Previous Section Index Home Page


Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what help her Department makes available to small municipal museums. [8550]

Dr. Howells: My Department provides annual funding to Resource: the Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries, which acts as a strategic champion for the museums sector. Resource in turn funds Area Museum Councils in each of the English regions to provide advice and assistance to museums of all types.

18 Oct 2001 : Column: 1290W

In December 2000 my right hon. Friend the Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Mr. Smith) announced the creation of a Task Force to report to Government on the nature of the problems facing regional museums and how these problems can be solved. I expect that the Task Force will publish its report shortly. The Department will consider its policies and priorities for regional museums, in consultation with Resource, in the light of that report.

Sport England

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what proposals she has to strengthen the regional structures of Sport England. [8551]

Mr. Caborn: In terms of delivering and supporting sport development through revenue programmes, guidance and advice, Sport England regional offices are well placed to take a strategic lead locally. DCMS is currently engaged in the second stage of a quinquennial review of Sport England, which includes a specific element relating to Sport England's regional role and structure. I expect the review to be completed early in the New Year, at which point I will discuss its findings with the new chief executive of Sport England, who is currently being recruited, and with Sport England's Council members, with a view to implementing the recommendations on Sport England's regional presence as promptly as possible.


Helen Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the impact has been of the foot and mouth outbreak on walking holidays in this year's tourist season. [4702]

Dr. Howells: No specific figures on the impact of the foot and mouth outbreak on walking holidays are available. Our best estimate to date is that the loss of revenue in 2001–02 by the English tourist industry is likely to be about £3.3 billion in "value added" terms over the eight month period under consideration (March to October). We will continue to revise the model on which this estimate is based in the light of the latest available data.


Music Lessons

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate she has made of the number of pupils in state maintained schools who were given lessons in playing a musical instrument without parental contribution to the cost in the last 12 months; and what percentage this represents of the total number of children receiving such tuition in maintained schools. [7485]

Mr. Timms [holding answer 15 October 2001]: The Department does not collect this information centrally. It is up to each LEA to devise its own policy on whether to charge for instrumental music tuition provided outside of the National Curriculum.

18 Oct 2001 : Column: 1291W

We are committed, however, to supporting instrumental music tuition. The Music Standards Fund was introduced to halt the decline in LEA music services. Between 1999 and 2004, £270 million has been made available to protect and expand local music services. We have also pledged that, over time, all primary school pupils who want to will be able to learn a musical instrument. This is an important part of our drive to ensure that all pupils, regardless of their background, have access to a wide range of extra- curricular activities.

Engineering GCSE

Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if a new vocational GCSE in engineering will be offered from 2003. [7803]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The new GCSE in engineering will be introduced from September 2002.

Playing Fields

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many schools have sold off playing fields each year since 1991. [8578]

Mr. Timms: Before October 1998 there was nothing to prevent a local authority selling a school playing field if it wanted to. Section 77 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 was introduced in October 1998 to stop the indiscriminate sale of school playing fields. Local authorities and governing bodies of all maintained schools are now required to obtain the Secretary of State's consent before disposing of playing fields or any part of a playing field.

Since October 1998, 101 applications to sell areas equal to, or larger than, a sports pitch have been approved. These approved applications can be broken down for each year since the law was changed as follows:

YearApproved applications

Applications to sell school playing fields are approved only where it is clear that any proceeds will be used to improve or enhance school sports provision or education facilities. All applications made since mid-July this year are scrutinised by the independent School Playing Fields Advisory Panel to make sure that they conform to published criteria. The Panel comprises representatives from the National Playing Fields Association, the Central Council of Physical Recreation, the education organisation Learning through Landscapes, the National Association of Head Teachers and the Local Government Association.

40 per cent. of approved applications were in respect of sports pitches at closed or closing schools. In 67 per cent. of cases at operating schools, the sale proceeds have been used to provide new or enhanced sports facilities, including sports halls, all-weather pitches or improved grass pitches.

18 Oct 2001 : Column: 1292W

Student Maintenance

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the future of student tuition fees and loans. [8421]

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the Government's proposals for student maintenance in higher education. [8579]

Margaret Hodge: We are currently reviewing the student funding arrangements. We need to ensure that we have an appropriate balance between the contribution made by students, their families and the state to support our ambitions to widen access to and participation in higher education. A range of policy options is being considered. No decisions have been taken.

Further Education

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on funding arrangements for staff in FE, with special reference to pay and enhanced training. [8580]

Margaret Hodge: The total funding allocated for further education this year is just over £4 billion, rising to £4.3 billion in 2002–03. Colleges make their own arrangements for staff pay and conditions within the funding available to them from the Learning and Skills Council and other sources.

We are investing £300 million in the Teaching Pay Initiative (TPI) over the next three years to allow colleges to reward high-quality teaching. An additional £5 million is available for TPI in 2002–03 to support modernising pay arrangements. Payments under TPI are separate from any general pay rise a teacher may receive.

£80 million is available to colleges (including sixth form colleges) this year from the Standards Fund, and £90 million next year, to support the professional development of existing staff and for the initial training of unqualified new entrants to the profession.

Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what (a) number and (b) proportion of further education colleges employ lecturing staff on banded pay scales that prevent progress to the top of the main grade lecturer scale. [6669]

John Healey: The Department does not collect this information.

FE sector colleges are run by independent corporations established under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 and there is no national pay structure in place. Colleges are free to establish banded pay scales where these meet their needs and can be agreed with their staff. We continue to encourage employers and unions to work together to offer further education staff reasonable pay within the substantial extra funding that has been made available for the FE sector.

Special Educational Needs

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when she will bring forward a revised draft code of practice for special educational needs; and if she will make a statement. [6754]

18 Oct 2001 : Column: 1293W

Mr. Timms [holding answer 15 October 2001]: A revised draft Code of Practice will be laid before the House as soon as possible. It will contain revised wording on the quantification of provision in statements of special educational needs and, subject to parliamentary approval, is planned to take effect from January 2002.

Next Section Index Home Page