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Buildings (Climate Change)

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what consideration he gives to the effects of climatic change on building new (a) school and (b) university buildings. [155617]

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Jacqui Smith: The Department gives guidance on the environmental performance of new school buildings in Building Bulletin 87, "Guidelines for Environmental Design in Schools". This recommends a number of measures for conserving energy. It also contains targets for limiting the amount of carbon dioxide produced by new buildings for both primary and secondary schools, thereby limiting their environmental impact.

The building or adaptation of university buildings is a matter for each university. Universities are independent autonomous institutions who will take investment decisions based on longer term strategic objectives approved by the governing body of that institution. Where this may involve public funding, investment appraisal and business case review will be undertaken by the Higher Education Funding Council for England to ensure that the project is in line with established investment criteria. Each university has an estates strategy which fully considers environmental issues.

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Class Sizes

Mr. Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what the average class sizes for Key Stages (a) 1, (b) 2 and (c) 3 were in (i) 1992, (ii) 1997 and (iii) 2001 in the St. Ives constituency. [155744]

Ms Estelle Morris: The available information is shown in the table. Information on class sizes by parliamentary constituency is not available prior to 1997. The January class size data for the academic year 2000-01 are currently being analysed and provisional national estimates are expected to be published in April.

Average class size--St. Ives parliamentary constituency

January September
199720002000
Key Stage 125.824.321.8
Number of pupils in Key Stage 1 classes of size 31 or more97870134
Key Stage 227.929.4n/a
Pupils aged mainly under 14 in maintained secondary schools24.826.4n/a

Note:

Classes taught by one teacher


January 2000 saw a fall in the size of the average junior class in England; and a continuing fall in the size of the average primary class, after rising for a decade. The size of the average secondary class nationally, at 22.0, is still five below the average primary class. In 2001-02 secondary headteachers will receive an average of £70,000 and primary headteachers £24,000 in direct grant to spend as they choose, including on reducing class sizes if that is their priority.

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what the average class size was for Key Stage (a) 1, (b) 2 and (c) 3 in (i) 1992, (ii) 1997 and (iii) 2001 in the Romsey constituency. [155852]

Ms Estelle Morris: The available information is shown in the table. Information on class sizes by parliamentary constituency is not available prior to 1997. The January class size data for the academic year 2000-01 are currently being analysed and provisional national estimates are expected to be published in April.

Average class size--Romsey parliamentary constituency

January September
199720002000
Key Stage 127.727.024.5
Number of pupils in Key Stage 1 classes of size 31 or more1,080487129
Key Stage 227.6 29.2n/a
Pupils aged mainly under 14 in maintained secondary schools22.723.7n/a

Note:

Classes taught by one teacher


January 2000 saw a fall in the size of the average junior class in England; and a continuing fall in the size of the average primary class, after rising for a decade. The size of the average secondary class nationally, at 22.0, is still five below the average primary class. In 2001-02 secondary headteachers will receive an average of £70,000 and primary headteachers £24,000 in direct grant to spend as they choose, including on reducing class sizes if that is their priority.

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Prisons (Education and Training)

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what plans he has to extend provision of resources to HM prisons for the purposes of education and training. [155769]

Mr. Wicks: The Prison Service's budget for education and libraries is planned to increase from £50 million to at least £63 million by 2003-04, an increase of over 17 per cent. in real terms. This is on top of the resources being invested in vocational training by the Prison Service. From April 2001 the new Prisoners' Learning and Skills Unit will support DfEE and Home Office Ministers in the development of education and training for prisoners. The Unit will at an early stage review the delivery, funding and procurement of education and training in prisons as a basis for further development through the partnership.

Music and Ballet Fees

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if the proposed scale revisions for contributions to fees under the music and ballet scheme will lead to greater proportional changes in contributions from parents with children at day schools than at boarding schools; and what representations he has received on this. [155863]

Ms Estelle Morris: The revised parental contribution scale for day pupils under the music and ballet scheme will require greater contributions than at present from families whose annual income exceeds £25,000 in order to bring it into line with the scale for boarding pupils in terms of affordability and equity. Greater contributions will be required from the parents of boarding pupils where family income exceeds £45,000. However, the income threshold below which the parents of day pupils receive a free place will be higher, at £12,148 per annum, than that for boarding pupils, at £9,798 per annum, in recognition of the costs of keeping day pupils at home. Overall, about 85 per cent. of families using the music and ballet scheme will gain from the package of changes.

We have received representatives from 15 families affected by the proposed changes, seven of which are families of pupils holding day places under the scheme.

Careers Guidance

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what assessment he has made of current recruitment to courses training careers guidance professionals. [155866]

Mr. Wicks: We are working with the Institute of Career Guidance to develop a new qualification, the Qualification in Careers Guidance for people moving into the careers guidance profession. This is currently being piloted and will be available nationally from autumn 2001.

Information provided to us by the Institute of Career Guidance, the awarding body for the Diploma in Careers Guidance and the pilot Qualification in Careers Guidance shows that 303 students were registered for careers adviser initial training in 1999-2000 and currently 311 students are registered in 2000-01.

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In addition, we have made available funding in 2000-01 to support 46 students on the NVQ level 4 in Guidance.

To support people moving into the guidance profession in 2000-01, we made available £745,000.

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what action he is taking to ensure that careers guidance under his Connexions Strategy is given by advisers who have undergone full training in careers work. [155867]

Mr. Wicks: The Connexions Service will offer at least the same level of impartial careers information, advice and guidance for 13 to 19 year-olds as is currently provided by careers services. However, in order to remove the significant barriers to learning that many young people face, the range of information, advice and guidance provided by the Connexions Service will be extended to cover matters relating to, for example, housing and health.

Personal Advisers will operate as multi-disciplinary teams and will include a range of people offering specialist support to young people. Personal Advisers providing careers guidance will have appropriate professional qualifications.

Single Regeneration Budget

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what amounts were made available in the last three years to education and business partnerships, under each of the six programmes of the Single Regeneration Budget; and what arrangements are being made to replace this funding. [155868]

Mr. Wills: On the first point, this information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. On the second, I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend, the Minister for Local Government and the Regions, 9 March 2001, Official Report, column 370W.


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