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Arguments about vaccinations and access to school.

Arguments about vaccinations and access to school.

Downing Street has distanced the Government from a call by Health Secretary Matt Hancock for children to be banned from attending school if they had not been vaccinated.

Mr Hancock revealed at a fringe event at Conservative Party conference in Manchester on Sunday that he was seeking legal advice on a compulsory immunisation programme in England because of a rise in measles cases triggered by a fall in rates.

But the Prime Minister's spokesman suggested the minister had spoken prematurely, stressing the government was “not at the stage” of enforcing vaccinations and was instead looking at other ways to encourage parents to get their children immunised.

The apparent slap-down from No10 follows alarm in the Department for Education, which had not been aware of Mr Hancock's comments in advance, that the Government has a statutory duty to provide schooling to all children and therefore preventing them from turning up for lessons would be illegal.

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