§ Mr. Patten
By the end of May, 2.4 million of the Department's publications on self-governing status had been distributed, mainly in response to requests.
The Department has also organised 16 regional conferences on "Going GM" and three further events are planned for later this term. Almost 3,000 headteachers and governors of LEA maintained schools have attended the conferences, representing around 1,700 schools.
§ 24. Dr. Lynne Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what is his estimate of the cost of the Funding Agency for schools in April 1996(a) on the assumption that his targets for the number of schools opting for grant-maintained status is met and (b) on the assumption that the number of schools opting for grant-maintained status increases at the present annual rate.
§ Mr. Robin Squire
Parents will decide through ballots how many schools become grant maintained. On current trends, most secondary schools and a significant minority of primary schools could be GM by April 1996. The running costs of the FAS will depend on a number of factors, including growth of the sector, but on this basis might be of the order of £20 million in 1996–97. Over time, we expect the establishment of the FAS to result in savings in DFE running costs and, as the FAS takes on responsibility for the provision of school places, to lead to a reduction in the central administration costs of LEAs.