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Point of Order

Volume 747: debated on Wednesday 13 March 2024

On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. Can you give me some advice on how I can pursue an urgent response from the Secretary of State for Education? I wrote to her on 28 February, outlining urgent concerns about King’s Leadership Academy, a secondary school, being unable to open in my constituency despite the Department for Education providing a DfE unique reference number and DfE number, both of which are required for the local authority to offer in the admissions brochure.

The Department recently went on to instruct the local authority to remove King’s Leadership Academy from the admissions process. Parents have now been informed that the academy will not open in September and their children have been allocated secondary schools that were not one of their preferred choices, causing distress and logistical nightmares. It is completely unacceptable not to have received a response on a matter of such urgency, and unacceptable for the Department not to have raised any potential issues earlier. I seek your advice, Madam Deputy Speaker.

I thank the hon. Lady for her point of order. As Mr Speaker has said many times, the Chair is not responsible for the content of Ministers’ answers. However, Mr Speaker has also said many times that he expects, and that Parliament expects, Ministers to provide timely answers to questions from Members. It sounds as though the hon. Lady has had difficulty in that regard. Although I cannot answer her questions, I am sure that those on the Treasury Bench will have heard what she has said and that the matter will be passed on to the relevant Minister. I can advise her that the Table Office will be able to offer guidance on how she might pursue the matter further, if she wishes so to do.

Bill Presented

Post Office (Horizon System) Offences

Presentation and First Reading (Standing Order No. 57)

Secretary Kemi Badenoch, supported by the Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Secretary James Cleverly, Secretary Grant Shapps, Secretary Michelle Donelan, Secretary Claire Coutinho, Secretary Lucy Frazer and Laura Trott, presented a Bill to provide for the quashing of convictions in England and Wales for certain offences alleged to have been committed while the Horizon system was in use by the Post Office; to make provision about the deletion of cautions given in England and Wales for such offences; and for connected purposes.

Bill read the First time; to be read a Second time tomorrow, and to be printed (Bill 181) with explanatory notes (Bill 181-EN).