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Lords Amendment

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 9:15 pm on 6th November 2002.

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Photo of Lord Lea of Crondall Lord Lea of Crondall Labour 9:15 pm, 6th November 2002

My Lords, I abstained—I was not alone on these Benches in so doing—on these amendments at the previous stage. They were then numbered 34 and 35. Although I do not totally embrace the stance taken by my noble friend Lord Judd or that of the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Portsmouth, their interventions have been enormously valuable as they have led to meetings with my noble friend the Minister. As I understand the position, those meetings have resulted in a much better exposition by the Government of the intended relationship between what are now Clauses 31 and 32.

As my noble friend Lord Judd said, we were shocked by the provision in subsection (2) of Clause 31, which states:

"A child who is a resident of an accommodation centre may not be admitted to a maintained school".

However, I believe that there is some substantial measure of flexibility in the clause that enables pragmatic solutions to be found. Therefore, I believe that the Government are moving sufficiently to be supported in this regard.