Clause 30 - General duties of relevant authority

Part of Higher Education Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:00 am on 4th March 2004.

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Photo of Mark Francois Mark Francois Opposition Whip (Commons) 10:00 am, 4th March 2004

I grew up in an area in many ways similar to large parts of the constituency that the hon. Gentleman eloquently described in previous sittings of the Committee. At 16, at the school that I went to, a great deal of raw talent that could have remained, and might well have benefited from a university education, walked out of the gate. However, the fundamental problem was in the school. The school did not do enough to encourage those people and build their aspirations. It is arguable that universities might have been able to do more in interacting with the school, but in my experience the fundamental problem was at the schools rather than the universities, and that is where the burden should lie.