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Volume 473: debated on Monday 17 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many expressions of interest for an academy have been received by his Department since the academies programme began; and how many have been approved. (192391)

From March 2000 to the end of February 2008, 179 expressions of interest had been approved. A further three academy proposals have won competitions for proposed new and replacement schools.

At any particular time a range of discussions on potential academy projects will be going on between the Office of the Schools Commissioner, local authorities and potential sponsors. Most of these will lead to formal expressions of interest, but others will not be taken forward as academy projects.