HC Deb 25 November 1991 vol 199 c381W
Mr. Harry Barnes

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science, in making his request to head teachers that schoolchildren should take copies of the parents charter for distribution to their parents, what advice he took to ensure that this will not contravene section 45 of the Education Act 1986.

Mr. Eggar

There is no question of the distribution of the parents charter falling within the scope of sections 44 and 45 of the Education (No. 2) Act 1986, which relate to political teaching in schools, nor within the scope of section 2 of the Local Government Act 1986 which relates to the distribution of political propaganda.

The parents charter is addressed not to pupils but to their parents. It sets out in objective terms the rights which parents now have in relation to their children's education, and those changes which the Government propose to introduce if Parliament gives its approval. It fully meets the published guidelines on Government publicity.

The decision on distribution is one for the governors and head teacher of each school, and not for local education authorities. The majority of schools have already responded positively to my right hon. and learned Friend's invitation to order copies for their parents. Others should follow their example and not be intimidated or misled by inaccurate advice.