HC Deb 20 June 1996 vol 279 cc579-80W
Mr. Sweeney

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) if he will list the deadlines, formal and informal, given to unitary authorities in Wales for production of section 42 statements of funding for local management of schools; and if he will list those authorities which(a) have complied and (b) have not complied with each deadline; [31924]

(2) if he will set out action which is available to him to take in respect of authorities which fail to comply with statutory deadlines for the production of section 42 statements of expenditure under schemes of local management of schools; and what action he has taken in respect of authorities in Wales which have failed to comply with recent deadlines. [31925]

Mr. Jonathan Evans

Local education authorities are required by section 42(3) of the Education Reform Act 1988 and regulation 7 of the Education (School Financial Statements) (Prescribed Particulars) Regulations 1995 as applied in Wales by the Education (School Financial Statements) (Prescribed Particulars) (Amendment and Revocation) Regulations 1996 to publish, before the beginning of the financial year to which they relate, budget statements in respect of schools maintained by them.

Recognising the additional pressures faced by authorities in the light of local government reorganisation, including late finalisation of some local management of schools schemes, the Department indicated to LEAs that, for its own purposes, it would be prepared to wait until 30 April 1996 for submission of budget statements.

Complete section 42 statements were provided by 30 April by:

  • Torfaen
  • Blaenau Gwent
  • Carmarthenshire
  • Bridgend
  • Monmouth

The following authorities submitted budget details, but not complete statements:

  • Conwy
  • Cardiff
  • Flintshire
  • Vale of Glamorgan

Reminders were sent to authorities on 20 May requesting finalised budget statements by the end of May.

All authorities have now submitted budget statements to the Department, although in some cases they are incomplete. The Department is pursuing outstanding details with the authorities concerned.

My right hon. Friend has powers under section 99 of the Education Act 1944 to direct authorities to fulfil their statutory duties under education legislation if he considers it expedient to do so. He will consider using those powers in any cases where outstanding information is not provided shortly.

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