HC Deb 27 February 2004 vol 418 cc585-6W
Mr. Hoban

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the ability of local education authorities to assist schools in improving their financial management skills. [157070]

Mr. Miliband

We have made no specific and separate assessment. However, we continue to work closely with LEAs to provide financial management support for schools. The National College for School Leadership and KPMG have provided a workshop programme for head teachers and governors. By the end of March 2004, we expect that leaders from just over 1,000 schools identified by their LEAs will have attended. Consultancy support from KPMG is also available to participating schools that need it, and an extensive website provides financial management advice to all LEAs and schools. LEAs have worked closely with the Department to provide consistent financial reporting data, allowing schools to benchmark their financial situation with other similar schools.