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Ministerial Corrections

Volume 573: debated on Monday 6 January 2014

Ministerial Corrections

Monday 6 January 2014

Education

School Governing Bodies

The following are extracts from the speech given by the Under-Secretary of State for Education, the hon. Member for South West Norfolk (Elizabeth Truss), during the Westminster Hall debate on school governing bodies on 5 December 2013.

On the question of accountability, does the Minister share the view of the hon. Member for Stroud (Neil Carmichael) that parents should be able to sack their governing bodies? Assuming that she does agree, should that apply to academies and free schools as well?

I am not sure that that is exactly how my hon. Friend the Member for Stroud (Neil Carmichael) put his point. It is down to Ofsted to identify weak governing-body performance. Ultimately, it is the decision of either the Secretary of State or the local authority to replace that governing body with an interim executive board, should it not be doing what it is meant to be doing.

[Official Report, 5 December 2013, Vol. 571, c. 350-1WH.]

Will the Minister spell out how the powers of the Secretary of State and local authority to act if governance is failing differ between maintained schools and academies?

I will come to that point later in my comments, but in essence, the governing body in both cases can be replaced with an interim executive board.

[Official Report, 5 December 2013, Vol. 571, c. 352WH.]

Letter of correction from Elizabeth Truss:

Errors have been identified in the responses provided during the Westminster Hall debate on school governing bodies.

The correct responses should have been:

I am not sure that that is exactly how my hon. Friend the Member for Stroud (Neil Carmichael) put his point. It is down to Ofsted to identify weak governing-body performance. Ultimately, should a governing body not be doing what it is meant to be doing, the Secretary of State, or the local authority, with the consent of the Secretary of State, has the power to replace that governing body with an interim executive board.

I will come to that point later in my comments, but in essence, the governing body of a local authority maintained school can be replaced with an interim executive board.

Leader of the House

Business of the House

The following is the answer given by the Leader of the House of Commons, the right hon. Member for South Cambridgeshire (Mr Lansley) to the right hon. Member for Chesham and Amersham (Mrs Gillan) during Business of the House on 19 December 2013.

I have spoken to the Leader of the House on several occasions about my concerns over the environmental statement on HS2 that has been issued by the Department for Transport. The fact that it is tens of thousands of pages long is putting great strain on our environmental organisations, because the Department has given them only eight weeks over the Christmas period in which to respond to it. Furthermore, the memory sticks containing those tens of thousands of pages had to be recalled because of omissions and errors, and new ones had to be issued. Will the Leader of the House allow a debate on the possibility of extending the consultation period immediately?

I know how assiduously my right hon. Friend is pursuing the interests of her constituents in relation to this matter. I am not in a position to extend the period as she requests, not least because the 56-day consultation period for the environmental statement that precedes the production of a report by the person appointed by the House was determined not by the Department for Transport but by the House, by means of orders made in June relating to changes in the Standing Orders covering hybrid Bills.

[Official Report, 19 December 2013, Vol. 572, c. 898.]

Letter of correction from Mr Lansley:

An error has been identified in the answer given to the right hon. Member for Chesham and Amersham (Mrs Gillan).

The correct response should have been:

I know how assiduously my right hon. Friend is pursuing the interests of her constituents in relation to this matter. I am not in a position to extend the period as she requests. The minimum 56-day consultation period for the environmental statement that precedes the production of a report by the person appointed by the House was determined by the House, by means of orders made in June relating to changes in the Standing Orders covering hybrid Bills.