Clause 72 - Interpretation of Part 6

Part of Education Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:45 pm on 15th January 2002.

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Photo of Don Touhig Don Touhig Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Welsh Office, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales 4:45 pm, 15th January 2002

In a previous incarnation as a councillor in Gwent, I once saw a report that described a pelican crossing as a pedestrian-assisted access way. We need to be careful about jargon and the words that we use. I take on board the point that the hon. Lady makes. The word ''maturities'' can cover a range of things, including age, ability and behaviour. As a father of four, I know that my children matured at different rates. It is quite a broad term. It is clear that children mature, by whatever target we set, at different times and at different ages. We are seeking to take account of that.

We are all on a steep learning curve in relation to early years learning. We place great importance on it, which is why we have the foundation stage. I have twin granddaughters who are eight. They are like little sponges. They take on board the most extraordinary things. We all find that as parents and grandparents, and see it in children in our schools. That is the broadest explanation that I can give the hon. Lady.