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Baroness Blatch: Before the noble Baroness sits down perhaps she can respond to one small point. The noble Baroness used the phrase yet again that this body will regulate the teaching profession. Can I ask a straight question? Is this a body that is being given powers to regulate the teaching profession? If so, Clause 2 needs to be amended.

Baroness Blackstone: Perhaps I can clarify that point. Under the Bill the GTC has powers to advise and register. It would need more primary legislation if a whole lot of new regulatory powers were to be given to it. However, the GTC will be able to advise the

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Secretary of State about all kinds of regulatory matters and the Secretary of State will want to take seriously the views of the GTC on all of those matters.

Baroness Young: I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 7 to 15 not moved.]

Baroness Blatch moved Amendment No. 16:

Page 2, line 13, at end insert--
("( ) No regulations made under subsection (3) shall come into force until they have been laid before and approved by resolution of each House of Parliament.").

The noble Baroness said: Amendment No. 16 requires that no regulations made under subsection (3) shall come into force until they have been laid before and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament. I always thought that that was a good piece of advice that we received from the scrutiny committee. However, I am all the more concerned that it should now appear on the face of the Bill. The debate that we had and the response to my question makes it all the more important that regulations made under this part of the Bill should come before both Houses of Parliament.

The GTC will not be a regulating body if the Bill goes through in this form. The Secretary of State remains the regulator; the body remains an advisory body. If it is to change to be a regulatory body, then Clause 2 needs to be amended. Indeed, amendments have been tabled to come immediately after my amendment which may give the body powers, though if we are to give the body powers through the schedule, Clause 2 will have to be amended as a consequence of that.

The constituencies that were talked about in the course of the debate on the last amendment gave me reason to believe that this is an important amendment. The noble Baroness gave reasons why none of those categories should appear on the face of the Bill. I mentioned the constituencies of different types of schools--independent, maintained, comprehensive, grammar, city technology colleges and specialist schools. A small category of schools such as the technology colleges--of which there are only 15--supported by the present Government could be left outside of the council. We seek some assurance that all types of schools will be represented including, as the right reverend Prelate said, supported by my noble friend Lord Pilkington, voluntary controlled and voluntary aided schools. Given the absence of any detail in the Bill, people will want to look for some evidence that the Government are serious about making sure that the council will be inclusive rather than exclusive.

The noble Lord, Lord Peston, wished--I have no reason to doubt his aspiration--for the body to become more independent and more powerful. There is no way that that can happen under the Bill. If it is to become more independent and more powerful, there needs to be another piece of primary legislation. Room will have to be found for another Bill in a future legislative programme. Unless the Government accept the amendments, we are talking about an advisory body.

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The noble Lord, Lord Peston, said that the debate is useful. It certainly is useful. It will send a clear message to the Secretary of State as to how Members of this House feel about the Bill. We are not having a cosy debate about education. From time to time we have very illuminating debates on educational matters but we are part of the law-making process. We are making legislation. If we are making legislation, the dots, the commas, the powers, the functions and the way in which the proposals are to work are very important. Detail matters. That is why I have the fall-back position that if we cannot have more detail on the face of the Bill there should be an affirmative procedure for any regulations made not just in this part but throughout the Bill. We shall fight very hard to put some detail on the face of the Bill. I beg to move.

Lord Jenkin of Roding: I strongly support the amendment and the remarks made by my noble friend Lady Blatch. As the Committee stage has proceeded, I have become increasingly disenchanted to the point where one wonders whether one is taking part in something perilously like a farce. As my noble friend said, we must be satisfied that what leaves us commands the support of the majority of the House. In that case the specific amendments need to be discussed, points need to be argued in detail and provisions placed on the face of the Bill. It appears that the Government have set their face against that. I seriously wonder whether one would not do better to write a letter to the Secretary of State saying that this is what we think the teaching council should be, as we appear to be just part of the consultation process. I make my protest. I do not think this is a sensible way for this House to conduct itself on legislation.

I come to the particular point of the amendment. Since we have no specific proposal on the face of the Bill but only the most general words and the responses of the noble Baroness, Lady Blackstone, as to what she thinks might or might not form part of the consultative document to be published in March--that is about as far as she is prepared to go--we have to insist that every set of regulations should be subject to the affirmative procedure--this is the kind of issue on which this House can so insist--so that they have to be debated in both Houses. They cannot be amended, as the noble Earl, Lord Russell, said in our earlier debate. We recognise that he has been very skilful in previous parliaments in devising procedures which enabled him to require that regulations should be amended. But that is the kind of process into which, in the end, the Government will drive this House. We must have the affirmative procedure.

In looking at this subsection of the Bill, I rather suspect that Ministers have said, "We are going to have to give way on this. Let us put it in as the negative procedure and then we can appear big-hearted and make the concession at a later stage". I have done it; I have no doubt my noble friends have done it; and, if anyone can remember that far back, the party opposite has done it. I see the noble Lord, Lord Diamond, in his place; I am sure that he did it when he was last in office. It is a normal thing. I say to the Minister that on this point

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there can be no alternative. If we are not to be allowed to debate the detail of the Bill other than as part of a peerage consultative stage of the process, which is what it amounts to, then when it comes back with the details it must be properly debated in both Houses.

6.15 p.m.

Lord Peston: I think that the remarks of the noble Lord, Lord Jenkin of Roding, about our proceedings being farcical were just a trifle harsh. I would not want him to stop saying it but I think he was going too far.

Perhaps I may refer to the nature of the Bill itself. My ambition, which I thought was shared by virtually all your Lordships, is to see the teaching profession as a self-regulating profession. We have all made speeches of that kind and I am convinced that must be our objective. What lies before us is how we get there from where we are now. I have said several times that I am willing to go with the Government in the sense of saying that we should get started this way, subject to the one proviso--I was not overwhelmingly happy with the reply just now of my noble friend--that a majority of the council must be elected by practising teachers. That is a minimum requirement. Subject to that condition being met, I would want to go along the general lines of the Bill, bearing in mind that the pressures will be to go along the lines set out by my noble friend Lord Glenamara--taking more time than he would like, and perhaps even more time than I would like, in the evolutionary process. That is my general position. The central question is self-regulation. The central amendment, whether it is done on the face of the Bill or by the Government bringing forward regulations, must be that a majority of the council be elected by practising teachers.

Perhaps I may turn to the specific amendment. Despite "rituality", if there is such a word in the language--namely, we say what we do according to which part we have been assigned in life--I do not change my view. I would have argued from the Opposition Front Bench exactly as the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch, has argued. I hope my noble friend the Minister will say not necessarily that she can accept the amendment but that, with no promise, she will go away and think about it. I hope that she will at least give us the encouragement that when we argued it ourselves we were sincere and therefore we ought to respond sincerely when the argument is put to us.

Lord Tope: I agree entirely with the noble Lord, Lord Peston. He spoke to us earlier about the ritual that takes place in the House from time to time when the two sides change. I speak from the same Bench on which I have sat since I arrived in your Lordships' House. I do not feel any need to explain why I adhere to the view that we always had. I look forward to the time when we can end this ritual and when my colleagues and I are on the opposite sides of the House. We can then say in Government that we meant what we said in opposition.

The Minister has explained to us that, primarily for reasons of pressure of parliamentary time, the Bill has had to come before us at this time, that the Government

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have had to take the opportunity of a legislative slot and that, of necessity, it is therefore a skeletal Bill which needs to have flesh put on the bones following the consultative process. I hope that is an accurate reflection of what the Minister said.

Whether that is the right way round is a matter of opinion, but we are where we are. We are dealing with a skeletal Bill. I tend to feel that the noble Lord, Lord Jenkin, spoke a little strongly. This is a useful debate. However, it is only a useful debate if we are able to demonstrate that we are not part of what has just been called a peerage consultative process but that we are part of a legislative process. That is what we are here for. It is not just a consultation session; it is a legislation session. If it has to be this way, when the Government have concluded their consultation and decided the form and nature of the GTC, that will be right and proper. Were I on the other side of the House, I hope that I would still be arguing that it is right and proper that the House should have the opportunity to review and comment on the regulations and ultimately to pass, amend or deny them. I certainly support this amendment. I agree with previous speakers that it is a very important one, on which I hope the Minister, if she cannot accept it today, will reflect because it represents the views of all sections of the Committee on the process.

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