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Baroness Amos: My Lords, perhaps the noble Lord is not aware that the UK is the largest contributor to CSFP. We have provided two-thirds of total awards under the scheme over the past three years. The noble Lord will recall that DfID has prioritised the whole area of basic education because of our commitment to meeting the universal primary education target. In the past three years we have spent 500 million in developing countries on promoting universal primary education. So the Government have certainly put their money where their mouth is.

Emergency Contraception for Girls Under 16

3 p.m.

Baroness Blatch asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether a parent has the right to know if and when a daughter aged 16 or below has been given the "morning-after-pill" by her school.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): My Lords, where a school nurse provides emergency contraception she works within the same legal framework and government guidance as other health professionals providing contraception to under-16s. They must always encourage the young person to involve her parents, but the nurses' professional code states that, if the girl refuses, confidentiality must be maintained unless there are serious child protection issues.

Baroness Blatch: My Lords, can the Minister say how many school nurses are available to the 4,000 secondary schools on a daily basis? Does he not agree that parents can be made responsible for misdemeanours of their children in school and yet do not have the right--I believe that is the import of the Minister's answer--to know when medication is being given to their children aged between 11 and 15 years. Does the Minister agree with that?

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: My Lords, I do not have figures for the number of school nurses. I will find out if they are available and let the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch, know. Certainly, nurses play a very important role. I believe that in relation to sex education they can play an invaluable role in advising young people.

No school would introduce such a scheme without full consultation with the parents. Existing government guidance to schools makes this clear. The guidance for health professionals issuing contraception to girls under 16 makes clear that they

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must, first, encourage the young person to involve her parents. At the end of the day, if that young person is not willing for the matter to be discussed with her parents then the health professional has to use his or her own judgment. Surely, that is the most appropriate way forward if young girls are to be encouraged to come forward to speak to nurses about these issues.

Lord Walton of Detchant: My Lords, does the noble Lord agree that the Family Law Reform Act states very clearly that consent given by a young person of 16 is as valid as if given by an individual of full age? Further, does he agree that during my term of office on the General Medical Council in the 1980s that council agonised over this issue following the Gillick judgment? Eventually the council came to the conclusion that if a doctor were consulted by a young person under 16 about issues relating to contraception then it was the doctor's duty to try to persuade--particularly a young girl--to consult her parents about that matter. If that young girl adamantly refused to do so it was the doctor's duty to preserve her confidentiality even if he did then prescribe for her. Does the noble Lord agree that that applies equally to school nurses?

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Walton, puts the matter accurately and effectively. The point I make is that the advice that school nurses and other health professionals can give to young people can often encourage the young people to have the confidence to go and talk to their parents. That is what we would all wish to happen. If that young person is not prepared to do so the school nurse and other health professionals cannot turn that person away. They have to use their professional judgment.

Lord Clement-Jones: My Lords, perhaps I may follow up the point made by the noble Lord, Lord Walton. Can the Minister confirm that the guidance issued to schools is entirely in line with the Gillick case decided in 1985, that the Government see good sense in that case and have no intention to change it?

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: My Lords, the noble Lord is right. The circumstances that he mentions go back to the Gillick judgment and the Fraser guidelines, as they have been called. I can assure the noble Lord, Lord Clement-Jones, that the Government have no intention of making any changes.

Baroness Knight of Collingtree: My Lords, did the Minister in his speech winding up the debate last night imply--when suggesting it did not matter whether chemists could judge accurately whether a girl asking for the pill was 16 or not because doctors gave contraceptive devices to girls under that age--that the Government intend shortly to abolish the age of consent or lower the age of 16?

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: My Lords, it is some hours since we had that debate. I do not recall making any such remarks. I made it clear that the minimum

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guidelines laid down by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society have to be followed by pharmacists in exercising their judgment in relation to the sale of emergency contraceptives to women of the age of 16 and over. Pharmacists who are in breach of those guidelines are subject to the disciplinary procedures of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. I fail to see how the noble Baroness could possibly take from what I said any intent to change the law on the age of consent.


3.3 p.m.

Lord Carter: My Lords, at a convenient moment after 3.30 p.m. my noble friend Lord Hunt of Kings Heath will, with the leave of the House, repeat a Statement that is being made in another place on the Alder Hey inquiry report.

I take this opportunity to confirm that this evening's Unstarred Question will take place during the dinner break. I understand that the white edition of the Notices and Orders of the Day contains a printing error that may have led some noble Lords to believe that it would be taken at the end of business. It will be taken in the dinner break in the usual way.

Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Bill [H.L.]

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg): My Lords, I beg to move the Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper.

Moved, That the order of commitment of 29th January be discharged and that the Bill be committed to a Grand Committee.--(Lord Irvine of Lairg.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Private Security Industry Bill [H.L.]

3.5 p.m.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton): My Lords, I beg to move that the House do now resolve itself into Committee on this Bill.

Moved, That the House do now resolve itself into Committee.--(Lord Bassam of Brighton.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

House in Committee accordingly.


Clause 1 [The Security Industry Authority]:

Lord Cope of Berkeley moved Amendment No. 1:

    Page 1, line 7, leave out ("Industry") and insert ("Activities").

The noble Lord said: For the reassurance of the noble Lords who are leaving the Chamber, this is a modest amendment that probably will not lead to a

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clash of intellects across the Floor of the Committee. Unless noble Lords have a serious interest in the Bill, they are wise to leave.

The Bill sets up a new regulatory authority to be called the security industry authority. The amendment suggests that it should be called the security activities authority. The point being made is that this authority will regulate a good many activities that are not generally considered part of the security industry. So far "the security industry" has not been a very carefully defined and understood term and many people would not know what the definition covers.

The British Security Industry Association has a number of large and small firms in its membership. It covers many of the activities that are to be regulated by the Bill. One of the activities is wheelclamping. As the Bill stands, it will cover wheelclamping by private individuals who are not any part of what one might think of as the security industry. It covers private detectives. In some senses they belong to the security industry, but one has to define it very widely to include them. It covers keyholders. Those often are some of the large and well-known firms in the industry. But it also concerns door supervisors--"bouncers", as some people call them--who frequently are not part of the security industry as such. "Bouncers" and wheelclampers are covered whether or not they are under contract to a large firm. In-house door supervisors and in-house wheelclampers are covered. So the Bill is extremely wide in terms of the coverage of the new authority.

It seems to me that it might be sensible to think of a different name which indicates that the authority will not only regulate the security industry itself but also these extraneous activities. I beg to move.

Viscount Goschen: Perhaps I may add a few brief words of encouragement to my noble friend in respect of his incisive amendment. Clearly, this is a way to illustrate the fact that the Bill has a wider application than merely to those who work full-time in the private security business. A number of other people will be affected. The arguments put forward so convincingly by my noble friend also apply to a later amendment relating to the Long Title of the Bill. The Long Title states:

    "Make provision for the regulation of the private security industry".

However, the Bill goes wider than that. I shall be interested to hear the Minister's response to my noble friend's suggestion on that issue.

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