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Clause 2

Part of Education and Skills Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:45 pm on 5th February 2008.

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Photo of Jim Knight Jim Knight Minister of State (Schools and Learners), Department for Children, Schools and Families, Minister of State (Department for Children, Schools and Families) (Schools and Learners) 4:45 pm, 5th February 2008

The way people will judge that depends on where they want to give the benefit of the doubt. Clearly we are on different sides of the divide. My interpretation, if it helps, is that I have talked about the importance of the right support, and the attendance panel will have to be mindful of whether an individual has had the right support to enable them to fulfil their duty to participate. It might be more complicated than simply having a young baby. They might have housing or other issues that affect how their child is progressing. The emphasis should be on the support that young person needs to make their life easier, rather than on enforcement. Enforcement is the last resort, but I understand that for the sake of scrutiny the hon. Gentleman has to assume that it would be one of the things that we would rush to.