Faith Schools

Education and Skills written question – answered on 11th February 2004.

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Photo of Mark Hoban Mark Hoban Shadow Minister (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what procedures need to be followed to open a new faith school within the state sector.

Photo of David Miliband David Miliband Minister of State (School Standards), Department for Education and Skills

The procedures for opening a new faith school within the state sector are the same as for any other new school, except that faith schools must also be designated by the Secretary of State as having a religious character. Procedures will always involve consultation in the local area and an opportunity for interested parties to make representations on the proposals, but in the case of additional secondary schools, the LEA must invite others to bring forward proposals before it may publish its own proposals. Proposals brought forward by promoters may be for a maintained school or an Academy. Most proposals will be decided by the local School Organisation Committee (SOC) or the independent Adjudicator where the SOC cannot reach unanimous agreement. Those for additional secondary schools and Academies will be decided by the Secretary of State, in the light of comments by the SOC. Maintained schools proposed to have a religious character will then be designated as such by the Secretary of State.

The SOC or Adjudicator may not approve proposals unless satisfied that any capital funding necessary for their implementation has been secured. Capital funding for most schools is provided by the LEA, but in the case of voluntary aided schools and Academies, up to 90 per cent. of the funding is provided directly by the DfES, with the promoter being responsible for the rest.

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