Clause 72 - Interpretation of Part 6

Part of Education Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:30 pm on 15th January 2002.

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Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling Conservative, Epsom and Ewell 4:30 pm, 15th January 2002

However well intentioned, the amendment is inappropriate because I am concerned about the way in which central Government continue to impose rules, regulations and curriculum guidelines on early years settings. I hope that we will have a

further opportunity to debate the provisions that set out curriculum requirements for early years education, which should be opposed to the hilt. In this particular case, an addition to the curriculum—already unwanted—would be undesirable. I have no problem with guidance suggesting that early years organisations should feel free to deal with religious issues, celebrate religious festivals and make young children aware of their religious context.

Will the hon. Member for Harrogate and Knaresborough assure me that his party is not seeking to remove religion from our schooling? Several of his comments gave me the greatest possible doubt about his party's level of support for religious education.