HC Deb 17 June 1991 vol 193 c6W
Mr. Jessel

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if he will ask Her Majesty's inspectorate of schools to investigate the long-term consequences of the offer in 1987 by Richmond-upon-Thames borough council of 30 more places to children aged five at Hampton infants school than there was room for and the extent to which the undertaking by the headteacher an employee of the local education authority that this group of children would be funded for all their infant and junior years has been adhered to;

(2) what assessment he has made of the impact of the introduction of local management of schools at Hampton school, particularly relating to the funding of a fourth full-time teacher for the remaining children admitted to Hampton junior school in 1987.

Mr. Fallon

I understand that for the September 1987 intake Richmond education authority decided that 120 places should be offered at the Hampton infant school rather than the normal 90. The authority also gave an undertaking that additional teaching, welfare and capitation resources would be made available to meet the needs of the children in that year group; and that no other children at the school would be disadvantaged because of the larger numbers being admitted.

I also understand that the authority is of the view that it has honoured these undertakings by providing additional accommodation at the Hampton infant and junior schools and at the Hampton Hill school; and that it has also provided the additional teaching and welfare resources it promised. Since April 1990, the school has been operating under the authority's scheme for the local management of schools.

Under LMS, the Hampton junior school receives a budget based mainly on the number and age of its pupils. It therefore receives additional funding for the extra pupils who were admitted to Hampton infant school in 1987 and who have since transferred to Hampton junior school. This is also the case for those children from that year group who subsequently transferred to the Hampton Hill school.

Within the national statutory framework and subject to the conditions in their LEA's scheme, it is a school's governing body which determines how to make best use of their funding to meet the particular educational needs and priorities of the school. Accordingly, it is for the governors of Hampton junior school to determine the level of staffing and the need for a fourth full-time teacher for this particular age group cohort.