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Baroness Sharp of Guildford: My Lords, I thank the Minister for her reply, which was not totally unexpected. On these Benches we remain unhappy about the degree to which the adult learning inspectorate remains the junior partner within the proposed arrangements. I am reassured by the noble Baroness's remarks about attempts to forge the joint working of the two inspectorates. The Minister spoke of the diversity of the sector. We believe that that demands a separate inspection system. The proposed arrangements are complex. The simplicity of the ALI having remit over the further education sector, and Ofsted over the schools sector, has much advantage. Nevertheless, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

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[Amendments Nos. 108 to 110 not moved.]

Baroness Blatch moved Amendment No. 111:


    Page 20, line 39, after ("training") insert ("other than higher education").

The noble Baroness said: My Lords, in moving Amendment No. 111 I speak also to Amendment No. 115.

The higher education world is concerned about another aspect of the inspection arrangements in the Bill. For example, the Association of University Teachers sees as a possible threat a further avalanche of bureaucracy being introduced into the system on top of the system already in place.

The quality of provision of higher education courses is currently examined by peer group (the external examiner system); the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education; internal university audit; Ofsted, for initial teacher training; and the research assessment exercise, for research in higher education. Surely that is enough. There is no case for superimposing any further inspection arrangements.

University teachers hold the principle of academic freedom to be of supreme importance. That subject has been discussed on many occasions in this House. However, they see it as a worrying development if the Government decided to create for themselves a reserve power whereby they could control the provision and content of higher education courses. Although the Association of University Teachers has communicated with the Government for clarification, as yet it has merely been referred to the Committee stage debate and that is not particularly enlightening.

The Government have made clear that the Bill should not extend to higher education, and this has been underlined by the Minister in her Second Reading speech and in the legislation itself where the phrase "other than higher education" is reiterated many times. But the provisions under Clause 51 of the Bill as currently drafted do not include such clarity. Instead there is a loose reference under Clause 51(1)(e) to,


    "such other education or training (which may, in particular, include training of or for teachers or lecturers) as may be prescribed by regulations made by the Secretary of State".

The training of teachers in higher education is already covered by Ofsted under the Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998. This clause will add yet another organisation to the long list of inspection regimes in that sector.

Will the Government clarify the extent of the proposed adult learning inspectorate for the purposes of lecturers in higher education and the training of teachers in higher education? I beg to move.

Baroness Carnegy of Lour: My Lords, it is an important amendment. I have been unable to take part in the Bill until now. However, I have listened to my noble friend. The Association of University Teachers represents, as the Minister knows well, many people who have been driven mad by the number of inspections which pull in a number of different

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directions. People cannot get on with their job because of them. When the Minister replies, I hope that he will express some understanding of the position described here. It is not special pleading. It is a cri de coeur from people who are being driven crazy by the Government's impositions upon them.

Lord Bach: My Lords, we debated at some length during Committee the precise scope of this power to extend the remit of the ALI and in particular the provisions for teacher training. In the light of that debate, the Government have decided that it would be appropriate to clarify the Bill--in particular to demonstrate that we are not concerned here with the inspection of training for school teachers. That is the point of the government amendment to which I shall speak after I have spoken to the noble Baroness's amendments.

Baroness Blatch: My Lords, it would be helpful if I may press the noble Lord a little more. We are addressing whether further education teachers and/or lecturers are taught in higher education. It is not the training of school teachers.

Lord Bach: My Lords, I am aware of that. Perhaps the noble Baroness will give me a little longer to explain the position. The noble Baroness has tabled her own amendments to clarify the position. We cannot accept them.

Amendments Nos. 111 and 115 would mean that the adult learning inspectorate would be unable to inspect further education teacher training which qualifies as a course of higher education. The consequence would be that the ALI would be able to inspect only some but not all FE teacher training.

Noble Lords may find it helpful to know that FE teacher training is provided at two levels. First, there are City and Guilds qualifications, usually provided directly in colleges. Since this is further education provision for adults, the adult learning inspectorate will scrutinise it under its normal remit. Secondly, FE teacher training is also made in the form of the Certificate of Education or the PGCE in Further Education, and much of this training is franchised by HE institutions to further education institutions. However, it is defined within Schedule 6 to the Education Reform Act 1988 as "higher education".

The Government have very recently issued a consultation paper on compulsory teaching qualifications for teachers in further education. In that paper we stress our expectation that staff involved in teaching post-16 education and training should be appropriately qualified. It follows that better and more extensive FE teacher training will be needed in the next few years. Coherent inspection arrangements are a crucial part of the plan to raise FE teaching standards.

We want to use the regulation-making power to ensure that the ALI has a potential role in all further education teacher training so that it can bring its expertise to bear across the whole of this important area. Therefore, through the regulations, the remit of the ALI will extend to include provision in the small

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number of universities which run specialist post-graduate certificates of education for teachers in further education. It will not include--and I stress this--initial teacher training for schoolteachers. Ofsted already inspects this provision which takes place in higher education.

It is very important to allow the ALI to form a comprehensive judgment about standards in the training of FE teachers, lecturers and vocational trainers. We hope that the House will accept the government amendments rather than the amendments of the noble Baroness. I shall now speak to the amendments.

Perhaps I may begin by assuring the noble Baroness, Lady Blatch, that we do not intend to extend the remit of the ALI to include the training of schoolteachers. I think she has accepted that point. Amendments Nos. 112 and 114, which the Government propose in respect of Clause 51, and Amendments Nos. 117, 118 and 119, which necessarily follow at Clause 52(4) and (5), make clear that we are concerned with the inspection of the teachers, lecturers and trainers in FE colleges and work-based training. Amendments Nos. 136 and 137 in this group in respect of Clause 73 have a similar effect for Wales.

A further government amendment, Amendment No. 120, is necessary--for the avoidance of doubt--to maintain consistency between the terminology in Clause 52(2) to (5) where "specify" is used in a similar context.

I hope that to some extent the concerns of the noble Baronesses opposite are removed. I hope they agree that FE teacher training should be inspected by one organisation, that organisation being the ALI.

Baroness Blatch: My Lords, I am not impressed with the response. There is real concern, not just about this amendment and how higher and further education and teacher training will be inspected, but about all the points that were raised on the previous set of amendments. There is incredible disquiet about the way in which the ALI and Ofsted are going to work and about the interaction between further and higher education inspections. The answer is deeply unsatisfactory. I shall return to the matter at Third Reading. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Lord Bach moved Amendment No. 112:


    Page 20, line 39, leave out from ("training") to ("as") in line 40.

On Question, amendment agreed to.

3.30 p.m.

Baroness Sharp of Guildford moved Amendment No. 113:


    Page 20, line 41, at end insert--


("( ) facilities for providing information, advice or guidance about education or training or connected matters secured by the Council under section 12(5) of this Act or by the Secretary of State under section 9 of the Employment and Training Act 1973 for persons over the age of 19").

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The noble Baroness said: My Lords, in moving this amendment standing in my name and that of my noble friend Lord Tope I wish to speak also to Amendment No. 145 which is grouped with it. The amendment relates to the inspection of careers advice and guidance in the further and adult education sectors. We argued the case in Committee. The Minister responded by saying:


    "We intend, however, that the inspection and quality assurance of information, advice and guidance provision should be carried out by the independent Accreditation Board that was set up last year by the Guidance Council with support from my department. So there is an existing body with specialist expertise available to carry out this work".--[Official Report, 15/2/00; col. 1166.]

She continued, at col. 1167:


    "Secondly, and most importantly in responding to the noble Lord, information, advice and guidance is a specialist activity. Many of those providing information, advice and guidance are not learning providers. They operate in a quite different context".

We are not convinced by these arguments. Is the Guidance Council the right body to do this work? Is it appropriate when so much of the guidance given in further education comes from within the workplace? Guidance for adults on learning and career opportunities is delivered, especially for small and medium-sized businesses, often by line managers and supervisors rather than by specialist training or personnel officers. Increasingly, learning representatives within trade union structures play an important role. We are not convinced that the Guidance Council standards were designed with such a wide audience in mind, particularly one where the professional standards of other national training organisation bodies are concerned. So far, the inspections have been undertaken by the National Training Council and the Further Education and Funding Council Inspectorate. Both bodies have a clear understanding of workplace cultures and their inspection and have the necessary expertise to undertake this function. As both bodies will be incorporated within the new adult learning inspectorate, it seems obvious that that body should take on the responsibility.

Amendment No. 145 relates to the inspection of the new Connexions service for post-16 education. As this is non-school-based careers advice and guidance, it is obvious that the adult learning inspectorate rather than Ofsted is the appropriate body to inspect such guidance. I beg to move.


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