§ 14. Mr. Simon Hughes
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what measures are being taken to find sponsors for city technology colleges.
§ Mr. Kenneth Baker
We have worked hard to bring the CTC programme to the attention of industry and commerce, and there has been a magnificent response to its aims of raising standards, increasing choice, and giving the private sector a say in how schools are run. Thirty-four million pounds—and unprecedented sum—has already been pledged, and much more will follow.
§ Mr. Hughes
Given that there is some reported indifference among big business to sponsorship of CTCs, what does the Secretary of State consider will be the effect of Tory-controlled Bexley deciding not to go ahead with one, and of the parents in Tory-controlled Croydon voting by 480 to 14 not to go ahead with a CTC? If parents say not to CTC, will the money from the sponsor be made available to the school, via the local education authority?
§ Mr. Baker
I should be grateful if the hon. Gentleman would make his views on CTCs known, because in the past he has attacked them. However, I gather that, as a member of the governing body of Bacon's school, he has voted for the proposals for that school to become a CTC to go out to consultation. He really should get off the fence.