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Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the (a) date, (b) location and (c) purpose was of visits by Ministers in her Department to Wales since 1997; and when she next intends to visit Wales. [62070]

Mr. Stephen Twigg [holding answer 17 June 2002]: From the information available to me, which does not date back to 1997, the following visits to Wales have been undertaken by Ministers in this Department and its predecessor the Department for Education and Employment. In all cases travel for these visits was undertaken fully in accordance with the guidelines set out in the Ministerial Code and Travel by Ministers, copies of which are available in the Libraries of the House.

Secretary of State for Education and Employment27 April 2000LlandudnoNational Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers conference
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Learning and Technology7 March 2001CardiffPart of a series of events for young people to discuss citizenship issues
Secretary of State for Education and Employment23 March 2001Abergavenny and NewportSchool visit, and to address the Secondary Heads Association conference
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Young People and Learning15 October 2001EwloeAssociation of Youth and Community Workers conference
Secretary of State for Education and Skills27 March 2002CardiffAssociation of Teachers and Lecturers conference

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No further visits are planned at present.

Sixth-form Provision

Mr. Watts: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what impact this year's funding proposals will have on the budgets of (a) community colleges, (b) sixth- form colleges and (c) sixth-form schools. [62253]

Margaret Hodge: Total funding for further education in 2002–03 allocated to the Learning and Skills Council is £4.25 billion. This is a £313 million, or 5 per cent., increase over expenditure in 2001–02. The allocations by the Department cover FE sector colleges and do not differentiate between sixth-form colleges and general FE colleges.

The LSC has a budget of £1.35 billion for the funding of LEAs for post-16 education in schools in 2002–03. Comparable figures for LEA spending in 2001–02 are not available. Every school has a Real Terms Guarantee figure based on spending in the baseline year, 2000–01. The overall budget for every school with a sixth form must contain an element which is at least equal to that amount. The 2002–03 LSC funding allocation for two thirds of school sixth forms is higher under the LSC formula than under the Real Terms Guarantee.

Community Colleges

Mr. Watts: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what action the Government are taking to improve the level of retention of academic staff in community colleges. [62254]

Margaret Hodge: Over £310 million is available to the further education sector over the period 2001–04 for the teaching pay initiative, specifically to recruit, retain and reward high quality teachers and lecturers. This is separate to any general pay increase a teacher or lecturer may receive. We have also introduced training bursaries, and from this autumn we will be introducing golden hellos and (subject to the approval of Parliament) the repayment of teacher loans. All are recruitment and retention initiatives which offer significant financial rewards both to students training to be teachers and lecturers, as well as to those taking up teaching posts in FE shortage subject areas.

Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list the universities, founded before 1992, that will receive a developmental visit from the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. [62457]

Margaret Hodge [holding answer 18 June 2002]: The relevant institutions are: the universities of Oxford, Durham, Newcastle Upon Tyne, London, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham, Nottingham, Reading, Southampton, Hull, Exeter, Leicester, Keele, Sussex, York, East Anglia, Essex, Kent at Canterbury, Lancaster, Warwick, Aston, Bath, Bradford, Brunel, City, Loughborough, Salford, Surrey.

This represents all pre-1992 universities other than Bristol and Cambridge. These two universities will be subject to full institutional review in 2002–03.

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Under the new quality assurance arrangements to be introduced by the QAA later in 2002, all institutions will be subject to full institutional review. If they are not scheduled for institutional review in 2002–03, they must undergo at least one development visit from the QAA.

Learning and Skills Councils

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the role and responsibilities of Learning and Skills councils in regard to funding private training providers which provide courses accredited by official examination boards. [62678]

Margaret Hodge: The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) is able to fund training providers who were not previously eligible for Further Education Funding Council funding and who offer courses accredited by examination boards. It has produced a manual 'Initial Assessment of New Provision' which gives guidance on how it will assess and approve any new providers.

Once a provider has been judged to be a suitable supplier of post-16 learning provision, it is eligible for LSC funds. However private training providers do not have an automatic right to direct funding by the LSC. Local LSCs, as part of their planning work, will carry out a strategic assessment of the adequacy and quality of local provision to determine areas that need to be strengthened or where there are gaps in provision. It is a matter for the local councils to arrange for the delivery of such provision from appropriate existing or new providers.

Local councils also monitor the results of inspections of private training providers. It is crucial that the highest standards are achieved and maintained and, where this is not so, the councils will take tough action to improve or replace the provision.

Performance Tables

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans she has to develop value-added methodologies; and when she expects to publish value-added information in school performance tables. [62778]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: The methodology to be used for the value added measures was discussed in the consultation document, Publication of School and College Performance Tables in 2002, issued in March, copies of which have been placed in the Library. Final decisions based on that consultation will be announced in July.

This year, we intend to publish value added measures in the secondary school performance tables of progress made from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3 and from Key Stage 3 to GCSE/GNVQ for all secondary schools. We are also conducting a pilot programme for measures of progress made from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 2 for primary schools, with full publication planned for 2003. We aim to pilot a measure of value added between Key Stage 2 and GCSE/GNVQ in 2003, and between GCSE/GNVQ and A/AS-level in 2004, prior to full publication the following year.

Infant Classes

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the average teacher to pupil ratio was in each year since 1997 in infant classes. [62854]

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Mr. Miliband [holding answer 24 June 2002]: The information requested is not available centrally.

Information for primary schools is shown in the table:

Pupil teacher ratio in primary schools(18) 1997–2002(19)
Position in January each year

Pupil:teacher ratio

(18) The pupil:teacher ratio within schools is the ratio of the full-time equivalent number of pupils (counting each part-time pupil as 0.5) to the full-time equivalent number of teachers.

(19) Provisional.

Special Educational Needs

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children have been statemented in Buckinghamshire and (b) the Chesham and Amersham constituency in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. [62856]

Mr. Miliband [holding answer 24 June 2002]: The information requested is shown in the table:

Pupils with a statement of special educational needs in Buckinghamshire local education authority and Chesham and Amersham constituency(20) 1993–2002(21)
Position in January each year

Buckinghamshire(22)Buckinghamshire(23)Milton Keynes(23)Chesham and Amersham constituency

(20) Includes maintained primary and secondary schools and maintained and non-maintained special schools.

(21) Provisiona

(22) Before local government re-organisation.

(23) After local government re-organisation.

(24) Not applicable.

(25) Not available.


Annual Schools' Census.

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