HL Deb 06 March 1992 vol 536 cc38-40WA
Lord Denning

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Answer of the Baroness Denton of Wakefield on 21st February (col. WA 56), whether in respect of the applications that are still being processed and any further applications in the future, the Secretary of State will ensure that the trustees and other persons interested have been or will be given notice—

  1. (i) that it is open to them to request that a proportion of the proceeds of sale should be allocated as a "Sunday school fund" for the parish, explaining that this fund is not confined to Sunday school purposes but can be used for more broadly based educational activities such as nursery schools, youth training and community centres, so long as they retain an element of religious education;
  2. (ii) that the proportion of three-fourteenths to eleven-fourteenths, which has often been adopted hereto, is not inflexible but can be WA 39 varied upwards or downwards depending on the extent of the activity envisaged by or on behalf of the parish.

Baroness Denton of Wakefield

The Secretary of State for Education is currently consulting with the Board of Education of the Church of England with a view to establishing the most appropriate means of alerting the trustees of schools proposed for inclusion in an order under Section 2 of the Education Act 1973 about the Secretary of State's discretion to create a Sunday school fund. Whatever the outcome of those consultations, it is likely that the information conveyed to trustees will include advice to the effect, in accordance with Section 2(4) of the 1973 Act, that the assets made available for the locality must be applied for "appropriate education purposes"—that is, use for educational purposes in connection with the provision of religious education in accordance with the tenets of the denomination concerned. It will be for the trustees to decide, where necessary with the advice of the Charity Commissioners, whether the activities envisaged accord with the purposes for which the assets have been made available by the section 2 order.

Guidance to trustees will make clear that, while the proportion of assets made available for local purposes is normally three-fourteenths, the Secretary of State will consider whether more or less than the usual proportion is warranted in individual cases, depending on the needs identified and the extent of the activity envisaged.