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Baroness Blackstone: The Bill already provides the necessary scope to regulate on the terms of reference for governing bodies and the respective roles and responsibilities of the governing body and head teacher and to confer responsibilities. These are powers which we fully intend to use. But we do not want to be tied to legislating on every detail set out in Clause 37(3). The powers are intentionally permissive in order to give us the latitude to cover in regulations only those matters which we consider most helpful in clarifying the respective roles and responsibilities.

Our aim is to produce regulations which provide genuine clarification on the framework within which governing bodies and heads should work together. We plan to consult widely on the draft regulations. Prior to that we will test the views of the key partners so that what we do produce is workable.

Much of the content is likely to be familiar territory. For example, some provisions are already in existing articles of government. However, we plan only to regulate on key roles and responsibilities. We do not want to be drawn by this amendment into producing a long list of governing body and head teacher responsibilities which would repeat much of what is in existing legislation or proposed by this Bill.

Our particular concern regarding standing orders is the additional burden that producing them would impose on governing bodies. We fear that it would divert governing bodies from concentrating on the key issue of standards if they were required to spend time discussing their own procedures. Such procedures as we consider

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essential for the smooth conduct of governing bodies will be contained in regulations to be made under Schedule 11. Beyond that, governing bodies should be free to choose for themselves with what degree of formality they should conduct their affairs. Governing bodies vary greatly, and what is appropriate for a large secondary school may feel quite wrong in a small primary school. However, we have indicated in another place that our minds are not closed on the issue of standing orders. The Bill, as currently drafted, would not preclude a requirement for standing orders in the regulations if a consensus for their support emerged on consultation. Any school will be able to adopt standing orders if it wishes as Schedule 11 allows governing bodies to regulate their own procedure and that of any committees subject to what is set out in regulations. We will be seeking practitioners' views on whether governing bodies should have standing orders, and what they might contain.

It is neither necessary nor desirable to have every detail of what regulations may include on the face of the Bill. The regulations will be fully consulted upon and a decision taken about the inclusion of standing orders. Therefore, I ask the noble Baroness to consider withdrawing her amendment.

Baroness Maddock: I thank the Minister for that response. I shall read very carefully the Hansard report of what she said. At this time of night it is not always easy to take in such a response and interpret exactly what it means. However, I picked up the fact that the Minister is of the view that we want to put everything in the Bill. We have indeed been very specific here. We were concerned about the relationship between governors and head teachers. I believe that the Minister is accusing us of seeking to do more than we actually intended. Nevertheless, I shall study her response. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendments Nos. 151 and 152 not moved.]

1.15 a.m.

Baroness Blatch moved Amendment No. 153:

Page 32, line 20, at end insert--
("(4) The first regulations under this section shall be laid in draft before both Houses of Parliament and shall be subject to approval by resolution of each House.").

The noble Baroness said: In moving this amendment, I shall speak also to Amendments Nos. 154, 160, 162, 166, 199, 200, 224, 225, 227, 228, 248 to 251 and 253 to 255. These amendments are coupled with two government amendments; namely, Amendments Nos. 255A and 246A. Our debate so far on the Bill has more than convinced me of the need to take a very close interest in the secondary legislation which will flow from it. As we all know--and this is certainly true of all legislation--the devil is very much in the detail. Indeed, when one looks at part of this Bill, it is clear that we shall find a very real devil as regards the detail, especially in connection with the four action zone clauses. A great deal of activity will flow from them,

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much of which is still only a matter of speculation. My reason for tabling this raft of amendments is to ensure that any regulations produced will be subject to approval under the affirmative resolution procedure of both Chambers.

I have two brief points to make. First, on reading the amendments tabled in the name of the noble Baroness--Amendments Nos. 255A and 246A--it seems to me, from my limited technical understanding of them, that it could just be possible that they subsume all of my amendments in toto; in other words, that every one of my amendments where I call for affirmative resolution for regulations that flow from the Bill will in fact be subject to that procedure. I would not only welcome confirmation of that, I would also be very pleased to hear it.

Secondly, I have a question for the Minister. I suspect that it is more a case of ignorance on my part. I cannot really blame this on the lateness of the hour, it is just that the information has gone from my memory. Can the Minister confirm that Amendment No. 247 was agreed to on either the first or second day of the Committee stage of the Bill? It actually relates to Clause l, so I presume that it must have been discussed on the first day of Committee. I ask that question because I should like to couple it with my amendments. My dim, distant memory of the early stages of the Bill is that Amendment No. 247 was in fact accepted by the Minister. If that is so, I would appreciate her confirmation in that respect. I feel strongly that we ought to give Parliament an opportunity to see some of the detail that we would like to have had before us in discussing the Bill. I beg to move.

Baroness Blackstone: As I said when the Committee met for the first time on 5th May, the Government will respond in a positive manner to the Delegated Powers Scrutiny Committee's report. In answer to the noble Baroness's question, Amendment No. 247 concerned class sizes. I said that we would return to the issue of class sizes on Report. During our previous debate I proposed amendments which clarified the Committee's concerns in respect of Clause 21(7). I shall be delighted to move the two government amendments in the group of amendments we are discussing, Amendments Nos. 246A and 255A.

Amendments Nos. 246A and 255A give effect to the Delegated Powers Scrutiny Committee's recommendations in respect of the resolution procedures to be used for those provisions covering governance, local management of schools, admission and exclusion appeals and grammar schools. The particular drafting employed by parliamentary counsel means that only these two amendments cover recommendations of the committee over much of the Bill and cover the same issues as the 19 amendments in the name of the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch. I am not sure how they have done it, but I am assured that these two amendments cover the same issues as the 19 amendments that the noble Baroness has tabled for discussion today.

Regulations made under Sections 37(3), 38(1), 45, 46, 47(1), 100 or 101 (2) will all be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure on the first occasion

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that those regulations are made. That is consistent with what the Delegated Powers Scrutiny Committee suggested. In addition, orders made under paragraph 19 of Schedule 18, paragraph 16 of Schedule 24 or paragraph 14 of Schedule 25 will be subject to the affirmative procedure. I do not know whether the Committee will find it helpful if I discuss each of the committee's recommendations in turn.

Noble Lords: No!

Baroness Blackstone: In that case I hope the Committee will welcome the Government's amendments. They meet the Delegated Powers Scrutiny Committee's recommendations in all the areas that I have just listed. The Government will propose more amendments in due course.

Baroness Blatch: I do not think anyone would want an even longer technical explanation, but I want an answer to my question. I understood the noble Baroness to say that she is responding to the Delegated Powers Scrutiny Committee's recommendations. My amendments go rather wider than that; they ask for affirmative resolution on a number of regulations which are additional to those recommended in the report. Are any of my amendments not subsumed by the noble Baroness's amendments? I need to know whether that is the case. If they are not, I shall want to make my arguments in the context of particular sections of the Bill.

As regards Amendment No. 247, I thought we had addressed this matter when we discussed class size pledges. The noble Baroness simply said that she would return to the matter. Will she bring forward an amendment that meets my request; namely that the regulations which flow from Clause 1 of the Bill will be subject to affirmative resolution by both Chambers?

Baroness Blackstone: As I said when we discussed class sizes, we shall return to the issue on Report. This evening we are not discussing the part of the Bill that relates to class sizes. I cannot therefore give the noble Baroness the positive answer that she requires. As I said, I shall return to this matter on Report. I am hopeful that I shall be able to give a positive response, but I cannot confirm that this evening.

I was not aware that the other amendments tabled by the noble Baroness went beyond the proposals in the report of the Delegated Powers Scrutiny Committee. I thought that the amendments reflected the committee's recommendations. The two government amendments are entirely responsive to the committee. They do not go beyond that. I hope that that answers the noble Baroness's question.

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