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At present there are five categories of mainstream state school: county, controlled, special agreement, aided and grant-maintained (GM).
From September 1, 1999 these will be replaced by four new categories: community, foundation, voluntary controlled and voluntary aided.
Schools in all the four categories will have a lot in common. They will be self-managing. They will not be able to charge fees. They will work in partnership with other schools and with local education authorities (LEAs), and they will receive funding from LEAs. But each category will have its own characteristics.
Community schools will be similar to county schools now. The LEA will employ the schools staff, own the schools land and buildings and have primary responsibility for deciding the arrangements for admitting pupils.
At foundation schools, the governing body will employ the schools staff and have primary responsibility for admission arrangements (as governing bodies of GM schools do now). The schools land and buildings will be owned by the governing body or by a charitable foundation.
Voluntary Aided Schools
Voluntary aided schools will be similar to aided schools now. The governing body will employ the schools staff and have primary responsibility for admission arrangements. The schools land and buildings will normally be owned by a charitable foundation. The governing body will contribute towards the capital costs of running the school.
Voluntary Controlled Schools
Voluntary controlled schools will be similar to controlled schools now. The LEA will employ the schools staff and have primary responsibility for admission arrangements. The schools land and buildings will normally be owned by a charitable foundation.
Choosing A New Category
GM schools have been placed in provisional categories. GM schools which were aided, special agreement or independent schools before they became grant-maintained and GM schools established by promoters have been provisionally allocated to the voluntary aided category. All other GM schools have been provisionally allocated to the foundation category.
Governing bodies of GM schools will be able to accept their schools provisional category or choose an alternative. Whatever they decide they will have to tell parents. If parents prefer a different category to the one chosen by the governing body, they can put together a petition to the governing body calling for a ballot of parents to be held on the schools new category.
Further information can be found in "Choosing a New School Category: A Guide for GM schools", which is available, free of charge, from the DfEEs Publication Centre on 0845-602-2260 (or fax on 0845-603-3360) quoting product code CNSCGM.
Oct 23, 1998