The Secretary of State for Education used to decide on whether statutory proposals for changes to schools could go ahead. This changed with the passing of the Schools Standards and Frameworks Act 1998. Instrumental in setting up this legislation was Stephen Byers, who was then minister for schools. The Act requires LEAs to produce a School Organisation Plan setting out their plans for school provision over the next five years. It is a rolling plan, to be reviewed in June each year for the following five years. After the first plan was approved by the Secretary of State, all others are submitted to the local School Organisation Committee for approval. The School Organisation Committe also decides on statutory proposals. So, if the council vote to go ahead with their plans, statutory notices will be published (displayed on school gates and in a local paper – usually the Journal and in libraries) and then sent to the School Organisation Committee.

This committee is appointed by the LEA and has 5 groups.
The LEA group
Representative of the Church of England diocese
Representative of the Roman Catholic diocese
Representative of the Further Education Funding council
Schools Group consisting of governors

This is the committee which will decide whether statutory proposals can go ahead either as they are; in an amended form or whether they should be referred to the adjudicator.

There are guidelines which say that LEAs must have informal consultations with parents/public. They are not however, required by law to take any notice of parents opinions.