Regional Schools Commissioners

Department for Education written question – answered on 23rd May 2016.

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Photo of Ian Austin Ian Austin Labour, Dudley North

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many funding agreements have been terminated by each regional schools commissioner.

Photo of Sam Gyimah Sam Gyimah The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

A funding agreement is contract between the Secretary of State and an academy trust. The model funding agreement states that the agreement can be terminated under the following grounds: termination by either party; by warning notice; by the Secretary of State after inspection; by the Secretary of State; and a change of control.

The Regional Schools Commissioners (RSCs) are civil servants, and as such, carry out their duties in the name of the Secretary of State. The RSCs have powers to make a decision, on behalf of the Secretary of State, to replace a sponsor or trust, where they have not been able to secure necessary improvements. In some circumstances, the funding agreement may be terminated as part of the process.

As with other areas of their responsibility, RSCs escalate decisions to the National Schools Commissioner or the relevant minister where they are sensitive, raise issues of interpretation of government policy, or relate to urgent safeguarding or extremism concerns.

The decision to terminate a funding agreement that results in the closure of an academy is made by the Secretary of State.

Listed below are the numbers of academy closures and re-brokerages by region since the RSCs’ appointment in September 2014:

RSC

Re-brokered

Closed

Total

East Midlands & Humber

28

7

35

Lancashire & West Yorkshire

15

3

18

North

6

3

9

North East London & East

15

2

17

North West London & South Central

10

2

12

South London & South East

9

4

13

South West

28

1

29

West Midlands

11

3

14

Total

122

25

147

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