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Individual Learning Accounts

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent representations she has received from the Association of Colleges concerning losses sustained in the further education sector following closure of the ILA scheme; and what response her Department has made. [35206]

John Healey [holding answer 11 February 2002]: I received correspondence dated 25 January 2002 from David Gibson, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, about the closure of Individual Learning Accounts. I was able to send a full reply on 8 February 2002.

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what advice she received from the Further Education Funding Council in May 2000 concerning the setting up of the individual learning accounts scheme; and if she will make a statement. [35207]

John Healey [holding answer 11 February 2002]: Further Education Funding Council staff discussed a number of aspects of the design of the ILA programme at liaison meetings with the Department. These included issues about the quality assurance and audit arrangements for providers. In the final design of the ILA programme, there were light touch quality assurance arrangements so that the scheme could be as simple and non-bureaucratic as possible. Successor arrangements for ILAs will be based on stronger quality assurance arrangements for providers.

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many learning providers in the individual learning account scheme fall into each decile

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measured by the amount owed to them by her Department on 31 January; what was the range of each decile; and what was the total owed. [36484]

John Healey: The figures for amounts owed on 31 January 2002 include amounts withheld from providers already suspended prior to the closure of the programme on 23 November and amounts withheld pending validation checks on claims. The total amount withheld is £14,723,997.

Amounts owed to providers on 31 January 2002

DecileRange start (£)Range end (£)Number of registered providers

Working Conditions and Practices

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people are employed in her Department on a job share contract; and what percentage of vacant positions was advertised on this basis in the last 12 months. [35358]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department does not specifically employ staff on job share contracts; however, 12 per cent. of staff are employed under a range of part-time working patterns.

Job sharing is only one of a number of alternative working patterns that staff can take up. The Department promotes and supports the use of a range of flexible working patterns to enable staff to balance home and work responsibilities; other examples, besides part-time working, include condensed hours and home working.

Advertised vacancies in the Department are open to all staff, irrespective of their working arrangements or pattern of work.

School Review (Harrow)

Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the system of school review used by Harrow local education authority; and if she will make a statement. [35066]

Mr. Timms: Assessments of the way in which local education authorities perform their functions are made by Ofsted and the Audit Commission during inspections of those authorities. Harrow local education authority was inspected in September 2001 and the inspection report is available from Ofted's website at:

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Entertainment Costs

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list for 1997–98 and for each subsequent financial year, including the current year to date, the amount spent by (a) her Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its non-departmental public bodies on (i) food and (ii) alcohol, indicating how much was spent on guests, and how much in respect of (A) Ministers and (B) staff, broken down to show how much was provided directly by her Department and how much reclaimed. [34462]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: This information could be supplied only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Events

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list the (a) conferences, (b) seminars, (c) workshops, (d) exhibitions and (e) press conferences which have been sponsored by her Department and which took place on non-departmental premises in each of the last four years giving the title, purpose, date and cost of each. [34298]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: We organise a large number of events for different target audiences and purposes each year, ranging from small-scale workshops to introduce practitioners to new procedures or initiatives, to larger- scale events to promote policy initiatives or present the bigger picture of the Department's activities to external partners.

Examples of these range from the Early Years Development and Childcare Partnership roadshows—a series of local seminars organised annually in the autumn for LEAs and child care providers to share best practice—to the conferences held with LEAs and teachers in autumn 2001 on the proposals set out in the White Paper "Schools: achieving success".

To give details of every event held over the last four years would be possible only at disproportionate cost.

Data Protection Act

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many requests the Department has received under the Data Protection Act 1988 for (a) electronically held information and (b) paper documentation. [33581]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department has received 31 requests for information under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Requests for information to the Department for Education and Skills have usually asked for all information held on the individual, irrespective of medium.

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many responses the Department has completed to requests for information made under the Data Protection Act 1998 for (a) electronically held information and (b) paper documentation. [33574]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department has completed 26 responses to requests for information under the Data Protection Act 1998.

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Requests for information usually ask for all information held on the individual, irrespective of medium.

Playing Fields

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list applications made to her Department in the last three years for consent to allow development on school playing fields giving in each case (a) the outcome of the application, (b) what steps were taken to ascertain whether adequate sports facilities would remain if permission were granted and (c) where consent was given, what assurances were secured as to how proceeds of sale would be used. [33633]

Mr. Timms: Although the Department does not collect information in the form requested, the following table lists applications to dispose of areas equal to, or larger than, a sports pitch, together with their outcome.

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

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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. Applications to dispose, or change the use, of school playing fields are assessed against the following criteria:

Only those applications that meet the criteria are approved. Since July 2001, all applications have been scrutinised by the independent School Playing Fields Advisory Panel to make sure that they conform to the 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.

Applications to dispose of school sports pitches which have been approved by the Secretary of State

Local education authority SchoolDate applied
BarnetAshmole School15 December 1998
BedfordshireSilver Jubilee Middle School30 April 1999
BedfordshireAshton St. Peter VA School29 September 2000
BirminghamBroadway School11 June 2001
BlackpoolCollegiate High School13 December 1999
BoltonSt. James's CofE School24 July 1998
BristolMonks Park Secondary School28 October 1998
BuckinghamshireBellfield First and Middle Schools22 February 1999
BuckinghamshireTerriers County First School10 May 1999
BuckinghamshireDownley Middle School12 January 2000
BuckinghamshireHeights First School12 January 2000
CalderdaleBrooksbank School1 July 1998
CheshireSt. James CofE Junior School30 November 1998
CheshireColshaw CP School30 June 1999
CheshireWestlands High School17 November 1999
CheshireManor Park Infant School27 November 2000
CheshireBrookside County Infant School5 February 2001
CroydonHaling Manor High School4 January 1999
DerbyshireNoel Baker Community School2 November 1998
DerbyshireWestern Mere School2 February 1999
DerbyshirePingle School26 July 2000
DevonHighweek Primary School17 August 1999
DorsetFosters School7 December 1998
DudleyColley Lane Primary School11 October 2001
DudleySummerhill Secondary School11 October 2001
DurhamThe Avenue Comprehensive School19 May 1999
DurhamWestwood Primary School31 July 2000
EssexThe Stanway School17 November 1998
EssexMoulsham High School18 January 1999
EssexOakview Special School10 April 2000
EssexTabor High School29 January 2001
GloucestershireChurchdown School3 December 1997
GloucestershireThe Catholic School of St. Gregory the Great26 July 1999
GloucestershireOxstalls Community School25 November 1999
HaltonAshley Special School6 November 1998
Hammersmith and FulhamGibbs Green Special School8 March 1999
Hammersmith and FulhamBurlington Danes School16 March 1999
HaveringFrances Bardsley School for Girls13 August 1999
KentSt. Thomas' Special School12 May 1999
KentSt. Simon Stock School13 December 1999
KentAllhallows Primary School12 July 2001
KnowsleySylvester School12 August 1999
LancashireSt. Richards RC High School15 December 1998
LancashireSt. Thomas Acquinas RC High School5 February 1999
LancashireBaines High School15 November 2000
LeedsLawnswood School21 November 2000
LeedsOakwood Primary School21 November 2000
LeedsRoundhay School21 November 2000
LeedsWetherby High School19 September 2001
LiverpoolChildwall Comprehensive School9 April 2001
Milton KeynesDenbigh School16 November 1998
Milton KeynesCastles First School6 August 1999
NorfolkRedgate Middle School12 April 2000
North-East LincsHereford Technology College13 November 2000
North TynesideSt. Mary's Roman Catholic School22 December 1998
North YorkshireSettle CE Primary School20 November 1998
NorthamptonshireJohn Lea Secondary School14 August 2000
NorthumberlandSt. Benet Biscop RC Aided High School5 February 1999
NorthumberlandGallowhill Hall Special School18 February 2000
NottinghamshireManor Comprehensive School14 April 2000
NottinghamshireLincoln Street Infant School14 July 2000
OldhamKaskenmoor Secondary School29 October 1999
OxfordshireWallingford School16 June 2000
PeterboroughThe King's School8 May 1998
PeterboroughDeacons School28 July 1998
PeterboroughThe King's School27 September 2000
RochdaleSpring Hill High School7 May 1999
RochdaleMiddleton Technology School28 March 2001
SeftonLitherland Moss County Primary School22 March 1999
ShropshireLower Grove School2 February 2001
SomersetKing Arthur's Comprehensive School24 March 1999
SomersetLadymead Comprehensive School6 April 1999
StaffordshireSir Graham Balfour High School25 June 1999
SurreyRosebery School6 January 1998
SurreyOkewood District CE School30 November 1998
SurreyMerland Rise CP School8 January 1999
SurreyBanstead County Junior School and St. Anne's RC Primary School27 May 1999
SurreyPark Mead Junior School8 March 2000
SurreyBoxgrove Primary School13 April 2000
TamesideEgerton Park High School17 January 2000
Telford and WrekinBlessed Robert Johnson School26 March 1999
WakefieldSouth Elmsall Middle School10 December 1998
WakefieldKinsley First School13 January 1999
WakefieldKinsley First School30 July 1999
WalsallBeacon School18 December 1998
WalsallSt. Thomas More Catholic Comprehensive School18 April 2001
WarwickshireAttleborough First School11 December 1998
WarwickshireExhall First School21 July 1999
WarwickshireBinley Woods First School3 August 1999
WarwickshireStratford-upon-Avon High School14 August 2000
WarwickshireMarie Corelli School21 August 2000
West SussexHazelwick School7 February 2000
WiganHindley Borsdane Brook Special School11 February 1999
WiganRose Hill Special School11 February 1999
WiganTyldesley Highfield Special School11 February 1999
WiganOrrell Holgate Primary School4 December 2000
WiltshireCastle Combe Primary School7 August 2000
WolverhamptonSt. Peters Collegiate School25 November 1998
WolverhamptonAldersley High School4 December 1998
WorcestershireCallowbrook First School6 November 2000


1. 'Sports pitch' means areas of open grassed land which are equal to, or larger than, the Football Association's recommended area for games played by under-10s, that is 2,000m

(13) and which have a configuration making them suitable for sports pitches (whether they are so laid out or not).

2. The table excludes applications withdrawn by the applicant and applications where schools would retain the same, or a better, level of access to the same sports pitch or to an equivalent sports pitch.

3. The table includes applications from grant-maintained schools, where the application was made under section 231 of the Education Act 1996 but the decision was made in accordance with the draft criteria and then the criteria published in Circular No. 3/99, "The Protection of School Playing Fields". It also includes applications in respect of foundation and voluntary schools considered under Schedule 22 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 since 1 September 1999.

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Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) primary schools, (b) secondary schools, (c) colleges of further education and (d) local authorities have (i) playing fields, (ii) sports pitches, (iii) swimming pools and (iv) athletic tracks; and if she will provide the figures for each year since 1992. [36726]

John Healey: As part of the data collected for local education authorities asset management plans, the Department has information on the numbers of playing

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fields, team game playing fields and swimming pools at primary and secondary schools. The team game playing field data do not distinguish between sports pitches, athletic tracks, or other outdoor team game areas. The Department is currently validating the data with a view to publishing the analysis later this year.

The data referred to above were collected mainly in 2000. The Department does not hold data for previous or subsequent years.

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The Department does not hold the requested information for colleges of further education or for local authorities.

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