We are grateful to the proposers of the Becket Keys Church of England School for providing a full response to our concerns regarding the consultation exercise that is currently underway into their proposed funding agreement with the Secretary of State for Education. We contacted the Becket Keys mailbox on the 14th March with our recommendations to improve what is currently offered and received a reply yesterday.
As part of this response, Richard Elms of the Russell Education Trust writes as follows to our concerns about the gathering of responses and their representation to the Department for Education:
“There is no information on who will monitor this mailbox, how the responses will be represented to the government or who will ensure parents’ views are accurately reflected to the Secretary of State”
· The responses are monitored and collated by the school’s proposers, as required by the Act, and we will report the results to the Secretary of State.
· We will also publish the results of the consultation including details of the numbers and types of responses.
· The process of opening the school including the consultation is supported and monitored by DfE officials.
· The report published on our website will be the exact version communicated to the DfE.”
We welcome this clarification as we have been contacted over the past week by those concerned about providing responses under the current arrangements. Firstly, we must point out that there is no need to respond until you are comfortable that you have the maximum possible information to inform your view. The consultation period ends on April 20th at 6pm. Secondly, for those who wish to be doubly sure that their responses are considered, there are mailboxes that could be used to copy your responses to. Some relevant interested parties are listed below:
The Secretary of State for Education: firstname.lastname@example.org
Eric Pickles MP: email@example.com
The Bishop of Chelmsford: firstname.lastname@example.org
For transparency, and to further aid the process, it is our intention to publish the full, unedited response from Mr Elms tomorrow and the mail that we sent in response.