HC Deb 26 June 1995 vol 262 cc510-1W
Mr. Simpson

To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what are her Department's stipulations for a school to be considered for grant-maintained status; [30648]

(2) on how many occasions her Department's stipulations for a school applying for grant-maintained status have been bypassed; and which were the schools involved; [30640]

(3) in what instances a school applying for grant-maintained status can bypass any of the stipulations for grant-maintained status issued by her Department. [30634]

Mr. Robin Squire

Country and voluntary schools apply for grant-maintained status only where the results of a ballot of parents held in accordance with sections 28 to 30 of the Education Act 1993 shows a majority of votes cast in favour of seeking such status for the school. The governing bodies of such schools are required to publish proposals in accordance with section 32 of the Act. There is no provision for these statutory requirements to be waived. When considering applications for grant-maintained status, my right hon. Friend considers proposals on their individual merits, taking into account all relevant factors.

Mr. Simpson

To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) how much is the total value of grants and bonuses awarded to the grant-maintained schools in (a) 1993–94 and(b) 1994–95; and what is the estimated budget for grants and bonuses to be awarded to grant-maintained schools in 1995–96; [30633]

(2) what is the amount that has been awarded in grants and bonuses to schools in Nottinghamshire that are grant-maintained. [30636]

Mr. Squire

Responsibility for the calculation of grants for grant-maintained schools has been a matter for the Funding Agency for Schools since April 1994. The FAS also holds information on grants for earlier years. I have asked the chairman of the Funding Agency to write to the hon. Member.

Mr. Simpson

To ask the Secretary of State for Education what representations she has received concerning grant-maintained status(a) in total and (b) from existing grant-maintained schools; and what proportion of these representations was critical of grant-maintained schools. [30625]

Mr. Squire

My right hon. Friend receives a wide variety of representations on this subject from many sources, including grant-maintained schools. No GM school has criticised grant-maintained status, nor suggested that it would wish to revert to its former status, through several have sought further improvements to the benefits that GM status brings.

Mr. Clifton-Brown

To ask the Secretary of State for Education if she will make it her policy to establish a direct link between standard spending assessments and the common funding formula for grant- maintained schools. [29649]

Mr. Squire

The common funding formula already takes as its starting point the education standard spending assessment for the local authorities in which it operates. This is adjusted to give a total for secondary schools which is allocated through a simple formula to provide actual budgets for grant-maintained schools and notional budgets for LEA schools. Where a local education authority, through its scheme for the local management of schools, funds its own schools at levels higher than those implied by the CFF, the budgets of GM schools are increased by the same proportion. This link to LEA decisions was triggered in Gloucestershire in 1994–95, but not in 1995–96.