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Lord Whitty: My Lords, the education legislation makes clear that decisions regarding material used in

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schools for sex education is a matter for the governors of schools. Their responsibilities are governed by education legislation and not by this Bill or by other local government legislation.

I finalise my response to the noble Baroness, Lady Young. If those discussions reach fruition and we are able to come forward with an amendment which has broad acceptance among the people with whom the Government rightly have discussed the matter--namely, the providers of education and those representing the interests of the faiths and others--we shall do so in that context and shall deal with it in the normal way. If I have to say it again, I shall say it again: that is a different issue from the one on the face of this Bill.

I turn to the amendment in the name of the noble Baroness, Lady Young, carried by the House the other day. At this late stage, I do not seek to bring forward a further amendment, as the noble Lord, Lord Campbell, feared I would. I feel that we are now in a position where the current view of this House is clear and another place must take cognisance of that view. We shall need to consider the matter after the other place has done so. That is the position. I do not know whether I can be clearer than that. I hope that it is clear enough for noble Lords.

Lord Campbell of Alloway: My Lords, I am grateful to all noble Lords and to the noble Lord, Lord Whitty. There is a problem here. I take the view--perhaps quite wrongly--that it is right to amend an element of section 403 of the Education Act and to do certain things which have been suggested already and which, I believe, I supported in Committee. That is my personal view.

However, it is also my personal view that there should be a power of prohibition to prevent the local authority doing certain things. I express the matter quite generally. I dealt with the issue in my opening remarks, but I am in the dark. Is the Government's attitude that there should (as is my approach) be prohibition or that there should not? This is a problem; there is a nexus between the two views. It comes to the fore clearly when my noble friends who hold distinguished positions on the Front Bench do not appear to have been involved in those negotiations. I did not know that. We do not know much on the Back Benches about what goes on on the Front Bench, but I suspected that that was the case. It seems to me that there is something wrong about that: not wrong in an improper sense but something that should perhaps be considered and put right.

At this hour I shall not take issue with the noble Lord on his misinterpretation of the definition clause. Perhaps we may discuss that on some other occasion. I agree with the noble Lord that, of course, no one must table an amendment which is inconsistent with a Bill as amended in Committee. That would be contrary to our procedures. I thank the noble Lord for what he said. I hope that he will reconsider through the usual

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channels the point of substance on procedure. I accept the noble Lord's assurance and beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord Campbell of Alloway moved Amendment No. 82:


    After Clause 82, insert the following new clause--

SEXUALLY EXPLICIT MATERIAL IN MAINTAINED SCHOOLS

(" .--(1) After section 2A of the Local Government Act 1986 insert--
"Sexually explicit material in maintained schools.
2B.--(1) A local authority shall not cause or permit material of a sexually explicit nature to be available in any maintained school without the approval and the consent of the Board of Governors.
(2) In any proceedings in connection with the application of this section a court shall draw such inferences as to the intention of the local authority as may reasonably be drawn from the evidence before it.
(3) In subsection (1) "maintained school" means a maintained school or maintained nursery school within the meaning of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998.".
(2) In section 12(3) of that Act, after "Part II" there is inserted "(other than section 2B)".").

The noble Lord said: My Lords, in essence, this is the same sort of problem. Those negotiations also give rise to the problem of definition. It was said in Committee that there was a problem in relation to the definition of "sexually explicit material". Surely nobody would want a lot of the material that we have seen in the exhibition to be made available. Call it what you will, it does not, in fact, involve a definition in law which requires the view of the courts or the opinion of the Attorney-General.

I have particularly drafted the amendment so that it should be for the view of the board of governors and it is entirely a matter for them and for the parents who sit on the board. They decide what is sexually explicit. I should say to the noble Baroness, Lady Hamwee, that the point is taken that the board of governors could delegate that matter to a sub-committee. If the governors allow it, so be it, whatever anyone else thinks about the material. But if they prohibit it and say "No", then that is a classic example for my approach. The local authority should then be prohibited by an express prohibition from making that material available in schools.

Your Lordships may well think that in principle such a prohibition is desirable. That is, with respect, my personal opinion. I beg to move.

Lord Whitty: My Lords, I made the main point on discussing the previous amendment. The noble Lord's amendment seeks to prohibit local authorities from making material available in schools. Local authorities in England and Wales do not have that ability. That is a matter for the governors. Therefore, the amendment is inappropriately targeted. I could have a discussion--although I shall not do so at this time of night--as to whether local authorities should, in principle, have a power of prohibition. But as the amendment is phrased it refers to making the material

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available. That is a matter for the governors of the school and not for the local authorities. Therefore, the amendment is not phrased in a way which is appropriate for this Bill.

Lord Campbell of Alloway: My Lords, perhaps I may have an opportunity to consider what the noble Lord has said and ask for leave to withdraw my amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause 84 [Wales]:

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 83:


    Page 57, line 31, at end insert ("or paragraph 6 of Schedule 1)").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Clause 86 [Commencement]:

Baroness Young moved Amendment No. 84:


    Page 58, line 4, leave out from first ("the") to end of line 5 and insert ("repeal of paragraph 63 of").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, this is a technical amendment. I beg to move.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

[Amendment No. 85 not moved.]

Schedule 1 [Executive arrangements: further provision]:

Lord Whitty moved Amendment No. 86:


    Page 61, line 10, at end insert--

("Overview and scrutiny committees: education functions

6.--(1) In this paragraph "relevant English authority" means a local authority in England which is a local education authority.
(2) This paragraph applies to an overview and scrutiny committee of a relevant English authority if the committee's functions under section 19 relate wholly or partly to any education functions which are the responsibility of the authority's executive.
(3) This paragraph also applies to a sub-committee of an overview and scrutiny committee of a relevant English authority if the sub-committee's functions under section 19 relate wholly or partly to any education functions which are the responsibility of the authority's executive.
(4) An overview and scrutiny committee or sub-committee to which this paragraph applies must include--
(a) one or more persons appointed as representatives of the persons who appoint foundation governors for Church of England schools in the area of the authority concerned, and
(b) one or more persons appointed as representatives of the persons who appoint foundation governors for Roman Catholic Church schools in the area of the authority concerned.
(5) A member of an overview and scrutiny committee or sub-committee appointed by virtue of sub-paragraph (4) is to be entitled to vote at a meeting of the committee or sub-committee on any question--
(a) which relates to any education functions which are the responsibility of the authority concerned's executive, and
(b) which falls to be decided at the meeting.
(6) The Secretary of State may by directions to a relevant English authority require any of the authority's overview and scrutiny committees or sub-committees to which this paragraph applies to include persons who are appointed, in accordance with the directions, as representatives of the persons who appoint foundation governors for such of the foundation or voluntary

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schools in the authority's area which are not Church of England schools or Roman Catholic Church schools as may be specified in the directions.
(7) Directions under sub-paragraph (6) may make provision with respect to the voting rights of persons appointed in accordance with such directions.
7.--(1) In this paragraph "relevant Welsh authority" means a local authority in Wales which is a local education authority.
(2) This paragraph applies to an overview and scrutiny committee of a relevant Welsh authority if the committee's functions under section 19 relate wholly or partly to any education functions which are the responsibility of the authority's executive.
(3) This paragraph also applies to a sub-committee of an overview and scrutiny committee of a relevant Welsh authority if the sub-committee's functions under section 19 relate wholly or partly to any education functions which are the responsibility of the authority's executive.
(4) An overview and scrutiny committee or sub-committee to which this paragraph applies must include one or more persons appointed as representatives of the persons who appoint foundation governors for the foundation or voluntary schools in the authority concerned's area which are specified in directions made by the National Assembly for Wales as schools which have a character connected with a particular religion, or particular religious denomination, specified in the directions.
(5) Sub-paragraph (4) does not apply if there are no foundation or voluntary schools in the authority concerned's area which are specified in directions under that sub-paragraph.
(6) A member of an overview and scrutiny committee or sub-committee appointed by virtue of sub-paragraph (4) is to be entitled to vote at a meeting of the committee or sub-committee on any question--
(a) which relates to any education functions which are the responsibility of the authority concerned's executive, and
(b) which falls to be decided at the meeting.
(7) The National Assembly for Wales may by directions to a relevant Welsh authority require any of the authority's overview and scrutiny committees or sub-committees to which this paragraph applies to include persons who are appointed, in accordance with the directions, as representatives of the persons who appoint foundation governors for such of the foundation or voluntary schools in the authority's area which are not specified in directions under sub-paragraph (4) as may be specified in directions under this sub-paragraph.
(8) Directions under sub-paragraph (7) may make provision with respect to the voting rights of persons appointed in accordance with such directions.
8.--(1) In this paragraph "relevant authority" means a local authority which is a local education authority.
(2) This paragraph applies to an overview and scrutiny committee of a relevant authority if the committee's functions under section 19 relate wholly or partly to any education functions which are the responsibility of the authority's executive.
(3) This paragraph also applies to a sub-committee of an overview and scrutiny committee of a relevant authority if the sub-committee's functions under section 19 relate wholly or partly to any education functions which are the responsibility of the authority's executive.
(4) The Secretary of State may by regulations require an overview and scrutiny committee or sub-committee to which this paragraph applies to include one or more persons elected, in accordance with the regulations, as representatives of parent governors at maintained schools in the area of the relevant authority concerned.
(5) Regulations under this paragraph may make provision for--
(a) the number of persons who are to be elected in the case of any relevant authority,

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(b) the procedure to be followed in connection with the election of such persons and the persons who are entitled to vote at such an election,
(c) the circumstances in which persons are qualified or disqualified for being so elected or for holding office once elected,
(d) the term of office of persons so elected and their voting rights,
(e) the application to any such committee or sub-committee, with or without any modification, of any enactment relating to committees or (as the case may be) sub-committees of a local authority,
(f) such other matters connected with such elections or persons so elected as the Secretary of State considers appropriate.
(6) Regulations under this paragraph may also make provision--
(a) enabling the Secretary of State to determine, where he considers it expedient to do so in view of the small number of maintained schools in the area of a relevant authority, that the requirement imposed on the committee or sub-committee by virtue of sub-paragraph (4) is to have effect as if it referred to representatives of parents of registered pupils (rather than representatives of parent governors) at those schools,
(b) for any regulations under this paragraph to have effect, where the Secretary of State makes any such determination, with such modifications as may be prescribed.
1998 C 31

9. Expressions used in paragraphs 6 to 8 and the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 have the same meaning in those paragraphs as in that Act.").

On Question, amendment agreed to.

Schedule 2 [Election of elected mayor]:

[Amendments Nos. 87 and 88 not moved.]

Schedule 4 [Minor and Consequential Amendments]:


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