Briefings and documents on independent schools

Establishing a new committee

Erskine May (para 38.3) says select committees can be established under temporary standing orders. They do not have to be permanent, like departmental select committees.

The process of establishing a new committee normally takes place in two stages, as in the case of the proposed Fair Taxation of Schools and Education Standards Committee. First, the committee is appointed with an order of reference providing its name, remit, size powers and duration: today’s motion does that. A second motion is required to nominate members to the Committee.

Today’s motion provides for the Chair of the Committee to be a Conservative MP and to be elected by the whole House.

Cost of running a new committee

When a decision of the House is expected to incur additional expenditure to the House of more than £50,000, the Clerk of the House is required to prepare memorandum setting out the financial consequences. Such a memorandum (PDF) has been prepared.

The Clerk anticipates little additional cost in the first two months, as although the committee is expected to be established quickly, its staff will be re-assigned from existing committees. The Clerk notes, initially, “the staffing of the new Committee will not involve additional expenditure, but a diminution in the resources available to existing Committees”.

The additional costs for the remaining nine months (the Committee is to be appointed to 31 December 2023), are estimated to be £417,000, comprising:

  • Team of seven House of Commons staff: £380,000
  • Support from the media team: £15,000
  • Non-staff costs (publications, special advisers): £12,000
  • Travel: £10,000