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Education Reform

Volume 129: debated on Tuesday 15 March 1988

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15.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received on financial delegation to schools.

We have received a range of representations on our proposals for financial delegation to schools.

17.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science upon what dates (a) the consultative documents on the Education Reform Bill were despatched to Devon county council and (b) replies were required; and what is his practice regarding the minimum time for a local authority to distribute, consider, discuss and provide reasoned comment on such papers during the months of school holidays and council recesses.

Devon county council was sent copies of the consultation papers at the same time as all other local education authorities which had an interest. My right hon. Friend made it clear that comments received right up to the introduction of legislation on 20 November 1987 would be carefully considered. I will arrange for a table showing the timing of this distribution and the dates by which replies were requested to be published in the Official Report.

DocumentDispatchedReplies requested
Changes in Higher Education:
Polytechnics and colleges sector10 April30 June
Changes in Higher Education:
Contracts8 May30 June
Collective Worship7 July11 September
More open enrolment9 July16 September
Financial delegation to schools20 July16 September
Grant Maintained Schools24 July30 September
National Curriculum 5–1624 July30 September
Maintained Further Education:
Financing, Governance and Law7 August9 October
Charges for school activities2 October30 November
Accounting and auditing in Higher Education20 October30 November

21.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received about his proposals to encourage parental involvement in education; and if he will make a statement.

45.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what research his Department has carried out into the willingness of parent-governors to accept their increased responsibilities under the Education Reform Bill.

94.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what plans he has for making parents aware of the role they will have in the running of schools under the Education Reform Bill.

95.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what initiatives he intends to take to encourage further parental involvement within education, following the extended role given to them in the Education Reform Bill.

A number of responses to the consultation documents issued last year included comments upon parents' increased involvement in and influence upon their children's education. We intend to give greater publicity to the changing role of parents and of school governors, so that they will be able to make full use of the new opportunities offered to them. A free booklet was issued by the Department last December to explain to parents, governors and others the changes proposed in the Education Reform Bill. Last week, the Department published two further leaflets. The first encourages parents and others to become school governors. The second leaflet outlines the changes in school governors' responsibilities already introduced as a result of the Education (No. 2) Act 1986, and now proposed in the Education Reform Bill.

23.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received on the opting-out of schools from county education authorities.

43.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many representations he has now received on his proposals for schools to opt out of local education authority control.

My right hon. Friend has received approximately 950 responses to his consultation paper on grant-maintained schools, of which 27 came from local education authorities in county areas.

29.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what further representations he has received on the Education Reform Bill; and if he will make a statement.

Since the beginning of the year my Department has received about 2,750 representations concerning the Education Reform Bill.

44.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what recent representations he has received concerning assessment testing of children aged seven, 11 and 14 years.

More than 100 representations have been received since the publication of the report of the task group on assessment and testing on 12 January. As with the large number of responses to the Government's consultation document on the national curriculum last year, many of the representations have expressed a variety of views about the place of assessment and testing.

87.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many representations he has received from Scottish universities concerning the Education Reform Bill.

90.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received from the Association of University Teachers in Scotland and university principals and governing bodies concerning the Education Reform Bill; and what was his response.

We have received many representations from universities about the provisions of the Education Reform Bill, including some from Scotland. My right hon. and noble Friend the Lord Chancellor and my noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State met representatives of the AUT (Scotland) on 1 March to discuss the Bill's academic tenure provisions. The Government have taken appropriate account of all representations in carrying the Bill forward.

88.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received seeking further details on the proposed foundation subjects in secondary schools in the Education Reform Bill.

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Chipping Barnet (Mr. Chapman) on 19 January at columns 616–7.