HL Deb 27 November 2002 vol 641 c41WA
Lord Hylton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether Harmondsworth detention removal centre contains asylum applicants whose cases have not been finally decided; if so, how many and why; whether there are still some 45 children under 18 in this centre; and what provision is made for their education. [HL178]

Lord Filkin

Detention is most usually appropriate to effect removal, initially to establish a person's identity or basis of claim, or where there is reason to believe that the person will fail to comply with any conditions attached to the grant of temporary admission or release. It necessarily follows therefore that there will be asylum applicants detained at Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre whose cases have not been finally decided.

The most recent published statistics indicate that, as at 29 June 2002, there were 385 persons detained at Harmondsworth who were recorded as having claimed asylum at some stage. Information about which of these cases had not been finally decided is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost by an examination of individual case files.

As at 21 November there were 10 children under 18 detained as part of family groups at Harmondsworth.

Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre is managed and operated on behalf of the Immigration Service by UK Detention Services Ltd. The contractor makes provision for education for school-aged children and employs suitably qualified staff as managers of education. The profile and numbers of children at the centre changes from day to day. Education provision needs therefore to be sufficiently flexible to cater for the needs of a variable number of children of variable ages and abilities. A programme of modular education concentrates on numeracy and literacy and the national curriculum, taking into account the diverse needs of the children who pass through the centre.