HC Deb 24 April 2002 vol 384 cc307-8W
Valerie Davey

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the powers of contractors are to fix school terms and holidays under the provisions of the Contracting Out (Local Education Authority Functions) (England) Order 2002. [52554]

Mr. Timms

Further to my comments during the Standing Committee's consideration of the draft Contracting Out (Local Education Authority Functions) (England) Order 2002 (official report of the Eighth Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation, 5 March 2002, column 23) it would be possible under the Order for a contractor to determine the dates when school terms and holidays are to begin and to end. I should clarify that the contractor could, depending on the terms of the contract with an LEA, determine to move from a three term year to a different arrangement, where such decisions lie with the LEA. In the case of foundation, foundation special and voluntary-aided schools, responsibility lies with the governing body. We believe that LEAs will want to ensure that clear arrangements about such decisions are contained in any relevant contract. We would expect there to be wide consultation and, if any change is to be made, that ample notice would be given so that parents, teachers and others can plan accordingly.

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