HC Deb 19 July 2004 vol 424 c100W
Glenda Jackson

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether a specialist school, applying for an additional specialism, will be required to undergo all the procedures inherent in its original application for specialist status. [184702]

Mr. Miliband

As set out in the Department's Five Year Strategy, the opportunity to develop a second specialism will be offered at re-designation (when specialist schools apply to retain the status for a further four year phase). This year, schools qualifying for the simplified re-designation procedure will be eligible. In recognition of what these schools have already achieved, on both exam performance and value added bases, the application process will be light touch—with short guidance asking for summary plans to be annexed to the main re-designation application. This light touch approach reflects wider policy moves towards a new relationship with schools. Applicants will also need to consult their LEAs, the Specialist Schools Trust and the Youth Sport Trust, including to ensure their choice of second specialism enhances the existing local specialist balance.