Skip to main content


Volume 489: debated on Friday 13 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families whether the Young People's Learning Agency will be able to direct academies on their (a) admissions, (b) curriculum, (c) behaviour policy and (d) pay arrangements. (262484)

The academies clauses in the Apprenticeships, Children, Skills and Learning Bill give powers to the Secretary of State which will enable him to require the YPLA to carry out certain academies functions. But the Secretary of State can only ask the YPLA to exercise, on his behalf, powers which he has himself, either in law, or through academy funding agreements.

Funding agreements contain requirements and certain express direction powers in relation to admissions. The YPLA, on behalf of the Secretary of State, would consider complaints and objections which relate to funding agreement admissions requirements, and could take action to remedy any breaches. That could include, for example, requiring an academy to change its admission arrangements to achieve compliance with the funding agreement. In relation to the express powers of direction available to the Secretary of State, we are considering whether or not it would be appropriate to authorise the YPLA to use these powers, relating to admissions either with or without the Secretary of State's prior approval.

Funding agreements also contain curriculum requirements and cover the need to have in place a behaviour policy and pay arrangements. However, there are no specific direction powers in these areas. Behaviour policies and pay are areas where academies are free to adopt the arrangements which they believe will best support raising standards.