asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he has advised local education authorities as to a recommended minimum consultation period with parents where cessation of maintenance of a school is proposed as a result of the decision in R v Brent London Borough Council ex parte Gunning and others; and if he will make a statement.
No. The guidance already issued to local education authorities in circulars 2/80 and 2/81 and administrative memorandum 4/84 makes it clear that my right hon. Friend expects that there should have been adequate consultation with all those likely to be materially affected, in particular parents and teachers, in the 12 months prior to the publication of proposals under sections 12 to 15 of the Education Act 1980. The adequacy of prior consultations is a material factor in my right hon. Friend's decision on such proposals.