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Clause 51

Part of – in a Public Bill Committee at 6:00 pm on 17th March 2009.

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Photo of Annette Brooke Annette Brooke Shadow Spokesperson (Children, Schools and Families), Shadow Minister (Education) 6:00 pm, 17th March 2009

It is of course welcome that students and their parents are being consulted, but the fact that colleges are having to provide transport to overcome the shortcomings means that the consultation has to be wider and also go to the providers so that they can have their input in the local authority transport plan if the local authority is to have ultimate responsibility for this. I ask the Minister to take that on board. That will have to be clear in the guidance. I would also like to echo the points made on colleges in rural areas, as an important issue is that some young people in those areas cannot access courses. That will be an expensive provision, but if we truly mean it, it has to be backed by funds and resources. We cannot tell young people that they can have all these opportunities when in reality there could  be a barrier. I will perhaps revisit those points later, but having made those comments, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.