Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Children, Schools and Families – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 30th June 2008.

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Photo of Edward Balls Edward Balls Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families 2:30 pm, 30th June 2008

May I request your indulgence and that of the House, Mr. Speaker, and ask the House to join me in offering best wishes to my Department's parliamentary clerk, Mr. Mike Watts, who is retiring from the Department today after 21 years of loyal service?

Eighty-three academies are already open. A further 49 will open this September, and two more in January 2009. As part of the national challenge, we plan to open a further 80 in 2009 and 100 in 2010. That will bring the total to more than 300.

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