§ Mr. Bill Walker
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has received in response to consultation on draft regulations on playground supervision; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Lang
Sixty-four representations have been received from education authorities, teachers' associations and a wide range of other organisations and individuals representing parental and other educational interests.
There has been widespread support for the proposals in the draft regulations which would (a) put a statutory duty on education authorities to take reasonable care for the safety of pupils under their charge; and (b) introduce a specific statutory duty to provide adult supervision of primary school playgrounds in breaktimes.
Respondents also made a number of specific suggestions for improvement of the regulations, and the Government will be taking account of these in bringing revised regulations before Parliament. The revised regulations will require that the duty to provide playground supervision should extend to special schools as well as to primary schools. We will also provide for primary schools with fewer than 50 pupils to be exempt from the duty to have an adult supervisor in the playground except where circumstances require it. And we will require a clear definition to be made locally of what area is covered by the term "playground".
We regret that education authorities felt unable to meet the proposed timetable for implementation in January 1990. In the interests of smooth introduction of the new arrangements we now intend that the regulations should come into force in April 1990, although I will be encouraging local authorities to provide playground supervision before then if possible.