§ Mr. Fatchett
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what plans he has to amend the regulations for mandatory awards for those students in higher education, who were abducted from the United Kingdom as children, and who therefore would not qualify for an award under the current regulations because of their limited period of residence; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Boswell
My right hon. Friend has no present plans to amend the Education (Mandatory Awards) Regulations in the way the hon. Member proposes. Normally, a student must have been ordinarily resident in the British Islands throughout the three years immediately preceding the start of the first year of his course to qualify for a mandatory award. Periods of temporary absence abroad do not breach a person's ordinary residence in the British Islands. Under the regulations, it is for an applicant's local education authority to decide whether the period during which he was abroad as a result of his abduction should be considered a temporary absence in deciding if he is eligible for a mandatory award. Where a student is not eligible for a mandatory award, the LEA has the power to make a discretionary award to him.807W