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Teacher Vacancies (Hazel Grove)

Mr. Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many vacancies for teachers there were in the Hazel Grove constituency in (a) 1992, (b) 1997 and (c) 2001. [156176]

Ms Estelle Morris: The information requested above is not held centrally. The number of vacancies for teachers in the maintained sector for Stockport LEA were as follows:

January
199219972000
Maintained nursery, primary and secondary schools016
Maintained special schools(20)--01
Total017
Vacancy rate (percentage)0.00.10.3

(20) Not available


The latest year for which published data are currently available is 2000.

In 1992, vacancy figures were collected for the maintained nursery, primary and secondary sector only.

The number of regular teachers (excluding short-term supply) in the maintained schools sector in England at January 2000 was 404,600, the highest for ten years and 6,900 higher than January 1998.

There was a growth of 2,300 in the number of people recruited to train to be teachers between 1999-2000 and 2000-01, the first such increase since 1992-93.

From April 2001 new graduate recruits can expect to earn £17,000 a year (up 6 per cent. from the previous year) and starting salaries in Inner London will rise to £20,000 (up 9 per cent. from the previous year).

Sure Start

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many of the districts invited to develop programmes for the fourth wave of Sure Start programmes are districts which qualify for funding under the Neighbourhood Nurseries Initiative. [157116]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 9 April 2001]: All 66 fourth wave Sure Start districts will be able to apply for funding under the Neighbourhood Nurseries Initiative. All the fourth wave Sure Start districts have large proportions of their population living in wards which are among the most deprived 20 per cent. in England according to DETR's Index of Deprivation. Any area covered by wards in the most deprived 20 per cent. wards in England can apply for funding under the Neighbourhood Nurseries Initiative. Guidance on the two initiatives strongly encourages close and co-operative working between Sure Start programmes and Neighbourhood Nurseries.

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, pursuant to his answer of 28 March 2001, Official Report, columns 679-80W, on Sure Start (1) (a) if the information available on deprivation included statistics on the varying levels of

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deprivation within the borough of Warrington and (b) what assessment was made of health inequalities within Warrington when making a decision; [157176]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 9 April 2001]: The Government identify Sure Start areas at the local authority district level using information from DETR's Index of Deprivation on levels of deprivation at the district level. Stakeholders in these districts are then invited to select a local catchment area for a Sure Start programme in that district based on their knowledge about local needs and levels of poverty and disadvantage and the Government's requirement that the area must


Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will list the Sure Start programmes identified to date, indicating the programmes which are located in areas which are among the 20 per cent. most disadvantaged areas as identified by the DETR index. [157117]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 9 April 2001]: The information requested is contained in tables, copies of which have been placed in the Libraries.

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, pursuant to his answer of 28 March 2001, Official Report, columns 679-80W, on Sure Start, if he will list those districts assessed for the fourth wave of Sure Start programmes; which indices were used to measure levels of deprivation in those areas; and if he will publish the results. [157175]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 9 April 2001]: The information requested is contained in tables, copies of which have been placed in the Libraries.

Infant/Primary Schools

Judy Mallaber: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will list for each infant and primary school in Amber Valley the number of classes containing over 30 pupils on (a) 1 May 1997 and (b) the latest date for which figures are available. [157118]

Ms Estelle Morris: The Government do not publish figures for individual schools. In the table are the figures for the Amber Valley constituency and Derbyshire LEA. These clearly show that a significant number of children in Derbyshire are benefiting from being in smaller primary classes as a result of the Government's investment in education.

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Number of classes with over 30 pupils--January 1997 and 2001

19972001
Derbyshire
KS1 classes40829
All primary classes1,314613
Derby
KS1 classes(21)--3
All primary classes(21)--191
Amber Valley
KS1 classes335
All primary classes12295

(21) Not applicable

Notes:

1. In April 1997 Derbyshire LEA divided into two separate authorities--Derbyshire and City of Derby

2. Figures derived from returns made to the Department in January each year--Annual Schools Census


British Sign Language

Mr. Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what percentage of schools teaching deaf children offer British sign language as part of the curriculum. [157233]

Jacqui Smith: This information is not collected centrally.

Stockholm European Council

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what studies have been made by institutions of the European Union concerning the demographic challenge referred to in paragraph 7 of the Presidency Conclusions of the Stockholm European Council. [157335]

Ms Jowell: I welcome the references in the Stockholm Conclusions to demography and active ageing, particularly the call at paragraph 9 for a joint report by 2002 covering this topic. I understand that European institutions have undertaken a range of studies, including a European Commission communication published in October 2000 and entitled "Communication on the future evolution of social protection from a long-term point of view: Safe and sustainable pensions". The Economic Policy Committee produced a report on a similar theme on 6 November 2000 entitled "Progress report to the ECOFIN Council on the impact of ageing populations on public pensions". A more technical overview is given by the Commission's Economic Paper 138, published in November 1999 by K. McMorrow and W. Roeger, entitled "The economic consequences of ageing populations". Further information on these and related documents can be found on the European Union's "Europa" website.

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment where the new European Social Agenda, referred to in paragraph 25 of the Presidency Conclusions of the Stockholm European Council adopted at Nice was published; and what changes are envisaged in EU social policy in the next five years. [157337]

Ms Jowell: The new European Social Agenda was published as Annexe 1 to the Presidency Conclusions of the Nice European Council Meeting held on 7, 8 and 9 December 2000. This is easily accessible through

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the European Union "Europa" website. A text of the European Social Agenda was deposited in the Libraries of both Houses on 19 December 2000.

The European Social Agenda sets out a framework and proposals to modernise European social policy over the next five years. Many of the proposals will contribute directly to the Lisbon strategic goal of becoming "The most competitive and dynamic knowledge based economy in the world", for example commitments to increasing employability through lifelong learning, and addressing skills shortages, particularly in ICT.

The initiative now lies with the Commission to bring forward individual proposals. The UK Government will continue to scrutinise each proposal as it is brought forward to ensure that it has a proper treaty base.


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