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Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 4 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many expressions of interest in setting up an academy have been received by his Department in each year for which figures are available. (251046)

The following numbers of expressions of interest were signed in each year: four in 2000; nine in 2001; 10 in 2002; 15 in 2003; 16 in 2004; 22 in 2005; 50 in 2006; 52 in 2007; 42 in 2008; and one in January 2009. This gives a total of 221 signed expressions of interest since 2000. Of these, six projects did not progress beyond this stage. This is usually due to a joint decision between the Department and the local authority not to proceed.