Amendment agreed to.
Amendments made: No. 279, page 94, line 38, leave out from ''to be'' to the end of line 42 and insert
'varied or revoked, the authority shall—
(a) vary or revoke the order as requested in the application, if it is satisfied that it is appropriate to do so because of any change of circumstance, and
(b) in any other case, refuse to do so.'.
No. 280, in page 94, line 43, after 'The', insert 'variation or'.
No. 281, in page 94, line 44, leave out 'the revocation' and insert 'it'.—[Mr. Timms.]
Clause 161, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Amendment made: No. 282, in page 95, line 13, after 'to', insert 'vary or'.—[Mr. Timms.]
Question proposed, That the clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill.
Mr. Turner: Will the Under-Secretary explain why a tribunal under the Protection of Children Act 1999 is the best tribunal to consider issues that relate to the delivery of the curriculum at school? I am sure that other issues are appropriate to a tribunal under the 1999 Act, but I think that other tribunals are more suitable to consider issues that relate to the curriculum.
Column Number: 588
Mr. Lewis: The existing system is not working in a desirable way. The existing tribunal, which I think is known as an independent schools tribunal, is regarded as slow and laborious. A tribunal under the 1999 Act is a standing tribunal, not an ad hoc structure, and has the expertise to consider the relevant issues. It is clear that the tribunal must have regard to all the relevant factors in an appeal case, but there is the expertise in that structure to consider any appeals by the independent sector professionally and objectively.
In considering an appeal by an independent school that relates to issues outside the new tribunal's experience or jurisdiction, it is essential that it deploy as members people with the relevant professional expertise. I understand and acknowledge the hon. Gentleman's concerns, but we are talking about a standing tribunal that has shown that it works well. In the few cases in which such a tribunal is required to consider curriculum issues outside the expertise of the people who ordinarily serve on it, it will be expected to deploy individuals with the relevant professional expertise.
Question put and agreed to.
Clause 162, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Determination of appeals
Amendment made: No. 283, in page 96, leave out lines 19 to 25 and insert—
'(7) In the case of an appeal against a refusal under section 161(10) to vary or revoke an order under section 161(8), the tribunal may—
(a) uphold the refusal, or
(b) if in any case it is satisfied that it is appropriate to do so because of any change of circumstance after the making of the order—
(i) vary the order in such manner as it thinks fit, or
(ii) revoke the order.'—[Mr. Lewis.]
Clause 163, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Clauses 164 to 170 ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Further consideration adjourned.—[Mr. Heppell.]
Adjourned accordingly at seventeen minutes to Six o'clock till Thursday 24 January at half-past Nine o'clock.
The following Members attended the Committee:
Pike, Mr. Peter (Chairman)
Lewis, Mr. Ivan
Turner, Mr. Andrew