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Education Spending

Mr. Michael J. Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, pursuant to his answer of 7 July 1998, Official Report, column 490, what was the education standard spending assessment for (1) 1992-93, (b) 1993-94, (c) 1994-95, (d) 1995-96, (e) 1996-97, (f) 1997-98 and (g) 1998-99 for Hereford and Worcester local education authorities in (i) cash terms and (ii) 1998-99 prices for the categories (1) primary education, (2) secondary education, (3) post 16 education, (4) under-5 education and (5) other education. [50431]

Mr. Byers: The following tables set out the five education SSA sub-blocks for Hereford and Worcester local education authority for each year since 1992-93 in cash terms and in 1998-99 prices. It is not possible to calculate underlying year-on-year changes, adjusted for all local authority changes of function, at the level of individual SSA sub-blocks.

Hereford and Worcester local education authority

£ million cash terms
YearPrimarySecondaryPost-16Under-fivesOther
1992-9381.994.046.79.310.0
1993-9482.695.713.79.410.2
1994-9586.097.113.610.69.2
1995-9688.396.914.111.09.6
1996-9794.099.714.211.89.3
1997-9898.3100.815.38.28.2
1998-99104.7105.615.511.77.5

£ million at 1998-99 prices
YearPrimarySecondaryPost-16Under-fivesOther
1992-9395.6109.754.510.911.7
1993-9493.8108.615.610.611.6
1994-9596.1108.515.211.810.3
1995-9696.0105.415.312.010.5
1996-9799.3105.415.012.59.8
1997-98101.1103.715.78.48.5
1998-99104.7105.615.511.77.5

Notes:

1. All figures in table 1 are in £ million cash terms

2. All figures in table 2 are in £ million at 1998-99 prices

3. The figures for 1998-99 represent the aggregate totals for Herefordshire and Worcestershire


Schools (Worcestershire)

Mr. Michael J. Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how much money local education authority schools in Worcestershire held in reserves (a) as a total amount (cash), (b) in real terms at 1998 prices and (c) as a percentage of the total available to be spent on schools in each year since 1991-92. [50920]

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Mr. Byers: The information requested is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Key Stage 2 and 3

Mr. Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) if he will make a statement about the problems which delayed the provision of Key Stage 2 results to certain schools this year; [50385]

Ms Estelle Morris [holding answer 13 July 1998]: The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) are responsible for the collection and notification of Key Stage 2 results to schools. The problems affecting this year's exercise also apply to Key Stage 3 test results.

The Department was informed by QCA that there were significant problems, primarily relating to delays in the completion of the necessary work. On being informed we immediately told QCA to take action as a matter of urgency to both minimise disruption to schools and to ensure the accuracy and quality of results.

On 14 July QCA wrote to all schools explaining that it would not be possible to notify all results before the end of the summer term but that all schools would receive a complete set of accurate results by the end of August at the latest.

Ministers regard this whole episode as being an unacceptable state of affairs and an inquiry will be conducted to find the cause of the difficulties and to make sure this does not happen again.

The Chief Executive of QCA has written to all schools to apologise.

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) how many schools will not receive their Key Stage 2 test results before the end of the summer term; [49508]

Ms Estelle Morris [holding answer 8 July 1998]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Gedling (Mr. Coaker) today.

The contract is commercial-in-confidence and not available for general inspection.

Charity Collectors

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, pursuant to his answer of 12 November 1997, Official Report, column 557,

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concerning charity collectors, what studies he has undertaken of the effectiveness of the precautions against jobcentres assisting recruitment of collectors for bogus charities; and if he will make a statement. [50398]

Mr. Alan Howarth: Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Service agency under its Chief Executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Leigh Lewis to Mr. Adrian Sanders, dated 20 July 1998:



    Since you last raised this issue, in November of last year, we have taken action to strengthen our guidance to Jobcentres in consultation with the Charity Commission.


    As I explained in my reply to you in November 1997, our guidance already told Jobcentres not to accept vacancies from or on behalf of any charity unless it was registered with the Charity Commission or, in Scotland, the Financial Intermediary Claims Office (FICO). Where any doubt arises about the registration, or the actions of a charity, the local Jobcentre is now instructed to forward details to a team in the Employment Service Head Office in Sheffield for investigation. This team will check the organisation's registration with the Charity Commission or the Financial Intermediary Claims Office, as appropriate, and advise the Jobcentre whether or not to accept the vacancy. Where necessary we will ask the Charity Commission or the FICO to investigate the organisation. This will confirm whether the organisation is registered and whether the Commission or FICO, through their Investigations Division, are aware of any other information about them which would lead us to doubt whether their vacancies were suitable for display in Jobcentres. If the organisation is not registered, or the Commission expresses any doubt about them, the team will instruct Jobcentres not to display any vacancies from them.


    These strengthened processes mean that a single team at our Head Office is now able quickly to tell Jobcentre staff about the steps they should take to safeguard jobseekers, and seek the advice of the Charity Commission or FICO about organisations whose activities are causing concern to staff or jobseekers. It also allows us to inform all our Jobcentres quickly of any organisations about which the Charity Commission or FICO have concerns and thus stop them accepting any vacancies from them.


    You ask what studies we have undertaken on our precautions. We have not undertaken any specific research, although our Head Office team will themselves monitor carefully any feedback from our Jobcentres and from our clients about charities which appear to have doubts attaching to them. If you have any examples or problems of which you would like us to be aware we would of course, be very happy to investigate them.


    I hope this is helpful.

DEFENCE

Territorial Army

15. Mrs. Laing: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Territorial Army centres have been identified for (a) closure and (b) sale as part of his Department's efficiency savings. [49591]

Dr. Reid: Prior to the announcement of the Strategic Defence Review, and following its normal annual assessment of the usage of its assets my Department had identified 18 Territorial Army centres for closure and subsequent sale. In addition, and as an element of the

20 Jul 1998 : Column: 424

Strategic Defence Review, we have already announced that the Duke of York's Headquarters in Chelsea will be sold and its Territorial Army occupants re-accommodated as necessary. Further closures will arise from the forthcoming restructuring of the Territorial Army, but we do not expect to be in a position to announce these until the autumn.

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the likely effects of the measures announced in the Strategic Defence Review on the effectiveness of the Territorial Army. [49576]

Dr. Reid: The aim of the Strategic Defence Review has been to ensure that our forces are more capable of performing their primary defence tasks. The conclusions we have reached are designed to increase the utility and efficacy of our Armed Forces, of which our Reserve Forces are an important and fully integrated part. The improvements made by the Review will, therefore, enhance the effectiveness of the Territorial Army in the new strategic setting.

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Strategic Defence Review, if he will make a statement on the future of the Territorial Army in Chorley. [51030]

Dr. Reid [holding answer 17 July 1998]: Following the announcement of the results of the Strategic Defence Review, work has now commenced to establish the future organisation and structure of the Territorial Army. It is too early to say how this work will affect TA units in any particular area, but we expect to be in a position to make detailed announcements by the Autumn.

Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will estimate how many fewer men and women on current retention rates will have served in the Territorial Army by the end of the year 2015 under the Government's plans for the future establishment of the TA compared to the current establishment. [49578]

Dr. Reid: We estimate that, based on current retention rates, some 68,000 fewer individuals will have served in the Territorial Army by the end of 2015 under our plans for the future establishment of the TA compared to the current establishment. This will represent a decline of no more than around 6 per cent. in the number of people who will have had some experience in the forces--excluding those gaining experience with the Combined Cadet Corps in schools.


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