To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what criteria he uses to determine educational action zones. 
There are no plans to establish new Education Action Zones (EAZs). The first EAZs were established in September 1998; the last one started in May 2000. When they complete their five-year statutory term, they will transform either into an Excellence in Cities (EiC) Action Zone in an EiC area, or into an Excellence Cluster in a non-EiC area. There will be no new EiC Action Zones, other than those statutory zones that are transforming into EiC Action Zones in EiC areas. My predecessor, the hon. Member for East Ham made the announcement outlining the Transformation Strategy in November 2001.
However, there will be a further expansion of Excellence Clusters between now and September 2005. There are now 25 clusters; 41 EAZs will transform to Excellence Clusters, and a further 14 new Excellence Clusters will be established by September 2005.