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Baroness Thomas of Walliswood: My Lords, before the noble Baroness sits down, may I ask her whether she will accept that my reference was in no way meant to impugn the standards of inspectors, either those inspecting today or those likely to be inspecting in the future? I was merely trying to express that unquantifiable expertise which inspectors need to acquire if they are to make the fullest inspection.

Baroness Young: My Lords, I accept immediately what the noble Baroness, Lady Thomas, has just said. I hope that we both agree that professional standards will apply to these inspectors.

Lord Henley: My Lords, again, I should like to endorse everything that my noble friend said about the value of inspection since the creation of Ofsted and all that it has done. I hope that we can continue that process with the Bill's provisions. The noble Lord, Lord Morris,

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said that consistency is not always important. I find that rather odd, as only the other day he accused myself and my right honourable friend the Secretary of State of a veritable series of "U"-turns. However, on that occasion he was making a different political point. I note that the noble Lord does not think it necessary to preserve the consistency of his own arguments.

In my view, it is unnecessary to prescribe the scope of the chief inspector's duty to report to the Secretary of State, or the scope of inspections, in any greater detail than the Bill already does.

Paragraph 7 of Schedule 1 requires inspectors to report on,

    "the quality and standards of nursery education provided".
Singing the consistency song, perhaps I may make it quite clear that those provisions are exactly the same in the 1992 Act. I believe it important to preserve a degree of consistency in legislation of this kind. What interpretation would one put on the 1992 Act if this Act were drafted in a different way? Would that not imply that the 1992 Act had to be interpreted in a rather different manner? That is an important point which the noble Lord should take on board.

The provisions will embrace all aspects of quality covered by the draft framework of inspection, which is closely linked to the SCAA outcomes. The nursery education inspections will make sure that all early years' staff and all institutions are offering good quality to all children.

Further, Ofsted's Primary Subject Guidance, issued in March to primary school inspectors, for inspections of nursery and reception classes in maintained primary schools, and maintained nursery schools, also makes specific reference to the SCAA desirable outcomes. Ofsted is responsible for both systems of inspection, and has ensured that they are aligned with one another.

I should like to deal with one or two of the points raised by the noble Lord, Lord Morris. He talked about there being some 400,000 workers involved with the under-fives. I, too, have heard mention of that figure. It is an overall figure which includes, for example, something like 90,000 childminders whom we are not seeing as voucher-redeeming institutions, unless they were to get themselves together to create what would amount to playgroups.

As regards the scheme, the workers must at least be fit. When they enter the scheme, as I made clear earlier, they will, under the Children Act, obviously be inspected by social services. With the help of the voucher funding I hope that training will improve and that higher qualifications will follow. I believe the noble Lord mentioned that a large percentage of people working with children had no qualifications. Again, I would ask the noble Lord not to forget that the key theme of the pre-school--the playgroup--movement is the involvement, for example, of parents on a voluntary basis. Many of those parents would have no specific qualifications.

Of course, it is frequently the case that parents help in schools; for example, with early reading. I believe that the noble Lord will accept that that is very valid

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assistance. I am sure that he would not want to put a stop to that sort of unqualified parental involvement. Therefore, I hope that the noble Lord will feel able to withdraw the amendment. I also hope that he will accept that there are many occasions when consistency is important, especially in legislation. As I said earlier, these provisions are the same as those in the 1992 Act.

Lord Morris of Castle Morris: My Lords, I intend to be entirely consistent with what I said at the end of the debate on the last amendment. However, on the amendment which is now before the House, I should like to say: first, I have listened carefully to what the Minister said; secondly, I am not persuaded by it; thirdly, I think he is wrong; fourthly, I believe, like the noble Baroness, Lady Young, that the amendment is too important to abandon; and, fifthly, I must ask the House to express an opinion.

4.35 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 3) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 101; Not-Contents, 177.

Division No. 1


Acton, L.
Addington, L.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Beaumont of Whitley, L.
Berkeley, L.
Blackstone, B.
Blease, L.
Borrie, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Bruce of Donington, L.
Callaghan of Cardiff, L.
Carlisle, E.
Carmichael of Kelvingrove, L.
Carter, L.
Chorley, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cocks of Hartcliffe, L.
Dahrendorf, L.
David, B.
Dean of Beswick, L.
Desai, L.
Donaldson of Kingsbridge, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Elis-Thomas, L.
Falkender, B.
Falkland, V.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Fisher of Rednal, B.
Fitt, L.
Gallacher, L.
Geraint, L.
Gladwin of Clee, L.
Graham of Edmonton, L. [Teller.]
Greene of Harrow Weald, L.
Harris of Greenwich, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Hooson, L.
Howell, L.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hughes, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jeger, B.
Jenkins of Hillhead, L.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Kennet, L.
Kilbracken, L.
Lockwood, B.
Longford, E.
Lovell-Davis, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
McNally, L.
Mallalieu, B.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Methuen, L.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Molloy, L.
Monkswell, L.
Morris of Castle Morris, L.
Murray of Epping Forest, L.
Nicol, B.
Palmer, L.
Peston, L.
Plant of Highfield, L.
Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Rea, L.
Robson of Kiddington, B.
Sainsbury, L.
Sandwich, E.
Seear, B.
Serota, B.
Shepherd, L.
Simon, V.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Stallard, L.
Stoddart of Swindon, L.
Taverne, L.
Taylor of Gryfe, L.
Tenby, V.
Thomas of Walliswood, B. [Teller.]
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Thurlow, L.
Tonypandy, V.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Warnock, B.
White, B.
Williams of Crosby, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L.
Winchilsea and Nottingham, E.
Winston, L.


Addison, V.
Ailsa, M.
Aldington, L.
Alexander of Tunis, E.
Allenby of Megiddo, V.
Ashbourne, L.
Astor of Hever, L.
Balfour, E.
Barber of Tewkesbury, L.
Belhaven and Stenton, L.
Beloff, L.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Boardman, L.
Bowness, L.
Boyd-Carpenter, L.
Brabazon of Tara, L.
Brookes, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Burnham, L.
Butterworth, L.
Cadman, L.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Campbell of Croy, L.
Carlisle of Bucklow, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Carnock, L.
Carr of Hadley, L.
Carrington, L.
Cayzer, L.
Chalker of Wallasey, B.
Charteris of Amisfield, L.
Chelmsford, V.
Chesham, L. [Teller.]
Clanwilliam, E.
Clark of Kempston, L.
Cochrane of Cults, L.
Constantine of Stanmore, L.
Cornwallis, L.
Courtown, E.
Cox, B.
Cross, V.
Cuckney, L.
Cullen of Ashbourne, L.
Cumberlege, B.
Dacre of Glanton, L.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Denham, L.
Denton of Wakefield, B.
Dilhorne, V.
Donegall, M.
Downshire, M.
Dudley, E.
Dundonald, E.
Eccles of Moulton, B.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elles, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Erne, E.
Erroll, E.
Fanshawe of Richmond, L.
Feldman, L.
Ferrers, E.
Flather, B.
Fraser of Carmyllie, L.
Gainford, L.
Gainsborough, E.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Gisborough, L.
Goschen, V.
Gray of Contin, L.
Grimston of Westbury, L.
Hailsham of Saint Marylebone, L.
Hamilton of Dalzell, L.
Harding of Petherton, L.
Hardinge of Penshurst, L.
Harmar-Nicholls, L.
Harmsworth, L.
Harris of Peckham, L.
Hayhoe, L.
Henley, L.
Holderness, L.
HolmPatrick, L.
Howe, E.
Hylton-Foster, B.
Inglewood, L.
Jellicoe, E.
Johnston of Rockport, L.
Kintore, E.
Kitchener, E.
Knollys, V.
Lane of Horsell, L.
Lauderdale, E.
Lindsay, E.
Liverpool, E.
Long, V.
Lucas, L.
Lucas of Chilworth, L.
Lyell, L.
McConnell, L.
Mackay of Ardbrecknish, L.
Mackay of Drumadoon, L.
Macleod of Borve, B.
Marlesford, L.
Massereene and Ferrard, V.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Monckton of Brenchley, V.
Monson, L.
Mountevans, L.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Moyne, L.
Munster, E.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Nelson, E.
Norrie, L.
Northesk, E.
O'Cathain, B.
Orkney, E.
Orr-Ewing, L.
Oxfuird, V.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Pender, L.
Perry of Southwark, B.
Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Platt of Writtle, B.
Plummer of St. Marylebone, L.
Pym, L.
Quinton, L.
Rankeillour, L.
Rawlings, B.
Reay, L.
Renfrew of Kaimsthorn, L.
Rennell, L.
Renwick, L.
Rippon of Hexham, L.
St. Davids, V.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Sanderson of Bowden, L.
Sandys, L.
Seccombe, B.
Selborne, E.
Shannon, E.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Somerset, D.
Stewartby, L.
Stodart of Leaston, L.
Strafford, E.
Strange, B.
Strathcarron, L.
Strathclyde, L. [Teller.]
Sudeley, L.
Swinfen, L.
Swinton, E.
Terrington, L.
Teviot, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Torrington, V.
Trefgarne, L.
Trumpington, B.
Tugendhat, L.
Ullswater, V.
Vivian, L.
Wade of Chorlton, L.
Waterford, M.
Weatherill, L.
Wedgwood, L.
Whitelaw, V.
Wigram, L.
Wise, L.
Wynford, L.
Young, B.
Zouche of Haryngworth, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

9 Jul 1996 : Column 200

4.45 p.m.

Lord Elis-Thomas moved Amendment No. 4:

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