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EDUCATION AND SKILLS

Education SSA

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills for each year since the area cost adjustment was introduced, what the standard spending assessment for each pupil was in (a) Bedfordshire, (b) Hertfordshire and (c) Cambridgeshire. [6106]

Mr. Timms: The table shows for 1998–99 to 2001–02 the education SSA per pupil for Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire. It is not possible to produce comparable figures for earlier years, because Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire were subject to local government reorganisation.

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Standard spending assessments (SSAs) per pupil in cash terms

£
BedfordshireHertfordshireCambridgeshire
1998–992,4632,5542,369
1999–20002,5662,6592,485
2000–012,6932,7852,591
2001–022,8412,9332,697

Free School Meals

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children in Huntingdon have school meals provided by the local authority. [6108]

Mr. Timms: There were 1,497 pupils on the returns of maintained nursery, primary and secondary schools in Huntingdon parliamentary constituency to the 2001 annual schools' census recorded as having had a free school meal provided for them.

Teachers' Pay Differentials

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans she has to restore the pay differential between school teachers and lecturers in further education. [6109]

Margaret Hodge: It is for each college to agree annual pay rises and conditions of employment with its staff in the context of the overall resources available to them. We are, however, aware of the funding gap between schools and FE and have pledged to bring up levels of funding and allow upwards convergence over time.

This year alone an additional £527 million is available for FE, a 4 per cent. real terms increase on last year. Funding will increase again next year by a further 3 per cent. This compares with the period between 1993–94 and 1996–97 when FE funding per FTE student fell by 12 per cent. in real terms.

As part of the planned increases, we are investing £300 million in the Teaching Pay Initiative over the next three years to allow colleges, including sixth form colleges, to reward high quality teaching. This is separate to any general pay rise a teacher may receive.

Education Provision (Huntingdon)

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many pupils in Huntingdon have not had an offer of a secondary school place for September. [6110]

Mr. Timms: Officials from Cambridgeshire education authority confirm that all pupils in Huntingdon have had an offer of a school place. Some children whose parents are unwilling to accept the place offered to them by the authority, and are pursuing an appeal, remain out of school.

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the class sizes were for (a) primary and (b) secondary schools in Huntingdon (i) on 31 March and (ii) in each year since 1996. [6161]

Mr. Timms: Information on class sizes in maintained primary and secondary schools is derived from returns made by schools to the Department in January each year on the annual schools' census.

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The available information is shown in the table.

Average class sizes(13) in maintained primary and secondary schools in Huntingdon parliamentary constituency

Maintained primary Maintained secondary
January each yearNumber of classesNumber of pupilsAverage class sizeNumber of classesNumber of pupilsAverage class size
20013529,69827.63237,14822.1
20003429,59828.13077,02922.9
19993449,96429.03126,72321.5
19983479,91628.63126,64721.3
19973539,91828.13086,56321.3
19963459,62427.93026,59321.8

(13) Classes taught by one teacher


The latest class data were recently published in a statistical volume "Schools in England 2001" on 28 September, copies of which are available from the Library, or alternatively can be accessed from the Department for Education and Skills statistical website www.dfes.gov.uk/statistics

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many lecturer vacancies there were in further education in Huntingdon (a) on 31 March and (b) in each year since 1996. [6162]

John Healey: The information requested is not collected centrally. Information on staff numbers in FE, collected on the Staff Individualised Record (SIR) by the Further Education Funding Council (FEFC) and latterly by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), does not include details of vacancies, leavers, salary or grade. However I understand that the Further Education National Training Organisation (FENTO) has given an estimate of UK-wide vacancies for 1999–2000 in its publication "Skills foresight for Further Education in the United Kingdom (January 2000)".

The FEFC collected and published information on staff numbers in the FE sector on an annual basis. The responsibilities of the FEFC have now been taken over by the LSC.

School Governors

Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many governors have been appointed under the School Governors' One-Stop shop scheme since its inception; [6483]

Mr. Timms: Since its inception in January 2000, the School Governors' One-Stop Shop (SGOSS) has found 1,258 school governor candidates, of whom 435 are now serving governors and a further 126 are matched with schools and awaiting final placement. We expect all those recruited to be placed in due course. The cost per serving governor, placed through SGOSS, is currently £840.70. The cost per recruited governor is currently £290.70.

Graduate Teacher Programme

Mr. Blizzard: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans she has to increase the number of places available under the Graduate Teacher Programme. [6541]

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Mr. Timms: The number of Graduate Teacher Programme places available has risen every year since the programme was introduced in January 1998. In the 2001–02 academic year, 2,250 fully funded places are being offered, over 700 more than last year. Each of these places attracts grants of up to £17,000.

I announced on 24 September that additional places would be made available in January 2002 with grants of up to £4,000 to cover training costs only. With demand for places on the Graduate Teacher Programme buoyant, these places are being offered in response to requests from head teachers who are willing to meet the salary costs of trainees from their schools' own budgets.

Threshold Assessments

Mr. Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans she has to reduce the administrative burden on headteachers of the threshold training and supervision of their staff. [6546]

Mr. Timms: Threshold assessment has enabled over 200,000 teachers in England and Wales to have their professional effectiveness confirmed and gain a substantial pay increase. The number of first-round applicants was exceptionally large and its successful implementation is a tribute to the professionalism of everyone involved, particularly head teachers. The number of second-round applicants will be much smaller, guidance and training materials have been improved and heads will be able to build on their first round experience. Accordingly, the second round of threshold assessment will be much less time consuming for heads than the first.

New Opportunities Fund

Mr. Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans she has to reduce the administrative burden on teachers and cost to schools of the New Opportunities Fund training. [6547]

Mr. Timms: The New Opportunities Fund ICT teacher training is being provided to ensure that serving teachers feel confident and are competent to teach using ICT within the curriculum. The effective use of ICT in the classroom will reduce rather than increase the burden on teachers, by equipping them to access and use a much wider range of teaching aids. The flexibility of the New Opportunities Fund programme minimises the cost to the school as the training budget itself is not charged to an individual school.

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