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Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:20 am on 13th March 2020.

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Photo of Robert Courts Robert Courts Conservative, Witney 11:20 am, 13th March 2020

That is also an excellent point. My hon. Friend touches on the philosophical point that I will come to in just a moment, if I may. I will make a little progress first though.

We all want to avoid the feeling where someone wants to go to an excellent school in their area but cannot because of cost; or perhaps that is the only school, but it comes with a cost burden they do not want. I think the hon. Member for Putney alluded to that point. That is clearly something we would all want to avoid. How we do that is the philosophical point. I generally take the view that the man in Whitehall does not know better than local areas, that over-centralisation generally comes up with the wrong result and that the individual knows better what is right for them and their family than a centralised machine. Therefore, it is quite uncomfortable, on first principles, that the Government should propose to involve themselves in this level of regulation.