The Prime Minister's speech to GM heads in Birmingham last week was followed by a press briefing by his Education and Employment Secretary. Their emphasis was different on several key points, including: On the growth of the opted-out sector. John Major: "The self-governing sector continues to grow."
Gillian Shephard: "When you introduce something new it always proceeds by peaks and troughs."
On the fast track to GMS for church schools. JM: "If a school's governors . . . agree on moving to self-government, then they should be able to take that step simply and quickly."
GS: "It could be (decided without a parental ballot) but we do need (consultation) and will consult I" On admissions JM: "I see no reason why self-governing schools should not decide their own policy on over-subscription. "
GS: "LEA schools can admit up to 10 per cent of their entry on ability or aptitude without going through statutory procedures. GM schools can't do that without grinding through the mills of the department. We will be bringing them in line with LEA schools."