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New Schools Network

Education written question – answered on 2nd November 2011.

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Photo of Lisa Nandy Lisa Nandy Labour, Wigan

To ask the Secretary of State for Education

(1) pursuant to the answer of 11 October 2011, Official Report, column 360W, on New Schools Network, for what reason he has decided not to publish all correspondence between his Department and the New Schools Network;

(2) when he plans to announce the successful bidder for his Department's competitive grant process in relation to free schools;

(3) if he will publish representations which he has received from potential providers of free schools on the service provided by the New Schools Network under its agreement with his Department;

(4) what discussions Ministers and officials of his Department had with the Cabinet Office on the award of funding to the New Schools Network;

(5) what specific conditions were contained in the grant agreement between his Department and the New Schools Network relating to conflicts of interest.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

The Department does not routinely publish correspondence that it receives and sends as part of the normal course of business; this is no exception.

The Department had no discussions with the Cabinet Office prior to the original grant award to the NSN.

The conflicts of interest clause in the original NSN grant letter was based on the Department's model agreement and says:

“NSN will ensure that staff, trustees, volunteers and advisers' conflicts of interest and potential conflicts of interest are promptly disclosed to the Department and recorded by NSN, and that proper standards of integrity are applied in relation to all its activities”.

Following an open competitive process the NSN was successful with its bid for grant funding from 1 November 2011.

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