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School Management (Pupil Participation)

Linda Perham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what guidance documents are available to schools and local education authorities concerning pupil participation in the management of schools. [5021]

Mr. Timms: Many schools already involve pupils in management issues that concern them. With the introduction of citizenship, a statutory part of the secondary curriculum from September 2002, active participation in decision making at school will be encouraged. Good practice already exists in many schools, for example through school councils where pupils represented on governing bodies are involved in staff recruitment, school policies and catering decisions. Guidance for secondary schools is available on the DfES website and the Department has funded Schools Councils UK to produce primary and secondary school council toolkits.

Supply Teachers

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what representations she has received about uncompetitive practices operating within the provision of agency supply teachers to maintained schools. [5453]

Mr. Timms: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry is responsible for regulating employment agencies, including those supplying teachers to schools. My Department has received no recent representations on this matter.

Excellence in Cities

Mr. Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on delays in funding projects for Excellence in Cities City Learning Centres Phase 3; and if she will provide details of the progress made. [5674]

Mr. Timms: There are no such delays. The allocation of Phase 3 City Learning Centres was confirmed in March of this year and Phase 3 Excellence in Cities areas were told in May that all Centres would open by September 2003. This remains the case. Officials are at present considering the funding arrangements for those Centres.

Class Sizes

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what targets for a reduction in (a) primary and (b) secondary school class sizes she has set for each of the next five years; and if she will make a statement. [5690]

Mr. Timms: We have introduced legislation to ensure that the size of infant classes for 5, 6 and 7-year-olds is limited to 30 or fewer by this September at the latest. Since January 1998 the Government have reduced the

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number of infants in large classes by around 450,000: in January 2001 as few as 36,000 (2 per cent.) infants were in classes of 31 or more compared to 485,000 (29 per cent.) in January 1998. No further class size targets have been set.

Special Educational Needs

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what funding is available to schools with special educational needs; and how much is available under each stream. [5374]

Mr. Timms [holding answer 19 July 2001]: Funding for schools is allocated and distributed via local education authorities (LEAs) under local arrangements for the Fair Funding of schools. It is for individual LEAs and schools to decide spending priorities for pupils with special educational needs.

In the current year more than £22 billion is available for the education of school children including children with special educational needs. Over £1 billion of this is used by LEAs to provide additional support for children with special educational needs. In addition, when allocating budgets to schools in 2000–01, LEAs identified over £1.7 billion as notionally allocated towards special educational needs.

We have also made £82 million of supported expenditure available for special educational needs in this year's Standards Fund. This compares to £55 million last year. The fund can be used for a range of activities including training for staff in special educational needs, improvements in speech and language therapy provision for children with communication difficulties, the provision of information and advice to parents and the greater inclusion of children with special educational needs in the mainstream.

In addition to their normal funding, all schools in England have received funding through the School Standards Grant. The Grant will total £640 million in the current financial year. A typical secondary school will receive an extra £70,000 and a typical primary £24,000. Special Schools with up to 100 pupils will receive £20,000 in the 2001–02 financial year and those with over 100 pupils will receive £28,000.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children with special educational needs were on roll in each local education authority in (a) 1997, (b) 1998, (c) 1999, (d) 2000 and (e) 2001 broken down by those without and those with statements. [5375]

Mr. Timms [holding answer 19 July 2001]: The available data are contained in tables, copies of which have been placed in the Library.

Grant-maintained Schools

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what funding per pupil was provided to grant-maintained schools in Surrey in the year immediately prior to the end of grant-maintained status; and what funding per pupil those schools receive in the current financial year. [2543]

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Mr. Timms: In the financial year 1998–99, grant-maintained (GM) schools in Surrey received recurrent funding from the former Funding Agency for Schools (FAS) amounting on average to £1,810 per pupil in the case of primary schools and £2,410 per pupil in the case of secondary schools. For the financial year 2001–02, the most closely comparable figures currently available in respect of these schools are £2,060 per pupil and £2,660 per pupil respectively. All figures have been calculated to the nearest £10 on the basis of pupil numbers from the Annual Schools Census for January 1998 and January 2001.

The calculations for 1998–99 are based on financial information supplied to the Department by FAS. The figures include annual maintenance grant together with special purpose grants for development, nursery education, premises insurance, primary support and the purchase of books, but not other special purpose grants or capital grants. Most GM schools' annual maintenance grant included an element to compensate the schools for their inability to reclaim VAT: appropriate adjustments have been made to reflect this.

The calculations for 2001–02 are based on information from the budget statement published by the local education authority under section 52 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998, supplemented and updated (in the case of specific grants) by information separately provided by the LEA. The figures include the schools' budget shares (including School Standards Grant and transitional funding); Standards Fund resources devolved to the schools (but excluding capital grants, and other grants relating to school security and the National Grid for Learning); and Infant Class Size grants devolved to schools otherwise than through their budget shares.

In 1998–99, under arrangements specific to the GM sector, the GM schools received formula capital allocations from FAS amounting on average to £46 per pupil (primary) and £31 per pupil (secondary). Under the NDS devolved formula capital arrangements which apply to all schools, the Surrey ex-GM schools' allocations for 2001–02 amount on average to £37 per pupil (primary and £28 per pupil (secondary); all these figures are rounded to the nearest pound.

Blenheim School has been excluded from the calculations because its funding levels are significantly affected by the school's recent establishment. The calculations also exclude Nonsuch High School for Girls, which is situated in Surrey but maintained by the London Borough of Sutton.

Private Finance Initiative

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many PFI transactions have been overseen by her Department in each of the last 10 years; what her estimate is of the cost savings made in each of these transactions in comparison with the public sector alternative; what are the outstanding payments to be made in relation to these transactions for each of the next 15 years; and if she will make a statement. [5722]

Mr. Timms: The first local authority schools PFI project was signed in 1998. A total of 56 schools PFI

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projects have been approved by this Department and the Treasury chaired Project Review Group. Of these, 30 have so far reached commercial and financial close, as follows: 1997–98 (1), 1998–99 (6), 1999–2000 (9) and 2000–01 (14).

Published guidance on Public Sector Comparators (PSCs) notes that: "Accounting Officers should not rely solely on a straight comparison of a PFI bid to its PSC, which should never be regarded as a pass/fail test but instead as a quantitative way of informing judgment." (Treasury Taskforce Technical Note No 5: How to construct a public sector comparator).

As agreed with the National Audit Office, payments to contractors under PFI contracts are commercially in confidence. Aggregate figures of estimated payments under all PFI contracts for the years 2000–01 to 2025–26 were published in Table C18 of the Budget 2001 "Red Book".

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list the economic penalties imposed on private sector firms in each of the last five years for

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failures to deliver in relation to key performance indicators in projects involving the Private Finance Initiative; and if she will make a statement. [5723]

Mr. Timms: Local authorities are generally responsible for monitoring the performance of Private Finance Initiative contracts in schools. The information requested is not available centrally.

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list the (a) type, (b) length and (c) value of contract of each Private Finance Initiative in England and Wales; and if she will make a statement. [3362]

Mr. Timms: The table shows those local authorities in England that currently have a signed schools Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract. One other project has reached commercial close, but has not yet reached financial closure. The table shows the type of contract and the PFI credit value for each project. Typically, the length of a PFI contract in the schools sector is of the order of 25 to 30 years, although contracts which provide services not directly related to buildings are for shorter periods.

PFI in Welsh schools is the responsibility of the National Assembly for Wales.

Project TypePFI credit value in £ million
Birmingham—10 schoolsRefurbishment50.6
Brent (FAS)—Jews Free SchoolNew School9.0
Dorset—Colfox SchoolNew School15.6
DudleyICT Services29.5
East Riding—BridlingtonRefurbishment26.0
East Sussex—PeacehavenNew School/Refurbishment19.0
Enfield—Worlds End Lane SecondaryNew School15.9
Essex—LoughtonNew School11.1
Haringey—secondary schoolsNew School/Refurbishment62.5
HillingdonNew School18.8
Kent—SwanscombeNew School11.6
Kingston-upon-Hull—Victoria DockNew School2.8
Lancashire—Fleetwood HighRefurbishment13.4
Leeds—Cardinal HeenanRefurbishment4.1
Manchester—Temple SchoolReplacement3.7
NewhamNew School30.0
North Yorkshire—four schoolsReplacement7.2
Portsmouth—Miltoncross SecondaryNew School12.4
Sheffield—six schoolsRefurbishment58.8
Staffordshire—two schoolsRefurbishment13.7
Stoke-on-Trent—groupedEnergy Management93.0
Torbay—two Torquay schoolsRefurbishment14.2
Waltham Forest—LeytonNew School18.5
Wiltshire—three schoolsNew School38.6
Wirral—nine schoolsRefurbishment58.5

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many private finance initiatives have been underestimated, detailing in each case the amount by which the original cost expectation was exceeded. [3363]

Mr. Timms: The Private Finance Initiative (PFI) procurement process is a negotiated procedure which, by its nature, involves changes in the scope and cost of a project as it is developed by a Local Education Authority. Current PFI projects have many years still to run. All schools PFI projects in England require approval from the Treasury chaired Project Review Group (PRG). Financial support from the Department is in the form of PFI credits. The level of PFI credits for each project is set by PRG, after a rigorous review which ensures that projects are financially viable and offer value for money to the public sector. If, due to circumstances beyond an Authority's control, an increase in funding is required, PRG approval must be obtained.

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