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PATTEN FAILS TO TAKE UP DEVON'S CALL FOR ACTIVITY CENTRE CONTROL

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The government's failure to regulate outdoor activity centre has been met with 'dismay' by parents of the teenagers...
The government's failure to regulate outdoor activity centre has been met with 'dismay' by parents of the teenagers who died in Lyme Bay, Devon in March, the Independent reports (p8).

A Devon CC inquiry into the disaster had recommended a compulsory registration scheme for centres, but education secretary, John Patten has instead outlined a four point plan to improve standards. This includes an inspection system with a voluntary scheme being developed by public and private sector organisations in the outdoor activity sector.

The Times, which also reports on the activity centres statement (p7) reports that Devon CC felt the measures announced did not go far enough. Dr Paul Gray, the county's chief education officer said that many people would 'rightly question' how many deaths it takes for the proper regulation of centres.

Dr Gray is also reported as saying that the plan placed education authorities in an 'invidious and untenable position'. The onus of responsibility seemed to be falling on the local authority, school governors and teachers, he added.
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