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Lord Addington: Before the noble Baroness decides what to do about the amendment, I should like to make clear that, although I stated that behavioural problems may well be caused as a result of undiagnosed special needs, I agree with the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch, that the other pupils in the class also have rights. School exclusion is something I would be worried about, whereas removal from the classroom is often appropriate. As an example, putting a dyslexic into a conventional English class without proper assistance is the equivalent of putting someone in a wheelchair on a cross-country course. They will not benefit from it. Often a unit within a school is a very practical way forward. I hope that that puts some of my comments in context.

Lord Archer of Sandwell: Perhaps I may echo what the noble Lord said. The whole point of directing the criteria of special educational needs to a particular pupil may be precisely that they are removed from the ordinary classroom situation.

Baroness David: I thank the noble Lord, Lord Addington, and my noble and learned friend Lord Archer for their sympathetic support. I am glad that my noble and learned friend mentioned the research of Professor Neville Harris, of which I had heard, which is very helpful with regard to what I have been saying. Of course, I understand what the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch says. It is very difficult indeed for teachers with disruptive pupils. But my amendments try to get at the cause of the behaviour and to deal with it early on. I thank my noble friend the Minister for his sympathetic response. I shall be happy to withdraw my amendment if I can be reassured, as I think he did reassure me, that both the points I made will be covered in the guidance. That is quite satisfactory and, in the light of that, I shall be pleased to withdraw my amendment.

4 Jun 1998 : Column 588

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Baroness David had given notice of her intention to move Amendment No. 183:


Page 47, line 37, at end insert--
("(c) registered pupils at the school, and
(d) teaching and non-teaching staff at the school.").

The noble Baroness said: I understood that we were going to stop at 11 o'clock tonight. Amendment No. 183 is the first of a long series of amendments, most of which are mine. I hope that the Deputy Chief Whip will say that this is the moment when the House might resume.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I think my noble friend would prefer to move her amendment very rapidly, succinctly and cogently, and then other Members of the Committee can speak even more rapidly and cogently and we can try and get a little bit more business done.

Lord Tope: That is quite wrong. This group of amendments relates to extremely important subjects. It is something on which a number of us want to speak. I am sure we shall all speak cogently: we always do in this Chamber. But to have to rush it through, last thing at night on a Thursday evening, simply to suit the convenience of the Government, is unfair to the Committee; particularly unfair to the mover of these amendments, who I know has a long drive tonight; and, above all, it is unfair to the people who are affected by the amendments. It is now just after 11 o'clock at night.

Lord Archer of Sandwell: My noble friend knows that I do not make difficulties for the Government if that can be helped. But the theme which draws together the amendments in this grouping does not become obvious when one looks at it. I have two amendments which are quite different from the amendments about to be moved by my noble friend. How we can be succinct and rapid when we are dealing with a whole group of different subjects escapes me. My noble friend may want to think again.

Lord McIntosh of Haringey: I yield to the succinct and cogent arguments of noble Lords who have spoken. I beg to move that the House do now resume.

On Question, Motion agreed to.

House resumed.

        House adjourned at two minutes past eleven o'clock.

4 Jun 1998 : Column 587


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