Gender Recognition Act 2004

Debate between Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne and Baroness Berridge
Monday 19th October 2020

(1 year, 3 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Berridge Portrait Baroness Berridge (Con)
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My Lords, it is deeply regretful that there has been vilification on both sides of this debate. We hope to move on from this consultation and that both sides can respect the differing views. The consultation made it clear that health service provision was a concern; there is specific training now through the Royal College of Physicians to ensure that medical practitioners are more alert to the issues of transgender people.

Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne Portrait Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne (Con)
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My Lords, I thank the Minister for the excellent educational material on sexual education for children in schools, which her department recently published. En passant, I congratulate the noble Baroness, Lady Falkner, on her nomination as the next chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission. This material brings into sharp relief the previous advice that the Government seem to have been given by the Equal Opportunities Commission, which led the Department for Education to publish a decade-long sequence of materials, which vary greatly from the current new guidance. Is the Minister willing to have a meeting with me to discuss the detailed points of issue that I have raised?

Baroness Berridge Portrait Baroness Berridge (Con)
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My Lords, I, too, congratulate the noble Baroness, Lady Falkner, on her appointment. I would be happy to meet with the noble Baroness. It is key to remember that the relationships and health education guidance that the department has put out was put out partly in response to the IICSA inquiry, which recommended that relationships education was a way to protect children so they would know what was a healthy relationship and when someone was perhaps approaching them for ulterior motives.

BAME Students: Pupil Referral Units

Debate between Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne and Baroness Berridge
Monday 23rd March 2020

(1 year, 10 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Berridge Portrait Baroness Berridge
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The noble Lord makes an important point. We are aware that educational outcomes for students in alternative provision are not high enough, but last year 85% of all state-funded schools did not permanently exclude any pupil. The Government support head teachers having the power, as a last resort, to exclude pupils, but that should not be a ticket into education that is less than excellent. In fact, 83% of alternative providers were judged by Ofsted to be good or outstanding. That is only slightly less than overall for schools, which is 86%, and more than for secondary schools. Although there are issues, I pay tribute to the workforce in the alternative provision sector who are doing an excellent job dealing with behavioural and educational issues.

Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne Portrait Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne (Con)
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My Lords, is the Minister willing to consider a mandatory physical check-up—particularly of teeth, eyes and ears, for example—for excluded students, not only BME ones? I speak as a former foster parent of a BME student. I recall well the wish not to be difficult and therefore not to talk about having, perhaps, a simple pain which could be sorted out.

Baroness Berridge Portrait Baroness Berridge
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The noble Baroness raises an interesting issue. Children in AP settings will often have been placed there by the local authority, which has various safeguarding duties. If a student in its care cannot be educated due to health reasons, I would expect it to take the appropriate course of action.

Higher and Further Education: Rural and Coastal Areas

Debate between Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne and Baroness Berridge
Wednesday 18th March 2020

(1 year, 10 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Berridge Portrait Baroness Berridge
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My Lords, the Social Mobility Commission made mention of the Government’s opportunity areas. That programme has been extended; there will now be a total of £90 million. Many of those areas, including Blackpool, Hastings and Whitby, are part of that programme. We are pleased to know that that programme is also in Opportunity North East, where there is specific funding. A number of factors affect access to the best education provision, and we are particularly looking at the transport offer. A discounted rail ticket has been introduced for 16 and 17 year-olds. From 2021, apprentices and jobseekers will benefit from discounted bus travel as well.

Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne Portrait Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne (Con)
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Might the Minister look into coastal towns provision for disabled students? It may not be a question of the provision from the Government; universities may not be implementing the law. I give the example of Anglia Ruskin University, which has superlative education provision access for disabled students—compared with Hull University, which is more than inadequate; I believe it is actually breaking the law. Might the Minister be willing to have a word with me sometime on this?

Baroness Berridge Portrait Baroness Berridge
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My Lords, my noble friend is correct that universities are bound by the Equalities Act and should make provision for students with special education needs and disabilities. Funding is available for them to do that, but I am happy to meet her at an appropriate time.