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COMMONS AMENDMENTS

175Clause 116, page 55, line 21, after ("of(", insert ("property,")
176After Clause 116, insert the following new clause--
DESIGNATED INSTITUTIONS: DISPOSAL OF LAND, &C

(" .--(1) This section applies to land which after the coming into force of this section is transferred to trustees under section 32(3)(b) of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 (transfer of property on designation of institution).
(2) This section also applies to land which--
(a) is held by trustees for the purposes of an institution which became a designated institution after the coming into force of this section, and
(b) was acquired or enhanced in value wholly or partly by means of money paid under section 65 of the Education Act 1996 (grants) or paragraph 5 of Schedule 3 to the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 (grants).
(3) If trustees dispose of land to which this section applies they shall notify the appropriate council.
(4) If trustees dispose of land to which this section applies they shall pay to the appropriate council so much of the proceeds of disposal as may be determined to be just--
(a) by agreement between the trustees and the council, or
(b) in default of agreement, by the Secretary of State.
(5) In making a determination under subsection (4) regard shall be had, in particular, to--
(a) the value of the land at the date of the determination, and
(b) any enhancement of the land's value which is attributable to expenditure by the trustees or the governing body of the designated institution.
(6) More than one determination may be made under subsection (4) in relation to a particular disposal where it is just to do so, in particular where the disposal involves the creation of a lease.
(7) If trustees permit land to which this section applies to be used for purposes not connected with the designated institution--
(a) they shall be treated for the purposes of this section as having disposed of the land, and
(b) subsection (4) shall have effect as if the reference to the proceeds of disposal were a reference to the value of the land.
(8) Where a designated institution has ceased to exist--
(a) this section applies to land which satisfied subsection (1) or (2) immediately before the institution ceased to exist, and
(b) in subsection (7) the reference to purposes not connected with the designated institution shall be treated as a reference to purposes not connected with an institution within the further education sector (within the meaning given by section 91(3) of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992).
(9) In this section "the appropriate council" means--
(a) the Learning and Skills Council for England, in respect of land in England, and
(b) the National Council for Education and Training for Wales, in respect of land in Wales.")
177After Clause 116, insert the following new clause--
FURTHER EDUCATION COLLEGES: GOVERNORS' LIABILITY

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(" .--(1) Subsection (2) applies where a member of a body listed in subsection (3) is found liable in civil legal proceedings in respect of something which he did or omitted to do in the course of carrying out his duties as a member of the body.
(2) If--
(a) the member of the body applies to a court for an order under this subsection, and
(b) the court considers that the action or omission which gives rise to the member's liability was honest and reasonable,
the court may make an order extinguishing, reducing or varying the liability.
(3) The bodies referred to in subsection (1) are--
(a) a further education corporation established by virtue of section 15, 16 or 47 of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992, and
(b) a body corporate established by virtue of section 116(4) or (5) of this Act.
(4) Where a member of a body listed in subsection (3) applies to a court for an order under this subsection, the court may make any order which--
(a) relates to liability in civil legal proceedings which may come to be incurred by the member in respect of a specified course of action, and
(b) is of a kind which the court could have made if the liability had already been incurred.
(5) In subsections (2)(a) and (4) "a court" means the High Court or a county court; but this subsection is subject to any order under section 1 of the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 (allocation of business between High Court and county courts).")

Lord Bach: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 175 to 177. I shall speak first to Amendment No. 177. Amendment No. 177 inserts a new clause which meets the commitment we made at the Committee stage in this House to consider what provision we could make to protect the personal liability of individual FE governors. This clause will place governors of FE corporations on a similar footing to trustees of charities or directors of companies. The new clause allows a governor to apply to the courts to be relieved fully or partially from an actual or potential personal liability if the courts find that the governor has acted honestly and reasonably. However, cases where liability has arisen from criminal acts will be excluded, which is consistent with the treatment of trustees and company directors. I should like to thank noble Lords--in particular, the noble Lord, Lord Tope--for the interest they have taken in this issue. I hope that the provision meets with their satisfaction.

Amendment No. 176 inserts a new clause which will correct inadequate provisions in current legislation in the interests of protecting investments of public funds. Under Section 28 of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 institutions may be designated by the Secretary of State to be part of the FE sector but, on closure, he has no powers to prevent land acquired or enhanced by public funds being lost to the trustees. Given the possibility of the creation of new designated institutions under the provisions of this Bill, we must make sure that there is provision for the recovery of the proceeds of sale of such land or its value where the use of the land is changed, including cases where the institution closes. The new clause achieves that by

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requiring that the trustees of such an institution inform the LSC or CETW if they dispose of or change the use of land acquired or enhanced in value using public funds and repay the proceeds or value as may be determined. If agreement cannot be reached by the council and the trustees, the Secretary of State or the National Assembly will determine the amount that must be repaid.

Amendment No. 175 addresses a minor drafting point. By inserting the word "property", we secure a formulation: that is, "property, rights and liability", which is consistent with the education Acts.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 175 to 177.--(Lord Bach.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

6 p.m.

COMMONS AMENDMENTS

178After Clause 116, insert the following new clause--
FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS

(" .--(1) The Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998 shall be amended as follows.
(2) In section 22 (new arrangements for giving financial support to students)--
(a) in subsection (1) for "attending" substitute "undertaking", and
(b) in subsections (2)(h) and (7) omit "attendance on".
(3) In section 23 (transfer or delegation of functions relating to student support) in subsection (1)(b)--
(a) for "at" substitute "with", and
(b) for "attending" substitute "undertaking".
(4) In section 26 (imposition of conditions as to fees at further or higher education institutions) in subsections (4), (5) and (10)(b) for "attending" (in each place) substitute "undertaking".
(5) In section 28(1) (interpretation) in the definition of "fees" for "attendance on" (in each place) substitute "undertaking".")
179After Clause 116, insert the following new clause--
FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS: NORTHERN IRELAND

(" .--(1) The Education (Student Support) (Northern Ireland) Order 1998 shall be amended as follows.
(2) In Article 2(2) (interpretation) in the definition of "fees" for "attendance on" (in each place) substitute "undertaking".
(3) In Article 3 (new arrangements for giving financial support to students)--
(a) in paragraph (1) for "attending" substitute "undertaking";
(b) in paragraphs (2)(h) and (7) omit "attendance on".
(4) In Article 4 (transfer or delegation of functions relating to student support) in paragraph (1)(b)--
(a) for "at" substitute "with", and
(b) for "attending" substitute "undertaking".
(5) In Article 7 (imposition of conditions as to fees at further or higher education institutions) in paragraphs (1), (2), (3) and (8)(b) for "attending" (in each place) substitute "undertaking".")

Lord Bach: My Lords, I beg to move that the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 178 and 179. In moving these amendments, with the leave of the House I shall speak also to Amendment No. 264.

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Amendment No. 178 will enable the Secretary of State to provide financial support to students on open learning courses that do not have attendance requirements. The new clause it inserts into the Bill makes technical but important changes to existing legislation which is currently couched in terms of attendance and which prevents, for example, Open University students being eligible for the same support as students in other universities. In 2000-01 this support will be provided in the form of loans for part-time students on low incomes and disabled students' allowances for part-time students with disabilities. I know that the Open University had been concerned at the unforeseen limitations of the wording in the Teaching and Higher Education Act and we are now delighted to put things right.

Amendment No. 179 makes equivalent changes to the relevant legislation for Northern Ireland. Although the Assembly would normally prepare its own legislation in this area, by making provision directly in the Bill we are ensuring that the new arrangements can be put in place for the next academic year. The relevant committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly has approved the approach.

Lastly, Amendment No. 264 simply makes transitional provision to cover so-called "old-style loans" under the new post-16 arrangements. It is merely part of consequential amendments which replace references to the FEFCs with the LSC and the CETW. The whole of the Education (Student Loans) Act 1990 was repealed by the Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998. Order-making powers under the latter were used to ensure that the relevant provisions of the 1990 Act were preserved to cover existing student loans or students whose circumstances meant that they were still eligible for "old-style loans". This includes students on particularly long courses, the final stages of which may be funded by the LSC or the CETW. Amendment No. 264 therefore provides that the provisions preserved from the 1990 Act also apply in respect of institutions receiving funding from the LSC or the CETW under this Bill.

Moved, That the House do agree with the Commons in their Amendments Nos. 178 and 179.--(Lord Bach.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.


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