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SHEPHARD STATEMENT ON MOUNT ST MARY'S CONVENT SCHOOL, EXETER

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Statement by Gillian Shephard, secretary of state for education and employment. ...
Statement by Gillian Shephard, secretary of state for education and employment.

She said:

'I announced today that I have instructed the permanent secretary at the department of education and employment to have the papers on the proposals for a new grant-maintained school at Mount St Mary's Convent School in Exeter, ready for signature immediately after the general election, on Friday 2 May.

'I am announcing this decision today so that interested parties are left in no doubt that the return of a Conservative government will result in the approval of the school's application to become grant maintained immediately after the general election. I am prevented from signing the papers until after the general election campaign because the rules governing procedure after an election has been called do not allow me to do so.

'A decision to approve the proposals for a new grant-maintained school at Mount St Mary's could only be taken during the general election with the agreement of the Labour party. To this end, Lord Henley wrote to David Blunkett on 9 April, seeking his agreement that the decision to approve the school's application be taken at once and announced immediately. No reply was received from Mr Blunkett.'
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