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Employment: Figures

Lord Lucas asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Simon of Highbury: ONS produces two measures of employment. The workforce in employment survey of employers, which counts jobs, and the labour force survey of households, which counts persons. At March 1997 the Workforce in Employment in Great Britain stood at 25,530,000, a net change of -1,025,000 jobs since June 1990. This contrasts with the Labour Force Survey, which stood

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at 25,985,000 persons in employment at Winter 1996-97, a net change of -436,000 persons since Spring 1990. All figures have been adjusted for seasonal variation and are the latest figures for employment available.

Industrial Base

Lord Lucas asked Her Majesty's Government:

    With reference to the statement in the Labour Party manifesto that one of the underlying causes of inflation, of low growth and of unemployment is "too narrow an industrial base", how they measure the width of the industrial base, and what that measurement was at the most recent time for which figures are available.

Lord Simon of Highbury: There is no unique measure of the industrial base. The Government aim to broaden the wealth creating base by pursuing policies which will create a better skilled workforce and a modernised infrastructure, encourage investment, help nurture small firms and new technologies, and attack long-term and youth unemployment.

Sixth Form Colleges: Funding

Lord Lucas asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they intend that, in the long term, sixth form colleges and schools should be funded at the same rate in respect of their A-level students.

The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone): The Government's overall aim is to ensure high quality provision that meets the needs of all students age 16-19 in an efficient and effective manner. The Government are continuing research into the comparative funding costs of different education and training routes for 16-19 year-old students.

Youth Services: Provision

Lord Lucas asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether there is sufficient provision of youth clubs and similar facilities in the UK, and, if not, what they propose to do about it.

Baroness Blackstone: Local authorities in England, Wales and Scotland are responsible for the provision of youth services in their areas. Her Majesty's Government are taking forward proposals for an audit of youth service provision in England and are considering a similar audit in Wales. This will provide definitive, up-to-date information to inform central and local government's strategic long-term plans for the service. There are no plans for a similar audit in Scotland, but Scotland has a strong youth sector with a wide range of facilities in most communities run either by the statutory or voluntary sector. Youth work provision within the statutory sector is reviewed on a

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regular basis. In Northern Ireland the responsibility for ensuring adequate facilities of this sort rests with the education and library boards.

Higher Education

Lord Lucas asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they are content for some universities to charge top-up fees; and if so, how they propose that poorer children should be enabled to pay such fees.

Baroness Blackstone: It would be premature for any university to introduce top-up fees in advance of the report of the Dearing Inquiry into Higher Education and the follow-up to the report. We shall be considering very carefully the recommendations of the report on the future development and funding of higher education, having regard to our policy to widen opportunities for all individuals to enable them to fulfil their intellectual and personal potential and to engage in learning throughout life.

Communication Skills in Schools

Lord Lucas asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How they intend to promote the teaching of communication skills in schools.

Baroness Blackstone: The National curriculum will continue as the main vehicle for developing communication skills pre-16. A communications unit (module) is mandatory in Part One GNVQ, currently available on a pilot basis in some schools for 14-16 year-olds.

Education: Spending

Lord Tope asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What plans they have to include the overall level of school balances for an individual LEA within any future grant settlement or standard spending assessment for that authority;

    In view of the statements of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that there will be no changes to the spending allocations for education, whether they anticipate changing the current legislation (the Education Act 1988) to allow themselves to use the balances held by individual schools to help fund the reduction in class sizes for five, six and seven-year-olds; and

    Whether they foresee any occasion where they would be prepared to use the balances currently held by individual schools to support LEA education budgets.

Baroness Blackstone: We have no immediate plans on these issues, but we shall review all aspects of the department's spending priorities, including school funding methodologies, as part of the arrangements announced on 11 June by my right honourable friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

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School Balances

Lord Tope asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the level of balances held by:

    (a) primary schools; and

    (b) secondary schools;

    for each LEA at the end of 1996-97.

Baroness Blackstone: The information requested is not yet available for 1996-97. The following table sets out the corresponding information for 1995-96 in respect of primary and secondary schools maintained by local education authorities, in England.

Primary and Secondary School Balances LEAs--England 1995-96

Primary (£000s)Secondary (£000s)
Avonn/an/a
Barking & Dagenham1,841936
Barnet2,9261,302
Barnsley1,486537
Bedfordshire3,8182,174
Berkshire4,9601,481
Bexley907610
Birmingham10,0252,682
Bolton2,257327
Bradford2,2821,175
Brent3,631-263
Bromley2,235115
Buckinghamshire5,3172,315
Bury1,511685
Calderdale1,250485
Cambridgeshire5,7301,896
Camden2,8311,630
Cheshire8,5894,911
Cleveland5,4172,080
Cornwall5,1053,414
Corporation of London-30
Coventry4,2722,417
Croydon2,331764
Cumbria1,298-200
Derbyshire5,2311,339
Devon4,5482,222
Doncaster2,835959
Dorset3,142532
Dudley1,024382
Durham4,9492,689
Ealing2,466328
East Sussex3,9462,966
Enfield3,1051,418
Essex17,1242,677
Gateshead1,145273
Gloucestershire3,979446
Greenwich4,150915
Hackney1,59493
Hammersmith and Fulham1,269767
Hampshire16,6134,563
Haringey2,824250
Harrow1,269225
Havering2,0471,683
Hereford and Worcester6,4393,104
Hertfordshire10,0785,113
Hillingdon1,833-42
Hounslow2,5181,201
Humberside5,1803,636
Isle of Wight834367
Isles of Scilly1114
Islington1,930-56
Kensington and Chelsea893288
Kent8,6634,599
Kingston upon Thames1,423294
Kirklees1,952318
Knowsley918124
Lambeth1,228424
Lancashire16,1295,544
Leeds3,479-449
Leicestershire6,8172,966
Lewisham1,4981,431
Lincolnshire3,3372,164
Liverpool3,9071,694
Manchester-1,614-2,607
Merton2,183699
Newcastle upon Tyne2,1851,934
Newham2,0811,389
Norfolk5,7201,909
North Tyneside344206
North Yorkshire7,5544,449
Northamptonshire4,9943,142
Northumberland1,6101,065
Nottinghamshire7,4973,321
Oldham11765
Oxfordshire6,0093,654
Redbridge1,375526
Richmond upon Thames1,431566
Rochdale560-446
Rotherham378136
Salford1,940527
Sandwell3,469459
Sefton3,3662,299
Sheffield1,204737
Shropshire3,2211,441
Solihull1,9661,469
Somerset4,7423,779
South Tyneside1,250406
Southwark3,1731,079
St. Helens2,2181,881
Staffordshire7,1923,483
Stockport1,8441,278
Suffolk5,6044,657
Sunderland874119
Surrey9,0751,827
Sutton1,382247
Tameside1,088340
Tower Hamlets2,7601,936
Trafford12597
Wakefield1,706145
Walsall2,268431
Waltham Forest2,376716
Wandsworth2,280193
Warwickshire3,9121,253
West Sussex2,6441,259
Westminster2,514-165
Wigan2,9002,013
Wiltshire4,6901,720
Wirral1,448891
Wolverhampton2,954582

Notes:

The figures have been derived from the LMS outturn statements prepared by LEAs under section 122 of the Education Act 1996 (formerly section 42 of the Education Reform Act 1988).

Middle schools have been assigned to the primary or secondary sectors as appropriate.


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