§ Chris Grayling
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, pursuant to her answer to the hon. Member for Epsom and Ewell of 7 November 2001,Official Report, column 246W, if she will make a statement on the circumstances that led to those closure proposals.
§ Mr. Timms
Seven proposals were decided by the Secretary of State. The circumstances varied in each case. Some were published by the LEA, or school governors, to address changes in local demand for sixth form places, some featured as part of a wider reorganisation of schools in the area. others arose from the need to rationalise places to deliver more cost effective provision. The remaining six proposals were published after September 1999 and were decided under local decision making arrangements, introduced by the School Standards and Framework Act 1998. Under these arrangements those publishing or deciding proposals are not required to send details of the background to the proposals to the Department, and we therefore cannot comment on the circumstances leading to these proposals.
§ Margaret Hodge
This is a matter for the Learning and Skills Council. I have therefore asked John Harwood, the council's chief executive, to write to the hon. Member with the information requested and to place a copy of his reply in the Library.