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Foundation Schools

Volume 475: debated on Monday 28 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many schools have (a) applied for and (b) been granted (i) trust and (ii) foundation status in each (A) month and (B) quarter since 1 January 2005; and if he will make a statement. (201128)

Schools do not have to apply to the Department for Children, Schools and Families to become a trust or foundation school. A change of school category to foundation and the acquisition of a trust are ‘prescribed alterations’. To make such a prescribed alteration the governing body must publish statutory proposals in accordance with provisions are set out in the Education and Inspections Act 2006 and regulations made under that Act. Since 25 May 2007 proposals are decided by the governing body (or the Schools Adjudicator where proposals to acquire a trust have been referred by the local authority). There is no role for Ministers in the decision-making process.

To date 57 schools have acquired a trust under the provisions of the Education and Inspections Act 2006. 108 schools have changed category to foundation since January 2005. These are broken down by month and quarter as follows.

Foundation schoolsTrust schools

Year/month

Published1

Approved1

Acquired

2005

January

February

March

1

1

Quarterly total

1

1

April

May

June

1

1

Quarterly total

1

1

July

1

1

August

September

Quarterly total

1

1

October

3

3

November

4

4

December

1

1

Quarterly total

8

8

2006

January

8

8

February

3

3

March

2

2

Quarterly total

13

13

April

4

4

May

2

2

June

4

4

Quarterly total

10

10

July

4

4

August

September

6

6

Quarterly total

10

10

October

4

4

November

2

2

December

1

1

Quarterly total

7

7

2007

January

5

5

February

4

4

March

4

4

Quarterly total

13

13

April

2

2

May

3

3

June

5

5

Quarterly total

10

10

July

August

1

1

1

September

3

3

29

Quarterly total

4

4

30

October

3

3

November

9

8

1

December

5

5

1

Quarterly total

17

16

2

2008

January

10

8

5

February

9

6

1

March

5

5

Quarterly total

24

14

11

April

4

14

1 Prior to 25 May 2007, proposals to change category to foundation were decided either by the Schools Organisation Committee or the school’s governing body in accordance with the statutory provisions that applied at the time.

In addition to the schools included in the aforementioned table, 19 schools have published proposals to change category to foundation and acquire a foundation—the Department is awaiting confirmation that these particular foundations have been established.

Acquiring a trust or foundation is a way for a range of schools in different circumstances to raise standards, from those that are currently under-performing to those that are leading the way in the education sector as a whole. Trusts are a way for schools to strengthen collaboration and spread best practice among other schools, drawing on the expertise and energy of their partners to support their strategic leadership.

385 schools are on the Trust and Foundation Schools Support programme where they have access to advice and guidance on the processes associated with acquiring a trust and/or foundation.