§ 12. Mr. Morgan
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what provisions he has made in relation to the auditing of the accounts of grant-maintained schools.
§ Mr. Forth
The governing body of a grant-maintained school is required to appoint qualified external auditors, which may include the Audit Commission, to audit the school's annual accounts. The Department has issued guidance on the form of an audit code for governors and auditors of grant-maintained schools. As for other Exchequer-funded bodies, grant-maintained schools are subject to the oversight of the Comptroller and Auditor General.
§ 15. Mr. Gordon Prentice
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what percentage of schools in England have had ballots on grant-maintained status.
§ 19. Mr. John Marshall
To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many(a) secondary and (b) primary schools are now operating under grant-maintained status.
§ 24. Mr. Colin Shepherd
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment he has made of the contributions which can be made by grant-maintained schools in rural areas.168W
§ Mr. Forth
The advantages of grant-maintained status —for example, the ability of schools to manage their own affairs, their accountability to parents and the local community and not to a bureaucracy, and popularity with parents shown by the increased applications for places—apply equally to schools in rural as in other areas.
§ 25. Mr. Nicholas Winterton
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what recent representations he has received about the future funding of grant-maintained schools.
§ 26. Mr. David Nicholson
To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will make a statement on changes in the resources for 1993–94 available for(a) grant-maintained schools and (b) local education authority schools.
§ Mr. Forth
My right hon. Friend announced provision for grant-maintained schools for 1993–94 in his reply to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Rugby and Kenilworth (Mr. Pawsey) on 12 November at columns894–97.
Details of the Government's assumptions about the level of local authority recurrent spending in 1993–94, including spending on education, will be announced by my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment later this month, along with other details of next year's local authority finance settlement.
§ Mr. Harry Greenway
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what capital funding arrangements he is making for newly appointed grant-maintained schools; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Forth
All new and existing grant-maintained schools are invited to bid for grant funding for capital projects in an annual bidding round. All bids are judged strictly on their merits and in the light of the funds available. Decisions on the bids received from schools for 1993–94 projects will be announced in the new year.
Grant-maintained schools' annual maintenance grant includes an element for minor repair work. Schools also receive a formula allocation of capital grant for longer-term repairs and minor capital projects. In 1992–93 schools becoming grant-maintained in April received a full-year's formula allocation. Schools becoming grant-maintained in September received a proportion of their full-year allocation once incorporated. Schools can decide how to allocate this funding and are free to set their own priorities including the amount which they spend on repairs and maintenance.
§ 17. Mr. Barnes
To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will make a statement about the funding available in the next financial year to finance pre-school education.