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Baroness Maddock: My Lords, I thank the Minister for that response. It is helpful to people outside the House. The amendments are tabled partly in response to local authorities and others which have concerns about how guidance will work in practice. Social exclusions from school have been a controversial area. We all wish to see them used sensibly.

We shall consider the Minister's reply carefully. Many people will be keeping an eye on the situation. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 149 not moved.]

Schedule 19 [Required provision for religious education]:

Baroness Blackstone moved Amendment No. 150:

Page 194, line 24, leave out ("provide") and insert ("prescribe").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, the Government agreed at Committee to consider an amendment identical to Amendment No. 150, which was tabled by the noble Lord, Lord Tope. The noble Lord argued that his formulation made it clearer that pupils did not have to take part in the same daily act of worship. Paragraph 2(2) of Schedule 20 to the Bill provides, as does current legislation, that schools may provide separate acts of worship for pupils in different age groups or in different school groups. We have reflected on the wording and have decided to accept the noble Lord's alternative. He looks rather surprised.

Amendments Nos. 151 and 152 have been tabled at the suggestion of parliamentary counsel. They do not affect the sense of the provision which relates to the period by which former grant-maintained schools must revert to their home LEA's locally agreed syllabus for RE. They simply tidy up the wording of Schedule 19 ensuring that this sub-paragraph in respect of foundation and voluntary schools with a religious character mirrors the identical provision at paragraph 2(4) of the schedule which applies to schools without a religious character. I beg to move.

Baroness Blatch: My Lords, while the noble Lord, Lord Tope, recovers from the shock of what has just been said, perhaps I may put two questions to the noble Baroness. The first arises in relation to Amendment No. 150 which inserts "prescribe" and deletes "provide". It then inserts

Perhaps I may confirm that my understanding is correct. Is it correct that where a grant-maintained school has adopted a syllabus from another local authority, not its own--that was one of the freedoms of grant-maintained schools--or a different agreed syllabus, for the purposes of transferring to a foundation school it can transfer that

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same syllabus which shall be deemed to be the agreed syllabus? If that is the meaning of the amendment I welcome it.

I should like to put a second question that is not related to the same amendment but is concerned with the same subject. In sub-paragraph (3)(b), which appears just above the provision that is to be altered by the amendment, reference is made to foundation governors making

    "arrangements for securing that such religious education is given to those pupils in the school during not more than two periods in each week".
I do not take issue with that. That is probably the usual time that is taken up by religious education in any school. But is it right for the Government to prescribe that it shall be not more than two periods a week? It may be that a school wishes to teach religious education for three or even four periods a week. It is normal for governments to prescribe minima but not maxima in terms of how many periods are devoted to the teaching of any particular subject.

Baroness Blackstone: My Lords, I do not understand what the second question has to do with the amendment. However, perhaps I may deal with the first question. Section 382 of the 1996 Act permits grant-maintained schools that were formerly county or controlled schools to select an agreed syllabus adopted by any local education authority.

They are not confined to the syllabus adopted by the authority for the area in which the school is situated. It makes no sense for some schools but not others to have this right under the new school framework. We suspect that relatively few former grant-maintained schools have actually taken advantage of it, but those that have must revert to the locally agreed syllabus within a period to be prescribed by order. I am afraid that I shall disappoint the noble Baroness in that respect. We shall consult on the period but we expect that it may be five or seven years. That will allow schools to ensure that pupils who have started with one agreed syllabus do not need to switch part-way through their school careers. Similarly, it will not prevent schools from changing more quickly if they prefer that to using different agreed syllabuses with different year groups.

Baroness Blatch: My Lords, with the leave of the House perhaps I may put one more question. Given that we are legislating and that this amendment will be passed today, has there been any consultation with the grant-maintained schools on the proposition that the agreed syllabuses that have been adopted will have to be abandoned as they become foundations schools? This is another loss of autonomy for those schools.

Baroness Blackstone: My Lords, grant-maintained schools have been consulted on every aspect of the Bill. I should be extremely surprised if they had not been consulted on this particular issue.

Lord Tope: My Lords, I have now recovered from my shock. I thank the Minister for Amendment No. 152 which bears a striking resemblance to an amendment

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that I moved in Committee. I thank the Minister not only for listening but for hearing. I hope that she has not found it too painful and suggest that now we have begun the process it can continue. Maybe the Minister will listen with even greater attention to further amendments that I move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Baroness Blackstone moved Amendment No. 151:

Page 194, leave out line 26 and insert ("that syllabus shall be treated for the purposes of sub-paragraph (2)(b) as an agreed syllabus adopted for the school or (as the case may be) those pupils.").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 70 [Requirements relating to collective worship]:

Baroness Blackstone moved Amendment No. 152:

Page 54, line 2, leave out ("all pupils") and insert ("each pupil").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 153:

After Clause 74, insert the following new clause--

Transfer of land by governing body to trustees

(".--(1) Where a building is to be provided for a foundation or voluntary school and the building--
(a) is to form part of the school premises, and
(b) is to be constructed partly on land held by the governing body and partly on land held on trust for the purposes of the school by persons other than the governing body,
the governing body shall transfer to those persons the land held by the governing body on which the building is to be constructed.
(2) Paragraph 1 of Schedule 22 does not apply to any transfer required by subsection (1).").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I beg to move Amendment No. 153 and speak to Amendments Nos. 154 to 161. We come back to land transfers. This group of amendments consists mainly of technical amendments to the provisions for the ownership and disposal of land for voluntary, foundation and foundation special schools. Amendment No. 153 introduces provisions for voluntary and foundation schools to reflect those introduced in 1993 for grant-maintained schools. Amendment No. 155 is a technical amendment to correct an omission. Where governors of a grant-maintained school received grants when the school was first established they would have been required to transfer their interest in the site to trustees. This amendment provides that when trustees sell such land they will be subject to the same rules which apply to disposals of land which has benefited from other types of grant-maintained school grants.

Amendments Nos. 154, 156 and 157 are technical amendments which correct references in the Bill to disposals of land "under" paragraphs 1 and 3(1) of Schedule 22. These paragraphs do not confer a power to make a disposal and therefore the correct reference should be disposals "within" these paragraphs.

Amendments Nos. 158 and 159 correct an error in paragraph 4 of Schedule 22. This paragraph already enables LEAs to apply to the Secretary of State to have surplus land that was transferred to a school when it became grant-maintained returned to the authority in

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circumstances where it is surplus and is needed as a site for a new or transferring school. This technical amendment extends that element of these provisions which relates to group foundations. Amendments Nos. 160 and 161 are very technical amendments. They make clear that we are dealing with disposals of land which has been either provided or enhanced with public funds as set out in paragraph 3(1) and (2). It is only such land that is subject to control in these clauses. I beg to move.

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