Select Committee on Education and Employment First Report

The Education and Employment Committee

The Education and Employment Committee is appointed to examine on behalf of the House of Commons the expenditure, administration and policy of the Department for Education and Employment and its associated public bodies. Its constitution and powers are set out in House of Commons Standing Order No. 152.

The Committee has a maximum of 17 members, of whom the quorum is five. The members of the Committee are appointed by the House and unless discharged remain on the Committee until the next dissolution of Parliament. The present membership of the Committee is as follows:

    Mr Richard Allan (Liberal Democrat, Sheffield Hallam)
    Ms Candy Atherton (Labour, Falmouth and Camborne)
    Charlotte Atkins (Labour, Staffordshire Moorlands)
    Mr Graham Brady (Conservative, Altrincham and Sale West)
    Valerie Davey (Labour, Bristol West)
    Rt. Hon. Derek Foster (Labour, Bishop Auckland)
    Mr Michael Foster (Labour, Worcester)
    Dr Evan Harris (Liberal Democrat, Oxford West and Abingdon)
    Helen Jones (Labour, Warrington North)
    Judy Mallaber (Labour, Amber Valley)
    Mr Gordon Marsden (Labour, Blackpool South)
    Mr Patrick Nicholls (Conservative, Teignbridge)
    Mr Stephen O'Brien (Conservative, Eddisbury)
    Mr Ian Pearson (Labour, Dudley South)
    Mr Barry Sheerman (Labour, Huddersfield)
    Mr Nick St Aubyn (Conservative, Guildford)
    Mr Stephen Twigg (Labour, Enfield Southgate)

The Committee has the power to send for persons, papers and records, to make Reports to the House and to appoint two sub-committees. The Committee has appointed an Education Sub-committee and an Employment Sub-committee. The quorum of each sub-committee is three.

The Committee and its sub-committees may meet notwithstanding any adjournment of the House and may travel within the United Kingdom and abroad. The Committee or its sub-committees may meet concurrently with other committees or sub-committees established under Standing Order No. 152 and with the House's European Scrutiny Committee (or any of its sub-committees) or the Environmental Audit Committee for the purpose of deliberating or taking evidence. The Committee may exchange documents and evidence with any of these committees, as well as with the House's Public Accounts and Deregulation Committees.

The membership of the Education Sub-committee for the period of this inquiry was:

Wicks, Mr Malcolm (Chairman) Hayes, Mr John
      (added, 30.11.99)       (discharged, 1.2.00)
      (discharged, 29.11.99) Harris, Dr Evan
Sheerman, Mr Barry       (added, 2.11.99)
      (added, 30.11.99) Healey, Mr John
      (elected Chairman, 1.12.99)       (discharged, 29.11.99)
Atkins, CharlotteJones, Ms Helen
Davey, Valerie      (added, 14.12.99)
Flint ,CarolineMarsden, Mr Gordon
      (discharged, 13.12.99) O'Brien, Mr Stephen
Foster, Mr Derek (ex officio)       (added 30.11.99)
Foster, Mr Michael (Worcester) Willis, Mr Phil
Rammell, Mr Bill      (discharged, 1.2.00)
      (discharged, 13.12.99)   
St Aubyn, Mr Nick  

We are grateful to the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority for supplying the colour photographs. Special thanks are due to the following schools, and the families of the children in the pictures, for allowing the photographs to be published:

    Harbinger Primary School, Isle of Dogs
    Hatfield First School, Morden
    Woodlands Park Nursery Centre, Haringey.

In the footnotes to this Report, references to oral evidence are indicated by 'Q' followed by the question number, references to the written evidence are indicated by 'Ev' followed by a page number.

The Reports and evidence of the Committee are published by The Stationery Office by Order of the House. All publications of the Committee (including press notices) are on the internet at A list of Reports of the Committee in the present Parliament is at the end of this publication.

All correspondence should be addressed to the Clerk of the Education and Employment Committee,7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA. The telephone number for general inquiries is: 020 7219 6181/1352; the Committee's e-mail address is

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Prepared 11 January 2001