§ John Healey
[holding answer 23 January 2002]: Local education authorities (LEAs) are responsible for the local strategic management of the school estate. This responsibility includes the need to ensure best value when making investment decisions. When considering major investment in school buildings, one of the options that authorities should consider is the private finance initiative. Where an LEA decides, following an options appraisal, that it wishes to pursue the use of PH, it will submit an outline proposal to my Department. If, following evaluation against published criteria, provisional support is received to develop an outline business case, the 1014W authority must demonstrate that PFI represents a better value for money solution than a conventionally procured alternative.
§ Mr. Laws
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many local education authorities have put in place private finance initiative capital projects since May 1997; if she will list each such local education authority and the size of each capital project; and if she will make a statement. 
§ John Healey
[holding answer 23 January 2002]: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the list of current projects, regularly published by my Department, via the Teachernet website at www.teachernet.gov.uk/schoolsprivatefinanceinitiative. This provides details of the numbers and PH credit allocations for private finance initiative capital projects undertaken by local education authorities.