School Discipline — 21 May 2002 at 18:50

I beg to move,

That this House condemns the Government's failure to meet its 1998 Public Service Agreement to cut truancy levels by one third; regrets that unauthorised absences from secondary schools have risen under this Government; further regrets that an estimated 50,000 children are absent from school on a typical day and that another 10,000 children of school age do not attend school at all; is concerned by the decline in standards of discipline in schools and notes evidence from the Association of Teachers and Lecturers which shows that assaults against teachers have risen fivefold in three years; deplores the Government's conduct in first removing from head teachers and governors the power to exclude disruptive pupils from their schools, and then failing to collect evidence on the number of assaults by pupils on both other pupils and teachers; believes that the Government's current approach to these problems is flawed; is concerned that the problems of rising unauthorised absence and declining discipline particularly damage the education of children from deprived and inner city areas; and calls on the Government to provide a serious response to the problem of vocational education, while giving more power to head teachers as a first step to reversing the decline in standards of discipline.

I beg to move, To leave out from "House" to the end of the Question, and to add instead thereof:

'applauds the fact that policies to reduce truancy and tackle poor behaviour are central to the Government's strategy to transform secondary schools; notes that, since 1997, the Government has spent over £600 million to support measures to tackle truancy and poor behaviour and that this has been supplemented by a further £66 million from this year's Budget, that behaviour is satisfactory or better in 11 out of 12 secondary schools and 49 out of 50 primary schools, that there are now over 1,050 Learning Support Units and 3,420 Learning Mentors in schools and that there are 331 Pupil Referral Units whose quality Ofsted reports to be steadily improving; welcomes the fact that the Government is promoting multi-agency initiatives such as Behaviour and Education Support Teams and Connexions that are crucial to addressing this issue, that exclusions have fallen by approximately 28 per cent. to 9,200 from their peak of 12,700 in 1996–97; supports the right of Head Teachers to govern their schools as they see fit; further notes that all permanently excluded pupils will receive a full-time education from September this year and that whilst overall truancy levels remain a cause for concern, action is being taken; further notes that children have a right to education and that parents have a duty to ensure that their children are educated; and believes that the Government's policies will deliver lasting improvements in pupil attendance and behaviour which will support the achievement of higher standards and prevent social exclusion.'.

Question put, That the original words stand part of the Question:-

The House divided: Ayes 180, Noes 334.

Debate in Parliament | Historical Hansard | Source |

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Party Summary

Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.

What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.

What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.

What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.

PartyMajority (No)Minority (Aye)BothTurnout
Con0 130 (+2 tell)080.5%
DUP0 1020.0%
Lab330 (+2 tell) 0081.0%
LDem0 46086.8%
PC4 00100.0%
UUP0 3050.0%
Total:334 180080.7%

Rebel Voters - sorted by party

MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party. You can see all votes in this division, or every eligible MP who could have voted in this division

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no rebellions

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