To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Oral Contribution of the Chancellor of Exchequer of 25 November 2015, Official Report, column 1370, how sixth form colleges that (a) have not been involved in area reviews, (b) are currently involved in area reviews and (c) have previously been involved in area reviews which have now concluded or will soon conclude will apply for academy status.
Detailed guidance on the criteria and application process for area reviews will be published in February 2016. All sixth form colleges in England will have the opportunity to apply as part of the relevant area review. Their applications will be considered alongside other recommendations from the review in their area.
The Joint Area Review Delivery Unit will work with the sixth form colleges included in the first wave of reviews, which is currently under way, to ensure that they have the opportunity to develop information to support an application and to prepare applications in advance of the publication of detailed criteria in February.
Three sixth form colleges were included in two pilot post-16 area reviews earlier this year. These reviews have now concluded and their recommendations are being implemented. We are currently considering how to ensure that these colleges have the opportunity to apply during later stages of the area reviews programme whilst maintaining current progress towards implementation of the earlier reviews’ findings.