Clause 9

Part of Children, Schools and Families Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 4:15 pm ar 2 Chwefror 2010.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Vernon Coaker Vernon Coaker Minister of State (Department for Children, Schools and Families) (Schools and Learners) 4:15, 2 Chwefror 2010

That is a very good, concrete example of the sort of person we mean. It might be someone with a medical condition or it might be someone who for other reasons—for example, a young girl who is pregnant—is in alternative provision. As the law stands, unless such a young person is excluded from school, there is no legal entitlement or necessity for the authority to provide full-time education for them. I think we all consider it to be an anomaly that if someone is ill or is not in school because of particular circumstances and they are in alternative provision, they are not legally entitled to full-time provision, whereas if someone is excluded from school, after six days out of school, the local authority is legally obliged to provide full-time education for them.

In exactly the circumstances that my right hon. Friend referred to of a young girl in such a situation—I am sure we can all think of other examples where somebody is not ill, but for certain reasons they are unable to be in school and they are in alternative provision—if the clause is passed, the legal necessity will be to ensure that full-time provision, where appropriate and necessary, is provided. I want to frame the clause in such a way that although it makes that a legal certainty for young people in that situation, it allows flexibility where appropriate. We want to do so in a way that does not allow anyone to evade their responsibilities. I hope that was helpful to my hon. Friend. With those remarks, and our commitment that we will table a Government amendment on Report to do what I think my right hon. Friend the Member for Don Valley and Opposition Members want, I hope that the hon. Member for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton will withdraw his amendment.