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Student Funding

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much capital was made available to (a) FE and (b) HE in each of the years 1992–93 to 2001–02 as expressed at 2001–02 prices. [65396]

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Margaret Hodge: The capital funding made available was as follows:

£ million

Capital funding FE(15)Capital funding HE(15)

(15) 2001–02 prices

(16) Estimated


1. All figures are in 2001–02 prices, are rounded to £ million and exclude student loans.

2. All figures from 1992–93 to 2000–01 cover the separately identified capital grants made available by the Department to the Funding Councils.

3. The division between FE and HE in 1992–93 is based on allocations made by the then Polytechnics and Colleges Funding Council (PCFC) and the Universities Funding Council (UFC) respectively.

4. The figure for HE in 1992–93 includes £9 million expenditure on Higher Education outside of the Universities Funding Council.

5. For 1996–97, 1997–98 and 1998–99 no separate capital payments were made and the capital was funded from the Councils' allocations and not disaggregated.

6. For 1999–2000 and 2000–01, figures cover some additional capital grants made available separately by the Department. Figures for HE in the years 1999–2000 to 2001–02 include moneys made available to higher education institutions by the Office of Science and Technology (OST) through the Joint Infrastructure Fund (JIF).

7. The figures for 2001–02 cover total capital expenditure by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) and Higher Education Funding Council (HEFC) themselves which, under resource budgeting form 2001–02, counts as departmental expenditure.

Sixth Form Colleges

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much of the additional funding in the spending review will be allocated to sixth form colleges; and when she expects funding for sixth form colleges to be increased to match the level allocated to sixth forms in schools. [71606]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: As a result of the spending review, the core unit of funding per full-time equivalent student for further education colleges will increase 1 per cent. in real terms in each of the next three years in return for improved outcomes from colleges. We will be agreeing new improvement targets with colleges to make sure we maximise the return on these resources. We are now considering further the outcome of the spending review and other decisions on allocations, including to further education, will be announced in the autumn. We remain committed to bringing up the level of funding for colleges towards that of school sixth forms. This will take time and can be done only as resources allow.

Children's Centres

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the

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activities to be carried out in the Children's Centres referred to in the Chancellor's Comprehensive Spending Review; and what funding will be available for them. [71081]

Estelle Morris: Children's Centres will provide a core offer of services including high quality early years education and child care. They will also provide extensive parental outreach, family support services and child and family health services.

The Comprehensive Spending Review announced a £1.5 billion combined budget for child care, early years and Sure Start by 2005–06, which will be committed to the development of integrated services, including the development of new Children's Centres.

Additional Investment

Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much additional investment will result from the spending review for each (a) primary and (b) secondary school in Cheltenham. [71753]

Estelle Morris: I will take the decisions on the distribution of the additional resources provided by the spending review between and within the various sectors of education later in the year. Decisions on how each primary and secondary school on Cheltenham will be funded will continue to be taken by Gloucestershire local education authority but typical primary and secondary schools in Cheltenham, as in the rest of England, will get a year-on-year increase of £10,000 and £50,000 in direct funding through School Standards Grant and devolved formula capital.

Press Office

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) full time equivalents were employed by her press office and (b) secondees were placed in her press office in the last five years; and if she will make a statement. [70536]

Mr. Stephen Twigg [holding answer 22 July 2002]: The following table shows the average number of Press Officers employed in the DfEE/DfES press office in each of the last 5 years:

Total (fte)

In addition, for each of the years an average of eight administrative staff were also employed in the Press Office. Since 2001 there have been two posts available in the press office for short-term secondments for staff from other areas of the Department (posts filled sporadically so not included in table). In 2001 there was one press officer on long-term secondment to the Press Office. Currently there are two. They are included in the table.

Higher and Further Education

Mr. Rendel: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the expected total of spending

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on (a) higher and (b) further education was (i) in 2002–03 and 2003–04 before the CSR and (ii) in 2003–04, 2004–05 and 2005–06 after the CSR. [71388]

Estelle Morris [holding answer 22 July 2002]: Prior to the Spending Review 2002, the total publicly planned funding to higher education institutions and on further education in England was:

£ billion

Higher education(17)Further education

(17) These figures are taken from the grant letter issued to the Higher Education Funding Council for England in November 2001.

The new total allocations for higher and further education in 2003–04, 2004–05 and 2005–06 following the Spending Review 2002 will be announced later.

John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what regulations exist on the space provided for the education of students in further education colleges. [65363]

Margaret Hodge: There are no such regulations for further education colleges.

School Playing Fields

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many school playing fields have been sold since 1997. [68971]

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 22 July 2002]: Section 77 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 was introduced on 1 October 1998 to stop the indiscriminate sale of school playing fields that occurred in the 1980s and early to mid 1990s. There are no central records of how many school playing fields were sold before October 1998.

A total of 115 applications to sell areas of school playing field larger than a small sports pitch for the under 10s—that is, over 2,000m 2 , have been approved since October 1998. Some 50 of these approved applications involved sports pitches at closed schools, while a further 17 were at operating schools where the playing fields were no longer used by the schools and were not needed by other local schools. In a further 15 cases, alternative sports pitches have been provided to replace those that have been lost. In all cases, we have ensured that the remaining playing fields would meet the full needs of the schools involved and of other schools in the local area.

Applications to sell school playing fields are only approved where it is clear that any proceeds will be used to improve school sports provision or education facilities. Some of the proceeds from these approved applications have been earmarked to provide new sports halls and to improve other sports facilities at schools, such as new all-weather pitches and to bring other, poorly drained pitches back into use. The rest of the proceeds are being used to help lever up standards in our schools—for example, by providing modern, up to date, teaching accommodation, such as science and technology classrooms. In a number of cases, the proceeds are to be used to help build new schools or to enable multi site schools to consolidate on to one site.

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All applications made since 16 July 2001 are scrutinised by the School Playing Fields Advisory Panel to make sure that they meet our published criteria. The panel comprises representatives from the National Playing Fields Association, the Central Council of Physical Recreation, Learning through Landscapes, the National Association of Headteachers and the Local Government Association.

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