» Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Education White Paper

Asked whether the Prime Minister had meant when he said that he would stick with his Education White Paper that he would not consider or debate the changes put down by colleagues, the PMOS said that we should separate the fact from Westminster rumour mill. We had not signaled yesterday that we were prepared to make massive changes now. That was not what we were about. The Prime Minister of course was prepared to listen to what MPs and others had to say and discuss the matter with them. However we would decide matters on their merits and people should be careful about getting carried away.

Asked whether discussing things on their merits included keeping a role for Local Education Authories (LEAs)in policing admission codes and school expansion, the PMOS said people needed to look at what the actual position on policing admission codes was. At the minute you had an adjudicator. Under the new proposal not only would you still have an adjudicator but also you would have an adjudicator who would be able to issue guidance for three years instead of just one year. Under the existing procedures LEAs could refer schools to the adjudicator. That was precisely the position under new the white paper. The white paper did not change the position on selection one bit.

Asked if there would still be a bill in February, the PMOS said nothing had changed. We were still sure there would be a bill produced in the New Year. The PMOS also added that as the journalist had not heard his verdict on the Telegraph’s Incapacity Benefit story of yesterday he would repeat that it was rubbish. The Secretary of State had also strongly dismissed it.

Briefing took place at 16:00 | Search for related news

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