|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
15 Oct 2002 : Column 771Wcontinued
Mr. Ivan Lewis: This is a matter for the Learning and Skills Council. John Harwood, the Council's Chief Executive, will write to the hon. Member with the information requested and a copy of his reply will be placed in the Library.
Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills for what reason children's fingerprints are being taken in school libraries; if they will be stored securely; when they will be destroyed; and if she will make a statement on the system being used. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: About 1,000 schools are using software provided by a company called Micro Librarian Systems (MLS), which gives purchasers an option to use thumb printing to identify individuals for the purposes of schools' library management systems. Key features of the prints are converted into a numerical code for recording on the system. MLS has given officials in the Department a demonstration of their software and we understand that, while the number could, with difficulty, be re-created, the original print itself is not stored and cannot be reconstructed.
The Office of the Information Commissioner have confirmed that they are of the view that the current use of the software developed by MLS is compatible with the principles of data protection, given the existence of safeguards against wider use of the thumb prints than is necessary for the purpose for which they are being collected in schools. The data should be deleted once a
15 Oct 2002 : Column 772W
pupil leaves a school in accordance with the fifth principle of data protection that ''personal data processed for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes''.
Ultimately, it is for schools to decide whether they wish to use this software or not and, if so, whether they wish to use the thumb print technology as part of it. If they do decide to use it, the OIC has stressed that schools should seek the consent of parents. We would add that schools should seek the consent of pupils where appropriate. MLS also strongly recommends in its literature to schools that they should contact parents to advise them of the technology and their intention to use it before beginning the registration process. In schools that do use the software with the thumb print option, there are alternative means of access for those pupils who choose, or whose parents choose, not to use the thumb print option, so they are not disadvantaged.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if, in respect of those provisions in the Education Bill which permit individual bodies of school governors to make contracts for the supply of educational services to schools with firms outside the public services, she plans to issue guidelines to local authorities and governors as to procedures to be adopted; and if such bodies will be subject to inspection by other statutory bodies. 
Mr. Miliband: The Department for Education and Skills will make guidance available on sections 11 and 12 of the Education Act 2002 which allow school governing bodies to form companies to provide services and to procure goods and services. Guidance on purchasing for schools is already available separately from the Department. School companies will operate under the provisions of the Companies Acts and will submit audited accounts to Companies House. The regulations on school companies will provide for a supervising local education authority to receive accounts from the company and to request further information where necessary. School companies will not be subject to inspection by other statutory bodies.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the differentials between performance payments for teachers in schools and further education colleges. 
Mr. Miliband: Teachers in maintained schools are subject to national school teachers' pay and conditions based on recommendations made by the independent School Teachers' Review Body (STRB). Teachers at the top of the main pay scale can apply to ''cross the performance threshold'' by providing evidence of competency in five nationally agreed teaching standards. The aim of the performance threshold is to encourage and reward good teaching and to help make teaching a more effective and attractive profession. Passing the threshold means a permanent move to an ''upper'' pay scale. In practice, this mean a salary
15 Oct 2002 : Column 773W
increase of about #2,000. The criteria for moving through the upper pay scale is developed by individual schools.
FE colleges, including sixth form colleges, are run by independent corporations and unlike schools, there is no national pay agreement in the sector. There is a nationally recommended pay scale agreed by employer representative bodies and the unions but pay arrangements in the sector are diverse. This reflects colleges' ability to agree annual pay rises and conditions of employment with their staff in the context of local priorities and the overall resources available to them.
In consultation with the Association of Colleges, the Sixth Form Colleges' Employers' Forum and the FE unions we have introduced the Teaching Pay Initiative (TPI) to help colleges modernise pay arrangements and to recruit, reward and retain teachers excellent teachers. For sixth form colleges, the arrangements for TPI (referred to as the Professional Standards Payment) are very similar to those in schools, with a prescribed payment of #2,000 to the eligible teachers who meet the required standards. In general FE colleges, there are national guidelines within which payments must be determined, rewarding the achievement of qualifications, continuous professional development, advanced practitioner status and measures to modernise pay arrangements. General FE colleges have the flexibility to determine the precise levels of TPI payment made to their staff. It is for individual colleges to decide whether to consolidate TPI awards into pensionable pay.
Jonathan Shaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list (a) the total sums made available by her Department or its predecessors to training and enterprise councils for their central administration costs and (b) the amounts spent by TECs on central administration, for each year from 1995-96 to 2000-01. 
Jonathan Shaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what guidance was given by her Department to Training and Enterprise on the virement of funds between the budgets allocated for work-based training for young people and adults, and those for central TEC administration in each year from 1995-96. 
Jonathan Shaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list (a) the total sums made available to training and enterprise councils and (b) the sums spent by TECs on work-based training for (i) young people and (ii) adults, and other Government-funded programmes, in each year from 1995-96. 
15 Oct 2002 : Column 774W
Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what funding is being provided to the teacher training agency to ensure additional supplementary courses are offered at primary level in PE equivalent to those offered for secondary PGCE courses; 
Mr. Miliband: From September this year, all those training to be primary teachers receive training to teach PE as an integral part of their programme. This should ensure that more new primary teachers are suitably prepared to deliver the primary PE curriculum. Initial teacher training providers can also choose to offer trainees additional specialist training in PE or other subjects if they wish. However, the change in the requirements for primary teachers means that there should be no need for any supplementary courses of the kind offered for secondary teachers. These courses are aimed at providing graduates with the full range of knowledge and skills needed for the more specialised secondary PE curriculum.
Professional development also has an important role to play, and DfES and DCMS are working together to deliver a joint PSA target to enhance sporting opportunities for 516 year olds, by increasing the percentage of children who spend at least 2 hours a week on high quality PE and schools sport, within and beyond the curriculum, to 75 per cent. by 2006. Subject to final detailed decisions on the 2002 spending review settlement, we aim to support additional training for teachers and others in PE and school sport.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|