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Departmental Guidance

Volume 448: debated on Thursday 6 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many pages of guidance have been issued by his Department in the last 12 months. (80038)

The Department only sends hard copy publications automatically to schools in England in exceptional cases having stopped regular paper mailings in December 2004. Most recently a letter regarding the Ofsted report on staff recruitment checks was made available online and schools notified electronically by email.

Discussions with head teachers and detailed research showed that schools wanted to be able to choose the printed publications they needed, when they needed them, and to be able to order multiple copies.

The online ordering system enables schools to choose whether to download electronic copies or order the paper based publications they need at the right time for them and in the multiples they require. This system is linked directly to the fulfilment service and an existing telephone ordering line. A fortnightly email service to schools informs them of new and important publications.

This has resulted in schools being able to order a wider variety of publications from the Department, putting schools in direct control of what they receive, when they receive it.