§ Mr. Don Foster
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will list the schools in England currently under special measures, identifying for each school(a) how long it has been under special measures and (b) the percentage of its pupils receiving free school meals. 
§ Ms Estelle Morris
[holding answer 15 June 1999]Information for each school on special measures at 21 April 1999 is shown in tables, copies of which have been placed in the Library.
In June last year the Government announced a tough new policy to stop prolonged failure in schools. Since September 1998, schools which fail an Ofsted inspection must be turned around by local education authorities within two years. If a school is not out of special measures within two years it must be given a fresh start or closed. There are too many schools which failed under the previous administration and are still failing over two years later. We have made it clear that this must not continue and of the 46 such schools on the list provided, 12 have published or had closure proposals approved (three of which will close and Fresh Start schools open), and a further nine have been removed from special measures during the Summer terms already. The rest are now making good progress and we expect virtually all of them to be removed from special measures either this term or next.
The decisive action we have taken to tackle failure in our schools since May 1997 has cut the average turn-around time from 25 months to 18 months. We are moving from laying the foundations for improvement to delivering the benefits.