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Widowers' Pensions

Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will backdate the pension arrangements for widowers of female teachers to align them with the pension arrangements for widows of male teachers. [143138]

Mr. Wicks: The teachers' pension scheme has provided automatic widowers' pensions since 6 April 1988. Female teachers are able to pay additional contributions to cover earlier periods of service if they wish to do so. It is public service policy that scheme improvements are not introduced with retrospective effect.

Small Schools

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) how many rural schools have received funding from the administrative support fund for small schools; how much funding was received; and on what it has been spent; [143127]

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Ms Estelle Morris: We do not hold details of the number of schools that have benefited from this fund because the fund is allocated to local education authorities, which have an element of discretion in how they pass it on to schools.

In 1999-2000, a total of £20 million has been passed to schools and in 2000-01 a total of £55.925 million is being passed to schools through the administrative support fund for small schools.

The way in which the grant can be used has been extended to include the employment of more administrative staff, the provision of ICT equipment and training they need to do their jobs, the supply cover costs to release heads and teachers for them to do their professional paperwork and the purchase of bursarial services.

Students (St. Helena)

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what financial help his Department has given during the last 12 months to help towards the education costs of young people from St. Helena to study in the UK. [143529]

Mr. Wicks: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development on 19 December 2000, Official Report, column 106W.

Early Years Education

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what guidance has been given to local authorities on the level of funding per child for places in early years education in 2001-02. [143588]

Ms Hodge [holding answer 21 December 2000]: Total Government expenditure on under-fives in England is estimated to increase from £1 billion in 1996-97 to £2 billion by 2003-04.

In 2001-02, we intend to create an additional 80,000 free new early education places for three-year-olds, increasing the number able to gain access to a place to 66 per cent. The annual grant rate will increase by 2.4 per cent. to £1,188 per place. Details of this rate have been given to local authorities in the early years development and child care partnership planning guidance issued recently.

The Government will continue to offer a free early education place for every four-year-old in 2001-02. From April 2001, funding for four-year-olds will be allocated through education standard spending (ESS). £122 million has been made available to fund providers who previously received nursery education grant for their four-year-olds. Guidance to early years development and child care partnerships makes it clear that the full value of this funding should be passed on to providers at the 2001-02 rate of £1,188 per place.

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Nursery Places

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what the basis is on which funding for nursery places will be allocated to local authorities for 2001-02. [143589]

Ms Hodge [holding answer 21 December 2000]: Total Government expenditure on under-fives in England is estimated to increase from £1 billion in 1996-97 to £2 billion by 2003-04. We intend to create 80,000 additional places for three-year-olds during 2001-02.

For three-year-olds, the Government will make £250 million available in direct grant to fund nursery education places and related early years initiatives in 2001-02. This will increase to £328 million in 2002-03 and to £408 million in 2003-04.

The funding for three-year-olds, paid via direct grant, has been weighted by measures of deprivation and also takes account of previous allocations of places to individual authorities. While we continue to allocate the highest proportion of places to the most disadvantaged areas, we have increased the minimum participation rate in 2001-02 for authorities with lower levels of deprivation to around 40 per cent.

The Government will continue to fund early education places for all four-year-olds. From April 2001, funding for four-year-olds will be allocated through education standard spending (ESS). £122 million has been made available to fund providers who previously received nursery education grant for their four-year-olds. Guidance to early years development and child care partnerships makes it clear that the full value of this funding should be passed on to providers at the 2001-02 rate of £1,188 per place.

Modernising Government White Paper

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will list for each financial year from 1998-99 until the latest date for which sums have been allocated, the amount his Department has spent and expects to spend on the implementation of the White Paper on modernising government. [143603]

Mr. Wills: Amounts used by Departments for the implementation of the White Paper on modernising government are integral and not separately identifiable within the resources allocated in the comprehensive spending review and the spending review 2000. These and departmental plans are set out in the respective White Papers, "Modernising Public Services for Britain", Cm 4011, and "Public Services for the Future", CM 4181; and "Spending Review 2000", Cm 4807 and Cm 4808. Details of individual departmental spends are available on the public sector outturn White Paper for 1999-2000, Cm 4812.

Disabled People

Gillian Merron: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what assessment he has made of the operation of the way into work pilot schemes to assist disabled people. [143632]

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Ms Hodge [holding answer 20 December 2000]: Latest figures show that to the beginning of December, 582 disabled people have been placed into employment through the Employment Service way into work pilot.

The pilot has been successful in delivering on its aims and objectives of increasing job placings of disabled people and improving long-term relationships with employers.

Way into work and similar Employment Service job matching initiatives are now operational in approximately two thirds of Britain, and complement the existing national job placing and employment support functions provided by Employment Service disability employment advisers (DEAs).

Lessons learned from the pilot have been captured in a widely distributed good practice guide and have also fed into the further development of disability employment adviser and disability service manager training.

The Employment Service will continue to deliver way into work and similar initiatives in 2001 and will aim to continue building on the success achieved by the pilot.

Electronic Mail (Schools)

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many individual schools in the United Kingdom have not received a superhighway safety information pack. [143772]

Mr. Wills [holding answer 21 December 2000]: The superhighway safety pack has not been despatched to all schools in England, not least because we are trying to reduce burdens on teachers by strictly limiting what is sent to all schools. Information about the pack, including details of where to obtain it, is made available in a number of different ways, including the regular listings in DfEE publications sent to all schools; Teachers magazine and various departmental websites. Since its production in October 1999, around 18,000 copies of the guide have been despatched.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what data he collects on the format of email addresses given by schools to individual pupils. [143773]

Mr. Wills [holding answer 21 December 2000]: We do not currently collect details on the format of email addresses allocated to individual pupils. We are currently developing guidance on the format of email addresses for pupils and this will be issued in due course as an update to the national grid for learning website. This will include examples of good practice from schools where pupils are using emails.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will issue guidance to schools on the format of pupils' email addresses in order to prevent the identification of individual children; and if he will update the superhighway information pack to include such guidance. [143774]

Mr. Wills [holding answer 21 December 2000]: Guidance is already issued in the superhighway safety pack which states that it is the school's duty to ensure

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that every child in their care is safe and therefore that no individual child can be identified or contacted by visitors to the school's website.


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