Schools Reorganisation (Havering)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:21 pm on 21st February 2008.

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Photo of Jim Knight Jim Knight Minister of State (Schools and Learners), Department for Children, Schools and Families, Minister of State (Department for Children, Schools and Families) (Schools and Learners) 11:21 pm, 21st February 2008

I was about to say exactly that. The hon. Gentleman mentioned issues raised in Andrew Ireland's letter, such as the way in which capital transfers and staff transfers would work. I should be happy to write to him, and I am sure that he would want to pass that information on to the authority.

Let me end by stressing the Government's commitment to ensuring that schools receive the funding that they need to raise standards and deliver high-quality education. Over the next three years, we will provide £21.9 billion of capital support for investment in schools, compared with less than £700 million a year about 10 years ago. Over the next three years, Havering and its schools have been allocated £46 million of capital support. That includes £13.2 million of devolved formula capital for schools, £8.4 million of primary capital money and £8 million of targeted capital for 14 to 19 diplomas, special educational needs and disability needs. That allocation, averaging more than £15 million a year, compares with an allocation to Havering of less than £300,000 in 1996-97.

I want to stress again that raising standards is at the heart of our agenda. That sometimes requires difficult decisions or imaginative solutions to changing patterns of need and, crucially, local authorities are responsible for these decisions—and, having listened to parents, they must take them.

I will reflect on the issues raised in the debate, and I will continue to learn the lessons. I hope that authorities will learn the lessons from each other as well. I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for raising these issues tonight.

Question put and agreed to.

Adjourned accordingly at twenty-four minutes to Twelve o'clock.