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Education and Inspections Act 2006

Section 6: Functions in respect of recreation etc

33.This section inserts new sections 507A and 507B in the 1996 Act, while also amending existing section 508 to apply only in respect of Wales. In England the duty under section 508(1) is re-enacted, in relation to children under 13, in new section 507A.

34.The new section 507B of the 1996 Act imposes a duty on local education authorities to promote the well-being of persons aged 13 – 19 (and of persons aged up to 25 with learning difficulties) by securing access for them to sufficient educational and recreational leisure-time activities and facilities, so far as is reasonably practicable. The section provides that an authority can fulfil this duty by providing activities and facilities, assisting others to do so, or by making other arrangements to facilitate access, which can include the provision of transport, financial assistance or information. Furthermore, local education authorities are required to supply and keep up to date information regarding those leisure-time activities and facilities that are available locally.

35.In performing its duty under new section 507B the authority is required to ascertain from young people in the authority’s area their views on existing provision and the need for any additional provision, and to take those views into account.

36.Before taking any action the authority is also required to take steps to assess whether it is beneficial for other agencies and individuals to provide services in its place and, where appropriate, to secure that those services are provided by such agencies or individuals.

37.Section 507B also includes the power to levy charges and places a requirement on authorities to have regard to any guidance given by the Secretary of State when exercising their functions under the section.

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