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Secondary Education: Sponsorship

Volume 463: debated on Tuesday 17 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will make a statement on his policy that every secondary school should have a business and university partner. (149864)

It is the aspiration of the Government for every secondary school to have a business and university or college partner. Already over 85 per cent. of secondary schools, through becoming specialist schools, have developed relationships with local businesses. We currently have over 200 secondary, primary and special schools working towards trust status, which will cement partnerships with the private sector, higher education and further education sectors, and voluntary sector, in order to support strong school leadership. My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State announced on 10 July his intention to encourage universities to take a much greater role in the academies programme, and the abolition of the requirement for universities and high-performing schools and colleges to provide £2 million before they can sponsor an academy.

The Secretary of State has invited the National Council for Educational Excellence to advise him on how businesses, universities and colleges can play a bigger part in support of schools, and on how independent and maintained schools can work together to raise standards for the benefit of all.