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Teacher Vacancies

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many teacher vacancies there are in England, broken down by LEA area; and in each case what the figure is expressed as a percentage of the establishment figure. [24437]

Mr. Timms: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on the 19 November 2001, Official Report, columns 59–60W.

Sure Start

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list the Sure Start programmes in the constituency of Buckingham indicating the amount spent on each scheme. [24840]

Jacqui Smith: There are no Sure Start programmes in the constituency of Buckingham.

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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the proportion of students achieving (a) 1 and (b) 1–3 A-E grades at A-level was (i) nationally and (ii) at schools and colleges based in the Buckingham constituency in each year since 1997; and if she will provide breakdowns of those figures between (A) independent schools and colleges and (B) state schools and colleges. [24861]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Of the 17-year-old candidates who attempted at least one GCE A-level, the proportion who achieved (a) only 1 and (b) 1–3 passes at grade A to E in England and the Buckingham constituency since 1997 are shown in the table:

1 only1–34 or more
All schools and colleges12.270.424.4
Independent schools4.966.931.8
State schools and colleges13.671.123.1
All schools and colleges12.268.826.4
Independent schools5.266.332.5
State schools and colleges13.469.225.3
All schools and colleges11.868.027.5
Independent schools5.366.032.9
State schools and colleges13.068.326.6
All schools and colleges12.166.429.1
Independent schools5.864.734.2
State schools and colleges13.266.728.2
All schools and colleges11.866.129.7
Independent schools5.064.434.8
State schools and colleges13.066.428.8
All schools and colleges8.677.218.3
Independent schools6.992.44.8
State schools and colleges9.867.027.4
All schools and colleges10.286.89.8
Independent schools7.494.92.9
State schools and colleges12.281.014.8
All schools and colleges13.483.014.2
Independent schools8.092.05.6
State schools and colleges16.378.018.9
All schools and colleges9.086.012.0
Independent schools2.792.56.8
State schools and colleges13.781.215.7
All schools and colleges12.284.613.3
Independent schools6.989.010.3
State schools and colleges15.582.015.1

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Key Stage 2

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the proportion of school pupils achieving level 4 at Key Stage 2 in (a) English and (b) Maths was (i) nationally and (ii) from schools based in the Buckingham constituency in the latest year for which figures are available. [24862]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The following table shows the percentage of pupils achieving Level 4 or above in the Key Stage 2 tests in 2001 in Buckingham and nationally.


English test7584
Mathematics test7179

Homework Clubs

Mr. Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many homework clubs have been set up in schools in England. [24886]

Mr. Timms: The Department does not collect statistics on homework clubs in schools: setting these up is a matter for local decision. We do, however, encourage schools to provide opportunities for young people to enrich their learning through out-of-school-hours activities. "Extending Opportunity: a national framework for study support", published in 1998, set out the contribution homework clubs can make to a school's wider programme of out-of-school-hours learning activities. We also published Homework Guidelines, which require school homework policies to refer to any opportunities that exist for pupils to do homework, under supervision, at places other than home. The homework area on the Department's Standards website supplements the guidelines with examples of good practice and case studies.

Education At Home

Mr. Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what guidance she has given to local education authorities about the funding of children educated at home; and if she will make a statement. [24888]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Education at home includes either: home-tuition provided by local education authorities, or pupils who are being home-educated by their parents.

As regards the former, local education authorities have to provide home-tuition in some circumstances to children of school compulsory age who by reason of illness, exclusion from school or otherwise are not receiving suitable education. Under the Financing of Maintained Schools Regulations 2001, LEAs are free to retain resources centrally for the education of those pupils who are educated otherwise than in a school. This may encompass those who are educated in a pupil referral unit, or at home. Guidance about transferring funding was issued in November 1999, entitled "School Inclusion: the LEA role in Pupil Support", supplement circular 11/99.

As regards the latter, there are no funds directly available from central Government and local education authorities are under no legal duty to provide financial support to parents who elect to home-educate their children. However, advice from the Department has been

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compiled in a fact sheet sent on request, and some LEAs do provide free national curriculum materials and other support to parents. The level and extent of such support is decided locally, based on the authority's own policies and the needs of the child.

Greenwich Judgment

Mr. Salter: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what powers she has to prevent local education authorities from breaching the Greenwich judgment. [24911]

Mr. Timms: All admission authorities for schools must consult annually over their proposed admission arrangements. After completion of this process, an admission authority may object to the independent schools adjudicator about another admission authority's determined arrangements. In considering any objection, the adjudicator must be mindful of whether the arrangements being objected to are lawful. Complaints about the lawfulness of admission arrangements may also be made to the Secretary of State who has powers, under section 497 of the Education Act 1996, to intervene if either a local education authority or governing body has acted, or is proposing to act, unlawfully.

Further Education

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent discussions she has had on improving pay and conditions for further education lecturers. [24934]

Margaret Hodge: The Secretary of State and her ministerial colleagues have had a number of meetings in recent months with representatives of the Association of Colleges (AoC), NATFHE, the lecturers' union, and Unison, the public service union.

Discussion at these meetings covered a wide range of issues about the further education sector, including the teaching pay initiative and the funding made available to colleges to support lecturers' continuing professional development. These measures recognise the importance of attracting new staff to the profession and rewarding and retaining excellent teachers.

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what budget has been allocated via the teaching pay initiative to (a) sixth form colleges and (b) general further education colleges for the financial years (i) 2001–02, (ii) 2002–03 and (iii) 2003–04; what criteria were used in allocating this budget; and if she will make it her policy to consolidate these budgets for future financial years. [23830]

Margaret Hodge: The budget for the Teaching Pay Initiative (TPI) is shown in the following table:

£ million

Sixth form colleges111518
General FE colleges5490117

In 2001–02 each sixth form college and general FE college has received a share of the TPI budget for the

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relevant category that has been calculated in proportion to its main funding allocation from the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England. Colleges have also been given indicative TPI allocations for 2002–03 and 2003–04 that provide 25 per cent. more funding in 2002–03 than in 2001–02 and a further 25 per cent. in 2003–04. These provide guaranteed minimum funding levels and precise amounts will be agreed with each college by the LSC.

It is for individual colleges, as independent organisations, to decide whether to consolidate TPI awards into pensionable pay. The three-year funding commitment that has already been made is designed partly

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to give confidence to colleges that they can consolidate TPI pay awards if they wish. Funding beyond 2003–04 will need to recognise that TPI arrangements represent on-going commitments for colleges and that increases awarded to teachers will not be removed.

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