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Opt-out votes down to 17

Just 17 schools voted for grant-maintained status during the autumn term - one less than the figure for the same period in 1994.

Figures released by Local Schools Information, the LEA-funded advisory body, reveal that a further 17 schools voted against leaving council control.

In the secondary sector - where it has been suggested that the government may force schools to opt out - only five voted for GMS while nine rejected it.

Martin Rogers of LSI, said: `` These results confirm that opting out is in its death throes, and suggested that forcing schools to become grant-maintained would hardly be a great vote-winner.

``The autumn term is normally the busiest for opting out, so we don't expect much activity from now on.

It is now too late for schools to opt out before next September - at most, only months before the general election.

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