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Earl Baldwin of Bewdley: My Lords, the weakness of Clause 13 is that the only mention of the general teaching council is to say that it should be told after the event who has passed the induction year. For a body whose principal aims include, in the words of Amendment No. 2 to Clause 1, contributing to,

that seems to me a little bit strange. For that reason, I support the amendment.

Lord Whitty: My Lords, we are to engage in a further period of consultation on the whole process of

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induction. We shall produce a consultation document which will set out many of these arrangements and the options. In relation to both the question of an "appropriate body" and the role of the headmaster-- I am sorry, I should say head teacher; I am falling into the habits of the noble Lord, Lord Pilkington--we envisage that the head teacher of the school where the new teacher is employed will be required at the end of the induction period to make a recommendation to the appropriate body as to whether the new teacher has met the standards; and it will be for the appropriate body to make the final decision, though the head teacher's view will be very important. We are still consulting on this matter, but we envisage that the local education authority will normally act as the appropriate body for staff in maintained schools.

Regarding the idea of a further opportunity when a person has failed an induction period, again it is a matter for consultation. However, we should not normally be looking at a second approach unless there were a serious reason in terms of illness or some other factor accounting for failure the first time.

On the question of consultation with the GTC, there is a problem of respective timings. Our intention is that the new induction arrangements will start in September 1999; and of course the council will not be established until the year 2000. Therefore it would not in the first stage be practicable to consult with the GTC before determining these arrangements. We shall expect to look to the council in future as to its view on the effective operation of those induction arrangements. I hope that in the light of that response the noble Baroness will be able to withdraw the amendment.

Baroness Maddock: My Lords, I do not think it is appropriate for me to say anything else, having messed up the procedure, other than that I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 25 not moved.]

6.45 p.m.

Clause 14 [Inspection of institutions training teachers for schools]:

Baroness Blackstone moved Amendment No. 26:

Page 9, line 9, after ("so") insert ("by the Secretary of State").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, in moving this amendment, I shall also speak to Amendments Nos. 28, 29, 30, 31 and 32.

In Committee I undertook to consider bringing forward government amendments to address the various issues raised by the debate. These amendments fulfil that commitment and further clarify the Government's intentions. These amendments have been discussed in outline with representatives of the HE sector and I am pleased to say they have broadly welcomed the action we have taken.

I shall take the amendments in turn. Amendment No. 26 makes clear what was already implicit; namely, that it is the Secretary of State who may ask the chief

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inspector to give advice to the Secretary of State on teacher training matters falling within this clause of the Bill and to carry out inspections.

Amendment No. 28 concerns HMCI's rights to inspect and take copies of documents under this clause. We believed it was implicit in the wording of subsection (5) of the clause that, when it referred to the chief inspector exercising his functions, it meant only his functions under this clause. Nonetheless, the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch, was concerned at the width of the powers conferred on the chief inspector and wanted to ensure that institutions will have to provide only such documentation as is relevant to the inspection. Amendment No. 28 makes explicit that the chief inspector's right to inspect and take copies of any records and documents under subsection (5) relates to the chief inspector's functions under this clause only; namely, the inspection of any initial training of teachers, or of specialist teaching assistants for schools, or any in-service training of such teachers or assistants which is provided by a relevant institution.

The question of documentation needed for inspection is currently being discussed at the joint Ofsted/HE sector working group on inspection costs and procedures with a view to producing an agreed list of relevant documents. I believe that that is the right way to handle such issues rather than by seeking to write in amendments to the general powers and duties set out on the face of the Bill.

Amendment No. 29 is similar to Amendment No. 28. It seeks to make explicit that the institution's duty to provide assistance under subsection (6) relates to the chief inspector's functions under this clause only.

I undertook to consider the concern of the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch, that a period of notice should be given to institutions before an inspection of teacher training provisions takes place. Amendment No. 30 requires the chief inspector to give an institution at least eight weeks' written notice of his intention to inspect its teacher training. This requirement will apply to the inspection of in-service training as well as initial teacher training carried out at the chief inspector's instigation. The Secretary of State will have the power to ask the chief inspector to carry out an inspection at shorter notice. We believe it appropriate to retain that power. It may be exercised, for example, where an institution is causing particular concern, although I very much hope that it would never have to be used.

The amendment also sets out how the notice may be given and to whom. It provides that where the training is being provided by a partnership or association of eligible institutions, notice need only be given to one of those institutions. For example, in the case of school-centred initial teacher training, if the training is provided by a group of schools the notice need only be given to one of those schools; in the case of initial teacher training provided by a higher education institution in which partner schools provide teaching practice, notice need only be given, for example, to the higher education institution.

Amendment No. 31 explicitly limits the powers of the chief inspector to inspect only those elements of a course dealing with teacher training. The noble

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Baroness, Lady Blatch, was concerned that the clause as drafted might be taken to allow Ofsted to inspect general higher education courses; for example, French lectures given to students who were studying for a French degree, simply because students undertaking an initial teacher training course and majoring in French would also be in attendance. Amendment No. 31 makes clear that this clause does not relate to instruction given wholly or mainly for purposes other than are set out in subsection (1).

We intend to bring forward a similar government amendment at a later date in relation to Clause 15 of the Bill on the arrangements for the inspection of teacher training in Scotland.

Amendment No. 32 addresses another concern of the noble Baroness. The amendment clarifies that the chief inspector's right to inspect teacher training extends only to bodies which are in receipt of public funding in respect of the provision of that training. The amendment will prevent Ofsted from inspecting private training institutions or in-service training providers who are not in receipt of public funds and which teachers are paying for from their own resources. I beg to move.

Baroness Carnegy of Lour: My Lords, the noble Baroness told us the glad news that the Government are paying attention to Scotland in this respect as well and intend to bring forward, as it were, an amendment replicating Amendment No. 31 to Clause 15. Is that correct? Is the Minister also referring to Clause 30? Do the Government intend to amend Clause 15 in relation to Clause 30?

Baroness Blackstone: No, my Lords.

Baroness Carnegy of Lour: My Lords, I am informed by the noble Lord the Minister that the circumstances in Scotland are somewhat different in respect of giving notice of inspection. He tells me that there is no problem about that. Until I am advised otherwise by somebody, I shall of course accept what the Minister says on that point. Perhaps when we debate Clause 15 I may, with the leave of the House, return to the matter and ask the Scottish Office Minister a further question.

Baroness Blatch: My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness for coming back with those amendments. They will be welcomed. There remains some disquiet among higher education personnel who are still concerned about the documentation which could be made available for inspection. For some reason the universities are still disquieted by the possibility of misinterpretation of this clause, even with the new wording contained in Amendment No. 28.

Is the Minister prepared to continue discussions, in particular with CVCP, to find ways of refining the matter until it is beyond doubt? No one questions the intention of the Government to meet the anxieties, but I hope that that work between the higher education interests and the noble Baroness could continue until the

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clause is sufficiently defined to put all fears to rest. Otherwise, I am grateful for what the noble Baroness has done.

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