To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received regarding the impact of the Education Reform Bill upon Catholic schools.
A substantial proportion of the correspondence which my right hon. Friend has received about the Education Reform Bill has mentioned the possible impact of the Bill upon Catholic schools.
Can my hon. Friend clarify the position on open enrolment in Catholic schools, about which some concern has been expressed?
I am happy to do just that. The Education Act 1980 relieved the governors of a voluntary aided school from the requirement to admit pupils whose parents wanted them to attend the school, if such admissions would run counter to agreed arrangements designed to safeguard the school's denominational character. The Education Reform Bill does not change that position.