§ Lord Smith of Leigh
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether, in view of the delay in announcing the revenue support settlement for local authorities until the second week of December, they will suspend the requirements of the Education Act 2002 to declare school budgets by 31 December. [HL24]
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Lord Filkin)
No. The deadline of 31 December 2004 for local education authorities to notify their proposed schools budget for 2005–06 is fixed in primary legislation and cannot be suspended or amended. We are conscious that authorities' members and officers, and local consultation arrangements, will be put under pressure by the announcement of the local government finance settlement on 2 December, and the department wrote to authorities on 25 November asking them to ensure that their decision-taking processes were reviewed to cope with the relatively compressed timescale. We are confident that local education authorities will be able to notify their school budgets in good time, and we look forward to full passporting of the increase in schools funding into school budgets.