Gove won't be drawn on QCDA's future

28th May 2010 at 01:00

Ministers are in discussions with the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency (QCDA) about the future of the pound;120 million-a-year quango.

The news came as the new Government revealed its plans to pass a Public Bodies (Reform) Bill allowing it to cut the number of quangos, in this week's Queen's Speech.

Asked by The TES whether he would use the legislation to abolish the QCDA, Education Secretary Michael Gove said: "I am talking to the QCDA, almost as we speak, about their future so there will be more to say about that later."

Speculation was rife that the end of the agency would be announced this week. Prime Minister David Cameron said in July that the QCDA "must go". But so far, it has only had its 201011 pound;128 million budget cut by pound;8 million.

As predicted, Becta, with an annual budget of pound;112.5 million, was axed as Chancellor George Osborne detailed public-sector savings of pound;6 billion.

Mr Osborne and Chief Secretary to the Treasury David Laws said school funding and money for Sure Start and 16-19 education will be protected for this year. "Schools will have to become more efficient, like everyone else, but their savings will be reinvested in the classroom this year," Mr Osborne said.

Other cuts announced include:

- pound;16 million from the National College for Leadership of Schools and Children's Services, around 10 per cent of its budget;

- pound;15 million from the Children's Workforce Development Council;

- pound;30 million from the Training and Development Agency for Schools;

- pound;1 million from the School Food Trust.

Becta chairman Graham Badman and chief executive Stephen Crowne said: "We are very disappointed. Becta is a very effective organisation with an international reputation, delivering valuable services."

John Dunford, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: "As we face the tougher funding climate, the Government's top priority for education funding must be to get the maximum amount into the core budgets of schools and colleges, where it will have the greatest impact on young people."

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