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Members: Correspondence

Volume 459: debated on Thursday 3 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) when he will reply to the letter of 19 January from the hon. Member for Hemel Hempstead on the account taken of plans for new homes in Hemel Hempstead constituency in determining the closures and amalgamations of schools in the area; (127256)

(2) when he will answer the (a) letter of 19 January 2007 and (b) question of 8 March 2007 for answer on 13 March 2007 from the hon. Member for Hemel Hempstead, on the account taken of plans for new homes in Hemel Hempstead constituency in determining the closures and amalgamations of schools in the area.

[holding answers 13 March and 26 April 2007]: I regret that the Department has no record of receiving the hon. Member’s letter of 19 January 2007.

Changes to local school organisation, including school closures and amalgamations, require the publication of statutory proposals which are decided under local decision-making arrangements. Ministers have no role. When taking a decision on proposals, the decision maker must have regard to guidance issued by the Secretary of State. This guidance sets out a range of factors that should be considered for the different types of proposals. The factors include considering the need for school places, taking into account pupil number projections.