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19 Sept 2002 : Column 98W—continued

Castle Award

Mr. Tynan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if her Department has applied for a Castle award for equal pay. [65225]

Stephen Twigg: The Department has not applied for a Castle Award for equal pay but is currently reviewing its pay system as part the Governments' commitment following the Equal Pay Task Force Report.

Further Education

Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the extent to which the extra money that she provided for new pay arrangements in the further education sector has narrowed the pay gap between school teachers and further education lecturers. [65077]

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Margaret Hodge: As independent organisations it is for further education (FE) colleges to agree the pay and the terms and conditions of their staff within the context of the overall resources available to them. We are aware of the differences between salaries in general further education colleges and schools and this issue is being considered as part of the current Spending Review.

We are investing more than £311 million in the Teaching Pay Initiative (TPI) over the period 2001–04. TPI is separate to any general pay increase a lecturer may receive. It is designed to help modernise further education (FE) pay arrangements and to recruit, reward and retain lecturers as part of the drive to improve teaching and learning. Research on the first year of TPI implementation indicates that there is a significant move to teachers being better prepared for the task of teaching students; extra pay has been found to support the recruitment of teachers in skill shortage areas and to address casualisation; and there has been a direct positive impact on teacher morale.

Female Staff

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of the staff of her Department are women; and what the percentage was in June 1997. [66903]

Stephen Twigg: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Minister for State at the Cabinet Office on 5 July, Official Report, column 623W.

Special Educational Needs

Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much each local education authority spent last year on children with special educational needs; and how much of this was spent on special schools. [69333]

Mr. Miliband: The information requested has been placed in the Libraries.

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many Key Stage 1 classes in the maintained sector have more than 30 pupils as a result of a statement of special educational needs specifying that a child should attend a particular school. [71496]

Stephen Twigg [holding answer 19 July 2002]: The 2001 September Class Size Count Survey shows that there were 11 infant classes with 31 or more pupils as a result of a statement of special educational needs specifying that a child should attend a particular school.

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children of school age are attending specialist schools in the London Borough of Wandsworth. [65050]

Mr. Miliband: As at January 2002, there were 6,469 pupils in specialist schools in the London Borough of Wandsworth, of which 5,304 were aged 11–15.

Absenteeism

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the average absentee rate was for schools in (a) 2000 and (b) 2001. [70012]

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Stephen Twigg: The average absentee rate for schools in England was 6.8 per cent. in 2000 and 7.2 per cent. in 2001. These figures represent the percentage of half days missed due to both authorised and unauthorised absences in schools. These figures relate to absences in schools between September and May in each of the relevant years.

Departmental Report

Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the cost was of publishing her Department's annual report for each of the past five years. [70476]

Stephen Twigg: While the Department pays for some production costs of its annual report, these only cover the design and typesetting. The costs of printing are met directly by the publisher, The Stationery Office (TSO) and do not fall to the Department. The Department also buys in copies from the TSO to distribute internally and to our partners.

The cost for the last two years are:

The Department for Education and Employment 2001 Report

Typesetting and design£33,813
Buying in copies from TSO£18,600
Total£52,413

The Department for Education and Skills 2002 Report

Typesetting and design£42,346
Buying in copies from TSO£16,773
Total£59,119

Costs are not available for earlier years.


School Meals

Ms Shipley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent monitoring she has undertaken of the nutritional content of school meals. [71123]

Stephen Twigg: Local Education Authorities, or governing bodies with schools meals budgets delegated to them, must ensure that school lunches meet minimum nutritional standards.

No recent monitoring has been undertaken, but my officials are taking advice from the Food Standards Agency about the best way evaluate the effectiveness of, and compliance with, our nutritional standards regulations.

Healthy Eating

Ms Shipley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what encouragement she provides to head teachers to ensure healthy eating patterns are developed in school canteens. [71124]

Stephen Twigg: In April 2001 the Government introduced regulations which set minimum nutritional standards for school lunches. They were accompanied by guidance entitled "Healthy School Lunches" which was available for school caterers, heads and others implementing the standards.

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The National Healthy School Standard, which was introduced in October 1999, is the mainstay of the Healthy Schools Programme and promotes healthy eating patterns. Guidance provided to local Healthy Schools Partnerships on criteria that can be used for assessing school achievements includes:


Education Funding

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what extra funding, in addition to the education standard spending assessment, has been provided (a) directly to schools and (b) to local authorities in England since 1999 in each local authority. [71307]

Mr. Miliband: The tables below show the Department's total recurrent and capital funding, in addition to the education Standard Spending Assessment, for the financial years 1999–2000 to 2001–02 for each local education authority, broken down between funding that goes directly to maintained schools via LEAs, and funding for LEAs' central expenditure.

Funding direct to schools via LEAs are comprised of the following grants:

Standards Fund (devolved to schools)

School Standards Grant

School Budget Support Grant

Education Budget Support Grant

Capital Grants (Devolved Formula Capital)

Grant Maintained Transitional Grant: Insurance

Funding for LEAs are comprised of the following grants (for the benefit of schools)

Standards Fund (LEA central expenditure)

Nursery Education Grant

Childcare Grant

Education Maintenance Allowances

Capital Grants (including formulaic funding to VA Schools allocated at LEA level)

Grant Maintained Transitional Grant

Funding for Education Action Zones (EAZs) is not included. This funding does not go directly to schools or to LEAs; it is paid to EAZs for use to run programmes to achieve pre-agreed targets and objectives in zone schools. EAZs are independent bodies which are exempt charities, set up in accordance with the Schools Standards and Framework Act 1998. In addition the Department provides special grant funding to fully meet the extra costs associated with teachers crossing the threshold (moving to the upper pay scale). Additional funding has provided a contribution to the costs of awarding performance points

19 Sept 2002 : Column 102W

to those on the leadership scale and Advanced Skills Teachers. The Department is unable to provide a breakdown by LEA of this funding without incurring disproportionate cost and time. The national amount since 1999–2000 is £756 million.


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