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Division No. 2

CONTENTS

Addington, L.
Ampthill, L.
Anelay of St Johns, B.
Astor of Hever, L.
Avebury, L.
Biffen, L.
Blaker, L.
Blatch, B.
Boardman, L.
Bowness, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Brittan of Spennithorne, L.
Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, L.
Brookeborough, V.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Burnham, L.
Byford, B.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Carlisle of Bucklow, L.
Clement-Jones, L.
Colwyn, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Cox, B.
Craigavon, V.
Crathorne, L.
Crickhowell, L.
Dahrendorf, L.
Darcy de Knayth, B.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Eden of Winton, L.
Elles, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Falkland, V.
Ferrers, E.
Fookes, B.
Forsyth of Drumlean, L.
Freeman, L.
Geraint, L.
Goodhart, L.
Gray of Contin, L.
Hanham, B.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Hayhoe, L.
Higgins, L.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Holderness, L.
Hooson, L.
Howe, E.
Howe of Aberavon, L.
Howe of Idlicote, B.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Jenkins of Hillhead, L.
Jopling, L.
Kimball, L.
King of Bridgwater, L.
Kingsland, L.
Lindsay, E.
Linklater of Butterstone, B.
Liverpool, E.
Lucas, L.
Luke, L.
Lyell, L.
MacGregor of Pulham Market, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
McNally, L.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Marlesford, L.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Monro of Langholm, L.
Monson, L.
Montrose, D.
Mowbray and Stourton, L.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Newby, L.
Noakes, B.
Northesk, E.
Norton of Louth, L.
O'Cathain, B.
O'Neill of Bengarve, B.
Oppenheim-Barnes, B.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Peel, E.
Perry of Southwark, B.
Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Plumb, L.
Prior, L.
Rawlings, B.
Reay, L.
Redesdale, L.
Renton, L.
Renton of Mount Harry, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Rogan, L.
Roper, L.
Rotherwick, L.
Russell, E.
St. John of Bletso, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Sandberg, L.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Seccombe, B. [Teller]
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Shrewsbury, E.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Strange, B.
Strathclyde, L.
Swinfen, L.
Taverne, L.
Taylor of Warwick, L.
Thomas of Gwydir, L.
Tope, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Trumpington, B.
Vivian, L.
Waddington, L.
Walmsley, B. [Teller]
Walpole, L.
Weatherill, L.
Wigoder, L.
Wilcox, B.
Williamson of Horton, L.

NOT-CONTENTS

Acton, L.
Ahmed, L.
Alli, L.
Alton of Liverpool, L.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashley of Stoke, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bach, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Bhatia, L.
Billingham, B.
Blackstone, B.
Borrie, L.
Bragg, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brooks of Tremorfa, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carter, L.
Chandos, V.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L.
Craig of Radley, L.
Crawley, B.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L.
Dixon, L.
Donoughue, L.
Dormand of Easington, L.
Dubs, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Evans of Watford, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Fitt, L.
Fyfe of Fairfield, L.
Gale, B.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Gilbert, L.
Golding, B.
Goldsmith, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Graham of Edmonton, L.
Gregson, L.
Grenfell, L.
Grocott, L. [Teller]
Hardy of Wath, L.
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harrison, L.
Haskel, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Irvine of Lairg, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Islwyn, L.
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jeger, B.
Jenkins of Putney, L.
Jones, L.
Jordan, L.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Layard, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Lipsey, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Haringey, L. [Teller]
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
May of Oxford, L.
Merlyn-Rees, L.
Milner of Leeds, L.
Mishcon, L.
Mitchell, L.
Morgan, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Nicol, B.
Northbourne, L.
Orme, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Pendry, L.
Peston, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Plant of Highfield, L.
Ponsonby of Shulbrede, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Puttnam, L.
Radice, L.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rea, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Rooker, L.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Sheldon, L.
Simon, V.
Smith of Gilmorehill, B.
Stallard, L.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Strabolgi, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Temple-Morris, L.
Thornton, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Turnberg, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Uddin, B.
Walker of Doncaster, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Whitty, L.
Wilkins, B.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Williams of Mostyn, L. (Lord Privy Seal)
Woolmer of Leeds, L.

Resolved in the negative, and amendment disagreed to accordingly.

26 Jun 2002 : Column 1391

5.9 p.m.

Clause 68 [Proposals relating to sixth forms]:

[Amendments Nos. 109 to 112 not moved.]

Baroness Sharp of Guildford moved Amendment No. 113:


    After Clause 71, insert the following new clause—


"ACTS DONE IN DISCHARGE OF PUBLIC FUNCTION
Where, in consequence of the operation of any provision of the Education Acts (as defined by section 578 of the Education Act 1996 (c. 56)), the Learning and Skills Act 2000 (c. 21) and of any subordinate legislation made under those Acts, any person other than a local education authority or governing body is or becomes responsible for the establishment or maintenance of any school, the acts done by that person in that regard shall for the purposes of section 31 of the Supreme Court Act 1981 (c. 54) be treated as having been done in the discharge of a public function."

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, this is a probing amendment to tease out the Government's intention regarding the role of private companies in education. The effect of the amendment is to ensure that a private company is potentially subject to judicial review, whatever the provision in any education legislation. This will ensure that all private companies are accountable whatever their role in the education system.

The issue has already been a matter for some debate in this House in regard to Clauses 10 and 12. As has been said, even if "for profit" companies are tightly regulated—under the terms of their contracts—in terms of operating under comprehensive equal opportunities criteria, their whole raison d'etre is to make a profit for their shareholders, not to provide a democratically accountable education service. At LEA level, for example, the majority of out-sourcing contracts to date have included bonuses as financial incentives for companies to meet performance targets, although not all contracts have included financial penalty clauses.

By way of illustration, Nord Anglia's interim results to June 2001—the company that has been involved in Hackney, Waltham Forest and Sandwell—show that its annual turnover increased by 9 per cent, to 34 million, and its pre-tax profit increased by 50 per cent to 1.5 million. As, according to Kevin McNeany, 40 per cent of its profits came from running council education services and schools, Nord Anglia made a profit last year of nearly 600,000 from public funds.

There is already some accountability regarding the role of private companies in the system. Ofsted's review of Nord Anglia's running of the school improvement service in Hackney concluded that the service was still discharged unsatisfactorily. Nord Anglia's contract has not been renewed. Hackney

26 Jun 2002 : Column 1392

education will be run by an education trust chaired by Mike Tomlinson, who is still currently Chief Inspector of Schools. The new body has significant flaws, including a lack of teacher representation, but the ending of Nord Anglia's contract is welcome.

The amendment would properly increase the level of accountability for private companies in line with the public sector. In addition, there are issues for the education service relating to the support given to schools by private companies, the education offered to pupils, relationships with the community, local democratic accountability, financial accountability, profit motive and the situation at the end of the contract.

The question is whether a private company carrying out a public duty should have more accountability. I beg to move.


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