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Education and employment secretary David Blunkett today approved four schools to be set up in the maintained sector...
Education and employment secretary David Blunkett today approved four schools to be set up in the maintained sector of education, subject to consultation on implementation dates and other matters. He was also favourably disposed towards proposals for a new voluntary aided school, subject to further discussions on the meeting of capital costs for a one form of entry school.

Three schools are currently independent schools - Islamia Primary School, Brent, Al Furqan Primary School, Birmingham, Mathilda Marks Kennedy Primary School, Barnet. The fourth is a brand new Jewish Progressive Primary School primary school to be established in Hertfordshire. The proposed voluntary aided school will, subject to approval, be a brand new Jewish Orthodox primary school also in Hertfordshire.

Mr Blunkett said:

'I am pleased to be able to approve sound proposals which demonstrate that these new schools will comply with the statutory provisions governing all maintained schools, such as delivering the national curriculum and offering equal access to the curriculum for boys and girls. I am satisfied that the new schools should provide a good standard of education and will be financially viable.

'When the current School Standards and Framework Bill become legislation, then the GM schools would subsequently be likely to become voluntary aided.'



Proposals from independent promoters to set up schools in the maintained sector are considered on their individual merits, and against a background of educational, organisational and financial factors, including whether the school would be able to: provide a good standard of education; deliver the National Curriculum;

appoint suitably qualified staff; offer equal opportunities to boys and girls; provide suitable buildings for the school.

Schools should be financially viable and able to offer sound financial and managerial competence.

The secretary of state also takes into account the extent of parental demand, whether there is a need for new places in the area, and cost implications.

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