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Mr. Don Foster: I was delighted to hear the response of the right hon. Member for Charnwood (Mr. Dorrell). In the light of his comments, I shall be interested to see how the hon. Member for Guildford (Mr. St. Aubyn) votes.

Like the right hon. Member for Charnwood, I found the Minister's response deeply disappointing. I hope that we can press the new clause to a vote, and that it will be supported by all who believe that there should be democratic accountability in the work of the chief inspector. I hope that all who believe that raising standards is important, and that inspection is an important element of that, will have the opportunity to engage in a serious annual debate on the chief inspector's report.

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

The House divided: Ayes 48, Noes 194.

Division No. 227
[4.1 am


Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Allan, Richard
Arbuthnot, James
Ballard, Mrs Jackie
Blunt, Crispin
Brand, Dr Peter
Brazier, Julian
Breed, Colin
Browning, Mrs Angela
Bruce, Malcolm (Gordon)
Burstow, Paul
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Dorrell, Rt Hon Stephen
Evans, Nigel
Foster, Don (Bath)
George, Andrew (St Ives)
Harris, Dr Evan
Hayes, John
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hughes, Simon (Southwark N)
Jenkin, Bernard
Lait, Mrs Jacqui
Lansley, Andrew
Luff, Peter
Maclean, Rt Hon David
McLoughlin, Patrick
Madel, Sir David
Nicholls, Patrick
Öpik, Lembit
Pickles, Eric
Prior, David
Randall, John
Rendel, David
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
St Aubyn, Nick
Sanders, Adrian
Simpson, Keith (Mid-Norfolk)
Smith, Sir Robert (W Ab'd'ns)
Spelman, Mrs Caroline
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Desmond
Tredinnick, David
Webb, Steve
Whittingdale, John
Widdecombe, Rt Hon Miss Ann
Willis, Phil

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Paul Keetch and
Mr. Edward Davey.


Abbott, Ms Diane
Ainsworth, Robert (Cov'try NE)
Allen, Graham
Anderson, Donald (Swansea E)
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale)
Atherton, Ms Candy
Barnes, Harry
Barron, Kevin
Bayley, Hugh
Benn, Rt Hon Tony
Bennett, Andrew F
Berry, Roger
Blackman, Liz
Blears, Ms Hazel
Blizzard, Bob
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Brown, Rt Hon Nick (Newcastle E)
Brown, Russell (Dumfries)
Browne, Desmond
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Byers, Stephen
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Canavan, Dennis
Caplin, Ivor
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Chaytor, David
Chisholm, Malcolm
Clapham, Michael
Clark, Dr Lynda
(Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clarke, Rt Hon Tom (Coatbridge)
Clelland, David
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Coleman, Iain
Colman, Tony
Connarty, Michael
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Cooper, Yvette
Corbyn, Jeremy
Corston, Ms Jean
Cousins, Jim
Cox, Tom
Cryer, John (Hornchurch)
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Jim (Cov'try S)
Dalyell, Tam
Darvill, Keith
Davidson, Ian
Dawson, Hilton
Donohoe, Brian H
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim
Edwards, Huw
Ennis, Jeff
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Lorna
Flynn, Paul
Foster, Michael J (Worcester)
Galloway, George
Gibson, Dr Ian
Godman, Norman A
Golding, Mrs Llin
Grant, Bernie
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Grogan, John
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hanson, David
Heal, Mrs Sylvia
Healey, John
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hill, Keith
Hinchliffe, David
Hoey, Kate
Home Robertson, John
Hope, Phil
Hoyle, Lindsay
Hughes, Ms Beverley (Stretford)
Hughes, Kevin (Doncaster N)
Hurst, Alan
Hutton, John
Iddon, Dr Brian
Jamieson, David
Johnson, Alan (Hull W & Hessle)
Johnson, Miss Melanie
(Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Barry (Alyn & Deeside)
Jones, Helen (Warrington N)
Jones, Ms Jenny
(Wolverh'ton SW)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Keeble, Ms Sally
Kennedy, Jane (Wavertree)
Kidney, David
King, Andy (Rugby & Kenilworth)
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green)
Kumar, Dr Ashok
Laxton, Bob
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Ivan (Bury S)
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
Lock, David
McAvoy, Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McDonagh, Siobhain
McDonnell, John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McNulty, Tony
MacShane, Denis
Mactaggart, Fiona
Marek, Dr John
Marsden, Paul (Shrewsbury)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester S)
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Martlew, Eric
Michie, Bill (Shef'ld Heeley)
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Moonie, Dr Lewis
Morgan, Ms Julie (Cardiff N)
Morgan, Rhodri (Cardiff W)
Morris, Ms Estelle (B'ham Yardley)
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, George
Mullin, Chris
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Naysmith, Dr Doug
Norris, Dan
O'Brien, Bill (Normanton)
O'Hara, Eddie
Olner, Bill
Pearson, Ian
Plaskitt, James
Pollard, Kerry
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prosser, Gwyn
Purchase, Ken
Rapson, Syd
Raynsford, Nick
Reed, Andrew (Loughborough)
Rooney, Terry
Ross, Ernie (Dundee W)
Rowlands, Ted
Roy, Frank
Russell, Ms Christine (Chester)
Ryan, Ms Joan
Savidge, Malcolm
Sedgemore, Brian
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, Angela (Basildon)
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Smith, Llew (Blaenau Gwent)
Soley, Clive
Squire, Ms Rachel
Steinberg, Gerry
Stoate, Dr Howard
Stott, Roger
Stringer, Graham
Sutcliffe, Gerry
Taylor, Rt Hon Mrs Ann
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Thomas, Gareth R (Harrow W)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Touhig, Don
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Dr Desmond (Kemptown)
Walley, Ms Joan
Wareing, Robert N
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Wills, Michael
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Wise, Audrey
Woolas, Phil
Wray, James
Wright, Anthony D (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, Dr Tony (Cannock)

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. John McFall and
Mr. Clive Betts.

Question accordingly negatived.

24 Mar 1998 : Column 372

New clause 17

Requirement for recoupment to be paid for primary and secondary education

'.--In section 492 of the Education Act 1996 (Recoupment: adjustment between local education authorities), for "may" in subsection (1) there shall be substituted "shall".'.--[Mr. Burstow.]
Brought up, and read the First time.

Mr. Paul Burstow (Sutton and Cheam): I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

I shall endeavour not to detain the House too long. I should like to start with a positive comment. The aim of the new clause is to address the worst effects of the interplay of the Greenwich judgment, grant-maintained schools and selection, which can leave children in many parts of the country without a school place.

We want to allow the money to follow the pupil. I was not a member of the Standing Committee, but I have read the report of its debates. The Liberal Democrats moved an amendment in Committee in an attempt to address the Greenwich judgment head on by reversing it. After debate, the amendment was withdrawn. We have reflected on what was said and have tabled the new clause in an attempt to move matters forward.

A number of problems arise from the Greenwich judgment. It is not relevant in every area, but the problems affect many, particularly those in large conurbations with a number of smaller local education authorities--areas where selection continues and there is a large number of

24 Mar 1998 : Column 373

grant-maintained schools. There has been a fragmentation of the admission and planning arrangements designed to meet the demand for places.

As a result, it can be increasingly difficult for a local education authority to match demand for places. Authorities have a statutory duty to provide school places, and some are trying to plan for that by increasing the number of places, while others have surplus places.

Those facing increasing demand for school places experience a volatility of demand that creates greater pressure on the overall supply. It is difficult for LEAs to anticipate or control that, and thus to fund it. In those circumstances, taking into account both market-led forces and the lead times for building new accommodation, it is difficult to meet the additional demand.

Within an individual LEA, the distribution of places is no longer a question of demography but one of parental choice--perfectly legitimate choice. In Sutton, my local education authority, the situation brought about by the Greenwich judgment on grant-maintained schools and selection means that on current projections, based on the continued inflow of out-of-borough pupils, there will be a shortfall of 2,400 places by 2003.

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