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Lord Filkin moved Amendments Nos. 108 to 110:

"(aa) shall ensure that a copy of the report is sent to the registered person providing the child minding or day care that was inspected;"
Page 82, line 36, leave out "any prescribed authorities or persons" and insert "such other authorities or persons as may be prescribed"
Page 82, line 41, leave out from beginning to end of line 2 on page 83 and insert—
"(3A) Regulations may make provision—
(a) requiring a registered person to make a copy of any report sent to him under subsection (3)(aa) available for inspection by prescribed persons,
(b) requiring a registered person, except in prescribed cases, to provide a copy of the report to prescribed persons, and
(c) authorising a registered person in prescribed cases to charge a fee for providing a copy of the report."

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Lord Hanningfield moved Amendment No. 111:

The noble Lord said: Although this clause re-enacts Clause 42 of the 1996 Act word for word, it is perhaps worth taking this valuable opportunity to raise with the Minister a number of the questions and concerns that seems to us to arise from a clause of this nature.

I believe that with any power to investigate and inspect an individual's personal possessions, or what in this case could be described as their intellectual property, we must be mindful that such a power does not unnecessarily intrude into private lives. It would therefore be useful if the Minister could explain where such a clause would be used—in what circumstances and to achieve what aims. The matter of who would be authorised to carry out such an investigation also is relatively vague. I would also welcome the Minister's clarification on that.

As the power has been around for just under 10 years, presumably the Minister can tell us how often it has been used and for what purposes and whether any difficulties in its use have arisen during that time. If it has not been used in that period, why does the Minister think that such a clause is still necessary?

Finally, Amendment No. 111 is consequential on the removal of Clause 57 from the Bill in relation to the Children Act 1989. I beg to move.

Baroness Andrews: The noble Lord, Lord Hanningfield, has asked for the rationale of the clause, who will implement the powers that the clause provides, and whether we have had any difficulties with the power. Perhaps I should say first what the clause does not do as that should take care of both parts of the argument. It is very important that both the paragraph in Schedule 7 which the amendment seeks to remove and Clause 57 remain part of the Bill.
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Clause 57 essentially supplements Clauses 4 and 9, which provide inspectors with the right to determine what records and other documents they inspect. The clause ensures that inspectors can go to the source of the records where it appears to them that there may be related material which is relevant to the inspection. That notion of related material is particularly important.

As the noble Lord said, the power already exists. It is important because of the nature of the evidence inspectors collect when they come to cast judgment on the efficacy of the work being done. For example, where inspectors evaluate children's work done on computer, they may wish to look at preparatory work, previous drafts, source materials or test animations or to look at work using control technology—in a sense, the prehistory of the project. Increasingly, schools' and early-years providers' management systems, timetables and attendance records are also held electronically. We are looking at a departure from the use of paper because much of the evidence used to validate pupils' work and the schools' organisational structures and strategies are on computer.

Computer systems are inevitably secure systems. Inspectors will need to be given access to them or have material retrieved or demonstrated for them. This clause gives them the right to do so. It makes a specific distinction between computers and other records and provides for inspectors to have access to relevant computer records during an inspection. That is what it does.

The noble Lord raised issues of personal property and personal data. In looking at schools' records and documentation, inspectors will see personal data of the staff and pupils. However, they will not take copies of the data and Ofsted does not collect personal data on individuals when inspecting schools; that is outwith the inspection. Therefore, the Data Protection Act does not apply. We are looking at Ofsted's own records in that respect. The school has its own responsibilities for data protection. If it is concerned about material that it is presenting to the inspectors, including personal data, it would have to decide whether to anonymise that information. So I think that the noble Lord's first point is covered by that.

This clause is very much about the inspectors' access over the past 10 years to the sources of information, to give them a good fix on what they are looking at superficially. So in that sense the power is benign. I am sure that noble Lords will agree that such access is necessary. It minimises the burdens that would otherwise be placed on schools and early-years settings.

Schedule 7 includes a number of provisions which replace references to the School Inspections Act with the equivalent references in the Bill. Paragraph 6 of Schedule 7 would amend Section 79(u) of the Children Act 1989 by replacing a reference to the School Inspections Act 1996 with a reference to the provisions in Clause 57. Clause 57 re-enacts Section 42 of the 1996 Act,
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as the noble Lord said. Paragraph 6 of Schedule 7 is therefore required as a consequential amendment to the repeal of Section 42.

I hope that I have given noble Lords sufficient reassurance that this is a necessary clause; it has worked well. I have no record or information about any complaints about it in operation. The accountability is built in.

Lord Hanningfield: I thank the noble Baroness for that explanation. I accept what she says. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord Filkin moved Amendment No. 112:

"8A (1) Paragraph 1 is amended as follows.
(2) In sub-paragraph (1)—
(a) before paragraph (a) insert—
"(za) nursery education provided in a maintained school or a maintained nursery school;"
(b) in paragraph (a), after "nursery education" insert "not falling within paragraph (za)";
(c) for paragraph (b) substitute—
"(b) nursery education which is provided by any other person under arrangements made with that person by a local education authority in pursuance of the duty imposed on the authority by section 118 and in consideration of financial assistance provided by the authority under the arrangements."
(3) In sub-paragraph (2), for the words from "to whom" onwards substitute "with whom a local education authority are considering making arrangements in pursuance of the duty imposed on the authority by section 118 for the provision of nursery education in consideration of financial assistance provided by the authority under the arrangements".
(4) For sub-paragraph (3) substitute—
"(3) Where—
(a) any education is for the time being provided at any premises for children who have not attained the age prescribed for the purposes of section 118(1)(b) ("the prescribed age"), and
(b) that education is provided by a person—
(i) who proposes to provide nursery education at those premises for children who have attained the prescribed age, and
(ii) with whom a local education authority are considering making arrangements of the kind mentioned in sub-paragraph (2),
the education is to be treated for the purposes of this Schedule as nursery education under consideration for funding even though it is provided for children who have not attained the prescribed age.""

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 113 not moved.]
13 Jan 2005 : Column 461

Lord Filkin moved Amendment No. 114:

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