HC Deb 24 January 1995 vol 253 cc132-3
8. Dr. Michael Clark

To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many secondary schools in Essex are .grant-maintained.

Mrs. Gillian Shephard

There are 69 grant-maintained secondary schools in Essex, more than in any other local education authority area. Two thirds of the maintained secondary schools in the county are self-governing.

Dr. Clark

Is my right hon. Friend aware that grant-maintained secondary schools in Essex are highly regarded by governors, staff, parents and pupils, which contrasts with the county council-run sixth form college in my area where examination results are very poor? Therefore, does she understand that grant-maintained secondary schools in my constituency need to establish their own sixth forms? When will she respond to the applications by King Edmund school, Rochford, and Greensward school, Hockley, and will that response come in time to put in place the September arrangements for pupils?

Mrs. Shephard

I am aware that grant-maintained schools in Essex are very popular and successful, and I am also aware of my hon. Friend's concern about the proposals for those two schools. I undertake to give him a decision, in all possible haste, about the future of those sixth forms.