The Government has agreed a concession on the Education Bill over consultation in the case of the building of new grant-maintained schools.
Eric Forth, education minister, agreed to an Opposition call to require any new GM school to be built only if there is "demonstrable public support".
He said the Government should find some way of establishing a degree of demand from parents in the area before a GM school is established. "I agree that it is right and appropriate that if the funding agency is to give public money to a school venture it must at the very least require evidence that the school is likely to be required and that parents will want to send their children to it," he said.
He agreed with the Opposition to introduce an amendment to that effect at the Report stage of the Bill.