§ Mr. Patten
I appointed Sir Christopher Benson as chairman-designate of the Funding Agency for Schools on 14 October 1993. I am announcing today the appointment of the following 12 members:
Shailendra Adwalpalkar—Finance Director, Gillette International, AMEE Group.
Sir Robert Balchin—Chairman, Grant-Maintained Schools Foundation.
Canon Gerald Greenwood—Director of Education, Southwark Diocesan Board of Education.
Dr. Arthur Hearnden OBE—General Secretary, Independent Schools Joint Council.
Stanley Kalms—Chairman of the Dixons Group.
Mrs. Jacqueline E. Kearns MA FRSA—Headteacher, Homewood GM School, Tenterden, Kent.
Mrs. Lesley King—Headteacher, St. Joseph's RC GM Primary School, Aldershot.
Mrs. Pauline Latham—Chairman of Governors, Ecclesbourne GM School, Derbyshire.137W
Councillor Edward Lister—Leader of Wandsworth Council.
Brother Francis Patterson—Headteacher, St. Francis Xa.vier's College, GM School, Liverpool.
Peter Turner OBE—Recently retired Head, Whitefield Schools and Centre, Waltham Forest.
The task of the funding agency in supporting the successful development of the self-governing—grant-maintained—school sector is a vital one. The chairman and the members whom I am appointing today will bring an impressive breadth of experience to that task. I intend to appoint two additional members in due course in the light of the needs of the funding agency as the work develops and as the self-governing—grant-maintained—school sector grows.
From its formal establishment on 1 April, the funding agency will assume responsibility for two key functions: first, the payment and monitoring of grants to grant-maintained schools; and, secondly, a progressively increasing share in the planning and provision of school places across the country, as the number of grant-maintained schools grow.
I am writing today to the chairman and members setting these functions in the context of the Government's overall policies to secure the realisation of our vision of mainly self-governing schools; to increase choice and diversity in our schools; and to improve standards of education in this country.
I am sending copies of the letter to all self-governing schools and placing copies in the Library.
§ Mrs. Mahon
To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much the Funding Agency for Schools cost to set up; how much it will cost to run; and what role it will take on in Calderdale.
§ Mr. Robin Squire
The direct costs of establishing the Funding Agency for Schools will amount in the current financial year to some £1.5 million. The running costs of the funding agency will depend on a number of factors, including growth in the number of GM schools, but on the basis of current forecasts will be of the order of £12 million in 1994–95, subject to parliamentary approval of the main estimates.
The first main function of the funding agency will be to calculate and pay grant to grant-maintained schools, including those in Calderdale, on the basis of regulations made by my right hon. hon. Friend who announced on 14 February his intention to introduce a common funding formula for funding GM secondary schools in Calderdale and four other LEAs in 1994–95.
In addition, under section 12 of the Education Act 1993 the Secretary of State may make an order giving shared responsibility for the provision of sufficient school places in primary or secondary schools to the funding agency, in areas where between 10 per cent. and 75 per cent. of pupils attend GM schools in the relevant phase. Calderdale is one such area and we are presently consulting with the intention of making an order.