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Sex Discrimination

Volume 931: debated on Friday 6 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether she will list the local education authorities in respect of which complaints or representations have been made (a) to her and (b) to the Equal Opportunities Commission alleging infringements of the Sex Discrimination Act; and whether she will, in the case of each such authority, state the number of such complaints and representations and their general nature.

Since the Act came into operation, my right hon. Friend has received about 30 such complaints or representations, including inquiries, which have caused the Department to make inquiries and to offer comment or advice. The subject matter has included selection and choice of school, rules for school uniform and other clothing, and curricular options. Many of the representations have had little substance, and none has been sustained to the extent of requiring a direction to be given under the provisions of Section 25(2) of the Act. The Equal Opportunities Commission will be writing to the hon. Member about the part of the Question that refers to it.