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Teacher Vacancies

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the source was of the figures she used which illustrate the gap between the supply and demand of teachers in her speech on the social market function. [18345]

Mr. Timms: The graph on page 11 of my social market foundation pamphlet shows two columns for 2001. The lower figure of 410,000 is the number of teachers in post. The higher figure, of some 435,000, includes vacancies and occasional teachers covering for other teachers. The figures are drawn from the publication "Statistical First Release on Teachers in Service and Teacher Vacancies"—the latest edition is for April 2001, and this is in the House of Commons Library and on the DfES website. The final column for 2006 is a projection based on recent trends.

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many teacher vacancies there were in Bedfordshire in October (a) 1997 and (b) 2001. [19736]

Mr. Timms: The information is not available for the dates requested. Full-time teacher vacancies in maintained nursery, primary, secondary and special schools reported by the Bedfordshire local authority were as follows:

January 199826
January 200176

School Finance

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many Government initiatives offer additional funding which require schools to lodge specific applications. [19404]

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Mr. Timms: Schools are required to lodge specific applications for the following initiatives, which attract additional funding:

Most other additional funding is allocated and paid to local education authorities through the standards fund: they must devolve around 75 per cent. of the grant to their schools to spend according to their own needs and priorities. It is for authorities and schools to agree the particular arrangements for allocating the grant to schools. Almost all standards fund grants are allocated to LEAs on a formula basis and the Government expect LEAs to devolve grants to schools by a fair formula, in which case schools should not have to apply for grant.

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of total school spending in England and Wales is spent on schemes and improvements instigated by her Department. [19343]

Mr. Timms: The table shows the total national SSA allocation and total national grant funding for schools in England in 2001–02.

£ million
National SSA Allocation: 2001–02
Total SSA(25)22,512.900
National Grant Funding for Schools: 2001–02
Standards Fund revenue1,524.810
School Standards Grant600.306
Education Budget Support Grant52.000
Education Action Zones58.400
Teachers Pay Reform Grant(26)
Transitional Funding (former GM Schools)9.600

(25) Including support for Early Years, Youth Service and other non-school spending by local education authorities

(26) The figures will not be known for a while, but Threshold costs for each academic year are expected to be in the region of £450 million

Schools and local education authorities have the freedom to decide how to spend their education budget support grant and school standards grant. Schools also have considerable freedom over the use of their standards fund allocations.

Funding for schools in Wales is the responsibility of the National Assembly for Wales.

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Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of total school spending in England and Wales is allocated to teacher salaries and related costs. [19379]

Mr. Timms: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is responsible for England only. The latest available data are for the financial year 1999–2000. The proportion of total spending on teacher salaries and related costs in pre-primary and primary schools is 62 per cent., and 66 per cent. for secondary schools.

Teacher Housing

Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent discussions she has had with local authorities on teacher housing; and if she will make a statement. [18886]

Mr. Timms: Officials and Ministers are in regular contact with local education authorities on a range of issues concerning teachers including housing. Policy on key worker housing is a matter for the Department for Transport Local Government and the Regions (DTLR). Officials and Ministers in this Department work closely with DTLR colleagues to deliver programme such as the starter home initiative which will provide over 3,500 teachers with help to buy their first home.

Autistic Spectrum Disorders

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans she has to increase funding allocated to deal with children diagnosed with difficulties in the autistic spectrum disorders. [18910]

Mr. Timms: Funding is not made available for specific categories of special educational need. Rather, funding is allocated and distributed via local education authorities (LEAs), which have a duty to provide appropriately for all children in their area. This includes the duty to identify children's individual special educational needs and to deliver the most appropriate provision to meet those needs.

More than £23 billion is available annually 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.

We have also made £91 million of supported expenditure available for special educational needs in next year's standards fund (2002–03). This is five times the amount available in 1997–98. 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 and the greater inclusion of children with SEN in the mainstream. This latter includes early intervention for pupils with SEN, training on child development and behaviour management, and improved links between special and mainstream schools.

Domestic Violence

Ms Shipley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what guidance she provides to schools to help education professionals identify students affected by the impact of domestic violence. [19099]

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Mr. Ivan Lewis: Children who experience or witness domestic violence can suffer in many ways, and the education service has a significant role to play in identifying these and children who are at risk of harm, or who are in need. We issued guidance to all schools about their role in identifying the needs of children affected by a range of difficulties, including domestic violence, in 1995.

My officials are in the process of reviewing and updating that guidance to reflect the guidance in "Working together to Safeguard Children", the Government's most recent guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Among other things, this stresses that everyone working with children should be alert to the frequent interrelationship between domestic violence and the abuse and neglect of children. These messages will be reflected in the updated guidance to schools that my Department will issue next year.

Ms Shipley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what support she offers to education professionals to help them deal with the impact of domestic violence on their students. [19100]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: My Department's guidance to schools about their role in protecting children strongly advises that all schools should have an appropriately trained designated teacher who is known to all staff. Designated teachers provide support and guidance on child protection issues to other education staff. They also liaise with other agencies, including social services and the police, to safeguard the best interests of children.

In addition, from next September schools will introduce the new curriculum subject "Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship". Within this subject there is scope to discuss domestic violence in a safe environment, including how families deal with it and where to go for help.

Education Action Zones

John Cryer: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what information she has on which schools, in education action zones in which McDonald's has been a partner, have used that company's schools resource packs. [19107]

Mr. Timms: We hold no information on which schools in education action zones have used McDonald's schools resource packs.

John Cryer: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills in which education action zones McDonald's has been a partner. [19108]

Mr. Timms: Two education action zones (EAZs), Weston and Ellesmere Port, have franchisees of McDonald's as partners on their zones' action forum.

The EAZs listed have McDonald's as a sponsor and contributor for cash and in-kind donations:

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