Clause 30 - General duties of relevant authority

Part of Higher Education Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:45 am on 4th March 2004.

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Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling Shadow Minister (Education) 9:45 am, 4th March 2004

My hon. Friend's point speaks for itself. The Government have a track record of interference. The hon. Member for Bury, North, spends time with head teachers, college principals and vice-chancellors. He will know—unless they are telling him a very different story to the one that they are telling me—that across the education sector and particularly in higher education there is a real feeling of frustration about the dead hand of Government: the bureaucracy and the interference in their affairs. Why would we believe that a Government who have a lifestyle of interference would have a light touch, when the Secretary of State will have powers of interference through the access regulator into what universities do? That is incredible and unbelievable, and I do not believe that there is a single vice-chancellor who thinks that that is the case.