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Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the findings of the recent Ofsted inspection into Gloucestershire local education authority. [29260]

Mr. Timms: My officials have discussed the report with the council's lead members and officers. I am assured that the authority recognises the weaknesses identified by Ofsted, and will be addressing the recommendations in the year ahead. I await the authority's post-Ofsted action plan, which will set out the action proposed.

Teacher Shortages

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent assessment she has made of teacher shortages in Gloucestershire; what steps she is taking to improve the situation; and if she will make a statement. [29261]

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Mr. Timms: Information on the number of teacher vacancies in local education authorities is collected once a year in January as part of the annual census of teachers and vacancies. In January 2001, the vacancy rate for Gloucestershire was 0.3 per cent. compared with 1.4 per cent. nationally. This amounts to a total of 14 vacancies across the maintained sector. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State set out our longer term proposals for teachers and teaching in a pamphlet, "Professionalism and Trust", published in November 2001.

Grammar and Spelling Tests

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what her policy is on grammar and spelling tests in (a) primary and (b) secondary education. [29302]

Mr. Timms: In order to make sense of what they read children need a clear awareness of grammar for both literal and inferential understanding, both of which are assessed in the reading tests at each key stage. At Key Stage 1 and 2 spelling is assessed by a separate test. At Key Stage 1 the outcome of the test is reported separately, while at Key Stage 2 it contributes to an overall level for writing. At Key Stage 3 spelling is an integral part of the judgment leading to an overall level for writing. Grammar is assessed within the context of pupils' writing at all key stages. Criteria for grammar that allow teachers and markers to make judgments about pupils' performance are integral to the mark schemes.

Parliamentary Questions

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many answers to parliamentary questions have not been answered by her Department under exemption 13 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information in each year since 1994. [29414]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The information available is shown in the table.


Prior to 1996 the information was not collected.

Community Learning

Mr. Luff : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what is the spending per head of population on adult and community learning in (a) Worcestershire and (b) the West Midlands; what is the average spending per head in (i) the shire counties and (ii) England; and if she will make a statement. [26404]

Mr. Healey: The following is the average spend on adult education per adult (aged 19 and over):

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These figures reflect decisions taken by individual local authorities on the nature and scale of adult and community learning (ACL) in their area. Since 1999–2000 all areas including Worcestershire have benefited from significant increases in funding. In 2002–03 we will be providing a record £167 million for ACL in England, a 9 per cent. increase in recurrent funding for adult education on 2001–02. Since April 2001 responsibility for adult and community learning has rested with the Learning and Skills Council. One of the objectives behind this change in responsibilities is over time to reduce inequalities in opportunities between areas.

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Schools Spending

Ms Buck : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what has been the total spending on schools in each London borough in each of the last 10 years. [28177]

Mr. Timms: The information requested is contained in the table. Expenditure in running these authorities was affected by schools becoming grant-maintained during the early part of this period, and by the return of grant-maintained schools to LEA-maintained status in 1999–2000.

Net institutional expenditure(47)
£ million

London authorities All sectors
LEA nameLEA no.1990–911991–921992–931993–941994–951995–961996–971997–981998–991999–2000
City of London2010.4570.6160.7110.7330.7610.8080.8300.7970.8550.949
Hammersmith and Fulham20537.26438.81041.91543.28143.29442.87944.20345.98347.37455.246
Kensington and Chelsea20723.42427.86925.23625.23924.69927.09926.47927.88128.80734.967
Tower Hamlets21169.58379.72084.05296.82995.23999.152104.346102.995110.154125.519
Barking and Dagenham30142.63245.81050.19651.44455.17958.36461.67462.65269.25274.408
Kingston upon Thames31430.94234.49337.40631.50331.90331.84132.42231.56033.98548.316
Richmond upon Thames31828.81132.41636.24937.09139.57340.81841.97743.52444.93846.781
Waltham Forest32065.67367.81667.46768.52965.28174.02773.81276.50980.80997.962

(47) Total funding on schools is given by Net Institutional Expenditure which covers all school-based recurrent spending, including teaching and non-teaching staff salaries, school premises costs, equipment and supplies, and unspent balances held by schools at the year end. It excludes spending on special schools, central administration and support services such as transport and school meals as well as capital expenditure.

NIE includes school balances for most years. However, balance information was not available for some previous years, and in some cases for special schools. Therefore, NIE figures across the series may not be strictly comparable.

Expenditure data for 1990–01 to 1998–99 inclusive are taken from RO1 returns; data for 1999–2000 taken from local authorities' S52 outturn statements.

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