§ The Minister of State, Department of Education and Science (Mrs. Angela Rumbold)
I beg to move amendment No. 253, in page 95, line 38, leave out from beginning to end of line 43 and insert 'The following section'.
§ Mr. Speaker
With this it will be convenient to take Government amendments Nos. 254 to 260, and Nos. 240 and 242.
§ Mrs. Rumbold
Government amendments Nos. 242 and 253 to 260 inclusive are all designed to clarify the borderlines between secondary and further education. The 1944 Act defined further education as including all full-time and part-time education for persons over compulsory school age, but it also stated that further education could be provided only in accordance with further education schemes that had been approved by the Secretary of State. This meant that the dividing line between the schools and further education sectors could be determined in each case by what was set out in the scheme. In particular, it made it possible to determine that a school that provided for those over 16 was still a school, because it was not specified in the local education authority's scheme as being part of its further education service. Instead, it was provided by the local education authority in pursuance of its duty under the 1944 Act to secure the provision of sufficient secondary education.
The further education schemes procedure set out in the 1944 Act is repealed by clause 99. This means that we need to find an alternative mechanism for setting the boundary between the schools and further education sectors. As drafted, the clause does not quite do that. It draws on the 1944 Act in defining further education as including all education and training for persons over compulsory school age, but this needs to be qualified to ensure that post-16 provision in the schools sector remains classified as secondary education, and riot further education. This need is most obvious in relation to sixth-form colleges, which are currently classified as schools. Since sixth-form colleges cater for only 16 to 19-year-olds, they would fall wholly within the definition of further education in the clause. Obviously, this could cause considerable confusion, so we have decided that the position needs to be sorted out.
Government amendments Nos. 242 and 253 to 260 are designed to rectify the problem. As schools, sixth-form colleges may not, under existing law, provide for part-time students or students over the age of 19, other than in exceptional cases. Government amendment No. 255, which is the key amendment in the group, therefore provides that full-time education for 16 to 19-year-olds is not to be regarded as further education if it is provided by 535 an institution which does not provide part-time or post-19 education other than in exceptional cases. This means that provision in sixth-form colleges is to be considered secondary education, not further education, and the colleges themselves are to be considered schools, not FE colleges, which effectively has been the understanding of most of the local education authorities up to now, although it has not been strictly following the 1944 Act.
Most of the other amendments in this group are consequential, defining the terms used and tidying up the drafting. Government amendment No. 242 is significant, however. It allows a breathing space for any institutions which are now classified as FE colleges, but which do not have significant numbers of part-time and post-19 students and would therefore fall to be classified as institutions of secondary education under Government amendment No. 255. As far as we know, only two colleges are in that position. Their authorities have been notified of the Government's intentions. Government amendment No. 242 will give them until the end of 1989 to make whatever changes to the pattern of their enrolments are necessary to continue to be classified as further education colleges. The two colleges in question are New college, Swindon and Alton college in Hampshire.
The amendments are not designed to change the institutional pattern. They are designed solely to recognise and legitimise the pattern that already exists. It is self-evidently important that we have secure definitions of secondary and further education which do not overlap, and which allow all concerned to know where they stand. Government amendments Nos. 242 and 253 to 260 make it clear where the dividing line between the sectors is to be. I hope that they will be welcomed.
Government amendments Nos. 240 and 241 relate to clause 184, which specifies when the various clauses in the Bill will come into effect. They provide that the clauses on further education should take effect on Royal Assent.
Clause 99 is fundamental to the further and higher education sections of the Bill, in that it sets the framework of definitions and powers relating to further and higher education. It therefore needs to be brought into effect as soon as possible.
The amendment also brings the clauses on delegation in FE into line with the clauses on delegation to schools, which again come into effect on Royal Assent. It is still our intention to require all schemes — for both the school and further education sectors — to be submitted for approval by September 1989. Bringing the clauses into effect on Royal Assent will encourage local education authorities and colleges to set to work promptly on drawing up the schemes required by clause 116. I commend the amendments to the House.
§ Mr. Andrew F. Bennett (Denton and Reddish)
On the whole, Opposition Members welcome what the Minister has just said because it brings clarity, but there should be a little more probing so that we could have a little more information. However, as the guillotine falls on this part of further education at 6 o'clock, we feel that it would be far better for the House to allow that probing to take place in the House of Lords and for us to move on to the next 536 group of amendments, when we can have a much more wide-ranging debate on the problems for further education that are presented by the Bill. Therefore, the Opposition do not want to say anything more about the amendments.
§ Mr. Tam Dalyell (Linlithgow)
Like my hon. Friend the Member for Denton and Reddish (Mr. Bennett), I should like to be brief by asking just two questions. First, in the Paul Gray-Tom Jeffrey correspondence, the Prime Minister referred to an "elaborate and complex" system. Those are the words of Downing street. Have the Education Ministers been able to satisfy the Prime Minister about the complexity and elaborateness of their system, and have they won that, albeit narrow, part of the argument?
Secondly, I went to the Table Office to do what the Secretary of State suggested I do — to ask the Prime Minister by what alchemy her letter arrived on the table of my hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw). The Secretary of State will not be entirely surprised to learn that the Table Office finds that all questions to the Prime Minister are neatly blocked on this issue, so it is back into his court, at some convenient moment, to enlighten us.
§ Mrs. Rumbold
These amendments relate to further and higher education, and I was discussing the statutory provisions under which the amendments will operate.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Dr. Keith Hampson (Leeds, North-West)
I beg to move amendment No. 436, in page 96, line 3, after 'further', insert 'and continuing'.
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. Harold Walker)
With this it will be convenient to take the following amendments: No. 388, in page 96, line 32, after 'shall', insert—'in formulating any local scheme under this section'.No. 389, in line 40, at end insert—'(6A) A local education authority shall have a duty to consult the Manpower Services Commission, any institution within the PCFC funding sector in their area, and the PCFC and thereafter to publish a local scheme in relation to further and higher education courses for the purpose of co-ordination the efficient and flexible provision of such courses for, or available for use by persons living in, their area.'.No. 469, in line 40, at end insert—'(6A) It shall be the duty of a local education authority to make arrangements for the adequate provision of adult and continuing education services for their area in accordance with the provisions of this section'.No. 390, in line 41, at end insert'for the purposes of a local scheme drawn up in accordance with this section—'.No. 437, in line 42, at end insert 'and continuing'.
No. 391, in line 44, at end insert'and to coordinate the provisions of such facilities by institutions within the PCFC funding sector'.No. 470, in page 98, line 1, at end insert—'(9A) In carrying out any duties in relation to adult education, a local authority shall—'No. 471, in line I, at end insert—(9A) In carrying out any duties in relation to adult education, a local authority shall, in determining such arrangements, have regard to the needs of sections of the community who are disadvantaged as users of the education service'.No. 472, in line 1, at end insert—'(9A) In carrying out any duties in relation to adult education, a local authority shall— 537
- (a) in determining such arrangements, consult with local voluntary organisations and such other persons as they think fit;
- (b) in determining such arrangements, include and publicise arrangements to support voluntary organisations carrying out activities covered by (a) above;
- (c) make facilities available to enable the provision of initial and in-service training of full-time and part-time staff, including as appropriate volunteers and members of voluntary organisations'.
§ Dr. Hampson
It is with great pleasure that I find myself leading this section of amendments on further education. It gives me the opportunity to say in passing how extraordinary many of us find it that, with all the skills that the Opposition Front Bench can muster, they manage to end up this evening in all three sections of the guillotine without a single lead amendment. It is gratifying, therefore, to see that they have all added their names to my amendment. Obviously that means that my amendment is of such power and obvious common sense that I trust that my right hon. and hon. Friends on the Front Bench will accept it.
§ Dr. Hampson
Indeed. Amendments Nos. 436 and 437 are admirable and innocuous, although I would hesitate to say the same about some of the other amendments that are attached to amendment No. 436.
We found ourselves in a similar position last night when, for some peculiar reason, the Opposition again found themselves incapable by their tactics of managing to establish an amendment that would have highlighted in a vote some of the key central feelings of hon. Members of all parties about the main parts of the Bill. It is a pity—
§ Mr. Paddy Ashdown (Yeovil)
This is the intervention that I sought to make yesterday in the speech of the hon. Member for Sheffield, Hillsborough (Mr. Flannery), but he refused to let me intervene. Is it not the case that there was a substantial revolt on the Government Benches on the question of the voting procedures for opting out, which, because of incompetence in the way in which the amendments were moved, was never revealed?
§ Dr. Hampson
I hesitate to follow the hon. Gentleman on the question of the competence or otherwise of the Opposition. I am sure that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science would not want me to go down the road of opting-out, except to say, for future reference in the other place, that at least a score of my hon. Friends felt that some adjustment in terms of a simple majority would have been a good thing.
I admit that this small and reasonable amendment is more symbolic than of substance. Although it is symbolic, it is important to hon. Members of all parties. I pay tribute especially to Gerry Fowler, who is now the rector of North East London polytechnic, and who was the Minister of State, Department of Education and Science three times. He epitomised the political law of diminishing returns. He was three times in the same job, each time for a shorter period than previously. For a number of years he and travelled the country arguing for what was then fashionably called recurrent education. The education system must be geared to the increasing pace of change of industry's requirements. Professional people and the 538 entrepreneurs of whom we on this side think so highly must improve their qualifications and come up to date with the latest knowledge, whether in the realms of management or on the shop Floor.
We are seeking to legitimise the new consensus that has emerged in favour of continuing education, ranging from retraining and updating to second chance opportunities for people who missed out at school and to managers who require the latest skills. Information technology is an obvious example of an area where such training is essential. If Britain is to retain its position as a leading economy, people must have the opportunity to update and improve their skills in information technology.
The Bill is the first piece of education law that mentions the term "continuing education". It does so only in brackets in new section 41(2), which states that further education must includein the case of vocational education or training, continuing education or training for persons already in employment".It is a pity that that is in brackets and that it comes after vocational education and training, because, in a way, it subsumes that. It falls under the scope of clause 99, which deals with the duties placed on local education authorities with regard to further education.
We have changed the definitions in this piece of legislation. The category of further education used to be divided into advanced and non-advanced. If we had kept that, further education, as a catch-all phrase, would have been adequate, but we have now switched to further education, meaning non-advanced education, and higher education. The use of the word "continuing" implies that the provisions are limited to non-advanced education. Officials may believe that that is appropriate for a specific reason. After all, further education is now the main responsibility of local education authorities. They still have other responsibilities in mixed economy colleges, which have a large element of higher education, although they are owned by local education authorities.
Ministers are mistaken in not changing the requirements in respect of mixed ability colleges to give them a fairer crack of the whip. The funding council should be obliged to recognise the requirements of those colleges. This is the only part of the higher education system for which local authorities have direct responsibility. The Bill may be intended to have specific regard for such training below degree level.
The reference in new section 41 to further and continuing education is a broad definition. It refers to continuing education across the spectrum of post-school learning. There may be an alternative. For example, the Bill states that a local authority shall have power to secure provision of facilities for higher education. That makes me suspicious, as the Bill refers only to higher education and not to continuing education.
Let us be open and give a full blessing to continuing education. Let us not be half-hearted. Let us recommend it as something that every part of the system must pursue. A system must be put together, bearing in mind the needs of individual areas. In many northern areas, for example, industry has declined and there is a need to introduce new industries and to update the work force. We ought to consider the entire spectrum of provision and say, "What have we got in our colleges? What can the mixed economy colleges, such as Bradford, offer? What role can universities play? Where does the Open University fit in?'
539 Failing the creation of a new regional structure, the institutional body to tackle this issue should be the local education authority. Although universities might not like that, local education authorities should consider the spectrum of continuing provision in all the institutions in their areas. This requirement should be placed upon them, rather than simply a requirement to have regard to continuing provision in further education colleges.
§ Mr. Andrew F. Bennett
It is a little churlish of the hon. Member for Leeds, North-West (Dr. Hampson) to complain that we allowed him to open the debate on this group of amendments, rather than to be pleased about doing so. We can spend a great deal of time playing parliamentary games as to who has the lead amendment, but it would be more useful to people if we spent our time on the substance of the issues.
The hon. Member for Leeds, North-West also claimed that we had failed to exploit the opportunity that there might have been a revolt on the Government Benches. Conservative Members made that virtually impossible when they voted for the guillotine motion. If there had been any possibility of revolt, the Government Whips would have ensured that the earlier debate would have continued and that there would have been no possibility of a vote on an issue which might have caused a minor revolt. The hon. Gentleman should also reflect on the performance of his colleagues in Committee. Time after time, they said that they were going to do something, but, as soon as the Minister looked at them, they backed off. It ill becomes the hon. Gentleman to make such remarks.
This is a major opportunity for us to discuss further education. This is the third day that we have debated the Bill on the Floor of the House. It reminds me of the funfair in the local park to which I looked forward as a child. There was great excitement when it arrived, but it turned out to be disappointing. The national curriculum could well be that roller coaster which was exciting when one was on it for a moment or two—it might have made some people sick—but, a day or two later, it had disappeared. The opt-out section could be the coconut-shy, when most people missed with their aim and those people who won a coconut found that it was rather mouldy. The further education provisions remind me of the lucky dip, where one rummaged around in the sawdust and ended up with the suspicion that very little had been put in. That is the tragedy of the Bill.
It is a tragedy that further education has been treated so scantily in the Bill. Further education is probably the area in which this country's performance is worst at present. If the Government were serious about raising standards, they should have concentrated on improving continuing education rather than on school provision and higher education.
§ Dr. Hampson
There have been complaints about underfunding of schools and higher education, but, throughout the Government's term of office, no one has complained about the growth in spending on further education. That may have come mostly through the MSC, but it has been the most substantial increase in funding of further education provided by any Government since the war.
§ Mr. Bennett
If the hon. Gentleman had listened to Tuesday's debate, he would have heard us say how 540 ridiculous it is that, whereas the Manpower Services Commission has grasped the nettle by doing something for 16 to 19-year-olds, the Department of Education and Science has sat back and done nothing. It certainly gave youngsters no financial incentive to stay on in education rather than be lured away to training. We have seen little development in that area. For example, access courses tend to be dominated by initiatives from local authorities rather than the Secretary of State. It is sad that almost all the initiatives for 16 to 19-year-olds have come from the Department of Employment and the Manpower Services Commission rather than the Secretary of State for Education and Science.
I have some reservations about developing the concept of further education within the confines of a narrow box. There are too many boxes for education in Britain. Primary, secondary, further and higher education are put into separate boxes. Those boxes may be necessary for bureaucratic convenience, but it is important that they do not get in the way of educational developments, and, in particular, the education of the individual. I fear that the emphasis that the Bill places on the break between further and higher education will get in the way of good educational development.
We support the amendment that seeks to emphasise further education as part of continuing education. We also want to emphasise the need for local development plans to co-ordinate the activities of further and higher education within a locality. One of the worrying things about removing higher education from local authorities is that such co-ordination will be more difficult in many areas. In an area such as Greater Manchester it is important that there is good co-ordination between the provisions made by the local authority further education colleges and those made by public sector higher education and the universities. We need some mechanism for planning the development of courses in all those institutions.
I hope that when the Minister replies he will tell us how the Government envisage introducing a proper planning mechanism so that there is no overlap of courses between further and higher education institutions and no failure to provide courses because further education institutions see them as the work of a higher education institution and vice versa. Therefore, it is important to develop a co-ordinated plan to make sure that good quality further and higher education is provided on a regional basis.
In particular, I want to press the Government on the problem of mixed colleges. We have received many representations, from places such as Salford, Glosscott and Stockport colleges of further education, about the many advanced courses which should be funded by the Polytechnics and Colleges Funding Council and which run side by side with courses which will be financed by the local authority. Such mixed colleges are fundamental to the development of education in Britain. It is attractive to have people on non-advanced courses, such as engineering, working in workshops alongside people in advanced courses. That encourages people to stay on and complete their education.
Despite many requests in Committee, the Government made no clear statement about the way in which they would guarantee funding for at least the group of 10 mixed colleges and the many other colleges of further education 541 which have some advanced work. It is important to develop the ladder of expectation that can come from such mixed colleges.
§ Dr. Hampson
I endorse that point entirely, but let me draw attention to the reverse of that—the position in the polytechnics, particularly in Leeds where the polytechnic has many non-advanced level courses. The polytechnics are currently in the process of trying to set their fees for next year and it is fundamental that they should have some information on the funding of the non-advanced section of combined courses. In Committee, we mentioned the Farnley language centre in Leeds, where much of the work is non-degree level but it leads on to degree level. We asked about the funding of such courses within the polytechnics.
§ Mr. Bennett
That is helpful. The hon. Gentleman might have been reading my notes because the next problem that I intend to deal with is that of mixed colleges where further education work dominates, but where there may be a big proportion of higher education work, and in the next group the opposite applies. Not only do the polytechnics in many cases have non-advanced work going on, but there are many higher education colleges in exactly the same position. The Government have not given us sufficient assurances that the non-advanced work in such colleges will be adequately funded.
Let me deal now with who has responsibility for basic education. I could read out amendment No. 470, but I simply ask the Minister to spend a little time, when he replies, setting out how he sees the development of basic education in Britain. The Government are often keen to trumpet the number of adults who are not literate or numerate as a criticism of the school system, but they are nothing like as enthusiastic about setting out what should be done in further education, and sometimes in higher education, to ensure that adequate courses are available to encourage the development of literacy and numeracy.
The Government, in their White Paper, recognise that there will be a substantial reduction in the number of 18-year-olds who will be available to enter higher education. They rightly point out that we should be making up that shortfall by increasing the participation of working-class youngsters, women and the ethnic minorities, and also by developing access courses for the many adults who missed out the first time round.
There have been some extremely good initiatives from the Inner London education authority and Manchester to develop access courses. Although the Government have paid lip service to such initiatives, they have done little to encourage the development of such courses or to provide the funding to make it possible for people to go on such courses. I hope that when the Minister replies he will tell us to what extent the Government will provide grants for people on access courses and how he will ensure that such courses continue during the changes in higher education which will take the public sector away from the local authorities. I hope that he will also preview what will be said in the ILEA debate on Monday and tell us how he will guarantee the continuation of the excellent access courses which have been run London-wide by ILEA. I press him to tell us how access courses will be improved and expanded under this legislation over the next few years.
Let me deal now with continuing education for those who do not want to obtain degrees in higher education but 542 who want to study for their own pleasure at quite high levels. How will the Minister fit in work done by the Workers Educational Association, the extra-mural departments of universities and the adult education carried out by many local authorities? The Bill does not set out how they will be funded and co-ordinated.
Many people outside the House have pressed the Government to place a duty on local authorities to provide further education. There is still no fundamental legislation that places such a duty on local authorities. Many people outside hope that the Government will take this opportunity to do that.
We shall listen carefully to what the Minister says when he replies, but for the Opposition the further education section is very much a lucky dip with not much in the barrel except sawdust. We want a development of further education in Britain which will release the talents of all those who missed out at school, who did well at school or who simply want to study for its own sake.
§ Dr. Dafydd Elis Thomas (Meirionnydd Nant Conwy)
The amendment gives us an opportunity to stress once again the definitional and institutional problems that face the various categories of post-16 education in England and Wales. It gives us an opportunity especially to stress the need for the Government to recognise clearly the importance of all the different modes of post-16 education.
The major weakness of the Bill, as other hon. Members have pointed out already, is that it does not deal adequately with the needs of the curriculum in further and higher education. In those sectors the Bill has directed itself to institutional issues. It has not considered the interlinking between the various levels of teaching, or between institutions. The Government are obsessed with the notion that the so-called national curriculum in schools will make a qualitative difference to the measured output of those schools.
Significantly, the Government have not given similar attention to the curriculum, in the broadest sense of that word, or to the structure of institutions at 16-plus. In this area the Government are apparently satisfied with the content of education and with the institutional basis. By neglecting this area they are once again allowing the chaos that we described in Committee, and earlier on Report, to continue. Within that chaotic, unplanned and uncoordinated provision, these institutions and the mode of education that have had status traditionally are being allowed to continue at the expense of the rest of the system.
Where are the Government's market principles in secondary education in relation to post-16 education institutions? Where are the principles of the liberating curriculum and the independent control by consumers, which are apparently so important in the secondary education sector, within the sector for adult, advanced or continuing education—however we may describe it?
The simple way in which the Government can tackle this issue, which successive Governments have failed to address—so it is high time it was dealt with—is to have one label for 16-plus education. So long as there is a variety of labels there will be confusion of understanding and of funding at institutional level. That is not to say that within that name there will not be a variety of provision. The argument about post-16 education is that it deals not only with early vocational and non-vocational training but with recurrent training. This can mean anything from an adult student going to an adult literacy class to improve 543 his or her ability to cope with English, perhaps as a second or third language, in an inner city to—I am not saying that provision extends up or down — someone who is taking an Open University continuing education course. This might be a short course for his or her own educational experience, or a more long-term course to improve his or her career prospects. That illustrates the range of the system, excluding those undertaking part-time higher degrees.
That range of provision within the system needs to be integrated and planned, as well as movement between sectors within that system. In particular, all aspects of that system should be regarded as equally valid. If all consumers are equal as consumers, in the Government's rhetoric, then in this area, of all areas, all consumers of a range of educational products—here I am borrowing the Government's language—should be regarded as equal in the range of provision, funding and especially the status of their courses within the overall system.
That is why those of us who have emerged from that particular educational tradition have always felt aggrieved that adult and continuing education provision in England and Wales—and to a lesser extent in the Scottish system —has been marginalised. The Government are missing an opportunity in the Bill to follow their own ideology. I see that the Parliamentary Under-Secretary is agreeing with me.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education and Science (Mr. Robert Jackson)
I am surprised by the argument.
§ Dr. Thomas
Perhaps the hon. Gentleman is shocked that I am deploying his arguments.
The Bill was the Government's opportunity to take on the already massive explosion in adult education at all levels, which needs to continue. A major fallacy of the Government's approach in this sector is that they believe, as they do apparently in relation to secondary education, that a national curriculum will somehow directly affect the economic performance of Britain. The rhetoric coming from the Government says that, by changing the curriculum, suddenly an enterprise culture will be created and the performance of the British economy will shoot up. If that sort of rhetoric is valid in relation to secondary education—I shall not enter that debate now—it is valid for the post-16 sector.
The educational opportunities afforded to people directly and immediately affect their position in the job market. That is why I fail to see why the Government have not taken this on board and come to grips with it. In their activities in relation to MSC-funded courses, they have faced the issue, for example, in the curriculum content. I have mentioned TVEI before and other MSC courses. The change in curriculum content has deliberately and successfully put a stop to that lack of direction between education and training. In the rest of the post-16 system, however, the Government have failed to integrate that level of provision. I ask the Government to take away the amendment proposed by the hon. Member for Leeds, North-West (Dr. Hampson) and supported by Opposition Members, and to reconsider all this before the Bill is debated in the other place.
544 I am a bit concerned that the only concession that the Government are prepared to make in the Bill is to the Church of England, as we heard last night. I am all in favour of concessions to the Anglican Church, but we know why it is happening. The Government are in an ideological battle with the Anglican Church and they have to make some concessions to it on religious education.
The Government should equally be prepared to assess the defects of their Bill which may not be linked immediately to their short-term political battles with any of their major adversaries.
They should look particularly at the fact that in drafting the Bill their attention was fixed fully on secondary education, to which the opting-out proposals and the national curriculum rules are directed. Further education has been neglected for a long time in local government and Government policy. The Government have created new free-standing institutions. We shall be debating them later. Between the provision of these new institutions in higher education and the secondary education sector, which seems to be of concern to the Government in this part of the Bill, there is a mess of potage of educational provision. The Government have not addressed themselves to it. In Wales the free-standing institutions will be in a better relationship to the rest of the system than they are in England.
I welcome this "potage" — or caw1 as we say in Welsh. It is right to have a variety of provision, but what is important is that the variety of provision, from access courses to higher education provision, should be treated equally. The way to do that is simply to designate the sector for continuing adult education. It would be part of the central educational experience of everyone at 16-plus. Once the Government have done that they will have made a significant shift in provision. It will not cost them much at first, but that sector will be recognised as equally important with the primary, secondary and so-called higher education sectors. The Government should accept that the 16-plus area of educational experience has validity. They should have the grace to be generous in responding to the amendment of their hon. Friend. They should consider it carefully and show us the grace that they have shown to the Anglican Church.
§ Mr. Ashdown
I am delighted to follow the hon. Member for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy (Dr. Thomas). He eloquently made many of the points that I want to make.
The points made by the hon. Members for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy and for Denton and Reddish (Mr. Bennett) show clearly, yet again, why this cannot be referred to as a great reform Bill. Such a Bill would provide the sort of liberties and freedom in the further education system to which they referred, but it does not. Wherever one looks in it one finds what the hon. Member for Denton and Reddish called "putting things in boxes." The Bill stops movement across the system from vocational to academic courses and from training to education—yet it is supposed to give liberation. The Bill does not exhibit the reformist zeal that would provide a system of higher education that was freer and gave pupils the ability to go to institutions of their choice, carrying the funding for that with them.
I say to the hon. Member for Denton and Reddish that one of the areas in which the Bill fails so spectacularly is the way in which it preserves the artificial divide between education and training. A great reform Bill would bring 545 together education and training under the same Ministry and abolish what is increasingly becoming an artificial divide, for all the reasons that the hon. Gentleman suggested.
I remember that, when I took part in the debate on the City, we referred to Chinese walls in firms that prevented people from knowing what was going on on the other side. The Government are building Chinese walls in the higher education sector: between education and training and between some aspects of further education and others. There has been some movement away from that. The movement towards the National Council for Vocational Qualifications is a welcome step that will begin to break down those walls. Why do the Government not take this extra step and build a system that would allow the sort of freedom that they say is their goal elsewhere?
I agree with all the amendments under discussion. The amendment of the hon. Member for Leeds, North-West (Dr. Hampson) is important. Among the things that we will require in an education system that will serve Britain's future needs is a massively expanded continuing and adult education sector. I saw an article the other day that showed this. I ask the House to accept a difficult concept known as "out-datedness". The article's argument was well backed with good reasons.
§ Mr. Ashdown
If one is aged 40 or more today and has had no further education since leaving school or university at 18, one is in the same quartile of out-datedness as Archimedes and Pythagoras, so fast has the world moved since we were at school. The same will be even more true of the future. The article went on to say that if one was 45 and had received no further training or education since school or university, no less than seven eighths of the skills one had learnt are now out of date and inapplicable to the job one is in.
What we desperately need for Britain's future is an adequate system of retraining and upskilling — a word that I know that the hon. Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) does not like. It is not very elegant, but it covers the point well. All this will require a massive input into continuing education. Britain's future needs must place far more emphasis on adult retraining and continuing education than the Bill gives them. Here again, it falls short of the reforms that are necessary in the education system.
I strongly support the remarks of the hon. Member for Leeds, North-West; and the Opposition amendments, giving a role to the LEA and some status and publicity for youth provision, are also important. I hope they will all be considered.
We have here a tremendous opportunity. Pupils in post-16, post-18 and adult education should be given an entitlement that they can take with them to the institutions of their choice. I should have thought that that was entirely in keeping with the Government's philosophy, but there is neither echo nor substance of it in the Bill. There is a case for tying the YTS into a system of qualifications that would then be applicable in the education system—both further and higher, if necessary. That would be a system built in part on national qualifications or credits 546 that might be assembled. People might start off in vocational training and come out as late developers through the academic system of higher education. That is the sort of system that we want, but there is no evidence of it in the Bill.
Where the Bill has anything to say about funding, it points in the opposite direction. I am delighted that the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State is to answer the debate. He it was who throughout the Committee chided us for seeking to support what he referred to continuously as the nanny state. Now he is operating in the guise of the nanny state.
§ Mr. Ashdown
Indeed. She presides over us all.
I invite the Minister to look at page 114 of the Bill and cast his mind back to 18 February 1988 when we debated why the Government had decided that further education colleges should be funded purely on the basis of a plan by the LEA which would determine the number and type of students at each further education college. That is quite unlike the funding basis for schools, which is a per capita arrangement. Confining further education colleges within such a nanny-operated straitjacket is wrong. The local education authority will play the nanny and decide how many students there will be; the colleges cannot then make more effective financial provision in order to take more students for the same cost. In short, they cannot do any of the things that the Government supposedly want done in every other part of the Bill.
The hon. Member for Leeds, North-West, like me, was outraged by this clause. I draw the Minister's attention to the debate in Committee on 18 February, when his hon. Friend the Member for Dartford (Mr. Dunn), in answer to a point made by the hon. Member for Leeds, North-West, said:I shall undertake to look at those points with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and consider what changes we may make."—[Official Report, Standing Committee J, 18 February 1988; c. 1565.]I have not heard the result of that consideration, and I doubt whether the hon. Member for Leeds, North-West has. Was that a promise idly given, not to be fulfilled, or has this matter been considered and will the Minister answer it when he replies? The Bill has been changed not one whit. The Government, who pretend to give us freedom, have confined the further education colleges in a straitjacket of the LEA's making. They are preventing the freedom and operation of market forces that would be beneficial.
The Bill fails consistently because of the damage that it will do to education and because of the opportunities that are missed in it. The chance has been missed to create a genuine system of education and training that would allow cross-over, give flexibility and allow funding on the basis of numbers of students who choose to go to those colleges. Students should be free to go to them and carry their funding with them when they do. None of that appears in the Bill. That is why it is important to vote for the amendments, which go some small way towards improving the Bill to bring that about.
§ Ms. Hilary Armstrong (Durham, North-West)
We are dealing with one aspect of education which is lacking in 547 the Bill. It demonstrates that the Government see education in narrow terms. It is a tragedy that they have failed to address one of the greatest difficulties in the education system. Government Back Benchers talk almost as much as we do about the need for much better educated and trained people. Yet the Government have failed to address that need during their term of office and they have allowed the Manpower Services Commission to pull the rug completely from under the Department of Education and Science.
The DES has almost abdicated responsibility for work for those over 16. The Government still think that the only proper activity for the 16-plus age group is in sixth forms. If we restrict our vision of what is good education to A-level studies, we have missed the most incredible opportunity, but we are also selling exceptionally short the young people, the skills and the potential of the nation.
Several of my hon. Friends have talked about the Government seeing further education as being in boxes because they regard it separately from the main stream of education. They see it as being separated from higher education. The Minister and I have talked on several occasions about the link between further and higher education and between continuing and higher education. The lack of a close link means greater inequality in access to higher education than in any other area of life. I shall not repeat the figures because I am sure the Minister is sick to death of my quoting them. But we must address that problem, and we cannot do it just at higher education level. We have to deal with it throughout the education system. I have argued strongly for access courses, but we must encourage and enable many more young people to be involved in meaningful education after the age of 16. Education should mean something to them, to their lives and to their communities.
The Bill fails to address the regional differences in need and experience over the past 20 years. In the north-east, and some other areas, deindustrialisation has decimated past training and the Government have tried to lay on top of that what is almost artificial training through YTS. I am not decrying much of the experience that many young people have gained from YTS, but it does not supplant the training experience that used to be available. The training of the past would not meet the needs of British industry or manufacturing today. Training which is separated from education will never match the needs of the 1990s. Therefore, we plead with the Government to expand their understanding of what further education means.
The Government should examine the funding for students and for potential students. They should also consider differential funding for part-time and full-time work. Again, I argued strongly in Committee that much could be done through part-time work and that many opportunities are being missed because there is an enormous disincentive for people to go into part-time education, particularly if they are in receipt of benefit. We want the unemployed to be drawn back into education. My experience of working with mature women who want to return to education is that when they get over the hurdles and become students they are the most encouraging students to teach because of their commitment, dedication and determination to get on. We should not put all those hurdles in their way.
548 I am arguing for more planning and co-ordination across the boundaries between school and further education, between voluntary classes in tenants' associations, the Workers Educational Association, and so on, and the maintained sector and between further and higher education. We have good experience where that has happened. There are some remarkable examples of good practice, despite the enormous hurdles. We need from the Government a signal that they understand the nature of the hurdles and that they are determined to find ways round them.
That demands a close examination of funding for courses and students. The prevarication of the Government has been appalling. Students can only be confident about continuing education if they have substantial financial backing. The Government must consider differential funding for part-time and full-time education. They must also plan.
Because of the attack on their services, local authorities have not got the confidence to begin to plan. In post-16 education we need planning not just within but across authorities. We need much more support for regional planning of further education for the 16-plus age group. I do not differentiate between education and training, but regional planning is essential if we are serious about enabling young people to continue their education.
The only experience young people have had of training and education in many regions has frequently been negative. In areas like mine there is a very low stay-on rate and historically there are few women in the work force. That is changing, and it has to change. The level of skill and the qualifications for measuring skill are appallingly low. In such areas we need to raise skill levels and provide opportunities to develop skills.
There is so much that the Government have missed. We have been arguing this week that all parts of the Bill should be linked. The move to tertiary education has been crucial in encouraging young people who saw education as having nothing to offer them to stay in education. That has been very important, particularly in my area. Ministers may remember that there was great resistance from schools with sixth forms to the setting up of Consett tertiary college.
On Saturday I spoke to a teacher who is now a lecturer at that tertiary college. She was formerly a teacher in one of the sixth form colleges. She told me that she opposed the change root and branch and supported the argument against the college. She told me that she feared that they would have gone for opt-out if it was available then. She said, "I now know that I was absolutely and totally wrong. My experience of teaching at the college has been exciting and interesting." She told me that the range of students that she is involved with is much wider and that the opportunities available to her as a teacher have meant that her teaching has improved beyond all bounds. She said that she was worried that other areas might oppose such an idea in the way that she did at first. If that were the case, opportunities for young people would diminish.
We have recounted the arguments before. I am worried that the Government have not responded to those arguments and they have not recognised the sincerity with which they have been made. We want the best opportunities for the widest possible number of young people and adults. The Government must provide a structure that will enable that to develop. At the moment the Government are centralising, and that means that the 549 necessary adaptations and responses will not be made at local and regional levels. That would be tragic. We want the Government to reconsider and produce the right structure in the post-16 sector.
§ Mr. Rowe
No, and I take courage to speak from the knowledge that if I am out of date, so are many other hon. Members.
As I was not a member of the Committee, I am somewhat puzzled by the debate. I hope that my hon. Friend the Minister will be able to reassure me when he replies. I understood that the schemes that local education authorities are required to create will be annual schemes in the sense that they can he altered every year to take account of changing local circumstances. In that respect, they do not seem to be anything like as restrictive as Opposition Members have suggested.
As a governor of one of the largest further education colleges in Kent, I believe that there are wide opportunities — which are extended considerably by the Bill — for colleges to find support from local business or in other ways almost where they will. The college to which I have referred established its own company last year and is looking forward to considerable freedom of movement and activity. We hope to be able to perform in a far more entrepreneurial way than ever before. Nothing in the Bill will prevent that from happening.
I want to ask my hon. Friend the Minister a question that was put to me by a member of staff at an FE college. According to the member of staff's reading of the Bill, and to my reading of it, staff members are excluded from being part of the governing body. If that is the case, they are the only section of teaching staff throughout the education system who appear to be debarred from sitting on the governing body. I hope that we have misunderstood that, although clause 127 seems to give that impression. I hope that my hon. Friend will reassure me about that or make changes if I am correct. I cannot see any reason why members of the teaching staff should not be allowed to sit on the governing body if they are appropriate in other ways.
My hon. Friends are in difficulty with the Bill because most of the major changes that we would like to see in the way in which further education is delivered, particularly to adults, throughout their lifetime, depend on funding changes which I do not believe are part of the Department of Education and Science's responsibility. I have already put the proposition to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment that the method of funding that he introduced in his training White Paper for the longterm unemployed should he adopted more freely for everyone who has been unemployed for, say, more than three months.
It should be possible to change the social security regulations so that the unemployed who wish to take approved training to acquire the kinds of skills that are in short supply in this country are allowed to continue to draw unemployment benefit. I realise that that is not a 550 point to which my hon. Friend the Minister can respond. However, I believe that that is probably one of the most important elements in freeing the further education system so that it can serve those who perhaps need it most, namely, the unemployed.
§ Mr. Jackson
This has been an interesting and worthwhile debate, and I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds-West (Dr. Hampson) on the lead that he has taken in promoting it. The debate is a tribute to his pertinacity and, as he pointed out, a tribute to the flaccidity of the official Opposition.
§ Mr. Jackson
Unhappily, my hon. Friend is not in the Chamber, but I am sure that he is pursuing his pertinacity pertinaciously elsewhere.
In his absence, I congratulate my hon. Friend on the concessions that he has obtained from the Government. I refer to Government amendments Nos. 233 and 234, which give effect to the commitments that we made in Committee. That answers a point made by the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Ashdown), who referred to the points covered by those amendments.
On behalf of the Government I want to state that we agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, North-West and all other hon. Members who have spoken in the debate about the importance of continuing education. However, the amendments tabled by my hon. Friend are not necessary to achieve his objective. He said that his objective was to legitimise continuing education. The fact is that continuing education is already legitimate and widespread in our system, and that is a very desirable fact.
That point is outlined in clause 99, which will add a new section 41 to the Education Act 1944. New section 41(2) says that vocational education or training includescontinuing education or training for persons already … engaged in a vocation as well as education or training for entry into any employment or vocation).That is in the Bill; it is recognised and it is legitimised. That is what my hon. Friend was seeking.
I draw the attention of the hon. Member for Denton and Reddish (Mr. Bennett) to that passage, because he made the extraordinary statement that there was no provision for that in the Bill.
§ Mr. Jackson
There is a duty on local authorities to provide further education.
My hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, North-West also asked for local schemes to be created. Clause 116 provides for local authorities to draw up schemes for further education. Of course, there is guidance to come, and that will include reference to the concerns expressed by my hon. Friend.
My hon. Friend the Member for Mid-Kent (Mr. Rowe) made his point about local schemes well in his brier intervention. I notice that he is wearing the tie of a well-known further education college somewhere near Slough. I can offer him the reassurance that he seeks about teachers as members of governing bodies of further education colleges. Clause 99 already requires local education authorities to have regard to relevant further and higher education provision in their areas. I think that that answers my hon. Friend's point about the importance 551 of continuing education in the context of higher education. The amendments that he has put down are not necessary to meet the points that he seeks to promote.
A more fundamental point is that we should seek to avoid over-specification in the Bill. There is something of a contradiction, and I make no apology for reiterating a point that I have made many times before. Hon. Members on both sides of the House make two points about the Bill quite regularly, frequently in the same paragraph, if not in the same breath. On the one hand they say that there is too much centralisation, and on the other they say that we should centralise more.
Clause 99 lays a general duty on local authorities to promote further education, and that includes, among other matters, adult education. We feel that it is a mistake to single out particular categories of further education for special mention in the statute. There are varying needs in different areas, and we should not intervene too much and impose too many directions, instructions and specifications on how local authorities fulfil their duty to deliver further education.
§ Dr. Hampson
Let me make two points. Does my hon. Friend accept that there is a point in being consistent? If he is really going to make a stand about not putting too much in, why has he put in, in brackets, the "aside" definition on page 96, which includes the words "continuing education"? I see no logic in putting that in if it is not included elsewhere.
Does my hon. Friend accept that law can be declaratory, that it can influence attitudes in a climate, and that we should now be trying to signal to the world that continuing education is at the heart of the higher education system as it will develop at the turn of the century? Schedule 4, which amplifies clause 99, gives a list from (a) to (h), but does not mention continuing education. What is wrong with putting the words in to send a signal?
§ Mr. Jackson
There is a case for listing a number of matters in the legislation, but we believe that it is necessary to keep the specification to a minimum, and that is the basis on which we are proceeding. Local education authorities have a duty to pay regard to the need for continuing education in their areas. That need varies from area to area, and we must leave it to their discretion.
§ Mr. Jackson
We are timed, and I have a number of points to make to answer the debate.
The hon. Members for Denton and Reddish and for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy (Dr. Thomas) returned to the general theme discussed on Tuesday, that of 16 to 18 provision. It was a pity that the hon. Member for Meironnydd Nant Conwy was not able to be present on that occasion. [HON. MEMBERS: "He was here."] I apologise to the hon. Gentleman.
The congratulations of the hon. Member for Denton and Reddish to the Manpower Services Commission and the Department of Employment have been noted, and I shall pass them on. I join him in congratulating local authorities on their initiatives to promote access. We have great confidence that local authorities will fulfil their duty 552 to promote further education. We do not consider it desirable to undermine them in that duty by intervening in the way that the amendments urge us to do.
§ Mr. Jackson
We are up against the guillotine. I must try to answer the points that have been made.
Running through many of the contributions from Opposition Members was a call for planning mechanisms. The Government agree strongly about the importance of strategic planning by local education authorities in further education. I emphasise the word "strategic". Too often, "planning" can be rather an abstract term that distracts people from doing. In that context, I note with interest the decisions reported in today's newspapers from Hereford and Worcester in respect of its further education provision, which will give further education lecturers the opportunity to deliver more of such education to those who need it.
The hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Ashdown) made an interesting intervention, in which he questioned the Government's liberatory radicalism and urged us to be more liberatory and more radical. Let me draw his attention to the liberatory potential of financial delegation of further education colleges. Meanwhile, in the exercise of new thinking on the Opposition Benches—and the Opposition certainly need it — I noticed the hon. Gentleman's conversion to the idea of vouchers. That is a most interesting and impressive development, which leads to a new line of criticism that we have not heard before: that the Bill does not go far enough. That is a rather refreshing line of criticism, coming from the hon. Gentleman.
We believe that there is a need for strategic planning in further education. We set that out in the consultation paper that was published in August, and widely welcomed. We pointed out that further education numbers are very difficult to predict. They fluctuate. That is one reason why it is necessary to avoid the rigidity of over-specified planning, but some of the Opposition's suggestions lead us in that direction.
The relationship between further and higher education has been touched on. The new Polytechnics and Colleges Funding Council will have to work closely with the local education authorities, and we consider that to be very important. A strong mutual interest will have to be recognised. The local education authorities will have an interest in the higher education that will be delivered in their further education colleges, and the PCFC will have an interest in the provision of further educaton in higher education institutions. This will enable them to work together, and they will have every inducement to do so, particularly at regional level, where they will be able to develop structures.
The subject of access courses is very important. I agree strongly with what has been said by a number of hon. Members — notably the hon. Member for Durham, North-West (Ms. Armstrong), the sincerity of whose views we very much appreciate. We welcome the increasing participation in higher education by more and more of the population, but, as the hon. Lady rightly pointed out, a problem will emerge in the mid-1990s as the 18-year-old age group diminishes.
The Government are addressing the issue of access in that context. We are in discussion with the Committee of 553 Vice-Chancellors and Principals and with the Council for National Academic Awards about the recognition of access courses. We have commissioned a study by the development of adult and continuing education unit, which is funded by the Department, and we shall be pursuing the matter. Although access is improving all the time, there is more to do. In the meantime, nothing in the Bill will impede the development of access. It is one of the issues that the new PCFC will need to address at national level, and I am sure that it will wish to consider the hon. Lady's point about the funding of part-time education, as compared with that of full-time education.
The hon. Member for Meirionnydd Nant Conwy expressed surprise that the Government were not following their ideology. I think that he has misunderstood our ideology. He believes that it is one of centralisation, and he tells us that he wants more centralisation in further education. Our ideology, however, is one of the devolution of power. That is why we believe that local education authorities have a continuing duty to provide further education. In contrast to the hon. Gentleman, who describes the position as a "mess of potage", we believe that the local authorities are doing a good job and that they should continue to do it. We do not believe that their elbows should be jogged as they do that work.
§ Mr. Straw
We listened carefully to the Minister, which is more than can be said of the hon. Member for Leeds, North-West (Dr. Hampson), who was not present for the Minister's opening remarks and who spent a large part of the rest of the time chattering to the Under-Secretary of State for Transport—the hon. Member for Eltham (Mr. Bottomley) — who came in to be entertained by the debate.
The Under-Secretary of State for Education and Science speaks with a forked tongue. Time and again in the debate we have been told to accept the good faith of Ministers and not to write undertakings into legislation. Even if we accept the Minister's good faith—which goes without question in respect of this Minister—he will not be a Minister for ever. Moreover, what he says cannot be enforced in the courts. If we are to make a reality of continuing education, it is crucial that the provision is written into the Bill. Local authorities would welcome that, because they know that from it would flow an undertaking from the Government to help to fund the education that local authorities have a duty to provide, just as the Government have to help to fund five to 16 education. For those reasons—
§ It being Six o'clock, MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER proceeded, pursuant to the orders [1 and 17 February] and the resolution yesterday, to put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair, That the amendment be made :—
§ The House divided: Ayes 194, Noes 305.557
|Division No. 230]||[6 pm|
|Abbott, Ms Diane||Barnes, Harry (Derbyshire NE)|
|Adams, Allen (Paisley N)||Barnes, Mrs Rosie (Greenwich)|
|Allen, Graham||Battle, John|
|Alton, David||Beith, A. J.|
|Archer, Rt Hon Peter||Bell, Stuart|
|Armstrong, Hilary||Benn, Rt Hon Tony|
|Ashdown, Paddy||Bennett, A. F. (D'nt'n & R'dish)|
|Ashley, Rt Hon Jack||Bermingham, Gerald|
|Ashton, Joe||Bidwell, Sydney|
|Banks, Tony (Newham NW)||Blair, Tony|
|Boyes, Roland||Janner, Greville|
|Bradley, Keith||John, Brynmor|
|Bray, Dr Jeremy||Johnston, Sir Russell|
|Brown, Gordon (D'mline E)||Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)|
|Buchan, Norman||Jones, leuan (Ynys Môn)|
|Buckley, George J.||Kinnock, Rt Hon Neil|
|Caborn, Richard||Lamond, James|
|Callaghan, Jim||Leadbitter, Ted|
|Campbell, Menzies (Fife NE)||Lestor, Joan (Eccles)|
|Campbell, Ron (Blyth Valley)||Lewis, Terry|
|Campbell-Savours, D. N.||Livsey, Richard|
|Canavan, Dennis||Lloyd, Tony (Stretford)|
|Carlile, Alex (Mont'g)||McAlliort, John|
|Cartwright, John||McCartney, Ian|
|Clay, Bob||McFall, John|
|Clelland, David||McKay, Allen (Barnsley West)|
|Clwyd, Mrs Ann||McKelvey, William|
|Cohen, Harry||McLeish, Henry|
|Coleman, Donald||McNamara, Kevin|
|Cook, Robin (Livingston)||McTaggart, Bob|
|Corbett, Robin||McWilliam, John|
|Corbyn, Jeremy||Madden, Max|
|Cousins, Jim||Mahon, Mrs Alice|
|Crowther, Stan||Marek, Dr John|
|Cryer, Bob||Marshall, David (Shettleston)|
|Cunliffe, Lawrence||Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)|
|Cunningham, Dr John||Martin, Michael J. (Springburn)|
|Dalyell, Tam||Maxton, John|
|Darling, Alistair||Meacher, Michael|
|Davies, Ron (Caerphilly)||Michael, Alun|
|Davis, Terry (B'ham Hodge H'I)||Michie, Bill (Sheffield Heeley)|
|Dewar, Donald||Michie, Mrs Ray (Arg'l & Bute)|
|Dixon, Don||Mitchell, Austin (G't Grimsby)|
|Dobson, Frank||Moonie, Dr Lewis|
|Doran, Frank||Morgan, Rhodri|
|Dunnachie, Jimmy||Morris, Rt Hon J. (Aberavon)|
|Dunwoody, Hon Mrs Gwyneth||Mowlam, Marjorie|
|Eastham, Ken||Mullin, Chris|
|Evans, John (St Helens N)||Murphy, Paul|
|Ewing, Mrs Margaret (Moray)||Nellist, Dave|
|Fatchett, Derek||Oakes, Rt Hon Gordon|
|Faulds, Andrew||O'Brien, William|
|Field, Frank (Birkenhead)||O'Neill, Martin|
|Fields, Terry (L'pool B G'n)||Orme, Rt Hon Stanley|
|Flannery, Martin||Owen, Rt Hon Dr David|
|Flynn, Paul||Parry, Robert|
|Foot, Rt Hon Michael||Patchett, Terry|
|Foster, Derek||Pendry, Tom|
|Foulkes, George||Pike, Peter L.|
|Fraser, John||Powell, Ray (Ogmore)|
|Fyfe, Maria||Prescott, John|
|Galbraith, Sam||Primarolo, Dawn|
|Garrett, John (Norwich South)||Quin, Ms Joyce|
|Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr John||Radice, Giles|
|Godman, Dr Norman A.||Redmond, Martin|
|Golding, Mrs Llin||Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn|
|Gordon, Mildred||Reid, Dr John|
|Gould, Bryan||Richardson, Jo|
|Graham, Thomas||Roberts, Allan (Bootle)|
|Griffiths, Nigel (Edinburgh S)||Robinson, Geoffrey|
|Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)||Rogers, Allan|
|Grocott, Bruce||Rowlands, Ted|
|Hardy, Peter||Ruddock, Joan|
|Harman, Ms Harriet||Sedgemore, Brian|
|Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy||Sheerman, Barry|
|Haynes, Frank||Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert|
|Healey, Rt Hon Denis||Shore, Rt Hon Peter|
|Heffer, Eric S.||Short, Clare|
|Henderson, Doug||Skinner, Dennis|
|Hinchliffe, David||Smith, Andrew (Oxford E)|
|Hogg, N. (C'nauld & Kilsyth)||Smith, C. (Isl'ton & F'bury)|
|Holland, Stuart||Smith, Rt Hon J. (Monk'ds E)|
|Hood, Jimmy||Smyth, Rev Martin (Belfast S)|
|Howarth, George (Knowsley N)||Snape, Peter|
|Hoyle, Doug||Soley, Clive|
|Hughes, John (Coventry NE)||Spearing, Nigel|
|Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen N)||Steel, Rt Hon David|
|Hughes, Roy (Newport E)||Stott, Roger|
|Hughes, Simon (Southwark)||Straw, Jack|
|Illsley, Eric||Taylor, Mrs Ann (Dewsbury)|
|Thomas, Dr Dafydd Elis||Wilson, Brian|
|Thompson, Jack (Wansbeck)||Winnick, David|
|Turner, Dennis||Wise, Mrs Audrey|
|Wall, Pat||Worthington, Tony|
|Walley, Joan||Young, David (Bolton SE)|
|Warden, Gareth (Gower)|
|Wareing, Robert N.||Tellers for the Ayes:|
|Welsh, Michael (Doncaster N)||Mr. Frank Cook and|
|Wigley, Dafydd||Mr. Adam Ingram.|
|Adley, Robert||Day, Stephen|
|Aitken, Jonathan||Devlin, Tim|
|Alexander, Richard||Dickens, Geoffrey|
|Alison, Rt Hon Michael||Dicks, Terry|
|Allason, Rupert||Dorrell, Stephen|
|Amess, David||Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James|
|Amos, Alan||Dover, Den|
|Arbuthnot, James||Dunn, Bob|
|Arnold, Jacques (Gravesham)||Durant, Tony|
|Arnold, Tom (Hazel Grove)||Dykes, Hugh|
|Ashby, David||Eggar, Tim|
|Atkins, Robert||Emery, Sir Peter|
|Atkinson, David||Evans, David (Welwyn Hatf'd)|
|Baker, Nicholas (Dorset N)||Evennett, David|
|Baldry, Tony||Fairbairn, Nicholas|
|Banks, Robert (Harrogate)||Farr, Sir John|
|Batiste, Spencer||Favell, Tony|
|Bellingham, Henry||Fenner, Dame Peggy|
|Bendall, Vivian||Field, Barry (Isle of Wight)|
|Bennett, Nicholas (Pembroke)||Finsberg, Sir Geoffrey|
|Benyon, W.||Forth, Eric|
|Bevan, David Gilroy||Fowler, Rt Hon Norman|
|Biffen, Rt Hon John||Fox, Sir Marcus|
|Biggs-Davison, Sir John||Franks, Cecil|
|Blackburn, Dr John G.||Freeman, Roger|
|Blaker, Rt Hon Sir Peter||French, Douglas|
|Bonsor, Sir Nicholas||Fry, Peter|
|Bottomley, Peter||Gale, Roger|
|Bottomley, Mrs Virginia||Gill, Christopher|
|Bowden, Gerald (Dulwich)||Gilmour, Rt Hon Sir Ian|
|Bowis, John||Glyn, Dr Alan|
|Boyson, Rt Hon Dr Sir Rhodes||Goodlad, Alastair|
|Braine, Rt Hon Sir Bernard||Goodson-Wickes, Dr Charles|
|Brandon-Bravo, Martin||Gorman, Mrs Teresa|
|Brazier, Julian||Gorst, John|
|Bright, Graham||Gow, Ian|
|Brittan, Rt Hon Leon||Gower, Sir Raymond|
|Brown, Michael (Brigg & Cl't's)||Grant, Sir Anthony (CambsSW)|
|Browne, John (Winchester)||Greenway, Harry (Ealing N)|
|Bruce, Ian (Dorset South)||Greenway, John (Ryedale)|
|Buchanan-Smith, Rt Hon Alick||Gregory, Conal|
|Buck, Sir Antony||Griffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)|
|Budgen, Nicholas||Grist, Ian|
|Burns, Simon||Ground, Patrick|
|Burt, Alistair||Grylls, Michael|
|Butcher, John||Gummer, Rt Hon John Selwyn|
|Butler, Chris||Hamilton, Hon Archie (Epsom)|
|Butterfill, John||Hamilton, Neil (Tatton)|
|Carlisle, John, (Luton N)||Hanley, Jeremy|
|Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)||Hannam, John|
|Carrington, Matthew||Hargreaves, A. (B'ham H'll Gr')|
|Carttiss, Michael||Hargreaves, Ken (Hyndburn)|
|Cash, William||Harris, David|
|Chalker, Rt Hon Mrs Lynda||Hawkins, Christopher|
|Channon, Rt Hon Paul||Hayes, Jerry|
|Chapman, Sydney||Hayward, Robert|
|Chope, Christopher||Heathcoat-Amory, David|
|Churchill, Mr||Heddle, John|
|Clark, Dr Michael (Rochford)||Hicks, Mrs Maureen (Wolv' NE)|
|Clark, Sir W. (Croydon S)||Hicks, Robert (Cornwall SE)|
|Colvin, Michael||Higgins, Rt Hon Terence L.|
|Conway, Derek||Hill, James|
|Coombs, Anthony (Wyre F'rest)||Hind, Kenneth|
|Cope, John||Hogg, Hon Douglas (Gr'th'm)|
|Cormack, Patrick||Holt, Richard|
|Couchman, James||Hordern, Sir Peter|
|Cran, James||Howard, Michael|
|Davies, Q. (Stamf'd & Spald'g)||Howarth, Alan (Strat'd-on-A)|
|Davis, David (Boothferry)||Howarth, G. (Cannock & B'wd)|
|Howell, Ralph (North Norfolk)||Patten, Chris (Bath)|
|Hughes, Robert G. (Harrow W)||Patten, John (Oxford W)|
|Hunt, David (Wirral W)||Pawsey, James|
|Hunt, John (Ravensbourne)||Peacock, Mrs Elizabeth|
|Hunter, Andrew||Porter, David (Waveney)|
|Irvine, Michael||Portillo, Michael|
|Irving, Charles||Powell, William (Corby)|
|Jack, Michael||Price, Sir David|
|Jackson, Robert||Raffan, Keith|
|Janman, Tim||Raison, Rt Hon Timothy|
|Jessel, Toby||Redwood, John|
|Jones, Gwilym (Cardiff N)||Rhodes James, Robert|
|Jopling, Rt Hon Michael||Riddick, Graham|
|Kellett-Bowman, Dame Elaine||Ridley, Rt Hon Nicholas|
|Kilfedder, James||Ridsdale, Sir Julian|
|King, Roger (B'ham N'thfield)||Rifkind, Rt Hon Malcolm|
|Kirkhope, Timothy||Roberts, Wyn (Conwy)|
|Knapman, Roger||Rost, Peter|
|Knight, Greg (Derby North)||Rowe, Andrew|
|Knight, Dame Jill (Edgbaston)||Ryder, Richard|
|Knowles, Michael||Sackville, Hon Tom|
|Knox, David||Sainsbury, Hon Tim|
|Lamont, Rt Hon Norman||Sayeed, Jonathan|
|Lang, Ian||Shaw, David (Dover)|
|Latham, Michael||Shaw, Sir Giles (Pudsey)|
|Lawrence, Ivan||Shaw, Sir Michael (Scarb')|
|Leigh, Edward (Gainsbor'gh)||Shelton, William (Streatham)|
|Lennox-Boyd, Hon Mark||Shephard, Mrs G. (Norfolk SW)|
|Lester, Jim (Broxtowe)||Shepherd, Colin (Hereford)|
|Lightbown, David||Shepherd, Richard (Aldridge)|
|Lilley, Peter||Shersby, Michael|
|Lloyd, Sir Ian (Havant)||Sims, Roger|
|Lloyd, Peter (Fareham)||Smith, Sir Dudley (Warwick)|
|Luce, Rt Hon Richard||Smith, Tim (Beaconsfield)|
|Lyell, Sir Nicholas||Soames, Hon Nicholas|
|McCrindle, Robert||Speed, Keith|
|Macfarlane, Sir Neil||Speller, Tony|
|MacGregor, Rt Hon John||Squire, Robin|
|MacKay, Andrew (E Berkshire)||Stanbrook, Ivor|
|McLoughlin, Patrick||Steen, Anthony|
|McNair-Wilson, M. (Newbury)||Stern, Michael|
|McNair-Wilson, P. (New Forest)||Stewart, Allan (Eastwood)|
|Madel, David||Stewart, Andy (Sherwood)|
|Major, Rt Hon John||Stewart, Ian (Hertfordshire N)|
|Malins, Humfrey||Stokes, John|
|Mans, Keith||Stradling Thomas, Sir John|
|Maples, John||Sumberg, David|
|Marland, Paul||Tapsell, Sir Peter|
|Marlow, Tony||Taylor, Ian (Esher)|
|Marshall, John (Hendon S)||Taylor, John M (Solihull)|
|Marshall, Michael (Arundel)||Taylor, Teddy (S'end E)|
|Martin, David (Portsmouth S)||Tebbit, Rt Hon Norman|
|Mates, Michael||Temple-Morris, Peter|
|Maude, Hon Francis||Thompson, D. (Calder Valley)|
|Mawhinney, Dr Brian||Thompson, Patrick (Norwich N)|
|Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin||Thorne, Neil|
|Mellor, David||Thornton, Malcolm|
|Meyer, Sir Anthony||Thurnham, Peter|
|Miller, Hal||Townend, John (Bridlington)|
|Mills, Iain||Townsend, Cyril D. (B'heath)|
|Miscampbell, Norman||Tracey, Richard|
|Mitchell, Andrew (Gedling)||Tredinnick, David|
|Moate, Roger||Trippier, David|
|Monro, Sir Hector||Trotter, Neville|
|Montgomery, Sir Fergus||Twinn, Dr Ian|
|Moore, Rt Hon John||Vaughan, Sir Gerard|
|Morrison, Hon Sir Charles||Waddington, Rt Hon David|
|Morrison, Hon P (Chester)||Wakeham, Rt Hon John|
|Moss, Malcolm||Walden, George|
|Neale, Gerrard||Walker, Rt Hon P. (W'cester)|
|Needham, Richard||Waller, Gary|
|Nelson, Anthony||Walters, Dennis|
|Neubert, Michael||Ward, John|
|Newton, Rt Hon Tony||Wardle, Charles (Bexhill)|
|Nicholls, Patrick||Warren, Kenneth|
|Nicholson, David (Taunton)||Watts, John|
|Nicholson, Emma (Devon West)||Wells, Bowen|
|Onslow, Rt Hon Cranley||Wheeler, John|
|Page, Richard||Whitney, Ray|
|Patnick, Irvine||Widdecombe, Ann|
|Wilkinson, John||Young, Sir George (Acton)|
|Wolfson, Mark||Tellers for the Noes:|
|Wood, Timothy||Mr. Robert Boscawen and|
|Woodcock, Mike||Mr. Tristan Garel-Jones.|
§ Question accordingly negatived.
§ Mr. Ashdown
On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. You may recall that in the last debate, in answer to a series of questions put in the debate and in Committee by myself and by Conservative Members—
§ Mr. Deputy Speaker
Order. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will defer his point of order until I have put the Question, as I am required to do by the order of the House.
§ MR. DEPUTY SPEAKER then proceeded to put forthwith the Questions on amendments moved by a member of the Government up to the end of clause 109.
Amendments made: No. 254, in page 96, line 3, leave out 'that is to say' and insert—
'(1A) Subject to subsection (1B) below, in this Act "further education" means'.
No. 255, in page 96, line 9, at end insert—
'(1B) Full-time education suitable to the requirements of senior pupils over compulsory school age shall not be regarded for the purposes of this Act as further education if it is or is to be provided by an institution which does not provide part-time senior education or post-school age education to a significant extent.
(1C) In this Act—
No. 256, in page 96, line 10, leave out from beginning to 'in' in line 11 and insert
'References above in this section to education and training or (as the case may be) to education or training include'.
§ No. 257, in page 97, leave out lines 32 to 34.
No. 258, in page 97, line 34, at end insert—
'(6A) In section 67 of that Act (determination of disputes and questions), at the end there shall be added the following subsection—
(4A) If in the case of any institution a question arises as to whether any current or proposed provision of part-time senior education or post-school age education by that institution amounts or would amount to the provision of such education to a significant extent, that question shall be determined by the Secretary of State.".'
No. 259, in page 97, line 39, leave out from 'In' to end of line 45 and insert
'section 114 of the 1944 Act (interpretation)—
(a) in subsection (1)—
(i) after the definition of "further education" there shall be inserted the following defini-tion—
Higher education" has the meaning assigned to it by section 99(1) of the Education Reform Act 1988;";and
(ii) after the definition of "parent" there shall be inserted the following definitions—
Part-time senior education" has the meaning assigned to it by section 41 of this Act;
Post-school age education" has the meaning assigned to it by section 41 of this Act;";and
(b) after that subsection there shall be inserted the following subsections—'.
No. 260, in page 97, line 50, at end insert—
'(1B) For the purposes of this Act, an institution which provides part-time senior education or post-school age education shall be regarded as providing such education to a
significant extent if the provision of such education by the institution is not merely incidental to the provision of education which is not part-time senior education or post-school age education.
(1C) For the purpose of determining whether an institution is a school as defined by subsection (1) of this section, the provision by the institution of part-time senior education or post-school age education shall be disregarded if the institution does not provide such education to a significant extent.".'.—[Mr. Jackson.]