappointed, but we have an absolute assurance that the procedure will happen one year after September 1999. My understanding is that September 2000 will be the date upon which they can submit a proposal; in other words, presumably they can become a foundation school the following term or the following year (2001). I do not know how long the process will take to make the choice and to become a foundation school, presumably the application could be ready to be submitted on 1st September 2000. It would be helpful to know how quickly that will be processed.

The Minister will not be surprised to know how disquieted we all are by the organisation committees. We are giving them the power to make important decisions. If there is any dissention at organisation committee level, the matter goes to the adjudicator who has the power to take a view different from that of the school itself. At the end of the day, the decision is taken by the organisation committee and/or the adjudicator. I have expressed my disquiet on other occasions, and we shall be talking about it in a moment. On the basis that we see a light at the end of this tunnel, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord Whitty moved Amendments Nos. 51 and 52:

Page 114, line 34, leave out from ("decisions") to end of line 35 and insert ("to prescribed persons; (ca) as to the provision of prescribed information to prescribed persons; (cb) authorising governing bodies to charge a fee (not exceeding the cost of supply) for prescribed documents supplied by them in pursuance of regulations made by virtue of paragraph (ca);").

Page 114, line 36, leave out ("such") and insert ("registered").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

[Amendments Nos. 53 and 54 not moved.]

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 55:

Page 115, line 10, leave out from ("the") to end of line 11 and insert ("procedure to be followed in connection with the taking by governing bodies of their final decisions (including, in particular, provision as to the time by which governing bodies are to take such decisions).").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendments Nos. 56 to 60 not moved.]

Baroness Blackstone moved Amendment No. 61:

Page 116, line 15, leave out (", as from the appointed day,").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 21 [Kinds of foundation and voluntary schools and types of foundations]:

Baroness Blackstone moved Amendments Nos. 62 to 67:

Page 20, line 19, at end insert ("; and (c) references to land or other property held on trust, or by trustees, for the purposes of a school include references to land or other property which—

  1. (i) is held on trust for purposes which (whether the trust deed expressly so provides or not) include the purposes of the school, and
  2. (ii) is used for the purposes of the school.").

Page 20, line 37, after ("property") insert (", rights and liabilities").

Page 20, line 38, at end insert ("but do not change category in accordance with Schedule 8").

Page 21, leave out lines 5 to 7 and insert—

("(f) in connection with a school leaving the group—

  1. (i) for requiring the publication of proposals under paragraph 2 of Schedule 8 (procedure for changing category of school);
  2. (ii) for enabling the Secretary of State to require the publication under that paragraph of proposals for the school to become a school of a category specified by him;
  3. 634
  4. (iii) for preventing a voluntary school from becoming one falling within subsection (2)(a) unless any conditions specified in pursuance of paragraph 4(2)(b) of that Schedule are satisfied in relation to the school;").

Page 21, line 13, at end insert— ("(i) for conferring functions on school organisation committees and adjudicators including any functions which might otherwise be conferred on the Secretary of State.").

Page 21, line 20, leave out subsections (9) to (11).

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 22 [Maintenance and other funding of schools]:

Baroness Blackstone moved Amendments Nos. 68 and 69:

Page 21, line 45, at end insert ("or (4A)").

Page 22, line 44, at end insert ("and is not a special school").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Baroness Blackstone moved Amendment No. 70:

After Clause 22, insert the following new clause—