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Mr. Tony Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the annual expenditure by her Department was on centrally financed local initiatives in (a) Northamptonshire, (b) Northampton borough and (c) Northampton, South constituency for each of the last six years. 
|Teachers pay reforms||||||||||3,317,167||(10)|
|Early years development and childcare partnership (EYDCP)||||||123,000||506,300||789,810||(11)1,466,762|
|Transitional insurance (former GM schools)||||||||40,407||21,039||597|
|School budget support||||||||||655,000|||
|Education budget support||||||||||||100,000|
|Statutory education action zones||||||||||772,000||815,000|
(10) Not finalised.
(11) Northamptonshire EYDCP has also been allocated £1,486,110 revenue funding and £634,440 capital funding in 200104 for the Neighbourhood Nurseries initiative for Northamptonshire. It will be up to the EYDCP to decide the breakdown between years.
Mr. Tony Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent steps her Department has taken to assist Northamptonshire local education authority in increasing the provision of school places in Northampton to match (a) current needs and (b) future requirements generated by new housing developments; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Timms: The Government believe that decisions concerning the supply of school places are best taken locallyby the main partners in the provision of education who have knowledge of local needs. Local education authorities have a duty to ensure that there are sufficient school places in their area. They must publish annually a school organisation plan which sets out how they plan to deal with any surplus or deficit of school places over a rolling five-year period.
Where an LEA can demonstrate overall growth in the need for school places, it may apply to the Department for capital funding. I am aware of proposals for change in Northampton and officials are in regular contact with the LEA regarding this.
Mr. Tony Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of children aged (a) five, (b) six and (c) seven are taught in classes of over 30 in schools in Northampton; and what were the figures in 1997. 
|Year||January 2001||January 1998|
(12) Classes as taught during a selected period in each school on the day of the census in January
(13) Excludes middle schools
(14) Pupils in reception classes will reach the age of 5 during the academic year and pupils in Years 1 and 2 will reach the ages of 6 and 7 respectively during the academic year.
Mr. Timms [holding answer 30 October 2001]: A combination of inspection evidence, performance data and a record of effective leadership will be used to decide those schools that should be eligible for greater freedom. The precise criteria will be developed in discussion with Ofsted.
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add to the inclusiveness and diversity of the school system and to be ready to work with schools of other faiths and those that do not have a religious character. We welcomed the recommendation in Lord Dearing's report to the Archbishops Council that Church of England schools should serve the whole community, not confining admission to Anglicans. We have not published criteria for inclusiveness.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what action she has taken to reduce the administrative burdens on (a) primary schools and (b) secondary schools; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Timms: My Department keeps administrative requirements on all schools under continuous review. We have taken a number of actions to reduce the burdens on schoolsfor example, we have simplified the standards fund by replacing all bidding, claiming and reporting paperwork with a single expenditure returns sheet; and by allowing schools to switch funds between grant headings and carry them over to the end of the school year.
From April 2001, £240 million over three years is being made available in a single small schools fund to provide extra funding for small schools to meet proportionately higher administrative costs; and also to encourage the development of collaborative approaches to reducing burdens, such as shared ICT technicians.
We recognise that there is more to be done. The White Paper commits the Government to making teaching a more manageable profession. The PricewaterhouseCoopers study of teacher workload, expected at the end of November, will put forward further practical ways of addressing workload issues.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans she has to give headteachers greater control over the allocation of performance related pay in their own schools; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Timms: The Government set the overall performance pay structure and provides funding to support the award of extra pay points, but it is for each school to determine its own performance pay policy and apply this when taking decisions affecting individual teachers.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans she has to decentralise powers and funding from (a) national Government to local government and (b) local education authorities to schools; and if she will make a statement. 
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My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions will shortly be publishing a White Paper on the role of local government. It will cover, among other things, our plans to reform the local government finance system, including ensuring that schools receive a fair share of the funding provided by central government to local education authorities.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of A-level examination papers have been graded at grade A for each of the last 20 years; how many A-level examinations have been entered in each of these years; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The proportion of GCE A-level examinations that resulted in a grade A over the last 20 years in England, together with the number of examinations in those years, are shown as follows. Corresponding figures are not available for the intervening years 1986 to 1990.
|Proportion of examination papers resulting in A grades (percentage)||Total number of examinations|
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the average points score at A-level was for (a) pupils educated in local authorities which retain grammar schools, (b) pupils educated in local authorities which have no grammar schools and (c) the country as a whole, at the latest date for which figures are available. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The average GCE A-level point score of pupils aged 16 to 18 in maintained schools in England in 19992000 was (a) 17.8 for pupils educated in local authorities which retain grammar schools, (b) 15.9 for pupils educated in local authorities which have no grammar schools and (c) 16.6 for pupils in all maintained schools. The overall figure for all schools in England, including independent schools, was 17.9.
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