§ Mr. Ernie Ross
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what are the benefits to be derived from legislation based upon "Admission to Schools — A Parents' Charter" when compared with the provisions that already exist under section 29(1) of the Education (Scotland) Act 1962.
§ Mr. Alexander Fletcher
Section 29(1) of the 1962 Act, now replaced by section 28(1) of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980, requires that education authorities are to have regard to the general principal that, so far as is compatible with the provision of suitable instruction and training and the avoidance of unreasonable public expenditure, pupils are to be educated in accordance with the wishes of their parents. The section does not in terms require authorities to accede to parents' requests, and the weight which authorities have given to their wishes has varied from region to region. Under our legislative proposals the freedom of education authorities to refuse admission to schools under their management will be limited to a number of specified grounds.