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Ministerial Corrections

Volume 522: debated on Monday 31 January 2011

Ministerial Correction

Monday 31 January 2011

Education

Free Schools

To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will put in place mechanisms for public scrutiny of the financial backing of individuals and organisations who are involved in setting up free schools.

[Official Report, 13 December 2010, Vol. 520, c. 567W.]

Letter of correction from Mr Nick Gibb:

An error has been identified in the written answer given to the hon. Member for Wigan (Lisa Nandy) on 13 December 2010.

Unfortunately, we incorrectly believed that Academy Trust annual accounts were published on the Charity Commission's website, when in fact they are published on the Trust's website and the Companies House website.

The full answer given was as follows: (24812)

Once a Free School proposal is approved to progress to business case and plan stage, the main elements of the proposal forms will be put on the Department's website. We will redact personal information to comply with obligations under the Data Protection Act, and other information where we have judged that commercial interests would be prejudiced should we publish the proposal in full.

The Department will conduct due diligence checks, including financial checks, on companies and individuals associated with a proposed Free School. The vast majority of proposers to date are not associated with or supported by third party organisations.

Once a Free School is established, the Academy Trust will be required to publish annual accounts in accordance with the Companies Act 2006. These accounts will be available on the Charity Commission website.

The correct answer should have been:

Once a Free School proposal is approved to progress to business case and plan stage, the main elements of the proposal forms will be put on the Department's website. We will redact personal information to comply with obligations under the Data Protection Act, and other information where we have judged that commercial interests would be prejudiced should we publish the proposal in full.

The Department will conduct due diligence checks, including financial checks, on companies and individuals associated with a proposed Free School. The vast majority of proposers to date are not associated with or supported by third party organisations.

Once a Free School is established, the Academy Trust will be required to file their annual accounts with the registrar at Companies House (under sections 441-447 of the Companies Act 2006) and to publish them on the Academy Trust's website.