Learning and Skills Bill [H.L.] - continued        House of Lords
PART I, LEARNING AND SKILLS COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND - continued

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Other functions
Research and information.     12. - (1) The Council may carry out research relating to any matter relevant to any of its functions.
 
      (2) The Council must provide the Secretary of State with such information or advice as he requests about any matter in relation to which the Council has a function.
 
      (3) The Council may provide the Secretary of State with such information or advice as it thinks fit about any matter in relation to which it has a function.
 
      (4) The Council must establish systems for collecting information which is designed to secure that its decisions with regard to education and training are made on a sound basis.
 
      (5) The Council may secure the provision of facilities for providing information, advice or guidance about education or training or connected matters (including employment).
 
Persons with learning difficulties.     13. - (1) In discharging its functions under sections 2, 3 and 8 the Council must have regard-
 
 
    (a) to the needs of persons with learning difficulties, and
 
    (b) in particular, to any report of an assessment conducted under section 114.
      (2) If the Council is satisfied that it cannot secure the provision of adequate education or training for a person over compulsory school age who has a learning difficulty unless it also secures the provision of boarding accommodation for him, then-
 
 
    (a) in the case of a person who has not attained the age of 25, the Council must secure the provision of boarding accommodation for him, and
 
    (b) in the case of a person who has attained the age of 25, the Council may secure that provision.
      (3) A person has a learning difficulty if-
 
 
    (a) he has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of persons of his age, or
 
    (b) he has a disability which either prevents or hinders him from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided by institutions providing post-16 education or training.
      (4) But a person is not to be taken to have a learning difficulty solely because the language (or form of language) in which he is or will be taught is different from a language (or form of language) which has at any time been spoken in his home.
 
Equality of opportunity.     14. - (1) In exercising its functions the Council must have due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity-
 
 
    (a) between persons of different racial groups,
 
    (b) between men and women, and
 
    (c) between persons who are disabled and persons who are not.
      (2) As soon as is reasonably practicable after the end of each financial year of the Council it must publish a report containing-
 
 
    (a) a statement of the arrangements made under subsection (1) and having effect in the year;
 
    (b) an assessment of how effective the arrangements were in promoting equality of opportunity.
      (3) The report must also contain a statement of the arrangements which the Council has made, or proposes to make, under subsection (1) in respect of the financial year immediately following that referred to in subsection (2).
 
      (4) The Council must send a copy of the report to the Secretary of State.
 
      (5) "Racial group" has the same meaning as in the Race Relations Act 1976.
 
      (6) Disabled persons are persons who are disabled for the purposes of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
 
Plans.     15. - (1) The Council-
 
 
    (a) must make and publish a plan for each of its financial years;
 
    (b) may make and publish such other plans as it thinks fit.
      (2) A plan for the Council's first financial year must be published as soon as is reasonably practicable after the year starts.
 
      (3) A plan for any subsequent financial year of the Council must be published before the year starts.
 
      (4) A plan for a financial year must include-
 
 
    (a) proposals as to how the Council intends to achieve in the financial year any objectives which should be achieved in the year in conformity with directions of the Secretary of State or with conditions imposed under section 27;
 
    (b) the Council's financial proposals for the year, and in particular proposals as to how it plans to keep to its budget for the year.
Strategy.     16. - (1) The Council must formulate a strategy in relation to its functions and keep it under review.
 
      (2) The Council must have regard to the strategy in exercising its functions.
 
      (3) The Council must incorporate in the strategy proposals as to-
 
 
    (a) how it intends to achieve any objectives contained in directions of the Secretary of State;
 
    (b) how it intends to achieve such objectives within any time limits contained in such directions.
Use of information by Council.     17. In carrying out its functions the Council must have regard to information supplied to it by any body designated by the Secretary of State for the purposes of this section.
 
 
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