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Baroness Blatch: I am grateful to the Minister for his explanation thus far. However, in Clause 3(2) it actually says:

so they are automatically registered, whether or not they apply. But Clause 4(2)(c) refers to,

    "the registration, on the establishment of the register, of persons who have not made such applications".

What is the distinction between the two?

Lord Whitty: As regards the first clause to which the noble Baroness referred, that relates to the objective of

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the register. It is supposed to include all those who are eligible for registration; that is to say, those who have applied for registration, and those who are already regarded as qualified teachers within the existing system who may or may not go through the application process. It is not the intention to trawl back over all the existing teachers. The distinction between the two clauses is: first, that Clause 3 relates to the objective of the register; and, secondly, Clause 4 refers to how the register will be compiled.

Lord Pilkington of Oxenford: It seems to me that there is a financial element involved. Obviously the point which has been made from this side of the Committee is the fact that many teachers might feel that a body which is only advisory is not one to which they would wish to belong. If you make it compulsory you get money. As the noble Baroness said, at the moment it is the Treasury which has to pay, but in future teachers will have to pay for it. What is worrying us is the prospect of forcing teachers to abandon their consciences as regards this body and obliging them to join it.

Lord Whitty: As regards the intention of the clause, I was perhaps being too generous to Members on the other side of the Committee. If the intention of the amendment is to delete the mandatory nature of the registration, clearly we have a principled opposition to it. Indeed, there is a distinction between the aims of my noble friend Lady David and those of the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch.

We believe that all teachers should be on the register. Indeed, the whole objective of the Bill is to ensure that they are contributing to it via the fee. I understand the arguments put forward by the noble Baroness in her opposition to Clause 9 standing part of the Bill, but the technical reason for the clause is that existing qualified teachers will automatically be on the register.

As regards Amendment No. 57, which relates to pupil referral units, I should tell my noble friend Lady David that, although we sympathise with the aim of the amendment, it is unnecessary in terms of putting it on the face of the Bill. The Education Act 1996 makes clear that the definition of "school" referred to in the Bill from the 1988 Act already includes PRUs. Therefore, it would not be sensible to include such a provision in the Bill.

I am not entirely sure whether I am in order in replying now to the opposition of the noble Baroness to Clause 9 standing part of the Bill. However, I shall do so in order to save time later. If it is the intention of the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch, to oppose the Question, then clearly the intention is to remove a major and vitally important part of the Bill. If the intention is to make the registration entirely voluntary, that would negate a large part of the Bill's intention and the benefit that it will bring in improving the standard of teaching and of teacher placement. It would also be a recipe for ensuring that the GTC is exactly what the noble Baroness was hoping to save it from; namely, becoming a marginal body. Certainly the GTC under the Bill is primarily an advisory body. However, in addition, it is a

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body which will administer the register. That is a vitally important part of the way in which we propose to administer the teaching profession under the Bill.

If the element of compulsion on mandatory registration were to be removed, that whole objective of the Bill would be lost. This is pretty close to being a wrecking amendment as regards the central objective of this Bill. I ask the noble Baroness not to press her opposition to the Question that the clause stand part when we reach that point. If she does so, she must recognise precisely what she is doing. We shall vigorously oppose such action if it occurs. I ask for the other amendments to be withdrawn.

Baroness David: I thank the noble Lord for his response. I am satisfied for the most part. I was not sure about his response to Amendment No. 44. I am not sure that the noble Lord answered my point that the criteria might, for example, include a requirement on members to undertake approved programmes of continuing professional development. However, I am glad to say that I was completely satisfied by his response to Amendment No. 45. I was going to make the same point that the noble Lord, Lord Pilkington, made; namely, that teachers might not want to pay the fee to join this body. However, I think that my noble friend has probably answered that point. I did not take part in the clause stand part discussion. On the whole, I am satisfied with the responses. The noble Baroness, Lady Blatch, has made her point over and over again and I do not wish to reply to that.

Baroness Blatch: I make no apology for saying what I said over and over again because I speak on behalf of the teachers who have lobbied both the Government and Members on this side of the Committee. They have lobbied extremely hard. In the past the noble Baroness, Lady David, has spoken out strongly for groups outside this Chamber whom she wished to support. Therefore there is no reason why we should not relate the arguments of the teachers here and discuss them vigorously.

Baroness David: I think we have grasped the arguments by now, if I may say so.

Baroness Blatch: That is a good thing. That is the whole point of today's debate. I understand that the GTC, as it is to be established under the Bill, will be a creature of the Secretary of State. The point that my noble friend Lord Pilkington made is an important one; namely, it will not be the creature that the teachers want, yet they will be compelled to join it. Not only will they be compelled to join it, they will not even need to make an application, money will be sequestered from their salaries. I wonder whether they will be content with that.

Lord Parry: Before the noble Baroness sits down, will she withdraw the words "the teachers" as if every teacher in Britain holds the opinion that she says they do?

Baroness Blatch: I used that term generally and I shall withdraw it. However, I refer to the views of

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the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, the national association of school teachers and women teachers and many other organisations which represent teachers. I believe that those organisations represent a large cross-section of teachers, but of course I do not refer to every teacher in the land.

Lord Whitty: I wish to respond to Amendment No. 44 standing in the name of my noble friend Lady David and my noble friend Lord Peston. Other requirements on acquiring or maintaining qualified teacher training status--which may well include career development and continuing in-service training at a later stage--would come under the general heading of maintenance of qualified teacher status. Therefore we do not need another primary requirement as would be permitted by the provision that my noble friend proposes. In the light of that, I ask her to withdraw Amendment No. 44.

Baroness David: I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 45 not moved.]

Clause 3 agreed to.

Clause 4 [Regulations relating to registration]:

[Amendments Nos. 46 to 51 not moved.]

Clause 4 agreed to.

9.30 p.m.

Clause 5 [Additional and ancillary functions]:

[Amendment No. 52 not moved.]

Clause 5 agreed to.

Clause 6 [The General Teaching Council for Wales]:

Baroness Blackstone moved Amendment No. 53:

Page 4, line 30, after ("as") insert ("Cyngor Addysgu Cyffredinol Cymru or").

The noble Baroness said: The addition of a Welsh language name for the GTC for Wales is a purely technical amendment.

All major public sector bodies in Wales offer services in English and Welsh and it is good practice, in line with the requirements of the Welsh Language Act 1993, for such bodies to have bilingual names. The Welsh name for the GTC is Cyngor Addysgu Cyffredinol Cymru. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 6, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 7 to 9 agreed to.

Clause 10 [Deduction of fees from salaries, etc.]:

[Amendments Nos. 54 to 57 not moved.]

Clause 10 agreed to.

Clause 11 [Supply of information relating to teachers]:

Baroness Maddock moved Amendment No. 58:

Page 6, line 34, leave out ("he considers") and insert ("the Councils consider").

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The noble Baroness said: The purpose of the amendment is to switch to the general teaching council the power to decide what information it needs--for example, statistical analysis and such information--rather than leaving it to the Secretary of State to decide what he will tell the council. That is in line with the whole thrust underlying our thinking on the general teaching council: that the Minister is there to serve and enable the profession rather than the other way round. I beg to move.

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