HC Deb 14 March 1996 vol 273 cc682-3W
Mr. Blunkett

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) what representations she received from(a) local education authorities, (b) school governors and (c) organisations representing school governors regarding the removal of minimum space requirements for teaching accommodation and recreation space during the consultation on the Education (School Premises) Regulations 1981; and if she will make a statement; [20569]

(2) what plans she has to place the responses to (a) the five-year review of the Education (School Premises) Regulations 1981 and (b) the consultation on School Premises Regulations 1996 in the Library; [20568]

(3) what representations she received on (a) class size and (b) the condition of school buildings by local education authorities or governors during the consultation on the Education (School Premises) Regulations in 1995. [20571]

Mrs. Gillan

The review of the Education (School Premises) Regulations 1981 was an internal one. Its conclusions were reported to Ministers by officials and were not intended for publication.

A summary of the response to last year's consultation has been placed in the Library of the House.

The new regulations take account of many specific suggestions from consultees. Few, if any, responses specifically mention the condition of school buildings. A number of consultees made the incorrect assumptions that there is a link between the removal of minimum National Lottery awards in Nottinghamshire teaching and recreation areas and increased class sizes or overcrowding and that, once the new regulations come into force, there will be no yardsticks for assessing new and existing buildings.

In fact, governors and local education authorities will continue to have exactly the same control over admissions as they do now, and new guidance documents to be published by the Department in the summer will be up to date and wide reaching in scope.