HC Deb 04 July 2002 vol 388 cc482-3W
20. Mr. McCabe

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of Birmingham LEA's proposals for a collegiate academy. [64415]

Mr. Miliband

We judged the Birmingham proposal to be an interesting model of collaborative practice between secondary schools, well worth supporting. The intention of the collegiate academies is to raise standards and broaden curriculum choices for students through the schools working together in a very structured way. If they prove successful, they could provide a useful model for other clusters of schools to adopt in order to maximise the benefits of school diversity.

This is a pathfinder project, so by its nature is untested. The Department has commissioned research to evaluate the pathfinder project over the next three years. Their first report is expected in October this year. In addition the Birmingham LEA will evaluate the collegiate academies in partnership with Warwick University.