§ Mrs. May
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many(a) profit-making organisations and (b) non-profit-making organisations have requested details of his Department's proposals to allow contractors to take over key functions of failing local education authorities, in response to his Department's recent advertisement. 
§ Ms Estelle Morris
Our recent advertisements asked for expressions of interest from organisations able to perform LEA functions and those able to provide management consultancy services. As of Wednesday, 27 January, my Department had sent out information about both consultancy and the provision of functions to 644 interested parties. The deadline for the receipt of formal expressions of interest is 15 February.