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Volume 471: debated on Monday 28 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 21 January 2008, Official Report, column 1204W, on which dates officials of his Department had discussions with officials from the Department of Children, Schools and Families on the sponsorship of academies. (182350)

MOD officials have discussed the general issue of sponsorship of academies with officials from the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) on a number of occasions, though these were not formally minuted meetings. In particular officials spoke on 5 September 2006 and 15 March 2007 on sponsorship and there were a number of other exchanges. These discussions confirmed that the MOD would not sponsor academies, but that it was appropriate for the local chain of command to engage with sponsors where there was a significant Service community interest. For example, there has been considerable contact between military representatives in Wiltshire and the sponsor of the planned Wellington academy.