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97. Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has recently received from the committee of London and Scottish clearing banks in relation to his proposals for student top-up loans ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Jackson : Information about student borrowing is contained in the 1986-87 survey of undergraduate income and expenditure conducted by Research Services Ltd. and the 1987-88 OPCS survey of mature students' incomings and outgoings. Copies of both are available in the Library.
A more recent survey conducted by Research Services Ltd., the results of which are published today, shows that over the 1988-89 academic year young single students' average net borrowing in the form of overdrafts and commercial loans was £108. This is comparable to the 1986-87 figure of £110 (in 1989 prices).
Mr. MacGregor : I expect there to be sufficient primary teachers for the delivery of the national curriculum, and sufficient secondary teachers overall, though there is a continuing need to address demand in some subjects. Since July 1986 the Government have spent over £50 million on a wide range of initiatives aimed both at producing more teachers and at improving the balance of subject capability of those already there. We shall continue and reinforce that action programme to ensure that we have the teachers we need.
66. Dr. Michael Clark : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what current financial provision has been made for the introduction of the national curriculum ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Rumbold : The cost of implementing the national curriculum will be met largely from the redirection of existing resources. However, support for some £130 million expenditure is available specifically to help the introduction of the national curriculum this financial year.
Mr. MacGregor : Total planned Government expenditure from the announcement of city technology colleges to the end of the financial year 1991-92 is £122.3 million. In addition sponsors have pledged contributions totalling over £43 million.
Mrs. Rumbold : It is too early yet to evaluate the impact of CTCs in detail. But it is already clear that they are immensely popular with parents and pupils ; and the £43 million which has already been pledged by sponsors represents a great vote of confidence. With three CTCs now open, and eight more with firm opening dates, we are looking very carefully at how the good practices they are pioneering can best be disseminated.
67. Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the progress so far made in establishing city technology colleges ; and what action he proposes to take to ensure that all the first 20 are operational with the least possible delay.
Mrs. Rumbold : The CTC programme continues to make excellent progress. Three CTCs are now open, only three years after the programme was announced. We have firm starting dates for a further eight colleges, in 1990 and 1991. In addition, other firms and individuals have indicated their commitment to major sponsorship. We shall continue to work with them towards the Government's target of 20 CTCs.
112. Mr. Amos : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make it his policy to extend the principle of city technology colleges to non-urban areas ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Rumbold : CTCs are focusing on urban areas because it is there that the aspirations and expectations of pupils and parents are, generally, furthest from fulfilment. But our intention is that CTCs should be exemplars for all schools, including those in rural areas, and we shall look carefully at how their good practices can be effectively disseminated.
Mr. Macgregor : The response has been very good. For example, Kingshurst had over 1,200 inquiries for the 180 places available this year and Nottingham had over 300 applications for 165 places available this year.
Mrs. Rumbold : Sport is an important element in physical education, which is a foundation subject in the national curriculum. It will therefore form part of the curriculum for every pupil aged five to 16 in a maintained school. I hope to advise shortly on what machinery will be set up to advise on the national curriculum requirements for physical education and sport.
Mrs. Rumbold : My right hon. Friend has received a number of representations from local education authorities, school governors, headteachers, teachers and parents. Very many of these have expressed heartening support for the key principles of local management of schools. There is, however, concern about the position of schools with high teaching staff costs when funding is determined mainly by pupil numbers. In response we have made clear that LEA's formulae may enhance the funding for small schools with above average salary costs, and that for larger schools in particular difficulties we would consider sympathetically proposals for an extended transition period to pure LMS formula funding.
55. Ms. Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many submissions from local education authorities concerning local management of schools he has approved ; and if he will make a statement.
63. Mr. Martlew : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many submissions from local education authorities concerning local management of schools he has approved ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Rumbold : Each local education authority has now submitted its scheme for the local management of schools, and my right hon. Friend has already announced his intention to approve 8 of these schemes for introduction in April 1990.
19. Mr. Ian Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what moves his Department is taking to introduce seat belts into school transport and the use of warning lights and signs on the outside of school buses.
Mr. Alan Howarth : My hon. Friend the Minister for Roads and Traffic will be announcing later today plans to consult on draft regulations requiring the use of distinctive signs on school buses. I very much welcome this initiative. The Department of Education and Science will shortly be writing to all local education authorities encouraging them to do what they can in advance of the final regulations to speed up the introduction of warning signs. We shall also be collecting other examples of good practice in promoting safety on school transport, to help authorities collectively in their efforts to provide the safest possible service to all pupils. We are pressing European Community member states to agree common legislation on the fitting of seat belts on coaches and mini-buses. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport and I believe that belts can and should be provided and should be worn when available.
Mr. Alan Howarth : My right hon. Friend expects to be able to announce the annual capital guidelines for capital expenditure on education in 1990-91 to local education authorities shortly before the Christmas recess.
21. Mr. Cryer : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the provision of extra capital expenditure for Bradford to take account of expanding school roles.
Mr. Alan Howarth : Bradford local education authority has received an allocation for prescribed expenditure for 1989-90 and it is for the authority to decide how to use the resources available to it in the light of local needs and priorities. Annual capital guidelines for education expenditure in 1990-91 are currently being considered and my right hon. Friend expects to be in a position to announce these in December. In setting allocations my
Column 217right hon. Friend takes into account and gives priority to local education authority needs in areas of population growth.
22. Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what are his proposals for increasing the number of students in higher education over the next 20 years, including the funding arrangements for them ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Jackson : The Government's education policies have helped secure record participation. For the first time, there will be over 1 million students in higher education this autumn. We are confident that participation will increase yet further, and we stand by our commitment to ensure that higher education continues to receive an appropriate share of public expenditure.
24. Mr. Jim Marshall : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what account he has taken of Her Majesty's inspectorate's observations about the effective use of his Department's expenditure as recorded in paragraph 71 of Her Majesty's inspectorate's report "The Lower Attaining Pupils' Programme 1982-88" ; and if he will make a statement.
25. Mr. Ashley : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what advice his Department has issued to local education authorities on how to increase teachers' sensitivity to the possibility of child abuse and on how to make an appropriate response to any suspicions.
Mr. Alan Howarth : The Department issued in July last year a circular entitled "Working Together for the Protection of Children from Abuse : Procedures Within the Education Service", which is designed to help local education authorities and schools to increase the effectiveness of their efforts to prevent and deal with child abuse. The circular includes advice regarding possible signs of abuse, and on action which should be taken within the education service to enable cases of suspected or identified abuse to be properly considered and pursued.
Mrs. Dunwoody : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if he will organise a conference of education authorities which have followed training programmes concerning child abuse ; how many have held training sessions in the last 12 months ; and how many advice notices have been issued by his department to encourage such training courses ;
(2) what information he has on how many educational authorities have organised special courses which would help teachers recognise signs of child abuse.
Mr. Alan Howarth : The Department's circular "Working Together for the Protection of Children From Abuse", issued in July 1988, included the recommendation that local education authorities should develop arrangements for the appropriate in-service training of teachers and other staff on child abuse matters.
Column 218The Department has asked all local education authorities to report by the end of this month on the action they have taken to give effect to this and the other recommendations in the circular. These reports should provide information regarding the number of local education authorities which have arranged training provision for teachers and other staff.
The Department has no current plans to organise a conference of local education authorities which have followed training programmes concerning child abuse.
Mrs. Rumbold : My right hon. Friend received advice in July from the School Examinations and Assessment Council on the future development of the advanced level examining system, recommending, and seeking approval for, a programme of work to develop general principles to govern A-level and AS examinations. These principles should provide controls on standards, syllabus development and progression from GCSE, together with a mechanism for rationalising and improving the quality of syllabuses. SEAC's advice also related to the promotion of AS examinations.
My right hon. Friend accepted that advice, and a copy of the exchange of correspondence has been placed in the Library of the House. My right hon. Friend expects to write very shortly on some further aspects of SEAC's advice, on the relationship between A-level and AS syllabuses and wider issues of education and training for all young people aged to 19.
The work now put in hand will enable the existing structure of A-level and AS examinations to evolve to meet changing needs, and, in particular, both to encourage movement towards a broader curriculum for advanced-level students and to secure future progression from the national curriculum into advanced-level study.
Mrs. Rumbold : Draft regulations and an accompanying circular on information to parents on their child's achievements in the national curriculum subjects and otherwise in public examinations are to be issued shortly. These will set a minimum statutory context against which records of achievement may be further developed, subject to local priorities and resources.
29. Mr. Steinberg : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what measures he has taken to ensure children with special educational needs receive a broad and balanced curriculum appropriate to their ability under the national curriculum.
47. Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what measures he has taken to ensure children with special educational needs receive a broad and balanced curriculum, appropriate to their ability under the national curriculum.
Mrs. Rumbold : National curriculum attainment targets and programmes of study are being designed to allow access by the vast majority of pupils. In a small minority of cases some pupils with special educational needs may nevertheless need to have the requirements modified or lifted to meet their particular needs and abilities. However, even where exceptions have been made, maintained schools are still under a duty to ensure that the curricula they offer pupils are balanced and broadly based, in accordance with the requirements of section 1 of the Education Reform Act 1988.
Mr. Alan Howarth : The responsibility for making appropriate provision for children with special educational needs lies with each individual local education authority. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment announced on 6 November the Government's proposals for the local authority grant settlement in 1990-91, including spending on education. Those proposals allow for increased spending per pupil in 1990-91 in maintained special schools relative to that assumed within the comparable total for 1989-90. Expenditure on pupils with special educational needs in ordinary schools cannot be separately identified.
Mrs. Rumbold : My right hon. Friend last met the chairman and officials of the Grant Maintained Schools Trust on 17 October when he attended a dinner at a conference organised by the trust for teachers and governors in grant-maintained schools.
32. Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many applications he has received from schools seeking to opt out of direct local authority management and control ; how many have been approved ; and how many schoolchildren are affected.
Mr. Shersby : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many schools have now applied to opt out of local education authority control ; and in how many cases he has given his consent.
Mrs. Rumbold : To date 50 schools have voted in favour of applying for grant-maintained status, of which 47 have so far published proposals. My right hon. Friend has taken decisions on 36 cases, of which 28 have been approved for grant-maintained status. Decisions on the remaining proposals will be taken on their merits in due course. Some 12,300 school-children are attending schools which became grant-maintained in September ; the total number attending schools so far approved to become grant-maintained is 19,000.
103. Mr. Barry Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what formula his Department will use for central funding of schools which choose to opt out ; what representations he has received on this matter ; and if he will make a statement.
110. Mr. Franks : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what formula his Department will use in deciding the funding of schools which choose to opt out ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Rumbold : The financial arrangements for grant-maintained schools were set out in the Education (Grant-Maintained Schools) (Finance) Regulations 1989 (S.I., 1989/1287). These arrangements were explained in the Department's circular No. 21/89, issued on 23 August 1989, copies of which have been placed in the Library. A number of representations were received from schools, local education authorities and others in response to the Department's earlier consultation paper on these matters, issued on 10 March, and these were taken into account in preparing the regulations and circular mentioned earlier.
33. Mr. Wood : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he intends to announce the education support grant allocations for local education authorities' preventive health education work.
Mr. Alan Howarth : My right hon. Friend is considering the bids submitted for this and other education support grant activities in 1990-91, and intends to announce allocations around the turn of the year.
34. Mr. Dunnachie : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what contribution he plans to make to the Human Genome Organisation in 1989-90 and in each of the following four financial years.
53. Mr. Terry Davis : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what assessment he has made of the clinical and scientific importance of the research objectives of the Human Genome Organisation.
Mr. Jackson : The target of obtaining a complete map--and eventually perhaps a complete nucleotide sequence--of the human genome is supported by the Medical Research Council ; and my right hon. Friend allocated funds earlier in the year for the council's activities in this field, which will link with related international research. The Human Genome Organisation (HUGO) is an independent international body which includes a number of senior United Kingdom scientists. Neither the Department nor the Medical Research Council has made an assessment specifically of the research objectives of HUGO.
Mr. Jackson : My right hon. Friend has asked for views by the end of November on the criteria proposed by the PCFC for designating additional polytechnics. He will wish to consider these views carefully before announcing his final decisions.