§ Mr. Jenkin
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if she will make a statement about Hackney Downs school. 
§ Mr. Robin Squire
Hackney Downs school was inspected and found to be failing to provide an acceptable standard of education in August 1994. A further monitoring visit by the Office of Standards in Education in March 1995 found that the school continued to fail its pupils. Consequently, after consultation, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State transferred control of the school to an education association with effect from 1 September 1995.
The education association has now made recommendations to the Secretary of State about the future of the school. Its main recommendation is that it should close on 31 December 1995 and that all pupils should transfer to Homerton House boys school in Hackney.
The education association also recommends that Homerton House boys school should make special provision for year 11 boys taking GCSEs, and that Ministers should consider making available capital funding for its refurbishment.
My right hon. Friend is minded to agree with the recommendation that Hackney Downs school should close, in which case she is also minded to make available 141W the necessary additional funds for the year 11 boys as well as funds for the refurbishment of Homerton House boys school.
My right hon. Friend has today written to the director of education of Hackney local education authority and the chairman of governors of Homerton House boys school inviting comments on all the education association's recommendations. She also welcomes views from any other interested party by Friday 10 November. My right hon. Friend will announce her decision shortly after that.
A copy of the north-east London education association's report has been placed in the Library.