Speaking at the official launch of the FAS in London Mr Patten said: 'The Funding Agency for Schools is testament to the Government's determination to see grant maintained (GM) schools continue to thrive and prosper alongside their LEA counterparts. We are extremely fortunate to have attracted somebody of the calibre of Sir Christopher Benson to serve as its first Chairman.
'The FAS will be at the heart of our policy of providing quick and efficient support to the growing number of grant maintained schools. GM schools have revelled in their new found freedom. That freedom is secured under this new 'light-touch' body.
'Today's launch of the FAS represents the final piece in the educational jigsaw. The new organisational landscape for schools is now in place. GM schools, and those contemplating GM status can plan confidently on the basis of a long and secure future.'
The financial monitoring of GM schools and GM special schools, including value for money studies as determined by the Agency, or as directed by the holder of my office; ensuring the provision of sufficient school places in= certain local education authority areas in accordance with any order made under section 12 of the 1993 Act.