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School Playing Fields

Mr. Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) how many school playing fields have been sold in England in each of the last five years; [145605]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 15 January 2001]: Before October 1998, there was nothing to prevent a local authority selling a school playing field if it wanted to. An estimated 40 playing fields a month were sold in this way under the previous Government. Section 77 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 was introduced, with effect from 1 October 1998, to stop the indiscriminate sale of school playing fields. Local authorities and governing bodies of all maintained schools are now required to obtain the Secretary of State's consent before disposing of playing fields, or any part of a playing field.

Since October 1998, 82 applications from local authorities and governing bodies to sell areas equal to, or larger than, a sports pitch have been approved. As no national figures were collected before October 1998, these approved applications can be broken down for each year since the law was changed as follows:




Applications to dispose, or change the use, of school playing fields are approved only where it is clear that any proceeds will be returned to education or used to improve or enhance sports provision. From this spring all applications will be scrutinised by a new panel that has been set up comprising representatives of the National Playing Fields Association, the Central Council of Physical Recreation, Learning through Landscapes, the National Association of Head Teachers and the Local Government Association.

There have been no applications to sell school playing fields in the constituency of Penrith and The Border.





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Schools Information and Communication Technology Funding

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will list for each local education authority the amount (a) in total and (b) per pupil, that is spent an ICT, broken down into (i) primary and (ii) secondary schools. [146086]

Mr. Wills [holding answer 18 January 2001]: Details of NGfL funding allocations are available on an LEA-by-LEA basis on the Standards Fund website ("http://www.dfee.gov."uk/standardsfund/). However, expenditure on ICT may be supplemented at both LEA and school level and this information is not held centrally.

Data on average expenditure on ICT per school and per pupil are collected annually as part of the DfEE survey of ICT in schools. Summary statistics from the April 2000 survey are provided as follows:

There was no ICT survey in 1997. The following table shows changes since 1996. Funding on ICT by schools has doubled in the primary and special sectors since 1996, and has increased substantially in the secondary sector over this period.

£

PrimarySecondarySpecial
Average expenditure on ICT per school in:
1999-20000050,10011,900
1995-963,25032,2006,050
Average expenditure on ICT per pupil in:
1999-2000c>56154
1995-9692854

Pupil Numbers (North Yorkshire)

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many children in (a) primary school and (b) secondary school education there were on (i) 1 January 1997, (ii) 1 January 2000 and (iii) 1 January 2001 in North Yorkshire. [146229]

Ms Estelle Morris: The available information on children educated in maintained primary and maintained secondary schools in North Yorkshire is shown in the following table.

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Maintained primary(12) aintained secondary(12)
January 199747,92437,039
January 200048,76139,349

(12) Headcount of pupils


Information for January 2001 is currently being collected. Provisional estimates will be published later this year.

"Teachers" Magazine

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what the (a) circulation and (b) cost of production and distribution is of "Teachers" magazine. [146236]

Mr. Wills: Three hundred and sixty thousand copies of the magazine are published every two months, with six issues a year. "Teachers" replaced "Schools Update", a magazine for teachers which was published under the previous Administration, and which survey work commissioned by the last Administration found was not widely read. The average cost of Update was about 27p at today's prices. "Teachers" costs 31.5p per copy (including advertising revenue) and is much more widely read by teachers.

School Week (Berkshire)

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many schools in Berkshire are (a) working and (b) planning a four day week. [146360]

Ms Estelle Morris: My Department is not aware of any schools in Berkshire that are either working or planning a four-day week.

Teacher Recruitment (Housing Costs)

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what assessment he has made of the impact of housing costs on teacher recruitment. [146361]

Ms Estelle Morris: A survey of head teachers, school governors and local education authorities in London, produced in autumn 2000 by the Office of Manpower Economics on behalf of the School Teachers' Review Body, identified housing costs as a factor affecting the recruitment of teachers. The Government announced in December 2000 the Starter Homes Initiative, which has earmarked £250 million over three years to help teachers and other key workers buy their first homes.

Teachers (London Weighting)

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what plans he has to (a) increase and (b) widen the geographical area of payments of London weighting to teachers. [146368]

Ms Estelle Morris: Teachers' pay arrangements, including London area allowances, are based on recommendations made by the independent School Teachers' Review Body. They are due to report at the end

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of this month and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State will conduct a statutory consultation before implementing any changes.

Teacher Shortages

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many responses his Department has received from LEAs to the letter from the Director General for Schools to LEAs of 23 November regarding teacher shortages; and if he will place a copy of these responses in the Library. [146426]

Ms Estelle Morris: Five local education authorities responded by letter, and a number of others by telephone. The responses were private and not intended for publication.

CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT

Local Authority Cultural Services

11. Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps he plans to take to enable local authorities to improve their cultural services. [144789]

Mr. Chris Smith: I published "Creating Opportunities" Guidance for local authorities in England on Local Cultural Strategies in December. Strategies will cover the whole range of cultural services. They will show how these services can help tackle the wider objectives of regeneration, lifelong learning and healthier and safer communities. Copies are available in the Libraries of both Houses.

Football Supporters

12. Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps he is taking to enable football supporters to play a greater part in the running of their clubs. [144790]

23. Mr. Caplin: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps he is taking to enable football supporters to have a greater say in the running of their clubs. [144802]

Kate Hoey: Supporters Direct was announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State last November to assist groups of supporters wishing to become involved in the responsible running of clubs. It has already exceeded its first-year targets, helping to establish 12 supporters' trusts to date, plus a further nine trusts which are agreed in principle, and has assisted in the election of four supporter-directors. Supporters Direct has held discussions with groups representing supporters at a total of 100 football clubs.


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