HL Deb 07 July 2003 vol 651 c13WA
Baroness Sharp of Guildford

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the one-month consultation period on the draft guidance and regulations on greater collaboration between, and federation of, maintained schools meets government guidelines on consultation. [HL3659]

Baroness Ashton of Upholland

The Cabinet Office code of practice on written consultation sets a standard period of 12 weeks for UK national public consultations. We take the view that the consultation on the draft guidance and regulations on greater collaboration between. and federation of, maintained schools, is not a national consultation, but a more limited exercise consulting only local education authorities, dioceses, national bodies and those schools which have told us of their interest in federation. The content is largely technical, puts into place provisions discussed by Parliament during the passage of the Education Act 2002, and follows principles already consulted on widely in other recent governance consultations. The consultation period will give respondents the opportunity to make their views known before the summer holidays—our experience is that extending education consultations into the summer holidays is not particularly helpful—and enable the regulations and guidance to be put in place from September this year.