Academies: Land

Department for Education written question – answered on 27th April 2016.

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Photo of Rebecca Long-Bailey Rebecca Long-Bailey Shadow Minister (Treasury), Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of legal costs (a) to her Department and (b) to the academies and local authorities affected arising following the transfer of all local authority school land to the Secretary of State under the plans to convert all schools to academies; and what estimate she has made of such costs of the granting of leases to each academy under those plans.

Photo of Rebecca Long-Bailey Rebecca Long-Bailey Shadow Minister (Treasury), Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether local authorities will retain rights of overage, clawback or pre-emption or any other interest in land transferred to her as a result of the Government's recent academisation proposals.

Photo of Edward Timpson Edward Timpson Minister of State (Education)

In our recent White Paper, Educational Excellence Everywhere, we announced our intention for the freehold of land at community schools to transfer to the Secretary of State on their conversion to Academy status. We are clear that we want all schools to become academies and are considering proposals to remove obstacles for schools - there are too many cases where negotiations over the use of land have delayed conversion to academy status.

We are now working closely with local authorities to explore how these transfers will work in practice, including how we can best minimise the costs local authorities already face in relation to resolving land issues during conversion. The Secretary of State for Education already has the power to direct that where academy land is no longer required for a school, the land or any proceeds of sale can be returned to the local authority. That power will remain unchanged. We will, in considering how best to implement these measures, of course ensure that local needs are taken into account.

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