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For persons in juvenile custody who had the SEN statement prior to detention, Amendment 135 would require host authorities to notify other authorities of the person's release at least 14 days in advance, as the noble Lord explained. One has the expectation that 14 days is the latest that they would leave it. However-there is always a "however", I suppose-there may be some exceptional circumstances in which a person's release date is not known two weeks in advance, which would mean that the amendment would be impossible to comply with, although obviously we would see that as the exception rather than the rule. What we meant by "exceptional circumstances" would need to be picked up in statutory guidance.

Instead, we will make it clear in statutory guidance that home local authorities should be notified as soon as possible about a person's expected release date from their custody. This is critical to enabling effective planning for the person's education and training on their release back into the community. The information transfer provisions in the Bill and the facility of the electronic system will also help to ensure that educational information about the person is properly transferred and used to inform the longer-term education and resettlement planning. I hope that, with that reassurance, the noble Lord will withdraw his amendment.

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Finally, the noble Lord asked whether this applies to Wales. These are mirror provisions-I think that that is the correct term-so they will apply through the Welsh Assembly Government in Wales.

Lord Elton: My Lords, let me say just a word on the mechanism of that. The statutory guidance, whose initial drafts the noble Baroness kindly said that she would show us, will be drafted in England by the Secretary of State and in Wales by the Welsh Assembly Government. Therefore, will she be showing us two sets of drafts?

Baroness Morgan of Drefelin: My Lords, I will make my best endeavours and undertake to ensure that I can provide the noble Lord with as much information about the Welsh Assembly Government's approach as I can.

Lord Elton: I am grateful for that, as nobody seems to be particularly watching the interests of the Welsh at the moment and this legislation is a big issue for them. Having said that, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 130 withdrawn.

Amendments 131 to 136 not moved.

4.45 pm

Amendment 136A

Moved by Baroness Garden of Frognal

136A: Clause 49, page 34, line 44, at end insert-

"562GA Responsibility for ensuring compliance

It shall be the duty of the person in charge of the accommodation in which the young person is detained-

(a) to inform the host and home authorities of the presence of the young person in that accommodation and to ascertain that these authorities fulfil the responsibilities under the provisions of this Chapter; and

(b) to ask the Secretary of State to direct a local authority to discharge its functions under this Chapter should it appear to him that a local authority is not fulfilling these responsibilities."

Baroness Garden of Frognal: My Lords, I shall also speak to Amendment 136B. The Minister sent a detailed response to concerns on issues such as information exchange and continuity of learning for young offenders. We welcome assurances on the assessment of the learning needs, literacy and numeracy of young people entering custody, and on screening for special educational needs and learning difficulties and disabilities. There is great complexity in the situation-and there needs to be, because these are complex young people. The amendment focuses on a single person, office or role that might simplify the process. I recognise what the noble Lord, Lord Ramsbotham, has indicated-that the governor may not be the appropriate person, because that role may change. However, we seek to focus on a

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role, or person in a role, in the institution which would take responsibility to clarify and simplify the lines of authority.

As well as the consultation that the Minister has indicated will be put in place for this, we hope that this authority will be regularly evaluated to make sure that front-line staff are able to spend as much time as possible on working with young offenders rather than in time-consuming and unproductive administration, and that any deficiencies can be rectified at the earliest opportunity.

Amendment 136B confirms the role of Ofsted in monitoring the performance of local authorities with respect to educational provision for those in youth custody. As we have heard, Ofsted already inspects the insitutions, secure children's homes and secure training centres, and so would also be best placed to include local authority provision in any monitoring and reporting role. We look forward to the Minister's response to the two amendments, and support the direction of the government amendments. I beg to move.

Lord Elton:I am concerned again about Wales. I see that only the Secretary of State has the power to direct here. Is it intended that equivalent pressure should be available to the Welsh Assembly Government?

Baroness Garden of Frognal: My Lords, I am freshly back from a two-day visit to the Welsh Assembly, and apologise if there was any oversight-we do indeed hope that the Welsh will be included in this provision.

Baroness Perry of Southwark: My Lords, the effectiveness of this kind of provision, which I wholeheartedly support-it would be wonderful if it happened in this way-depends on the issue of initial assessment. Somebody must decide what the needs of the young person are before these can be communicated. I am increasingly concerned with the question of the "who", which my noble friend Lord Elton raised earlier. The assessment of literacy and numeracy is not an easy and straightforward task that anybody can do. Often, it involves oral testing on passages that are read out. There are flows of young people coming into custody all the time, all over the country. Where is the army of people qualified to do assessments coming from, and who will be charged with providing it? Will the assessors have to come out of local schools? Will the local authority provide them? I would appreciate the Minister's comments on what the assessment will be and who will do it.

Lord Baker of Dorking: May I add to what the noble Baroness has said? The amendments attempt to pin down the responsibility of the local authority to make sure that it will do what the Bill sets out for it to do. Many local authorities might be dilatory in exercising these responsibilities, which are irksome and very expensive. I would like some estimate from the Government of what the cost will be of transferring to local authorities the responsibility for education and training of 16 to 18 year-olds who are held in custody. Have they estimated the costs, which will be considerable?

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They have to devise training plans and ensure that they are implemented, and-who knows?-a local authority might have a young offender in an offender institution at one end of the country and another at the other end of the country.

When it comes to special educational needs, as my noble friend has just said, who will bear the cost of following up the assessment? A young offender with special educational needs-for example, if they are partially blind, partially deaf or autistic-will, if they are not in custody, be in either a special school or a special unit of an ordinary school. Of course, they cannot attend those if they are in custody and will require individual tutoring in skills relating to blindness, deafness or autism. That is a truly expensive operation. Then their progress has to be measured, which is another expensive operation.

Have the Government made an estimate of the overall cost of this obligation on local authorities across the country? I think we all agree that this is an excellent duty to perform but it is an expensive extra duty, and the question is: where will local authorities get the money? Will it come from the local council tax payer or from a government grant?

Lord Ramsbotham: My Lords, perhaps I may briefly follow what the noble Lord, Lord Baker, has just said. The East Potential academy, which I have already mentioned on the Floor of this House in connection with this Bill, was recently invited to present its business case to the Secretary of State for Justice. It asked the Ministry of Justice and the Youth Justice Board for the figures relating to the cost of youth custody for both those Prison Service establishments but neither was able to produce the figures. The Youth Justice Board gave what it could and the Prison Service referred to the Freedom of Information Act. The result was that the academy staff went to KPMG and invited it to carry out an assessment of the cost of youth custody. The Government allege that it costs between £55,000 and £60,000 a year, but KPMG showed that this was much nearer to £100,000 a year, and a report to that effect was published in July and handed to Ministers for the very reasons that the noble Lord, Lord Baker, has mentioned.

If the costs of the provision of this service by local authorities merely reflect the current financial provision as alleged by government, they will be far removed from the actual costs, and local government will rightly be at least very irritated if they suddenly discover that what they are being asked to do is not financed. Where will the other finance come from or are we suddenly going to find that the system, which already does not function as well as it might, functions less well because the resources are simply not there? It is unfair to ask local authorities to make some form of compromise with all the other things that they have to do in order to provide a satisfactory programme for youth.

Lord De Mauley: My Lords, like my noble friend Lady Perry, I declare sympathy for the amendments raised by the noble Baroness, Lady Garden. They summarise concerns, well explained by my noble friend Lord Baker, that authorities may not fulfil their duties

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adequately, in particular because of cost, and that young people may suffer because of this. I look forward to reassurance from the Minister as to how it will be ensured that local authorities fulfil their duties and that no young person is allowed to fall through the gap between host and home authorities. Indeed, as my noble friend Lady Perry said, there is also the question of "who".

Baroness Morgan of Drefelin: My Lords, perhaps I may respond quickly to the noble Lord, Lord De Mauley, and the noble Baroness, Lady Perry, on how often Ofsted will be inspecting and what the levers for inspection are. Was that the question? Perhaps I may put the answer on the record anyway. Ofsted also inspects performance by local authorities in England and therefore there is a connection there. There is also Estyn in relation to Wales. Its functions come under Section 136 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 and, for Wales, Section 38 of the Education Act 1997. I am sorry if that has not picked up the point made, but I might need to look at Hansardto check that I have answered the question fully.

On funding, I absolutely agree with the points made by the noble Lords, Lord Ramsbotham and Lord Baker, that it is key to ensure that the flows of moneys are managed properly. I need to be clear that we are talking about the costs of delivering education; we are not talking about the wider costs of running the secure estate. The existing LSC and YJB funds for education will be redirected to local authorities and, most importantly, will be ring-fenced for this purpose. As I said earlier, I will be happy to circulate further information about how that will work, and can go into more detail if that will offer noble Lords the further reassurance that they are looking for. Noble Lords will understand that ring-fencing those funds is not a usual step for local authorities.

Lord Elton: The Minister said that the existing funds would be transferred and ring-fenced. That makes the assumption that it costs the same to educate a child in a school of anything from five to 1,500. But educating one, two or three children on their own in a remote institution is likely to be much more expensive, is it not?

Baroness Morgan of Drefelin: I am sorry, I was not clear. There is existing funding for education within the juvenile estate. The funding of education takes place currently through the Learning and Skills Council and the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales. That will be redirected to local authorities to deal particularly with the concerns highlighted by the noble Lord, Lord Ramsbotham, to ensure that the local authorities have that ring-fenced resource.

Turning to Amendments 136A and 136B, making local authorities responsible for education for young people in youth custody is central to ending what we have described as the disapplication of education law for this group of young people. We see that as the fundamental step forward. For the first time, this legislation will place clear responsibilities for a young person's learning while they are in youth custody on local authorities-the people who know about education

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in their locality. This is vital for improving standards and the quality of the experience for these young people, which is what we are aiming to achieve. Giving responsibility to local authorities will help to align education inside and outside custody and facilitate the sharing of expertise and experience between the mainstream and custodial sectors, which is what we are trying to achieve. It will also create incentives for local authorities to invest in preventing young people entering custody as they will have responsibility for "their" young people in custody even if they are held in a different area. That is the joined-up thinking that on other occasions noble Lords have been keen to see.

The Standing Committee for Youth Justice has welcomed this reform, recommending that it is a significant step forward in the education of this vulnerable group. Placing an overarching duty on governors of youth custody to have overall responsibility for ensuring that local authorities fulfil their duties, which is what the amendment is about, would potentially create further confusion in responsibilities, which we are trying to avoid. I understand that the noble Baroness was pursuing this as a probing, challenging amendment, and not necessarily to see the detail enacted. I agree that we must have appropriate mechanisms in place to ensure that local authorities fulfil these duties. The noble Baroness is absolutely right that these duties must be fulfilled; we must ensure that things happen on the ground. We will be clear through statutory guidance that we expect host local authorities to develop partnership arrangements-this is important in a practical sense-with the custodial establishments fully to involve them in the commissioning process of securing learning provision in youth custody.

5 pm

Not wishing to count my chickens, but following Royal Assent, should we achieve it, we will also amend secondary legislation relating to the conduct and management of youth custodial establishments to require custodial operators to co-operate with local authorities in the fulfilment of their duties towards learning for persons in youth custody. There is a range of checks and balances in the system to ensure that local authorities fulfil their duties, and that includes the facilitation role that the YPLA will have in agreeing commissioning plans, releasing funds to host local authorities and monitoring provision by them.

As we know, the YPLA also has a power in the most extreme circumstances to intervene in a local authority if it were to be failing in its duties. Ultimately, if a local authority fails to fulfil its duties under the Bill or exercises its functions unreasonably, the Secretary of State can intervene, in the way that Secretaries of State can intervene in lots of other areas, to ensure that education is delivered. The noble Lord, Lord Elton, was concerned about Welsh interests. In Wales, the Welsh Ministers will have that function of intervention, so a failure to comply with the duties will amount to a breach of a statutory duty that can ultimately be enforced by the courts.

As we have discussed, Ofsted already inspects provision for young people in the youth justice system and will continue to do so under the new arrangements-again,

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an important lever-and we will specifically ask it to ensure that the new duties for learning for young people in youth custody are reflected in its future work programmes, so that noble Lords can see the progress being made in the secure estates. I hope that, with that further detail and reassurances, the noble Baroness will feel able to withdraw her amendment.

Baroness Garden of Frognal: My Lords, I thank the Minister for her very full reply. Yes, we were trying to find out exactly where the responsibilities might lie. The amendment has drawn out some wider issues on funding, as well as on the skills required. As the noble Baroness, Lady Perry, pointed out, the people will be required to carry out the assessment as well as the money.

I thank the noble Lord, Lord Elton, for reminding us of Wales, which is obviously an important aspect. I am glad that that was clarified. The noble Lord, Lord Baker, mentioned funding, as did the noble Lord, Lord Ramsbotham, with his rather startling assessment of the cost per young person. At the back of our mind, we always have the long-term greater cost of having a cohort of young offenders in society who might just be turned round to be young productive members of society, but obviously, in the short term, the money needs to be found to do that.

With that, I thank the noble Baroness for her reply, and I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 136A withdrawn.

Amendment 136B not moved.

Clause 49 agreed.

Clauses 50 to 53 agreed.

House resumed.



5.05 pm

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): My Lords, with permission, I shall now repeat a Statement made in another place by my right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary. The Statement is as follows:

"Mr Speaker, with your permission I will make a Statement on the circumstances surrounding the decision of the Scottish Justice Minister on 20 August to release on compassionate grounds the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing.

As the Prime Minister has said, Lockerbie was a terrorist act of the gravest brutality. It was the largest peacetime loss of life on British territory. It was a major tragedy with the killing of 43 Britons in the sky and in Lockerbie, 190 Americans and people of 19 other nations. It was the act of people and a state which

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breached all norms of humanity. That is why the reception for Megrahi on his return in August to Tripoli was unacceptable.

My Statement today sets out the events leading up to the Scottish Justice Minister's decision to release Megrahi. I will set out the changes in Libya's relations with the international community since 1988 and address the three central issues raised in respect of the UK Government at the time of his release: first, the decision by the Government to sign a prisoner transfer agreement with Libya which did not exclude Megrahi; secondly, the relationship between the British Government and Scottish Executive in the decision-making process; and, thirdly, the separate questions of the investigation into the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher and the compensation for victims of Libyan-supported IRA terrorism. Today is the 25th anniversary of the Brighton bombing when the IRA attempted to murder a British Prime Minister and her Cabinet and did kill five people including one Member of this House.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the Libyan Government were linked to a number of terrorist organisations, including the Provisional IRA. Libya's support for international terrorism defined its relations with the western world. As honourable and right honourable Members will recall, WPC Yvonne Fletcher's murder in April 1984 led us to cut off diplomatic relations. The bombing of a nightclub in West Berlin in 1986 was followed by US air strikes on Tripoli and Benghazi. When evidence emerged supporting allegations that Libyan intelligence officers had been involved in the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie in December 1988, the UN Security Council demanded that Libya hand over the accused and imposed sanctions when it failed to comply.

During the 1990s, there was evidence from a range of sources that the Libyans were also actively pursuing a range of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programmes as well as the development of ballistic missiles. Libya was a pariah state whose activities posed a clear and unambiguous threat to international peace and stability and to our own security in this country. The story of the past decade has been very different. Libya has abandoned its support for international terrorism and stopped its pursuit of WMDs in a series of events that merit the term 'unforeseeable'.

In 1998, the US and UK Governments put forward a detailed joint proposal for the trial of the two accused of the Lockerbie atrocity. Our joint commitment to close and transparent working in all matters has continued throughout this case. We reported our proposal to the United Nations Secretary-General, gained the support of the United Nations Security Council and, in 1999, persuaded the Libyans to surrender the two accused to a specially constituted court in the Netherlands where a Scottish panel of judges, without a jury, would try the accused under Scots law. Libya also agreed to pay $10 million compensation to each of the families of the victims, whatever their nationality, if the defendants were convicted. Megrahi was found guilty under Scottish law by the court in 2001, and his conviction was upheld on appeal in 2002.

Against this background and, as I will explain later, in particular after the Libyan admission of responsibility for WPC Fletcher's murder, the UK

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restored diplomatic relations in July 1999. The long-term aim was clear: the normalisation of relations with Libya.

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