HC Deb 30 April 1948 vol 450 cc802-3
The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Education (Mr. Hardman)

I beg to move, in page 4, line 34, at the end, to insert: (3) In cases not falling within the exception mentioned in the last preceding Subsec- tion, the managers or governors of schools maintained by a local education authority shall comply, as respects the time of admission of children as registered pupils, with any general directions given by the authority in that behalf. The purpose of this Amendment is to ensure that the local education authority has control of the power given in the Clause to managers and governors of maintained schools to refuse admission to their schools except at the beginning of term. The local education authority has had such general control under the similar provisions of the 1921 Act and in the existing registration regulations of the principal Act of 1944. The present Clause under consideration, Clause 4, is a substitute for the relevant provisions of those regulations which, we are advised, are ultra vires.

It is right, in our opinion, that the local education authority, in order to enable it to perform its duty of securing that there is adequate school provision in its area, should not be embarrassed by schools under its administration taking different lines—for example, the admission of children on their fifth birthday, rather than at the beginning of the term after their fifth birthday. It will be noticed that the Amendment which I am moving refers to general directions by the local education authority. It does not require that the local education authority's consent is to be given in individual cases. I hope that this brief explanation, that it simply restores a general control, will be sufficient, and that the House will be prepared to accept the Amendment.

Amendment agreed to.