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Wandsworth Secondary Schools

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how much was spent on each pupil at secondary school in the London borough of Wandsworth in the last year. [148327]

Ms Estelle Morris: Net institutional expenditure on secondary schools in Wandsworth local education authority for 1998-99, the latest year for which this information is currently available, was £2,670 per pupil.

The following table sets out the resources made available to Wandsworth local education authority for 11 to 15-year-olds, at 2000-01 prices, on a per pupil basis. These figures are not directly comparable with the net institutional expenditure figure given above, but they do reflect a real terms increase in secondary funding per pupil over the last three years of £470.

£ per pupil

Standard spending assessment(31)Special and specific grantsSSA and special/specific grants

(31) Based on the secondary SSA sub-block.

Under this Government, overall funding per pupil has already increased by over £300 nationally in real terms, and it will increase by a further £150 per pupil for 2001-02. Under the last Government, funding per pupil fell by £60 in real terms between 1994-95 and 1997-98. There will be further increases in funding following the year 2000 spending review: a further £370 per pupil over the three year period, taking the total increase to nearly £700 between 1997-98 and 2003-04.

Education Funding

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will set out the basis on which the allocations to individual local authorities contained in his statement of 29 January were calculated, including a list of the variables which were taken into account. [148343]

Ms Estelle Morris [holding answer 2 February 2001]: In overall terms, Education Standard Spending and special and specific grants for education were planned to increase by almost £1.9 billion or over 8 per cent. before this additional allocation: that is around £150 per pupil in real terms. However, some authorities faced lower increases because of particular pressures: that is why my right hon. Friend announced an extra £52 million in special grant.

This funding was allocated as follows: (a) authorities that had not been allocated funding from the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund were allocated £100,000 each; (b) those authorities that faced the greatest pressure as a result of the transfer of Adult Education funding to the Learning and Skills Council were allocated funding to meet that pressure; and (c) the remaining funding was allocated by comparing the pressures on authorities--from pay, prices, the transfer of Adult Education funding and increased contributions to the Standards Fund--with

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their increase in Education SSA plus the funding at (a) and (b) above and taking account of allocations from the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund.

This extra grant takes the increase in funding for education to over £1.9 billion for 2001-02.

Pupil Identification Numbers

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on progress in developing a national register of individual pupil identification numbers. [148383]

Ms Estelle Morris [holding answer 5 February 2001]: The Department intends to create a central pupil database containing statistical profiles for all pupils in the maintained schools sector in England. Information relating to each pupil will be collated mainly by means of a "unique pupil number" (UPN) allocated to them when they first enter school. This database will track pupils' progress from Key Stage to Key Stage and relate this to contextual information about them. The information that it provides both for central agencies (the Department, the Office for Standards in Education and the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority) and for local education authorities and schools will make a major contribution to the drive to raise standards, and to monitoring the achievements of ethnic minority and other potentially vulnerable groups. The database will be subject to strict security controls to prevent any improper access to information about individual pupils. This aspect of the project has been, and will continue to be, the subject of detailed discussions with the Data Protection Commissioner.

The backbone of the database will be the "pupil level Annual Schools' Census" (PLASC) to be conducted in January of each year and providing information for each pupil individually referenced by their UPN, rather than just school totals as in the existing Annual Schools' Census (or "Form 7") which PLASC is replacing.

UPNs were allocated to pupils during the 1999-2000 school year, and included in the reporting of all Key Stage assessment results in summer 2000. About 2,000 schools are submitting a PLASC return for January 2001, and a sample of schools in all local education authorities is trialling the process. It is expected that all maintained primary, middle, secondary and special schools in England will be making PLASC returns from January 2002 onwards. The aim is to establish the central pupil database as soon as possible after full implementation of PLASC in January 2002.

Jobseeker's Allowance

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Perth (Ms Cunningham), of 15 January 2001, Official Report, columns 71-72W, how many Jobseeker's Allowance claimants signed on by post. [148505]

Ms Jowell: We do not hold national figures on the numbers of Jobseeker's Allowance claimants who sign on by post. Authorisation of postal signing is the responsibility of local Employment Service business managers.

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Fast Track Teacher Recruitment

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many applications for the Fast Track teachers recruitment scheme have been received. [148681]

Ms Estelle Morris [holding answer 5 February 2001]: The number of applications to join the new Fast Track Teaching Programme received by 31 January 2001 was 1,561. Like other accelerated progression schemes, applicants will now go through a rigorous selection process. Those recruited will be in addition to those entering teacher training through other routes.

Secondary Curriculum and Staffing Survey

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment when his Department last conducted a secondary curriculum and staffing survey; and when the next survey is due for completion and publication. [148683]

Ms Estelle Morris [holding answer 5 February 2001]: There is an annual census of teacher numbers and vacancies, the results of which are published in April each year.

The Department last conducted a secondary curriculum and staffing survey in November 1996. The possibility of conducting a further secondary curriculum and staffing survey in 2001-02 is being considered and if undertaken the results will be published as soon as possible.

The number of regular teachers in maintained schools increased by 6,900 between January 1998 and January 2000. There was a growth of over 2,000 in the number of people training to be teachers between 1999-2000 and 2000-01, the first such increase since 1992-93.

Speech Therapists

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many (a) speech therapists there are in (i) primary schools and (ii) secondary schools in each local education authority, (b) vacancies exist for such a post and (c) people are in training to be school speech therapists. [148705]

Jacqui Smith: This information is not collected centrally. However, DfEE, together with the Department of Health and the National Assembly for Wales, recently commissioned a survey of NHS speech and language therapy services in England and Wales. The findings from this survey are summarised in DfEE Research Report 239, published in November 2000. Two thirds of respondents to the survey indicated that they operated a designated speech and language therapy service to mainstream schools. This provision is mainly focused on primary schools.

Under the Standards Fund 2001-02, we are supporting expenditure of £82 million on special educational needs. We envisage that LEAs will spend £10 million of this on enhancing speech and language therapy provision in conjunction with the NHS and the voluntary sector.

Computers within Reach Scheme

Mr. Mudie: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many people broken down by area have obtained computers under the Computers Within Reach Scheme. [148736]

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Mr. Wills: As of 9 February, the number of computers that will have been delivered to customers of the first phase of the pilot scheme for Computers Within Reach by area is as follows: 800 Liverpool, 120 Manchester, 50 Sheffield area, 50 Plymouth, 60 Hull and 10 in the London area.

The scheme is currently in its first phase and the regional contractors in other areas have been signing up customers, putting the required infrastructure in place for deliveries and customer training and plan to start deliveries within the next two weeks. Currently the phase one contracts allow for the delivery of 35,000 computers.

It is proposed that there will be 5,000 customers in that part of the first phase pilot being undertaken in Leeds in the following post codes: LS2, LS3, LS4, LS5, LS6, LS7, LS8, LS9, LS10, LS11, LS12, LS13, LS14, LS15, LS16, LS17, LS18, LS19, LS20. Deliveries are expected to start later this week or early next week, as soon as the accompanying printers are received by the contractor.

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