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|Half days missed in maintained mainstream secondary schools( 1) in London boroughs due to unauthorised absence|
|(1) Includes middle schools as deemed.|
Unauthorised absence is absence without leave from a teacher or other authorised representative of the school. This includes all unexplained or unjustified absences, such as lateness, holidays during term time not authorised by the school, absence where reason is not yet established and truancy.
When expressions of interest were sought from schools to take part in the trust school
pathfinder programme, over 60 were received from individual schools or groups of schools that were interested in acquiring trusts. From those expressions of interest, 47 schools were originally selected to become pathfinders, but the number of schools involved in the programme has since increased to 71.
The Specialist Schools and Academies Trust and the Youth Sport Trust, working on behalf of the Department, have invited further expressions of interest by 28 February from schools to take part in an early adopter programme and receive support in acquiring trusts. However, this is a school driven policy, and outside of the pathfinder and early adopter programmes schools do not have to apply to acquire a trust. It will be for the governing body of a school to decide whether or not it wishes to acquire trust status, which organisations will make up the school's trust, and to consult local stakeholders on its proposals.
The provisions of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 that relate to trust proposals have not yet been commenced. They are due to come into force in early summer 2007 alongside regulationswhich are currently out for consultationthat will implement these provisions. Until that point, no school is able to acquire a trust under the provisions of the 2006 Act. We expect to see the first trust schools, as defined by the provisions of the 2006 Act, operating from the autumn term 2007.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which organisations have (a) expressed an interest in becoming, (b) made an application to become and (c) been approved as trustees of a trust school. 
Jim Knight: The Department has discussed trust schools with a wide range of organisations. We do not hold a comprehensive list of every organisation that has expressed an interest. In addition, as the acquisition of a trust is a decision for the governing body of a school, the Department cannot provide an exhaustive list of those organisations which have held discussions locally.
City of Bristol College;
Trinity and All Saints HE College;
University of West of England;
University of Wolverhampton;
We will release information about further organisations once they have agreed to be involved with
pathfinders (except in cases where release might prejudice discussions with stakeholders in the project).
Organisations do not have to apply to become trusts. Under the Education and Inspections Act 2006, in order for a school to acquire a trust, a governing body follows a statutory process which includes a public consultation, and the publication of proposals. The final decision to acquire the trust will be for the governing body, except in certain circumstances where the local authority will be able to refer a proposal to the Schools Adjudicator for decision. There is no role for the Secretary of State in this local decision-making process.
The provisions of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 that relate to trust proposals have not yet been commenced. They are due to come into force in early summer 2007 alongside regulationswhich are currently out for consultationthat will implement these provisions. Until that point, no school is able to acquire a trust under the provisions of the 2006 Act.
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