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Schedule 7

Volume 978: debated on Wednesday 13 February 1980

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

REPEALS

Amendments made: No. 78, in page 47, line 4, column 3, at beginning insert 'Section 8(2)( b).'.

No. 79, in page 48, line 39, at end insert—

'1975 c. 65. The Sex Discrimination Act In Schedule 2, paragraph 2. 1975.'—[ Mr. Mark Carlisle.]

11.12 pm

I beg to move, That the Bill be now read the Third time.

It was pleasant, over the last hour, in slow tempo, to discuss the capping of the pool, following the excitements earlier in the evening. I should like to remind hon. Members, especially on the Government side, of some of the matters contained in the Bill and to commend the measure to the House.

In the early clauses, there is a considerable increase in the right of parents to state a preference for a school. We believe that parents, as far as possible, should have the right of choice of school, whether denominational or non-denominational, mixed or single-sex, and the type of academic and social discipline that exists in them.

We have put in the Bill the right of a parent to state a preference for a school and the need for schools to issue information on the academic and other sides of the school. People can exercise a choice only if they have the information on which to base that choice. We have also introduced an appeals system under which parents who do not get the school of their choice have the right of appeal to a statutory committee of the local authority, where they can state a case for their son or daughter to go to that school.

I had hoped that in the last hour we could have discussed the fourth action we have taken on parental choice, but the relevant amendment was not moved. That action was to introduce automatic recoupment between neighbouring authorities so that parents could choose for their children schools in the areas of neighbouring authorities and would not need the permission either of the authority in whose area they lived or the authority in whose area the school was located.

I commend not just the provisions on higher education and the capping of the pool but the effect of the Bill in providing a considerable extension of the right of parents to state a preference for their children, to go to appeal and to have the information upon which to base their choice of school.

Order. Before I call the next hon. Member to speak, I remind the House that in 25 minutes I shall call the Opposition Front Bench spokesman. May we have brief speeches, please?

11.16 pm

The Minister concluded by speaking of parents having a right to choose. He was more accurate earlier when he said that the Bill would provide a right to express a preference. There is a world of difference in the grammar and the results of those phrases. I want to draw attention to some aspects of the Bill should it become law which are buried in schedule 7, the repeals schedule. It repeals sections 11, 12 and 13 of the 1944 Act.

That Act, much of which will remain, was a great deal more than a provider of compulsory primary and secondary education for everyone. It was the compact between Church and State in education in Britain, achieved after many years of squabbling and disagreement. I am sorry to say, however, that the Bill, particularly clauses 1 to 16, will rip apart that basic agreement. The delicate relationship between Church and State, voluntary and statutory, will perhaps be broken by the Bill.

Clauses 6 and 7 give parents the right to express a preference and to appeal. Clause 30 does not compel local authorities to engage in free trade—that implies a willing buyer and a willing seller—but enables parents to cross county boundaries without requiring the consent of the authorities concerned. Clauses 12 to 16 enable new voluntary schools to be launched with greater ease and make the closing of existing maintained schools easier.

The result will be that competition will hot up because the repeal of section 11 means the repeal of the statutory duty of a local education authority to have what was called a development plan. The proposals in the Bill will therefore be without framework. The future provision or planning of education within any LEA area will depend upon the results of appeals or even of court findings upon those appeals. The local authority will not be able to set out a plan under which all the elements—parents, pupils, voluntary schools and governors and the interests of the community—are brought together and considered.

The Bill will set pupil against pupil, parent against parent, teacher against teacher, Church against State, and LEA against LEA, and will destroy the coherent national character of education, locally administered, which was the sign of the 1944 Act. It will create administrative problems at local authority level and it will create problems for parents who do not get their choice and who do not have the brighter children who will be chosen for the more selective schools and perhaps for the assisted places scheme.

The temptation will be for the voluntary sector to cream off at every level of the pyramid of prestige from the pukka private school at the top down through the direct grant grammar school to the voluntary maintained and controlled schools and then to the county schools at the bottom. That temptation will be intensified and some schools will have first pick of parents, pupils and teachers.

The physical wounds inflicted by taking away the power to authorise payment for travel, meals and the provision of nursery schools may be healed. However, much deeper wounds will result from the "Boyson-Carlisle" Act. The Act will rip education apart at the seams—seams that were welded together by Lord Butler in 1944. It will disrupt the delicate tripod of a national service locally administered in partnership with the Churches and the voluntary organisations.

The Act will be the work of an irresponsible Government who are ignorant about education in the maintained sector. I only hope that the Churches will act more responsibly in the way they use the freedoms that are now given to them.

In 1943 the White Paper, Cmnd. 6458, produced by a Government elected in 1935 with a majority of 250, said:
"It is just as important to achieve diversity as it is to ensure equality of educational opportunity. But such diversity must not impair the social unity within the educational system which will open the way to a more closely knit society and give us strength to face the tasks ahead."
Unfortunately, this Bill will rend asunder what the 1944 Act created. It is not worthy of the House, and any hon. Member who votes for it will be undoing the work of the 1944 Government.

11.22 pm

I support the Bill wholeheartedly. I believe that it is important that local authorities should be given greater discretion. I am fortunate that in my constituency we have been able to continue with our very good grammar schools during the difficult years that have just passed.

I am delighted that the Secretary of State has brought forward a measure that will increase parental choice, and I welcome in particular the new appeals procedure. One of the difficult elements of constituency correspondence has concerned disappointed parents. In the past, all that one could do was to push them aside and hope for the best. I believe that the new appeals procedure will improve matters.

I have one sad reservation about the Bill, however. I have no objection to clause 23 in principle, but I deplore the way in which my own county council set out to act before it had been given the power so to do. It jumped the gun by taking a public decision about what would be charged for school transport before it had authority to do so.

I believe that my right hon. and learned Friend's amendment will be helpful to my constituents, but I fundamentally distrust the attitude of Kent county council, not only in respect of the Bill but in many other matters. However, I would incur the displeasure of the Chair if I were to stray towards those issues. The Kent county council has implemented school transport charges, asserting that it can make no other savings in education. Frankly, that is codswallop. I invite my right hon. and learned Friend to come to the Kent education authority headquarters on the coldest day of the year. He should bring his bikini, because the place is so overheated that it is a disgrace.

The authority asserts that it has saved £600 on administration and that that is all that it can save. It organises special coaching for fencing, sailing, karate and other choice activities. The cost is about £100,000. The authority has managed to save only 20 per cent. in that direction. The Kent county councillors have behaved like ostriches with their heads in the sand. The House is right to trust local authorities, but—

I regret that I cannot give way to my hon. Friend the Member for Gravesend (Mr. Brinton). He is, of course, a Kent county councillor. He can defend himself in county hall. If I am allowed to finish my speech quickly, he may be fortunate and catch Mr. Speaker's eye.

As a result of pressure from some of my Kentish hon. Friends, including my hon. Friend the Member for Gravesend, the Kent county councillor, on Saturday the Kent county council proposed some palliatives. However, they represent the least that can be done. I hope that all hon. Members representing Kent constituencies will continue to put pressure on the county council to honour not only the letter of the law but the spirit of the guidelines which have been set out clearly and well.

11.27 pm

The Secretary of State criticised Opposition Members for not placing our confidence and trust in the elected local education authorities. We have just heard the hon. Member for Maidstone (Mr. Wells) make a most searching criticism of a Conservative-controlled authority. The Secretary of State must now realise what the Bill means.

This is a miserable Bill. It is the worst piece of general education legislation that the House has seen in more than 50 years. It contains an extremely damaging provision which will discriminate harshly and unfairly against children who, for good reason, must travel long distances to school. It will discriminate against rural children, Roman Catholic children and those who attend Welsh-speaking schools. The savings that it makes through those provisions and on school meals will result in a substantial injection of funds into the private education sector and the assisted places scheme. That scheme has been greeted with uncertainty by many involved in the private sector. It is seen as a divisive measure.

The better provisions in the Bill are diminished by various deficiencies. The provision to reform the school governors and managers system is a mere token compared with the Taylor committee recommendations. The clauses dealing with admission and the reduction in the size of schools are hedged with an army of bureaucracy which is so extensive that before the Bill is on the statute book for long Government Members will join us in objecting to the amount of money that it will cost.

The House will make a great mistake if it gives the Bill a Third Reading. A heavy price will be paid politically. My party will not pay. The Bill will be of benefit to my party because many Conservatives will feel bitterly betrayed by the Bill. I am not looking forward to that with as much enthusiasm as I would wish when I know that the sort of people I represent, those who are on low wages, will suffer most from the Bill's provisions.

11.30 pm

I rise briefly to register my final protest against this disgraceful Bill. I said on Second Reading that we would fight the Bill to the bitter end, and it has proved to be a very bitterend indeed. The Secretary of State for Education and Science and the Secretary of State for Scotland—who, as usual, is not present to see the damage he is doing to Scottish schoolchildren—have made few, if any, concessions during the progress of the Bill. They are still hell-bent on depriving children of their legal rights to school meals, milk and transport, thereby hoping to save £252 million.

The children who will suffer most from the Bill will be those in low income families, those living in rural areas and those attending denominational schools. Yet the Government have the brass neck to talk about parental choice. What they are doing is reducing whatever choice currently exists, especially the rights and opportunities of parents to send their children to denominational schools. That is a right which has existed in England and Wales since 1944 and in Scotland for more than quarter of a century before that. The 1918 Act in Scotland provided a more generous settlement than the church schools received in England and Wales. The Government are attacking the very spirit of the 1944 Act and the very spirit of the Education (Scotland) Act 1918. They are interfering with whatever freedom parents have to send their children to the school of their choice.

While, on the one hand, they are cutting public expenditure by more than a quarter of a billion pounds, the Government are proposing to increase public expenditure on the other hand to promote their doctrinaire, divisive, nonsensical assisted places scheme for the fee-paying schools. The original figure of £55 million has, I understand, been somewhat reduced.

I am pleased to see that we now have a Scottish Minister responsible for education present in the shape of the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, the hon. Member for Edinburgh, North (Mr. Fletcher). Perhaps he will go one stage further than the Secretary of State for Education and Science and abandon completely any proposal to introduce an assisted places scheme in Scotland. There is no educational, moral or financial justification for it. The Government ought to be ashamed of themselves for cutting back on educational expenditure and redistributing what is left not to the children most in need but to a few privileged parents who want to buy extra privilege, real or imaginary, by sending their children to fee-paying schools. As a result, the needy children will be deprived of meals, milk and transport.

Even some of the Government's supporters have doubts about these proposals. I hope that they will join us in the Lobby tonight to oppose what is one of the most disgusting, prejudiced and reactionary Education Bills since the birth of public education in this country. Any hon. Member who votes for the Third Reading ought to be thoroughly ashamed of himself.

11.33 pm

For at least three years there has been a need for a major Education Act. Fourteen months ago the then Labour Government introduced a Bill which was a most disappointing measure. The only distinction of this measure is that it makes the mistakes of that Bill even worse and adds many more of its own.

Let us examine the clauses. I believe that we shall find that, in years to come, the provision relating to governors will be found to be unsatisfactory. The Bill spends a great deal of time talking about who should be governors and little or no time in talking about their powers, duties and responsibilities. The Bill contains much reference to parental rights, which sounds good but will, in reality, serve only to raise parents' expectations, which will then be dashed.

There are provisions relating to falling rolls, which are totally negative and offer little positive guidance to authorities. There is a good deal about which schools can be opened, or, more likely, closed, but there is little which gives parents the opportunity genuinely to participiate in decision-making. There is the assisted places scheme, which is educationally indefensible. It is an administrative nightmare and socially unjust. We have clauses dealing with meals, milk and transport. These represent a major attack in particular upon the working poor. Although the Tory Party talks a great deal about the poverty trap and its attempts to remove it, the Bill will make that trap much worse.

The Bill is a gross insult to higher and further education. The new clause which has been added is a major blow to nursery education. We should do much more than simply attack the Bill. I should like my right hon. Friends to give clear undertakings that they will put the matter right at the first opportunity presented to them. I hope particularly that they will give firm undertakings that the assisted places scheme will be abolished—

—and that there will be such changes in the assisted places, meals, milk and transport provisions as to ensure that we give genuine assistance to people in need, that there will be a major reform of higher education and that we will repair the damage which is being done to nursery education.

11.36 pm

I shall not detain the House for more than a few seconds.

I want to re-emphasise the point made by my hon. Friend the Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing).The transport, assisted places scheme, nursery education, meals and milk provisions of the Bill are the worst part, to such an extent that they undermine and almost reach the point of destroying the 1944 Act, which was a historic procedure in Britain for imposing notional standards of provision throughout the country. The Government decide to strip all that away for the phoney reason of giving local authorities so-called freedom without the funds to exercise that freedom. The fact that that is phoney is demonstrated by the protests we have had from local authorities right across the country, from Cornwall through Wakefield right up to Northumberland. It is quite clear that the Government's pretension that they are giving local authorities greater freedom and power is complete hypocrisy and utterly bogus and that they will live to regret this day. I believe that they will regret electorally the fact that they have introduced this poisonous Bill.

11.37 pm

It is time that somebody on the Conservative side of the House made it plain on Third Reading that the Government are right to take the view that there should be local democracy and that the local man knows best. [AN HON. MEMBER: "Council houses?"] That is a different issue. We shall debate the question of council house sales on another occasion, and on that issue, too, the Government are plainly right.

I want to deal briefly with the interlocking matters of how the Government achieve a cut in expenditure by local authorities against a very difficult background. We in Kent thought it quite wrong to cut the pupil-teacher ratio. We thought it wrong to make other reductions in expenditure. So there were only two avenues left: one was to deal with school meals; the other was to deal with transport.

It transpired that we could not deal with school meals this year. I personally favour an increase not only in school meals, but in mobile canteens and many other modern ways by which we can bring about more cheaply an improvement in the services to children through the provision of school meals. Be that as it may, it cannot be achieved this year. Therefore, we were forced to consider the question of transport charges. As regards those transport charges, it was absolutely essential to ensure, first, that the denominational schools and, secondly, the villages did not suffer.

To achieve that for Kent and many other counties, now endorsed by the admirable amendment No. 134 moved by the Minister, we decided that it was essential to charge the same rate irrespective of distance, thereby protecting the denominational schools and the villages. It is essential to protect also the interests of large families. In Kent, only the first two children in a family will be charged.

Kent is to introduce an assisted transport scheme to help reduce transport costs. The scheme will enable people to take their chilren to school and receive back the subsidy. It is a first-class idea. It is essential that Kent should give a lead in that area to ensure that we achieve a cut in the level of expenditure while at the same time retaining control. That has been almost achieved. I believe that the present proposals will be reduced further, and there will be a scheme in which a moderate charge—

—will be made that will be level for everybody. The advantage that we have in Kent, although not everybody agrees—

On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. My hon. and learned Friend keeps saying "we". I want to know who the "we" are. Had he had the courtesy to be in the Chamber when I was making my contribution, he would have found that, if he is including me in his "we", he is very mistaken.

I was not including my hon. Friend, although I have the greatest respect for his views. Nor was I speaking for Kent as a whole. I am saying that a great number of Kent Members of Parliament, and those who represent the local authority, met together to discuss these matters.

It is most important that it should be recognised that there is a solid, honest view on this side of the House that the Government are right to leave these matters to local authorities. Every Kent Member of Parliament is a Conservative. The overwhelming majority of those in Kent share my view that we should be able to accept and work out within the boundaries of Kent the future that we believe is right.

The Government are right in the view that they have expressed, namely, that they believe in local democracy and in trusting local people. That is our stand, and in Kent we shall work towards that aim. In a short time there will be agreement in Kent across the board.

11.45 pm

I can scarcely contain myself awaiting the declaration of independence of the republic of Kent. I had always thought that a Tory split was something to do with personalities. However, I see that it is something to do with one of the South-Eastern counties. Anyway, that is for the Tories to resolve.

In the meantime, we have to bid farewell, for the moment at least, to this misbegotten Bill. Certain elements, to which attention has been drawn in very able contributions by my hon. Friends—some of whom served on the Committee for the 100-plus hours of its deliberations—will command the continuing enmity of the Opposition and of a large section of the people in education and more widely in the general public. I speak of the divisive and totally unjustifiable attack that is being made on the maintained sector of education through the delusion of the assisted places scheme. I speak, too, of the way in which the Government have made no response to the plea from local authorities for changes in the appeals system.

There and elsewhere we have seen an insularity that has been only slightly dented by the boldness of a few Tory Back Benchers in securing a minor amendment by the Government on the provision of a flat rate for school transport and accommodation for the eccentricity of the Oxford county council. They showed that they were prepared to break a law, bend a law and then invent a law to bring the brigadiers of Oxford within the law on the provision of nursery education.

We have had an eventful few months, apart from the fact that we have managed to secure a general dispensation for councillors who are also parents to participate fully in decisions affecting their children's education and welfare in the schools.

The right hon. and learned Gentleman says "Quite right." I am glad that he agrees with us. I only wish that the response from the Secretary of State for the Environment had been more alacritous. [Interruption.] However, his alacrity is probably retained and restrained entirely to his own self-advancement. If the hon. Gentleman on the Government Back Benches is not used to multi-syllabic words, I trust that he will make good his education, probably in consultation with the Under-Secretary of State, the hon. Member for Brent, North (Dr. Boyson).

We have just heard from a loyal Tory Back Bencher that the theme and purpose of the Bill are the creation of extra local democracy. What we have is a synthetic form of devolution which commends itself to me much less than the actual form of devolution with which we were confronted last year. There is a great deal of talk about freedom and discretion and trust in judgment at local level. But on the matter of appeals, the assisted places scheme, the membership of governing bodies of schools, recoupment and new regulations affecting many areas of education, participation by the local education authorities is conscientiously and legalistically excluded.

If anybody thinks that this is a major step forward for local democracy, he should do two things: first, read the Bill, and, secondly, talk to local councillors a year from now when they have been saddled with all the responsibilities of the idiocy of clauses 22, 23, 24 and 25, and much else, and are faced with an angry public who realise that they have been robbed of facilities and rights that they have had since 1944 and, however they voted on 3 May, did not expect to lose in their lifetime or the lifetime of their children.

The Minister has this general commitment to local democracy. That is something of which I approve and which I applaud and would want to strengthen, and I share that opinion with my right hon. and hon. Friends. It may be that it will be more by accident than design that these disparities of treatment will arise from the application of the Bill.

Some local education authorities will see the Bill as a challenge. They will try, might and main, to sustain levels of care and of provision by raising additional rates and by changing their policies. The people of Britain have come to expect and enjoy such levels as a right. Other local education authorities, such as Kent, will take full advantage of the Bill. They will desert their responsibilities to the children and students of Britain. As my hon. Friend the Member for Newham, South (Mr. Spearing) pointed out in his able contribution, such disparity will cause enmity.

Perhaps the Bill's effects are unintentional. However, I am reminded of the words of Plutarch. He said that when boys kill frogs with stones, they laugh. However, the frogs still die. The Secretary of State may have introduced the Bill from the highest motivation. It fulfils the demands of the Tory Party's strongest ideology. I appreciate his directness and honestly. However, he has created a monster without realising the effect that it may have.

Our reaction is twofold. First, we shall continue the fight against the cuts, their effects and the doctrine behind them. Secondly, when we return to office we shall reverse much of the Bill. Specifically, we shall reverse the assisted places scheme in the academic year following that in which we are elected. We shall pursue—as we have since 1944—the aim of high national standards of provision and performance. The contest will be decided by the type of country and economy that exists when the Labour Party is returned to power.

The country will be less capable of producing wealth than at any time since the war as a result of the Government's policies on coal, steel and many other industries. They have depressed business confidence. Money is too expensive for small business men to borrow. The Government have conspired at the industrial rot of Britain. The public sector will be impoverished and robbed by looters who take money in the form of tax bonuses. As a result, we shall have a mandate for radical Socialist change in education and in many other spheres.

If Conservative Members do not realise the resentment and reaction that such policies cause, they do not understand the politics of Britain or the aspirations of its people. They do not understand that we shall secure freedom and high standards of provision only when Tory doctrine and the misleading nonsense preached by the Government have been replaced with the values, community spirit and the belief in the people that is characterised by the democratic Socialism of the Labour Party.

11.54 pm

Having listened to the last few minutes of the speech of the hon. Member for Bedwellty (Mr. Kinnock), it surprises me that, according to my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State, most of the protracted Committee stage was carried out in complete amicability.

When I hear the intervention of the hon. Member for West Stirlingshire (Mr. Canavan), I become even more surprised.

Although the Bill had to be guillotined, it had a full and complete Committee stage. It has also had a full debate in the House. The Bill is important, but it is also highly controversial in parts. I shall not go over the arguments about meals and transport. The hon. Gentleman may not accept it, but the Government have accepted that there is a need to reduce expenditure. Regrettably, education cannot be excluded from that decision. I repeat what I said in the debate. Faced with the need to make reductions in expenditure, it is preferable to give wider opportunity to local authorities to make those cuts in school meal and milk subsidies than to cut in the classroom and reduce the pupil-teacher ratio.

The hon. Gentleman appears to be defending to this day the frankly indefensible situation of a school meals system built up over 30 years, costing the taxpayer one-eighth of the education budget and yet of which less than 50 per cent. of children in secondary schools take advantage. I believe that substantial savings can be made.

There are wider concepts in the Bill than merely the parts necessary to enable local authorities to make savings. It is also based on our determination to ensure that parents have a wider involvement in running schools and, for the first time, puts flesh and blood in the provision of the 1944 Act that parents should have a greater say about the school to which their child goes.

It provides a preference for parents and a duty on local authorities to meet that preference. It does that realistically. It accepts that, in a period of falling rolls, there must be a right for local authorities to plan and that the right of a parent in the end cannot be absolute. It must be subject to the provision of education in the area but, nevertheless, should be as wide as possible in all the circumstances.

Listening to the speeches from both sides, I am struck by the fact that we believe that the school system is there to provide for the child and to provide the opportunity for parents to educate their children. From many speeches from the Labour Benches, it would appear that the child is merely there to provide for the system of the school.

I return finally to the other controversial issue—assisted places. The hon. Member for Bedwellty has throughout objected to the proposals, but the restoration of what used to exist through direct grant schools will widen the opportunity for many children in this country. All the provisions for parental choice and parental involvement will help improve the standard of education in the maintained sector.

I am totally amazed at the suggestion of the hon. Member for Lewisham, West (Mr. Price) that this is an attack on the 1944 Act. It gives wider opportunities for parents to cross local authority boundaries in choosing schools and gives an opportunity to encourage church schools. The combination of the church school and maintained schools has always been a necessary part of the provision of education in this country and will continue to be so under the Act.

If Labour Members are not prepared to come to grips with the reality of the need to reduce public expenditure, I do not believe that there is any chance that they will have the opportunity to repeal

Division No. 182]

AYES

[12 pm

Adley, RobertDouglas-Hamilton, Lord JamesIrvine, Charles (Cheltenham)
Aitken, JonathanDover, DenshoreJenkin, Rt Hon Patrick
Alexander, Richarddu Cann, Rt Hon EdwardJohnson Smith, Geoffrey
Alison, MichaelDunn, Robert (Dartford)Jopling, Rt Hon Michael
Amery, Rt Hon JulianDurant, TonyJoseph, Rt Hon Sir Keith
Ancram, MichaelEden, Rt Hon Sir JohnKaberry, Sir Donald
Arnold, TomEdwards, Rt Hon N. (Pembroke)Kimball, Marcus
Aspinwall, JackEggar, TimothyKing, Rt Hon Tom
Atkins, Rt Hon H. (Spelthorne)Elliott, Sir WilliamKitson, Sir Timothy
Atkins, Robert (Preston North)Emery, PeterKnight, Mrs Jill
Atkinson, David (B'mouth, East)Fairbairn, NicholasLamont, Norman
Baker, Kenneth (St. Marylebone)Fairgrieve, RussellLang, Ian
Baker, Nicholas (North Dorset)Faith, Mrs SheilaLangford-Holt, Sir John
Beaumont-Dark, AnthonyFarr, JohnLatham, Michael
Bell, Sir RonaldFenner Mrs PeggyLawrence, Ivan
Bendall, VivianFinsberg, GeoffreyLee, John
Benyon, Thomas (Abingdon)Fisher, Sir NigelLennox-Boyd, Hon Mark
Benyon, W. (Buckingham)Fletcher, Alexander (Edinburgh N)Lester, Jim (Beeston)
Best, KeithFletcher-Cooke, CharlesLewis, Kenneth (Rutland)
Bevan, David GilroyFookes, Miss JanetLloyd, Ian (Havant & Waterloo)
Biffen, Rt Hon JohnForman, NigelLloyd, Peter (Fareham)
Biggs-Davison, JohnFowler, Rt Hon NormanLoveridge, John
Blackburn, JohnFox, MarcusLuce, Richard
Blaker, PeterFraser, Rt Hon H. (Stafford & St)Lyell, Nicholas
Body, RichardFraser, Peter (South Angus)McCrindle, Robert
Bonsor, Sir NicholasGardiner George (Reigate)McCusker, H.
Boscawen, Hon RobertGardner, Edward (South Fylde)Macfarlane, Neil
Bottomley, Peter (Woolwich West)Garel-Jones, TristanMacGregor, John
Bowden, AndrewGilmour, Rt Hon Sir IanMacKay, John (Argyll)
Boyson, Dr RhodesGlyn, Dr AlanMcNair-Wilaon, Michael (Newbury)
Braine, Sir BernardGoodhart, PhilipMcNair-Wilson, Patrick (New Forest)
Bright, GrahamGoodlad, AlastairMcQuarrie, Albert
Brinton, TimGorst, JohnMadel, David
Brittan, LeonGow, IanMajor, John
Brocklebank-Fowler, ChristopherGower, Sir RaymondMarland, Paul
Brooke, Hon PeterGrant, Anthony (Harrow C)Marlow, Tony
Brotherton, MichaelGray, HamishMarshall, Michael (Arundel)
Brown, Michael (Brigg & Sc'thorpe)Greenway, HarryMarten, Neil (Banbury)
Browne, John (Winchester)Griffiths, Eldon (Bury St Edmunds)Mates, Michael
Bruce-Gardyne, JohnGriffiths, Peter (Portsmouth N)Mather, Carol
Bryan, Sir PaulGrist, IanMaude, Rt Hon Angus
Buchanan-Smith, Hon AlickGrylls, MichaelMawby, Ray
Buck, AntonyGummer, John SelwynMawhlnney, Dr Brian
Budgen, NickHamilton, Hon Archie (Eps'm&Ew'll)Maxwell-Hyslop, Robin
Bulmer, EsmondHamilton, Michael (Salisbury)Mayhew, Patrick
Butcher, JohnHampson, Dr KeithMellor, David
Butler, Hon AdamHannam, JohnMeyer, Sir Anthony
Cadbury, JocelynHaselhurst, AlanMiller, Hal (Bromsgrove & Redditch)
Carlisle, John (Luton West)Hastings, StephenMills, Iain (Meriden)
Carlisle, Kenneth (Lincoln)Havers, Rt Hon Sir MichaelMills, Peter (West Devon)
Carlisle, Rt Hon Mark (Runcorn)Hawksley, WarrenMiscampbell, Norman
Channon, PaulHayhoe, BarneyMitchell, David (Basingstoke)
Chapman, SydneyHeath, Rt Hon EdwardMoate, Roger
Clark, Hon Alan (Plymouth, Sutton)Heddle, JohnMolyneaux, James
Clark, Sir William (Croydon South)Henderson, BarryMonro, Hector
Clarke, Kenneth (Rushcliffe)Haseltlne, Rt Hon MichaelMontgomery, Fergus
Cockeram, EricHiggins, Rt Hon Terence L.Moore, John
Colvin, MichaelHill, JamesMorgan, Geraint
Cope, JohnHogg, Hon Douglas (Grantham)Morris, Michael (Northampton, Sth)
Cormack, PatrickHolland, Philip (Carlton)Morrison, Hon Charles (Devizes)
Corrie, JohnHooson, TomMorrison, Hon Peter (City of Chester)
Costain, A. P.Hordern, PeterMudd, David
Cranborne, ViscountHowe, Rt Hon Sir GeoffreyMurphy, Christopher
Critchley, JulianHowell, Rt Hon David (Guildford)Myles, David
Crouch, DavidHowell, Ralph (North Norfolk)Neale, Gerrard
Dean, Paul (North Somerset)Hunt, David (Wirral)Needham, Richard
Dickens, GeoffreyHunt, John (Ravensbourne)Nelson, Anthony
Dorrell, StephenHurd, Hon DouglasNeubert, Michael

any part of the Bill. On the belief that the Bill assists in the provision of education and widens the opportunity of parents and children, I commend it to the House.

Question put, That the Bill be now read the Third time:—

The House divided: Ayes 305, Noes 241.

Normanton, TomRost, PeterThorne, Neil (Ilford South)
Onslow, CranleyRoyle, Sir AnthonyThornton, Malcoim
Osborn, JohnSainsbury, Hon TimothyTownend, John (Bridlington)
Page, John (Harrow, West)St. John Stevas, Rt Hon NormanTownsend, Cyril D. (Bexleyheath)
Page, Rt Hon Sir R. GrahamScott, NicholasTrippier, David
Page, Richard (SW Hertfordshire)Shaw, Giles (Pudsey)Trotter, Neville
Parkinson, CecilShelton, William (Streatham)van Straubenzee, W. R.
Parris, MatthewShepherd, Richard (Aldridge-Br'hills)Vaughan, Dr Gerard
Patten, Christopher (Bath)Shersby, MichaelViggers, Peter
Patten, John (Oxford)Silvester, FredWaddington, David
Pattie, GeoffreySims, RogerWakeham, John
Pawsey, JamesSkeet, T. H. H.Waldegrave, Hon William
Percival, Sir IanSmith, Dudley (War. and Leam'ton)Walker, Rt Hon Peter (Worcester)
Peyton, Rt Hon JohnSpeed, KeithWalker, Bill (Perth & E Perthshire)
Pink, R. BonnerSpeller, TonyWaller, Gary
Pollock, AlexanderSpence, JohnWalters, Dennis
Porter, GeorgeSpicer, Jim (West Dorset)Ward, John
Powell, Rt Hon J. Enoch (S Down)Spicer, Michael (S Worcestershire)Warren, Kenneth
Price, David (Eastleigh)Sproat, IainWatson, John
Prior, Rt Hon JamesSquire, RobinWells, John (Maidstone)
Proctor, K. HarveyStainton, KeithWells, Bowen (Hert'rd & Stev'nage)
Pym, Rt Hon FrancisStanbrook, IvorWheeler, John
Raison, TimothyStanley, JohnWhitelaw, Rt Hon William
Rathbone, TimSteen, AnthonyWhitney, Raymond
Rees, Peter (Dover and Deal)Stevens, MartinWickenden, Keith
Rees, Davies, W. R.Stewart, Ian (Hitchin)Wiggin, Jerry
Renton, TimStewart, John (East Renfrewshire)Wilkinson, John
Rhodes James, RobertStokes, JohnWinterton, Nicholas
Rhys Williams, Sir BrandonStradling Thomas, J.Wolfson, Mark
Ridley, Hon NicholasTapsell, peterYoung, Sir George (Acton)
Ridsdale, JulianTaylor, Robert (Croydon NW)Younger, Rt Hon George
Rifkind, MalcolmTebbit, Norman
Roberts, Wyn (Conway)Temple-Morris, peterTELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Ross, Wm. (Londonderry)Thatcher, Rt Hon Mrs MargaretMr. Spencer Le Marchant and Mr. Anthony Berry.
Rossl, HughThompson, Donald

NOES

Adams, AllenDavidson, ArthurHart, Rt Hon Dame Judith
Allaun, FrankDavies, Rt Hon Denzil (Llanelli)Hattersley, Rt Hon Roy
Alton, DavidDavies, Ifor (Gower)Haynes, Frank
Anderson, DonaldDavis, Clinton (Hackney Central)Healey, Rt Hon Denis
Archer, Rt Hon PeterDeakins, EricHeffer, Eric S.
Armstrong, Rl Hon ErnestDean, Joseph (Leeds West)Hogg, Norman (E Dunbartonshire)
Ashton, JoeDempsey, JamesHolland, Stuart (L'beth, Vauxhall)
Atkinson, Norman (H'gey, Tott'ham)Dewar, DonaldHome Robertson, John
Barnett, Guy (Greenwich)Dixon, DonaldHomewood, William
Barnett, Rt Hon Joel (Heywood)Dobson, FrankHooley, Frank
Beith, A. J.Dormand, JackHoram, John
Benn, Rt Hon Anthony WedgwoodDouglas, DickHowell, Rt Hon Denis (B'ham, Sm H)
Bennett, Andrew (Stockport N)Douglas-Mann, BruceHowells, Geraint
Bidwell, SydneyDubs, AlfredHughes, Mark (Durham)
Booth, Rt Hon AlbertDuffy, A. E. P.Hughes, Robert (Aberdeen North)
Boothroyd, Miss BettyDunn, James A. (Liverpool, Kirkdale)Hughes, Roy (Newport)
Bottomley, Rt Hon Arthur (M'brough)Dunnett, JackJanner, Hon Greville
Bradley, TomDunwoody, Mrs GwynethJay, Rt Hon Douglas
Bray, Dr JeremyEadie, AlexJohn, Brynmor
Brown, Hugh D. (Provan)Eastham, KenJohnston, Russell (Iverness)
Brown, Robert C. (Newcastle W)Ellis, Raymond (NE Derbyshire)Jones, Rt Hon Alec (Rhondda)
Brown, Ronald W. (Hackney S)Ellis, Tom (Wrexham)Jones, Barry (East Flint)
Brown, Ron (Edinburgh, Leith)English, MichaelJones, Dan (Burnley)
Buchan, NormanEvans, Ioan (Aberdare)Kaufman, Rt Hon Gerald
Callaghan, Rt Hon J. (Cardiff SE)Evans, John (Newton)Kerr, Russell
Callaghan, Jim (Middleton & P)Ewing, HarryKilroy-Silk, Robert
Campbell, IanFitch, AlanKinnock, Neil
Campbell-Savours, DaleFlannery, MartinLamble, David
Canavan, DennisFletcher, Ted (Darlington)Lamborn, Harry
Cant, R. B.Foot, Rt Hon MichaelLamond, James
Carmichael, NeilForrester, JohnLeadbltter, Ted
Carter-Jones, LewisFoster, DerekLeighton, Ronald
Cartwright, JohnFoulkes, GeorgeLestor, Miss Joan (Eton & Slough)
Clark, Dr David (South Shields)Freud, ClementLewis, Arthur (Newham North West)
Cocks, Rt Hon Michael (Bristol S)Garrett, John (Norwich S)Lewis, Ron (Carlisle)
Cohen, StanleyGarrett, W. E. (Wallsend)Litherland, Robert
Coleman, DonaldGeorge, BruceLofthouse, Geoffrey
Concannon, Rt Hon J. D.Gilbert, Rt Hon Dr JohnLyon, Alexander (York)
Contan, BernardGinsburg, DavidLyons, Edward (Bradford West)
Cook, Robin F.Gotding, JohnMabon, Rt Hon Dr J. Dickson
Cowans, HarryGourlay, HarryMcCartney, Hugh
Cralgen, J. M. (Glasgow, Maryhill)Graham, TedMcDonald, Dr Oonagh
Crowther, J. S.Grant, George (Morpeth)McElhone, Frank
Cryer, BobGrant, John (Islington C)McKay, Allen (Penistone)
Cunliffe, LawrenceHamilton, James (Bothwell)McKelvey, William
Cunningham, George (Islington S)Hamilton, W. W. (Central Fife)MacKenzie, Rt Hon Gregor
Dalyell, TarnHarrison, Rt Hon WalterMaclennan, Robert

McMahon, AndrewPrescott, JohnSummerskill, Hon Dr Shirley
McMillan, Tom (Glasgow, Central)Price, Christopher (Lewisham West)Taylor, Mrs Ann (Bolton West)
Magee, BryanRace, RegThomas, Dafydd (Merioneth)
Marks, KennethRadics, GilesThomas, Jeffrey (Abertillery)
Marshall, David (Gl'sgow, Shettles'n)Rees, Rt Hon Merlyn (Leeds South)Thomas, Mike (Newcastle East)
Marshall, Dr Edmund (Goole)Roberts, Ernest (Hackney North)Thomas, Dr Roger (Carmarthen)
Marshall, Jim (Leicester South)Roberts, Gwilym (Cannock)Thorne, Stan (Preston South)
Martin, Michael (Gl'gow, Springb'rn)Robertson, GeorgeTilley, John
Mason, Rt Hon RoyRobinson, Geoffrey (Coventry NW)Tinn, James
Maxton, JohnRodgers, Rt Hon WilliamTorney, Tom
Maynard, Miss JoanRooker, J. W.Urwin, Rt Hon Tom
Meacher, MichaelRoss, Ernest (Dundee West)Varley, Rt Hon Eric G.
Mellish, Rt Hon RobertRowlands, TedWainwright, Edwin (Dearne Valley)
Mikardo, IanRyman, JohnWalker, Rt Hon Harold (Doncaster)
Millan, Rt Hon BruceSandelson, NevilleWeetch, Ken
Miller, Dr M. S. (East Kilbride)Sever, JohnWellbeloved, James
Mitchell, Austin (Grimsby)Sheerman, BarryWelsh, Michael
Mitchell, R. C. (Soton, Itchen)Sheldon, Rt Hon Robert (A'ton-u-L)White, Frank R. (Bury & Radcliffe)
Morris, Rt Hon Alfred (Wythenshawe)Shore, Rt Hon Peter (Step and Pop)White, James (Glasgow, Pollok)
Morris, Rt Hon Charles (Openshaw)Short, Mrs RenéeWhitehead, Phillip
Morris, Rt Hon John (Aberavon)Silkin, Rt Hon John (Deptford)Whitlock, William
Moyle, Rt Hon RolandSilkin, Rt Hon S. C. (Dulwich)Wigley, Dafydd
Mulley, Rt Hon FrederickSilverman, JuliusWilley, Rt Hon Frederick
Newens, StanleySmith, Cyril (Rochdale)Williams, Rt Hon Alan (Swansea W)
Oakes, Rt Hon GordonSmith, Rt Hon J. (North Lanarkshire)Wilson, Gordon (Dundee East)
Ogden, EricSnape, peterWilson, Rt Hon Sir Harold (Huyton)
O'Halloran, MichaelSoley, CliveWilson, William (Coventry SE)
O'Neill, MartinSpearing, NigelWinnick, David
Owen, Rt Hon Dr DavidSpriggs, LeslieWoodall, Alec
Palmer, ArthurSteel, Rt Hon DavidWrigglesworth, Ian
Park, GeorgeStewart, Rt Hon Donald (W Isles)Young, David (Bolton East)
Parry, RobertStoddart, David
Pavltt, LaurieStott, RogerTELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Penhaligon, DavidStrang, GavinMr. George Morton and Mr. Terry Davis.
Powell, Raymond (Ogmore)Straw, Jack

Question accordingly agreed to.

Bill read the Third time and passed.