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Lord Davies of Oldham moved Amendment No. 28:

"(b) with a view to promoting one or more of the relevant objectives, or
(c) if—
(i) they are made in addition to proposals relating to education or training other than in schools, and
(ii) the combined proposals are made with a view to promoting one or more of the relevant objectives."

On Question, amendment agreed to.

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Lord Davies of Oldham moved Amendment No. 29:

    Page 48, line 15, at end insert—

"( ) For the purposes of this section, the following are "relevant objectives"—
(a) an improvement in the educational or training achievements of persons who are above compulsory school age but below the age of 19;
(b) an increase in the number of such persons who participate in education or training suitable to the requirements of such persons;
(c) an expansion of the range of educational or training opportunities suitable to the requirements of such persons."

The noble Lord said: My Lords, I beg to move.

Baroness Sharp of Guildford moved, as an amendment to Amendment No. 29, Amendment No. 30:

    Line 6, at end insert "consistent with the Education Development Plan"

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, I am grateful to the Minister for listening to what I had to say. The key issue is that the matter should go down in the guidance. The Minister will recognise that the amendments probe the matter a little further than his amendment. We have no intention of pressing our amendment, but we did intend to get a more specific statement that there would be a positive link between the Learning and Skills Council and the local planning structures. It is important, and I am grateful to the Minister for the assurance that he gave. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 31 and 32, as amendments to Amendment No. 29, not moved.]

On Question, Amendment No. 29 agreed to.

Clause 120 [Power to prescribe pay and conditions]:

Lord Lucas moved Amendment No. 33:

    Page 76, line 2, after "teacher" insert "or a member of the management team"

The noble Lord said: My Lords, Clause 120(3) defines a school teacher for the purposes of the clause. Clause 120(4) says that a head teacher is also a school teacher. I understand that that is required because some of the conditions under Clause 120(3) may not be met in the case of a head teacher.

When we discussed the matter in Committee, I quoted the example of the head teacher with the luxury of six non-teaching deputies who was thus able to take a holiday in the middle of term. The characteristics of a head teacher that mean that he or she does not come under Clause 120(3) would also mean that non-teaching deputies did not come under that subsection. I propose the amendment to put that right or, at least, to find out that I do not need to put it right. We must make sure that non-teaching deputies qualify as teachers for the purposes of the clause. I beg to move.

Baroness Ashton of Upholland: My Lords, I must begin by apologising to the noble Lord, Lord Lucas,

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for the fact that my letter of 7th May to him did not fully cover the point that he made in Committee on 2nd May. Then, he said:

    "It is not clear that the definitions in Clause 118(3)(b) and Clause 129(1) would apply to a head teacher or member of senior management who was not actually teaching."—[Official Report, 2/5/02; col.901.]

The clauses in question are now Clauses 120 and 131, as the noble Lord said. My letter was written in the context of the debate at the time, which concerned a set of technical government amendments to secure consistent references in the Bill to teachers employed by schools or LEAs. I recognise that I did not address in full the point that he now raises, and I apologise to him for that. I hope that I can satisfy him about that now.

In general, a person must be paid as a teacher if he or she has qualified teacher status, is employed by the school or LEA, as appropriate, and—crucially—is required by contract to carry out the work that is to be specified under Clause 131; namely, the core teaching duties. That means that, in general, only qualified teachers who are required to carry out core teaching duties are entitled to be paid as qualified teachers. Clause 120(4) ensures that the head of a maintained school is subject to the pay and conditions provisions, whether or not he or she is contracted to carry out the core teaching duties. As the noble Lord said, the reason for the provision is that some heads do not do any teaching. If they are employed on the basis that they are not required to carry out the core teaching duties, they should still be subject to teachers' pay provisions.

I fully understand the concern that other school managers, such as deputy or assistant heads, might not meet the criteria and would therefore not be required to be paid according to national pay and conditions agreements. I hope that I can reassure the noble Lord on that point. However, the difficulty with the amendment is that, in referring to the management team, it catches bursars as well as deputy and assistant heads. That would, of course, require schools to pay their bursars under the school teachers' pay and conditions document. I know that the noble Lord would recognise that to represent an undesirable loss of flexibility. There is no simple technical means of resolving that difficulty, as bursars may have qualified teacher status even though they have given up teaching.

Having set that out, I turn to the substance of the issue. We certainly do not intend that schools should be forced to pay non-teaching deputy and assistant heads outside the pay document. That will not happen. Many deputy and assistant heads have some timetabled teaching and will automatically be caught by the provisions. All are qualified teachers and are, of course, currently employed under national pay and conditions agreements. Their contracts of employment will, in almost all cases, refer to a requirement to carry out core teaching duties, even if that is, in some cases, only occasionally.

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A deputy or assistant head who does not, in practice, carry out the core teaching duties will not be excluded from the requirement to be paid on national pay and conditions. The contractual duty to, for example, cover classes, where necessary, under the direction of the head will be sufficient to ensure that they are captured by the provisions.

We have two key objections here and in Clause 131. First, we want to ensure that, subject to specified exceptions, core teaching work is carried out by qualified teachers and that they are entitled to be paid as such. Secondly, we want to ensure that schools do not lose their flexibility to deploy staff according to local circumstances, subject to the protections that Clause 131 gives to qualified teacher status. Thus, those who are not teaching are nevertheless still required under their contracts to teach if need be, and therefore are covered.

I hope that, on the basis of my remarks, the noble Lord will feel able to withdraw his amendment.

Lord Lucas: My Lords, I am grateful for that explanation. I hope that it will work in practice. No doubt at some point in the future we shall find someone who will trip up on this technicality, but I do not suppose that it is much to worry about. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

7.30 p.m.

Clause 131 [Requirement to be qualified]:

Baroness Blatch moved Amendment No. 34:

    Page 82, line 1, after "teacher," insert—

"( ) is a teaching assistant under the direction and the direct supervision of a qualified teacher,"

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, I shall be brief. I am still fishing for a proper definition of a "teaching assistant". I am trying to work out, having read through the record and checked the correspondence, what is the difference between a teaching assistant today and a teaching assistant under the new arrangements. Furthermore, what is it that simply cannot be done now that will be facilitated by this part of the Bill?

Some confusion arose when I tabled this amendment on Report. The noble Baroness thought that I was referring to any person working under the direction and/or the direct supervision of a qualified teacher. That could include the caretaker, the groundsman and the cleaners. In fact I refer here only to "teaching assistants". Rather than be used as substitute teachers, which is one of the fears expressed by professional teachers, they should be able to work as teaching assistants under the direction and the direct supervision of a qualified teacher. I beg to move.

Baroness Ashton of Upholland: My Lords, I begin by apologising to the noble Baroness for the numbering on the new policy statement I sent to her. That numbering does not reflect the latest version of the

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Bill. References in the statement to Clauses 128, 129 and 40 should now read Clauses 130, 131 and 43. There was no intention to mislead the noble Baroness. The statement was written at Report stage and I would not want her to think that I had not picked up the error.

Perhaps I may turn first to the technical implications of the amendment and then seek to address the concerns of the noble Baroness. I think that she will accept that there are some technical difficulties because we do not want to restrict local discretion and appropriate flexibility in the use of teaching assistants in schools. The words "under the direction of" and "direct supervision of" are not as clear as perhaps we would need if we were to accept the amendment. Furthermore, as the noble Baroness herself pointed out, staff to whom she was not referring such as the caretaker right through to the deputy head teacher would be captured by the terms of the amendment.

I have checked the position very carefully. The words "direct supervision" mean, in practice, that teaching assistants would be unable to undertake any specified teaching work without the presence of a qualified teacher. I shall cite an example. The noble Baroness will be well aware that experienced teaching assistants may on occasion take a group of children out of the classroom. A visit to the library could provide some appropriate work on literacy. Many situations that currently form a part of everyday teaching in schools would become questionable if we were to accept the amendment.

Lessons prepared or devised by qualified teachers could not be delivered in any part or in any way by a teaching assistant without a qualified teacher being present. However, we know of circumstances where schools want to be able to ensure that qualified teachers set the work, although perhaps a teaching assistant would be in the classroom while the qualified teacher was outside preparing for the next part of the work. I am sure that we would not wish to interfere with those arrangements. Indeed, part of the aim of the Bill is to ensure that we understand those differences. The proposed level of supervision would not be appropriate in all cases and thus would limit the scope of teaching assistants to support qualified teachers.

The noble Baroness referred on Report to teaching assistants in special schools who over the years may have gathered a great deal of experience of working in the classroom with children with special needs; indeed, they may well be more experienced and have greater know-how than newly qualified teachers coming straight from college. We want to ensure that such experienced teaching assistants are able to work with children in an appropriate manner, even if a qualified teacher is not present in the same room.

The term "teaching assistant" is not otherwise defined in primary legislation and we believe that the amendment would create a distinction between them and other unqualified persons, to whom the noble Baroness referred. Teaching assistants are a heterogeneous group of persons, some of whom will be experienced school staff. Others may not have previous relevant experience of the learning

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environment. It is not possible comprehensively to define a "teaching assistant". Therefore, placing all teaching assistants under a direct supervision requirement would be inflexible and would leave schools in a kind of straitjacket. There would be no discretion to recognise the skills and experience of a particular individual. In addition, we do not want to tie the hands of qualified teachers by placing on them a daily function of directly supervising teaching assistants in the way specified in the amendment.

We seek to add clarity so that schools understand the position with regard to working with teachers and teaching assistants. We must recognise that in our schools there are adults who come from different backgrounds, some of whom will be qualified and some unqualified. On Report we discussed at length particular individuals, such as those from overseas, who would fall into a certain category. I hope that the policy statement reflects what we are trying to achieve here; namely, to recognise that it is difficult to put a specific definition on a teaching assistant that would not rule out one or other group that is making a real contribution to our schools. Some may be more experienced than others and some may have special skills when working with particular groups of children.

I hope that, along with the revised policy statement, I have been able to allay the fears of the noble Baroness and that in the light of these explanations she will feel able to withdraw her amendment.

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