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Lord Hanningfield: My Lords, I am afraid I do not quite agree with the Minister on the way that the guidance is currently worded. It is not firm enough on consultation with parents. One could get away with simply calling a meeting of parents, which is what happens. Therefore all the parents are not consulted fully.

We have had an interesting debate. I support what the noble Lord, Lord Dearing, said. It is important that we fly the flag for these schools, for these young people and, as I said earlier, for the parental support that they get. As the noble Baroness, Lady Howe, said, we have looked at other parts of this legislation, and there is not really anything in it about special educational needs. Whether the Minister knows it or not, there is fear among parents. We saw one accost the Prime Minister only two weeks ago—that was about a special school in my local authority that is not likely to close.

Lord Filkin: My Lords, I am grateful to the noble Lord, Lord Hanningfield, for giving way.

I am well aware that there is anxiety, which is why I was as clear as I possibly could be in putting on the record the Government's policy in this respect. The policy is not to say to local authorities "You are expected to close your special schools", but to meet best the needs of children with special educational needs. That is why I also laboured the point about how thorough the process of consultation is, and how I intend to ensure that there is thoughtfulness in local authorities in how they plan their provision in the future.

Lord Hanningfield: My Lords, I thank the Minister for that. I was going to thank him for the latter part of his contribution, where he set out some of the things he is doing to raise awareness of the issue, so that parents are more assured about the Government's intentions regarding the education and support of their children.
 
2 Mar 2005 : Column 267
 

I do not think the parent consultation part of the legislation is strong enough at present, and I should like the Government to strengthen it. Therefore, I should like to test the feeling of the House.

5.10 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 4) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 148; Not-Contents, 126.


Division No. 2


CONTENTS

Addington, L.
Ashcroft, L.
Astor of Hever, L.
Attlee, E.
Avebury, L.
Barker, B.
Bledisloe, V.
Bonham-Carter of Yarnbury, B.
Bradshaw, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Buscombe, B.
Byford, B.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Carlile of Berriew, L.
Carlisle of Bucklow, L.
Clement-Jones, L.
Colville of Culross, V.
Colwyn, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L.
Cox, B.
Craigavon, V.
Crickhowell, L.
Darcy de Knayth, B.
Dean of Harptree, L.
Dearing, L.
Denham, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Dundee, E.
Dykes, L.
Eccles of Moulton, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Erroll, E.
Falkland, V.
Falkner of Margravine, B.
Flather, B.
Fookes, B.
Forsyth of Drumlean, L.
Freeman, L.
Garden, L.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Geddes, L.
Glenarthur, L.
Glentoran, L.
Goodhart, L.
Greengross, B.
Greenway, L.
Hamwee, B.
Hanningfield, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Henley, L.
Holme of Cheltenham, L.
Howard of Rising, L.
Howarth of Breckland, B.
Howe, E.
Howe of Aberavon, L.
Howe of Idlicote, B.
Howell of Guildford, L.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Hurd of Westwell, L.
Hylton, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Kimball, L.
King of Bridgwater, L.
Knight of Collingtree, B.
Lang of Monkton, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Linklater of Butterstone, B.
Listowel, E.
Liverpool, E.
Livsey of Talgarth, L.
Luke, L.
Lyell, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
MacGregor of Pulham Market, L.
Mackay of Clashfern, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
McNally, L.
Maddock, B.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Marlesford, L.
Marsh, L.
Masham of Ilton, B.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Methuen, L.
Michie of Gallanach, B.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Monson, L.
Montrose, D.
Morris of Bolton, B.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Neuberger, B.
Newby, L.
Noakes, B.
Northesk, E.
Northover, B.
Norton of Louth, L.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow, E.
Park of Monmouth, B.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Peyton of Yeovil, L.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Platt of Writtle, B.
Razzall, L.
Redesdale, L.
Rees, L.
Renton, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Roberts of Llandudno, L.
Rodgers of Quarry Bank, L.
Roper, L.
Rotherwick, L.
Russell-Johnston, L.
Sandberg, L.
Sandwich, E.
Seccombe, B. [Teller]
Selsdon, L.
Sharp of Guildford, B. [Teller]
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Slim, V.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Stewartby, L.
Strathclyde, L.
Swinfen, L.
Taverne, L.
Tenby, V.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thomson of Monifieth, L.
Tope, L.
Tordoff, L.
Ullswater, V.
Vallance of Tummel, L.
Waddington, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walmsley, B.
Walpole, L.
Warnock, B.
Weatherill, L.
Wilcox, B.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Windlesham, L.

NOT-CONTENTS

Acton, L.
Ahmed, L.
Alli, L.
Amos, B. (Lord President of the Council)
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bach, L.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Berkeley, L.
Bernstein of Craigweil, L.
Billingham, B.
Blood, B.
Borrie, L.
Boston of Faversham, L.
Bragg, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Burlison, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carter, L.
Chorley, L.
Christopher, L.
Clark of Windermere, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L.
Crawley, B.
David, B.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L. [Teller]
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Derby, Bp.
Desai, L.
Dixon, L.
Drayson, L.
Dubs, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Evans of Temple Guiting, L.
Falconer of Thoroton, L. (Lord Chancellor)
Falkender, B.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Filkin, L.
Fyfe of Fairfield, L.
Gale, B.
Gibson of Market Rasen, B.
Giddens, L.
Gilbert, L.
Golding, B.
Goldsmith, L.
Goudie, B.
Gould of Potternewton, B.
Grantchester, L.
Grocott, L. [Teller]
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harrison, L.
Hart of Chilton, L.
Haskel, L.
Haworth, L.
Hayman, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Kings Heath, L.
Jones, L.
Judd, L.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Leitch, L.
Levy, L.
Lipsey, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
McDonagh, B.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
McKenzie of Luton, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Maxton, L.
Mitchell, L.
Morris of Aberavon, L.
Morris of Manchester, L.
Moser, L.
Parekh, L.
Paul, L.
Pendry, L.
Pitkeathley, B.
Plant of Highfield, L.
Portsmouth, Bp.
Prys-Davies, L.
Randall of St. Budeaux, L.
Rea, L.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Rosser, L.
Rowlands, L.
Royall of Blaisdon, B.
Sainsbury of Turville, L.
Sheldon, L.
Simon, V.
Snape, L.
Stone of Blackheath, L.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Thornton, B.
Tomlinson, L.
Triesman, L.
Truscott, L.
Tunnicliffe, L.
Turnberg, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Uddin, B.
Wall of New Barnet, B.
Warner, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Whitaker, B.
Whitty, L.
Williams of Elvel, L.
Woolmer of Leeds, L.
Young of Norwood Green, L.


Resolved in the affirmative, and amendment agreed to accordingly.


 
2 Mar 2005 : Column 269
 
5.19 p.m.

Clause 73 [Functions of Agency]:

Lord Filkin moved Amendment No. 5:


"(a) to promote the spiritual, moral, behavioural, social, cultural, mental and physical development of children and young people,
(b) to contribute to their well-being, and
(c) to prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life."

The noble Lord said: My Lords, Amendments Nos. 5 and 6 add the well-being of children and young people to the list of considerations to which the Training and Development Agency for Schools must have regard in exercising its function. I undertook on Report to table amendments to that effect in response to representations from the noble Baroness, Lady Walmsley, and the noble Lord, Lord Dearing, and other noble Lords, and I hope that the House will agree that the amendments meet that commitment. I beg to move.


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