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15 Oct 2002 : Column 782Wcontinued
Mr. Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what preparatory work her Department has done for the introduction of an English baccalaureate; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Miliband: In our Green Paper, 1419: extending opportunities, raising standards, we sought views on a proposal for a new overarching award called the Matriculation Diploma. We have considered carefully the views expressed during the consultation on the Green Paper and will be making an announcement soon on how we intend to take forward our plans for the 1419 phase.
Mr. Miliband: We have made no estimate of this cost. The government believes that the greater breadth introduced in the post 16 curriculum by Curriculum 2000 is valuable, a view shared wholeheartedly according to the Tomlinson report.
Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when she intends to reply to the letter regarding Pat McGuinness from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton, addressed on 22 April to the Home Secretary and copied by the Home Secretary's Office to her. 
Mr. Denham: The UK Youth Parliament is a registered charity, independent of Government. It receives financial support from a range of sources. The value each year of Government support, including grants, commercial contracts and support in kind, is as follows:
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Mr. Miliband: National Statistics published by my Department on 5 August show that, in January 2002, there were 90 vacancies for full-time teachers of religious education in maintained secondary schools in England.
Mr. Miliband: My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, made available 650 places on courses of initial training of teachers of Religious Education in 2001/02. Of those, 588 were filled. 700 training places will be available for Religious Education in 2002/03.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will amend the basic need criteria to facilitate the provision of primary schools within new neighbourhoods; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Miliband: The Basic Need guidance for 200304 was issued on 30 July 2002, and the deadline for LEAs to submit their bids was 30 September 2002. Basic Need is defined as the requirement for additional school places in areas of population growth, where there is no more capacity in schools in the surrounding area.
We are currently undertaking a consultation on the future allocation of capital funding for new pupil places, with the aim of simplifying the process. Any new methodology, which should affect funding from 200405 onwards, should better support the expansion of successful and popular schools.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what evidence and related to which dates the old comprehensive schools involved (a) headteachers following orders, (b) teachers working alone, (c) school performance failure unchallenged and (d) accountability work as stated in her document Education & Skills: Investment for Reform, 5 July; and from what dates that model is derived. 
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special. Schools were isolated, and teaching skills, the school curriculum and school improvement were not publicly scrutinised. There was no framework to measure the effectiveness of schools nor to ensure intervention to drive improvement where standards were unacceptable.
Significant policy initiatives introduced by this Government include: Excellence in Cities, which began in 1999 and is now operating in over a third of LEAs and having a positive affect on standards in those areas through partnerships and networks; intervention in inverse proportion to success leading to real action to tackle failing schools resulting in the number of failing secondary schools falling from 88 at the end of 1998 to 52 this summer; the expansion of the specialist schools programme as an engine for improvementthere are now almost 1,000 specialist schools covering 8 different specialisms compared to 181 schools in 2 specialisms in 1997; and a drive to improve leadership including the establishment of the National College for School Leadership, announced in 2000.
Jonathan Shaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of total expenditure on Government-funded programmes was represented by central administration costs in respect of each training and enterprise council for 200001; and to what extent the sums spent on central administration represented value for money. 
Jonathan Shaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much in each year from 199596 her Department consented to be transferred by training and enterprise councils between budget heads, showing for each budget head the total amount transferred out and the heads to which it was transferred. 
Jonathan Shaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many staff were (a) employed at the end of 19992000, (b) transferred to the Learning and Skills Council, (c) transferred to the Small Business Service, (d) transferred to Business Links, (e) transferred to other organisations and (f) made redundant by each TEC prior to 31 March 2001. 
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Official Report, column 820W, if she will list for each school the number of teachers; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Miliband: It is the Department's policy not to publish figures about individual schools unless the schools concerned have had the opportunity to check or confirm that information. The pupil figures provided in the reply given on 9 July, Official Report, column 820W were published as part of the Primary and Secondary School Performance Tables; these figures had been checked by the schools. Teacher numbers are, however, not routinely checked with schools.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps were taken by her Department following the suspension of the individual learning account scheme to ensure that services provided to it by Capita plc and its subsidiaries would be provided to an acceptable standard. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Officials continue to take seriously their responsibilities as managers of the Department's contracts, not only with Capita but with all our delivery partners. As soon as we became aware of the issues emerging from Individual Learning Accounts we took immediate steps to ensure that they did not apply to any of the Department's other contracts with any of our delivery partners. We have also taken further steps to ensure that ongoing assessment of the risks associated with delivery of contracted outputs is a standard part of what the Department's contract managers do. A comprehensive and wide ranging Supplier Management Project is seeking to embed that commercial competence across the Department as a whole and is one of our key improvement priorities.
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