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Departmental Projects

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will list the projects undertaken for his Department by (a) outside consultants, (b) academic researchers and (c) university departments since 1 May 1997, giving the total expenditure incurred in each category. [144076]

Mr. Wills: This information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Early Years Education (Somerset)

Paddy Ashdown: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what his estimate is of the proportion of three-year-olds in Somerset who will have a free early years place by (a) spring 2001, (b) spring 2002 and (c) spring 2003; and if he will make a statement. [144606]

Ms Hodge [holding answer 18 January 2001]: By September 2004, there will be a free early education place in Somerset for every three-year-old whose parents want one.

To move towards this achievement, the Government have allocated to Somerset funding for 1,704, 2,262 and 2,786 places for the three financial years to 2004 (allocations for the last two years are indicative). The LEA is already funding further places in the maintained sector.

Our experience tells us that some parents do not take up places as soon as their children are three and do not always want a full-time place. Building that knowledge into our assumptions, over the three financial years

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in question there will be free places for 47 per cent., 60 per cent. and 70 per cent. of three-year-olds in Somerset. These figures are averages based on the number of places available for the year as a whole. Local education authorities have been asked to increase places on a term by term basis to build up to universal provision, therefore the figures in the spring term are likely to be higher than the annual average.

In 1997, about 8.5 per cent. of Somerset's three-year- olds had places in local education authority maintained nurseries.

Since September 1998, all four-year-olds have been able to access a free, part time, early education place.

Departmental Policies (Slough)

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to the Slough constituency, the effects on Slough of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [146929]

Mr. Wills: Outlined are details of the effect on the Slough constituency and Slough LEA of a range of the Department's policies.

Sure Start

There is a Sure Start programme centred in the Britwell and Northborough area of Slough. There is a strong emphasis on parental involvement with equal representation on the partnership board. The programme addresses the need to reshape existing services as well as offering a wide range of new activities including support to teenage parents and a new Community Parents project to promote and enable positive health and parenting skills through local community involvement.

The programme has been granted funding of £1,643,508 until March 2003.

Education Action Zones

There is a large EAZ in Slough: 'Heart of Slough' Education Action Zone. EAZ grant payments to Slough EAZ comprise:


(15) i.e. the zone forecast to need this amount this FY.

(16) This figure assumes the EAZ raises £250,000 of private business contributions.

Beacon Schools

The LEA has one Beacon school--Priory School (awarded Beacon status in September 1998).

Specialist Schools

There is one Specialist School in Slough--Herschel Technology College. The additional funding made available to Herschel (because of its Specialist School status) since 1997 comprises:


(17) Estimate--calculated from pupil numbers each year. This figure assumes same pupil numbers as 2000-01.

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Class sizes

Class sizes--Slough LEA


The September 2000 figure shows that there are now only 95 (2.7 per cent.) pupils remaining in infant class sizes of 31 or more. The figure in January 1997 was 713 (19.8 per cent.).

Key Stage 2 results

Percentage of pupils achieving level 4 or above in Key Stage 2 tests in Slough LEA:


GCSE/GNVQ results

Percentage 5 or more A*-C Percentage no passes


Capital (excluding NDS)

VA Grant4071188060
Capital Formula079600
Science Labs10510500
Outside toilets0000
AMP assistance00170

New Deal for Schools


(As Berkshire)
NDS 1 (1997-98)761,000
NDS 2 (1998-99)385,000
NDS 3 (1999-2000)644,000
NDS 4 (2000-01)1,622,000

School projects are described in the following table.

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Name of schoolProjectAllocation
James Elliman Middle, Arbor Vale Special, Our Lady of Peace RC First, Slough and Eton CE Secondary, Montem Infants, Wexham Secondary, Baylis Court Nursery, Godolphin Infants, Littledown SchoolLarge package for urgent Health and Safety works (18)761,000
Godolphin InfantsHeating improvements37,254
Lea InfantsHeating improvements18,576
Lea MiddleHeating improvements104,975
Montem MiddleHeating improvements18,576
Our Lady of Peace RC FirstHeating improvements13,473
Our Lady of Peace RC MiddleHeating improvements30,875
Baylis CourtHeating improvements24,700
BeechwoodHeating improvements49,400
St. Bernard's ConventHeating improvements23,465
Wexham Secondary, Slough and Eton CE SecondaryTwo school package for replacement of defective window frames210,381
Marish Infant, William Penn PrimaryTwo school package for replacement of defective and rotten windows219,048
Arbor Vale SpecialEarly years provision17,028
Godolphin JuniorReplacement of temporary classrooms121,560

(18) Total Berkshire LEA NDS 1 allocation

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Student numbers at all FEFC funded institutions where home postcode is in the local authority district of Slough,
1996-97 to 1999-2000

FEFC funded Non-FEFC funded
16-18Adult 16-18Adult

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Modern apprenticeships

Since 2 May 1997, we know of 801 starts on Modern Apprenticeships in the Slough constituency (as at 31 October 2000). Broken down by financial year these are:

Financial yearFoundation modern apprenticeships(19)Advanced modern apprenticeships(20)Total
2000-01 (to date)15790247

(19) Foundation Modern Apprenticeships, formerly known as National Traineeships, were introduced nationally in September 1997.

(20) Advanced Modern Apprenticeships, formerly known as Modern Apprenticeships, were introduced nationally in September 1995.


1. The Trainee Database System (TDS), from which these data are taken, is less complete than Management Information supplied to the Department by Training and Enterprise Councils (TECs) (around 95 per cent.)

2. In addition, the postcode information on the TDS, from which parliamentary constituency data are compiled, are 95 per cent. complete.

3. TEC Management Information does not provide information at parliamentary constituency level.


WBTYP trainee database

Labour market

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The working age employment rate in Slough UA in autumn 2000 was 77.8 per cent., above the UK rate of 74.7 per cent. The rate in autumn 1997 was 78.9 per cent., in autumn 1998 was 71.4 per cent., and in autumn 1999 was 77.7 per cent. As can be seen, these data are volatile and our best interpretation of the trend in the employment rate for Slough since 1997 is that it has been broadly flat.

The claimant unemployment rate has fallen from 3.2 per cent. in December 1997 to 2.1 per cent. in December 2000 in the constituency of Slough.

To the end of October 2000, 824 young people have joined the New Deal, with a total of 371 entering employment. 280 of these entered into sustained employment.

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