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Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will estimate the size of SSA and expenditure on relevant functions in Newcastle upon Tyne in 200102 which is implied by the transfers of SSA expenditure to the Learning and Skills Council and the National Care Standards Commission for 200203. 
Mr. Timms: The Learning and Skills Council allocation for Newcastle upon Tyne for 200203 is £9.137 million, which is equivalent to £8.914 million of the authority's 200102 Education SSA. Figures for expenditure on post-16 education by the authority for 200102 are not available. The transfer of funding for the National Care Standards Commission is the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will estimate for each local education authority the SSA per student provided for 11 to 15-year-old pupils in real terms. 
|Local education authority||£|
|201||City of London||7,606|
|207||Kensington and Chelsea||4,813|
|314||Kingston on Thames||3,554|
|318||Richmond on Thames||3,475|
|391||Newcastle upon Tyne||3,606|
|420||Isles of Scilly||6,164|
|800||Bath and NE Somerset||3,064|
|801||City of Bristol||3,465|
|807||Redcar and Cleveland||3,416|
|811||East Riding of Yorkshire||3,197|
|812||North East Lincolnshire||3,424|
|846||Brighton and Hove||3,596|
|868||Windsor and Maidenhead||3,431|
|894||Telford and Wrekin||3,363|
|921||Isle of Wight||3,600|
All figures rounded to the nearest £
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Mr. Timms: Funding for Advanced Skills Teacher (AST) posts is available to maintained schools through the Standards Fund. In the current financial year, £40,391,000 is available to enable schools to recruit ASTs, and in 200203 this figure will rise to £56,658,850. This total Standards Fund AST grant includes contributions from local education authorities (LEAs) as well as DfES.
Schools are able to claim the additional cost of placing an AST at an appropriate point on the AST pay spine and a fixed amount towards the cost of outreach work. In addition, the grant includes funding for each LEA to use for the co-ordination of AST outreach work and to support and develop its cadre of ASTs.
John Healey [holding answer 14 February 2002]: My Department has a wide range of policies designed to improve the UK's skills base. There are four key elements to our strategy for achieving a high skills, high value added economy. They are to:
create excellence in vocational learning;
work with employers to boost skills and productivity;
promote the adult basic skills strategy.
25 Feb 2002 : Column 744W
anticipate sector skills needs, building an effective employer network to reduce skills gaps and to improve productivity and performance.
The vocational ladder will offer young people wanting to follow programmes of vocational study a clear set of routes that will allow them to progress to further and higher study, as well as being relevant to work. We are putting in place a new generation of Modern Apprenticeships, forming part of a coherent vocational learning system from age 14 which meets the needs of the individual, is broader and more coherent than before, and offers greater opportunities for progression. We have introducedand will be developingFoundation Degrees, Graduate Apprenticeships and Centres of Vocational Excellence. The Green Paper "1419: Extending Opportunities, Raising Standards" published 12 February 2002 sets out proposals designed to enable all pupils to fulfil their potential, and put an end to the waste of young talent in this country.
We are working with employers to boost competitiveness and productivity by giving everyone the chance to develop their skills and realise their potential. We are promoting Investors in People and Learndirect, we are reviewing ICT qualifications and actively encouraging links between SSCs, the LSC and all those organisations who have a role in identifying and delivering the skills the UK needs.
'Skills for Life', the national strategy for improving adult literacy and numeracy, was launched on 1 March 2001. By 2004, I aim to have reduced by at least 750,000 the number of adults who have difficulties with literacy or numeracy. My policies are designed to increase demand for basic skills courses and reduce barriers to learning so that those needing to improve their skills feel empowered to take up learning and are helped to succeed.
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