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House of Commons
Session 2001- 02
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House of Commons Votes and Proceedings
Tuesday 21st May 2002

The House met at half-past Two o'clock.

PRAYERS.

1    Regulatory Reform Committee,-Mr Peter Pike reported from the Regulatory Reform Committee the following Resolution:

    That the draft Regulatory Reform (Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979) Order 2002, which was laid before this House on 29th April, should be approved.

The Committee came to this Resolution without a Division.

2    Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill,-Mr Eric Illsley reported from Standing Committee E, That it had gone through the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill, and made Amendments thereunto.

    Bill, as amended in the Standing Committee, to be considered to-morrow; and to be printed [Bill 143].

    Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee to be printed [No. 874].

3    Third Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation,-Mrs Irene Adams reported from the Third Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation the draft Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Interception of Communications: Code of Practice) Order 2002.

    Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee to lie upon the Table.

4    Area Child Protection Committees,-Ordered, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to establish local authority responsibility for area child protection committees; to specify the functions of such committees; to require agencies charged with responsibilities for child protection to provide senior representation on such committees; to make provision about the funding of such committees; and for connected purposes: And that Mr Adrian Bailey, Mr Hilton Dawson, Ms Debra Shipley, Mr Tom Watson, David Wright, Mr Paul Burstow, Mrs Gillian Shephard, Mr David Hinchliffe, The Reverend Martin Smyth and Mr Andrew Lansley do prepare and bring it in.

5    Area Child Protection Committees Bill,-Mr Adrian Bailey accordingly presented a Bill to establish local authority responsibility for area child protection committees; to specify the functions of such committees; to require agencies charged with responsibilities for child protection to provide senior representation on such committees; to make provision about the funding of such committees; and for connected purposes: And the same was read the first time; and ordered to be read a second time on Friday 21st June and to be printed [Bill 142].

6    Opposition Day [14th allotted day],-It being an allotted day at the disposal of the Leader of the Opposition in pursuance of Standing Order No. 14 (Arrangement of public business), the House proceeded to consider Opposition business.

    Truancy and Discipline in Schools,-A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House condemns the Government's failure to meet its 1998 Public Service Agreement to cut truancy levels by one third; regrets that unauthorised absences from secondary schools have risen under this Government; further regrets that an estimated 50,000 children are absent from school on a typical day and that another 10,000 children of school age do not attend school at all; is concerned by the decline in standards of discipline in schools and notes evidence from the Association of Teachers and Lecturers which shows that assaults against teachers have risen fivefold in three years; deplores the Government's conduct in first removing from head teachers and governors the power to exclude disruptive pupils from their schools, and then failing to collect evidence on the number of assaults by pupils on both other pupils and teachers; believes that the Government's current approach to these problems is flawed; is concerned that the problems of rising unauthorised absence and declining discipline particularly damage the education of children from deprived and inner city areas; and calls on the Government to provide a serious response to the problem of vocational education, while giving more power to head teachers as a first step to reversing the decline in standards of discipline-(Mr Damian Green);

    An Amendment was proposed to the Question, in line 2, to leave out from the word 'House' to the end of the Question and add the words 'applauds the fact that policies to reduce truancy and tackle poor behaviour are central to the Government's strategy to transform secondary schools; notes that, since 1997, the Government has spent over 600 million to support measures to tackle truancy and poor behaviour and that this has been supplemented by a further 66 million from this year's Budget, that behaviour is satisfactory or better in 11 out of 12 secondary schools and 49 out of 50 primary schools, that there are now over 1,050 Learning Support Units and 3,420 Learning Mentors in schools and that there are 331 Pupil Referral Units whose quality Ofsted reports to be steadily improving; welcomes the fact that the Government is promoting multi-agency initiatives such as Behaviour and Education Support Teams and Connexions that are crucial to addressing this issue, that exclusions have fallen by approximately 28 per cent. to 9,200 from their peak of 12,700 in 1996-97; supports the right of Head Teachers to govern their schools as they see fit; further notes that all permanently excluded pupils will receive a full-time education from September this year and that whilst overall truancy levels remain a cause for concern, action is being taken; further notes that children have a right to education and that parents have a duty to ensure that their children are educated; and believes that the Government's policies will deliver lasting improvements in pupil attendance and behaviour which will support the achievement of higher standards and prevent social exclusion', instead thereof.-(Secretary Estelle Morris.)

    And the Question being put, That the original words stand part of the Question;

    The House divided.

      Tellers for the Ayes, Mr Charles Hendry, Dr Julian Lewis: 180.

      Tellers for the Noes, Mr Ivor Caplin, Mr Tony McNulty: 334.

    So the Question was negatived.

    And the Question, That the proposed words be there added, being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 31 (Questions on amendments):-It was agreed to.

    The Deputy Speaker forthwith declared the Main Question, as amended, to be agreed to.

    Resolved, That this House applauds the fact that policies to reduce truancy and tackle poor behaviour are central to the Government's strategy to transform secondary schools; notes that, since 1997, the Government has spent over 600 million to support measures to tackle truancy and poor behaviour and that this has been supplemented by a further 66 million from this year's Budget, that behaviour is satisfactory or better in 11 out of 12 secondary schools and 49 out of 50 primary schools, that there are now over 1,050 Learning Support Units and 3,420 Learning Mentors in schools and that there are 331 Pupil Referral Units whose quality Ofsted reports to be steadily improving; welcomes the fact that the Government is promoting multi-agency initiatives such as Behaviour and Education Support Teams and Connexions that are crucial to addressing this issue, that exclusions have fallen by approximately 28 per cent. to 9,200 from their peak of 12,700 in 1996-97; supports the right of Head Teachers to govern their schools as they see fit; further notes that all permanently excluded pupils will receive a full-time education from September this year and that whilst overall truancy levels remain a cause for concern, action is being taken; further notes that children have a right to education and that parents have a duty to ensure that their children are educated; and believes that the Government's policies will deliver lasting improvements in pupil attendance and behaviour which will support the achievement of higher standards and prevent social exclusion.

    Special Educational Need,-A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House is concerned about the provision of education for children with Special Educational Needs; notes that last week was Autism Awareness Week; also notes the publication of reports by the National Autistic Society which shows that two-thirds of teachers in England and Wales believe that there are more children with autism disorders now than five years ago and that one in three children in special schools has some form of autism; notes a survey carried out by the Conservative Party showing that one quarter of special schools feel threatened with closure; is concerned by the alarming rise in teacher vacancies in special schools; condemns the threat to SEN services in the Education Bill; and calls on the Government to set out clearly its plans for this sector and remove the uncertainty which harms the education of children with Special Educational Needs-(Mrs Eleanor Laing);

    An Amendment was proposed to the Question, in line 2, to leave out from the word 'House' to the end of the Question and add the words 'notes the Government's commitment to helping all pupils release their potential; supports the development of an education service that provides equality of opportunity and raises achievement of all children, including those with special educational needs; welcomes the Government's recognition of the important role of special schools and the forthcoming work to review and develop that role; further welcomes the recent report by the National Autistic Society and recognises the importance of early intervention to help children with autism; applauds the Government's strong record on supporting pupils with special educational needs, notably through providing a clear vision for their education and welfare in its 1998 Green Paper "Excellence for all children" and implementing an ambitious programme of action resulting in this House's approval of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001, despite strong opposition from the other side of the House; commends the introduction of the new SEN Code of Practice and the principles of inclusion and partnership that lie behind it; further notes the development of national standards for specialist teachers and a range of training programmes and materials to support them; acknowledges the substantial increases in funding through both SSA and Standards Fund to support these and other initiatives; further notes that the Government will continue to ensure that the rights of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities are protected; and looks forward to the forthcoming Code of Practice to reinforce the rights of pupils with disabilities', instead thereof.-(Mr Stephen Timms.)

    And the Question being proposed, That the original words stand part of the Question;

    David Maclean rose in his place and claimed to move, That the Question be now put.

    And the Question being put, That the Question be now put:-It was agreed to.

    And the Question being accordingly put;

    The House divided.

      Tellers for the Ayes, Dr Julian Lewis, Mr Laurence Robertson: 129.

      Tellers for the Noes, Dan Norris, Mr Graham Stringer: 357.

    So the Question was negatived.

    And the Question, That the proposed words be there added, being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 31 (Questions on amendments);

    The House divided.

      Tellers for the Ayes, Dan Norris, Mr Graham Stringer: 310.

      Tellers for the Noes, Dr Julian Lewis, Mr Laurence Robertson: 167.

    So the Question was agreed to.

    The Speaker forthwith declared the Main Question, as amended, to be agreed to.

    Resolved, That this House notes the Government's commitment to helping all pupils release their potential; supports the development of an education service that provides equality of opportunity and raises achievement of all children, including those with special educational needs; welcomes the Government's recognition of the important role of special schools and the forthcoming work to review and develop that role; further welcomes the recent report by the National Autistic Society and recognises the importance of early intervention to help children with autism; applauds the Government's strong record on supporting pupils with special educational needs, notably through providing a clear vision for their education and welfare in its 1998 Green Paper "Excellence for all children" and implementing an ambitious programme of action resulting in this House's approval of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001, despite strong opposition from the other side of the House; commends the introduction of the new SEN Code of Practice and the principles of inclusion and partnership that lie behind it; further notes the development of national standards for specialist teachers and a range of training programmes and materials to support them; acknowledges the substantial increases in funding through both SSA and Standards Fund to support these and other initiatives; further notes that the Government will continue to ensure that the rights of children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities are protected; and looks forward to the forthcoming Code of Practice to reinforce the rights of pupils with disabilities.

7    Constitutional Law,-A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft Scotland Act 1998 (Transfer of Functions to the Scottish Ministers etc.) Order 2002, which was laid before this House on 2nd May, be approved-(Mr Nick Ainger):-It was agreed to.

8    Constitutional Law,-A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft Scotland Act 1998 (Modifications of Schedule 5) Order 2002, which was laid before this House on 2nd May, be approved-(Mr Nick Ainger):-It was agreed to.

9    Flags,-A Motion was made, and the Question being put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118 (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation), That the draft Flags Regulations (Northern Ireland) (Amendment) 2002, which were laid before this House on 9th May, be approved-(Mr Nick Ainger):-It was agreed to.

10    Animal Health,-Ordered, That the TSE (England) Regulations 2002 (S.I., 2002, No. 843), dated 27th March, a copy of which was laid before this House on 27th March, be referred to a Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation.-(Mr Nick Ainger.)

11    Public Petitions,-A Public Petition from residents of West Wiltshire against the closure of Trowbridge Courthouse was presented and read; and ordered to lie upon the Table and to be printed.

12    Adjournment,-A Motion was made, and the Question being proposed, That this House do now adjourn-(Mr Nick Ainger);

    And the Motion having been made after Ten o'clock, and the Debate having continued for half an hour, the Speaker adjourned the House without Question put, pursuant to the Standing Order, it being then three minutes to Eleven o'clock, till to-morrow.

[Adjourned at 10.57 p.m.

Michael J. Martin
Speaker


Mr Speaker will take the Chair at half-past Two o'clock.


APPENDIX I

Papers presented or laid upon the Table:

Papers subject to Negative Resolution:

1    Consumer Protection,-Medical Devices Regulations 2002 (S.I., 2002, No. 618), dated 20th May 2002 [by Act] [Mr Secretary Milburn].

Other Papers:

2    Criminal Injuries Compensation,-Report and Accounts of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority for 2000-01, with the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General thereon [by Act]; to be printed [No. 705] [Clerk of the House].

3    Parliamentary Commissioner,-Seventh Report of the Parliamentary Ombudsman, Session 2001-02: Access to Official Information: Investigations Completed-February to April 2002 [by Act]; to be printed [No. 844] [Clerk of the House].

APPENDIX II

Standing Committees

1    Draft Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Interception of Communications: Code of Practice) Order 2002,-The Committee of Selection has discharged Mr John Baron, Mr Huw Edwards and Patrick Mercer from the Third Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the draft Order); and nominated in substitution Mr Mark Francois, Mr Ian Liddell-Grainger and Mr Kerry Pollard.

2    Draft Army, Air Force and Naval Discipline Acts (Continuation) Order 2002,-The Committee of Selection has discharged Dan Norris from the Sixth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation (nominated in respect of the draft Order); and nominated in substitution Nick Ainger.

APPENDIX III

Reports from Select Committees

    1    Culture, Media and Sport,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Culture, Media and Sport Committee [Wembley National Stadium Project]; to be printed [No. 843-i] [Mr Gerald Kaufman].

    2    European Scrutiny,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the European Scrutiny Committee [Convention on the Future of Europe]; to be printed [No. 871] [Mr Jimmy Hood].

    3    Home Affairs,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Home Affairs Committee [The Conduct of Investigations into Past Cases of Abuse in Children's Homes]; to be printed [No. 836-ii] [Mr Chris Mullin].

    4    Procedure,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Procedure Committee [Parliamentary Questions and Electronic Tabling of Questions and Motions]; to be printed [No. 622-vi] [Mr Nicholas Winterton].

    5    Regulatory Reform,-Eleventh Report from the Regulatory Reform Committee [The draft Regulatory Reform (Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979) Order 2002]; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 867] [Mr Peter Pike].

    6    Statutory Instruments,-Thirtieth Report from the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments, together with Memoranda laid before the Committee, to be printed [No. 135-xxx] [Mr David Tredinnick].

    7    Transport, Local Government and the Regions,-(1) Eighth Report from the Transport, Local Government and the Regions Committee [10 Year Plan for Transport], with Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence taken before the Transport Sub-Committee of the Committee; to be printed, with the Minutes of Proceeding of the Committee relating to the Report [No. 558-I and -II];

    (2) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Urban Affairs Sub-Committee of the Transport, Local Government and the Regions Committee [Public Spaces]; to be printed [No. 854-i] [Andrew Bennett]; and

    (3) Minutes of Evidence taken before the Transport Sub-Committee of the Committee [The Bus Industry]; to be printed [No. 828-iii] [Mrs Gwyneth Dunwoody].

    8    Treasury,-Minutes of Evidence taken before the Treasury Committee [The UK and the IMF]; to be printed [No. 868-i] [Mr John McFall].

[W.H., No. 86]

Minutes of Proceedings of the Sitting in Westminster Hall

[pursuant to the Order of 20th November 2000]

The sitting commenced at half-past Nine o'clock.

    Adjournment,-Resolved, That the sitting be now adjourned.-(Mr Graham Stringer.)

    And accordingly the sitting was adjourned till to-morrow.

[Adjourned at 1.55 p.m.

Sir Alan Haselhurst

Deputy Speaker



 
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