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Children (Departmental Responsibilities)

Volume 974: debated on Sunday 11 November 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list his Department's responsibilities relating to children and the statutes from which these arise showing which branch or division within his Department and which Minister deals with each of these responsibilities; who is responsible for co-ordinating the various responsibilities relating to children within his Department; and who is responsible for co-ordinating his responsibilities for children with those of other Departments.

My Department is concerned with the education of children from the age of 2 and its responsibilities arise from the Education Acts 1944–1979. My noble Friend, the Minister of State has special responsibility for school and pre-school matters. There are three schools branches which have responsibility for questions relating to pupils in primary and secondary education. The branch with the main interest in the subject matter assumes a co-ordinating role. My colleagues and I discuss matters relating to children with Ministers of other Depart- ments whenever necessary and there is day-to-day contact between Departments at official level.