Formal Minutes

Tuesday 15 March 2005

Members present:

Mr Barry Sheerman, in the Chair
Mr David Chaytor
Mr Nick Gibb
Mr John Greenway
Paul Holmes
Helen Jones

The Committee deliberated.

Draft Report (14-19 Education), proposed by the Chairman, brought up and read.

Ordered, That the Chairman’s draft Report be read a second time, paragraph by paragraph.

Paragraphs 1 to 72 read and agreed to.

Paragraphs 73 to 77 read.

Motion made, to leave out paragraphs 73 to 77 and insert the following new paragraphs:

“We welcome the Secretary of State's decision to reject the Working Group's proposals relating to GCSEs and 'A' levels. Given that the key problem to be addressed is the lack of coherence and rigour in respect of vocational qualifications, abolishing GCSEs and 'A' levels would have been an unnecessary distraction and would have added to the confusion in the public's understanding of academic qualifications.

“As the Secretary of State told the House of Commons, the way to improve opportunities was not by abolishing ‘what is good, what works and what is recognised.’

 “We welcome the Government's decision to provide more information in respect of a candidate's performance at ‘A’ level to enable universities to distinguish between achievement levels at particular grades.

“We welcome the Government's decision to focus on improving and rationalising vocational qualifications and we welcome the reforms to GCSE English and Maths”.-(Mr Nick Gibb.)

The Committee divided.

Ayes, 1
Mr Nick Gibb

Noes, 4
Mr David Chaytor
Mr John Greenway
Paul Holmes
Helen Jones

Question put, That paragraphs 73 to 77 stand part of the report.

The Committee divided.

Ayes, 4
Mr David Chaytor
Mr John Greenway
Paul Holmes
Helen Jones

Noes, 1
Mr Nick Gibb

Paragraphs 78 to 83 agreed to.

Paragraph 84 read.

Question put, That the paragraph stand part of the report.

The Committee divided.

Ayes, 4
Mr David Chaytor
Mr John Greenway
Paul Holmes
Helen Jones

Noes, 1
Mr Nick Gibb

Paragraphs 85 to 108 read and agreed to.

Summary agreed to.

Resolved, That the Report be the Sixth Report of the Committee to the House.

Ordered, That the Chairman do make the Report to the House.

Ordered, That the provisions of Standing Order No. 134 (Select committees (reports)) be applied to the Report.

Several papers were ordered to be appended to the Minutes of Evidence.

Ordered, That the Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence taken before the Committee be reported to the House.

The Committee further deliberated.

[Adjourned till Wednesday 16 March at half-past Nine o’clock.