Clause 17

Part of Education and Skills Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 6:00 pm on 19 February 2008.

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Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Shadow Minister (Education) (Schools) 6:00, 19 February 2008

I wish to raise the issue of definitions in clause 17(7). We touched on the meaning of relevant information in earlier debates, The Minister asserted that the definition of relevant information meant that it had to be confined specifically to the purposes of providing support services. However, subsection (7) states that relevant information, in relation to a person providing or holding information, means

“information which...is held by the person for a relevant purpose”.

It goes on to define a relevant purpose in relation to a local education authority as

“the purpose of, or a purpose connected with, the exercise of any function of the authority...under this Part”.

That definition of relevant information contradicts the Minister’s assertion that the information shared under the preceding clauses will not be used for enforcement purposes. What this definition provision explicitly says,  in addition to the fact that all the other clauses talk about “this Part” of the Bill, shows that the Minister misunderstands his own Bill and therefore may wish to reflect on whether amendments should be proposed on Report or in another place to confine it to the purpose for which he thinks that it has been drafted.