§ Mr. Pawsey
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he has any plans to review his Department's procedures, under sections 12 to 16 of the Education Act 1980.
§ Mr. Kenneth Baker
The procedures followed are designed to enable the efficient discharge of the responsibilities conferred by the Act, but I have decided194W that there would be advantage in a scrutiny of them; I have particularly in mind the need to reduce the time taken to reach decisions.
I have appointed Mr. J. A. M. Mitchell CB, CVO, MC, formerly secretary of the Scottish Education Department, to undertake the scrutiny with the following terms of reference:
- i. to examine the respective responsibilities for the organisation of schools of the Secretary of State, the local education authorities, and the governors of aided schools, as embodied in Sections 12–16 of the Education Act 1980, taking account of the Secretary of State's policies as set out in the White Paper "Better Schools";
- ii. to consider the procedures adopted by the Department in assisting the Secretary of State to discharge his functions under these Sections;
- iii. to assess the appropriateness and cost-effectiveness of these procedures;
- iv. to identify options for change, including legislative options if appropriate, to assess the estimated manpower and financial implications for central government, taking account of any for local government, and to make recommendations.