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Departmental Update

Statement made on 5 July 2022

Statement UIN HCWS179

Statement

Today I have laid before the House a Departmental Minute giving notice of a contingent liability for the issuing of an indemnity in respect to the formation of the Curriculum Arm’s Length Body.

The proposed indemnity will be reported as a contingent liability in line with the HM Treasury Contingent Liability Framework and managed in accordance with Managing Public Money (MPM).

The Government has announced that Oak National Academy will be converted into a new Arm’s Length Body to the Department for Education – focused on supporting teachers to plan and deliver an excellent curriculum and building on Oak’s success. Oak National Academy was created in April 2020 as a sector-led, national response to support schools in educating pupils remotely during the pandemic. It is incubated by the Reach Foundation charity and part funded by Government grants.

The proposed indemnity is for £10 million and would cover the Reach Foundation, which is a charitable organisation, against liabilities, claims, costs, and obligations that are made in relation to the transfer for free of assets, licences, and undertakings of Oak National Academy to the Curriculum Arm’s Length Body, including the TUPE transfer of staff.

It is usual to allow a period of fourteen sitting days prior to accepting a contingent liability, to provide honourable Members an opportunity to raise any objections. I regret that on this occasion pressing requirements to transfer the assets to the ALB before 1 September, together with the dissolution of Parliament, have meant that it has not been possible to provide the full fourteen sitting days prior to taking on the contingent liability.

Her Majesty’s Treasury has approved the contingent liability in principle.

A copy of the Departmental Minute will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.