Clause 1

Part of Children, Schools and Families Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 1:00 pm ar 28 Ionawr 2010.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Shadow Minister (Education) (Schools) 1:00, 28 Ionawr 2010

I thank the Minister for the clarification. It does not, however, deal with the point about whether complainants can take legal action themselves in court. I listened carefully to what the Minister had to say in response to amendment 40 and was reassured to an extent that it is not the intention of the Minister in charge of the Bill for members of the public or parents to be able to take legal action either under the law of contract or under tort in the courts. However, I think that it would not detract from the Bill if we had an explicit clause along the lines of provisions in the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 to make it clear beyond doubt that this is not a guarantee that can be challenged or enforced in a court of law. I do not believe that that would in any way detract from the thrust of what the Minister hopes to achieve by clause 1. What I had feared when I tabled the amendments was that the Government’s response to them would be that we have to leave that as a possibility in order to make the guarantees bite. That was not the Minister’s response and therefore I do not believe that it is the thrust of the policy behind the guarantee.

Given that there is no intention behind the policy or no expectation that in a minority of cases parents will take schools to court, and given that a clause along the lines of section 111(6) of the 1998 Act would not therefore detract from the Government’s policy objective,  I cannot see why together we cannot work out such a clause, along the lines of amendment 40, and return to the matter on Report.

Given the reassurance from the Minister and given those thoughts, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.