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12. Mr. Barry Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received concerning recognition of the Professional Association of Teachers ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Rumbold : The Professional Association of Teachers has represented to my right hon. Friend that some local education authorities still do not recognise the association. The Government recognise the PAT as one of the six schoolteacher unions with which it deals.
Mr. MacGregor : To date 79 schools have embarked on the process of applying for grant-maintained status and parents at 51 of them have so far voted in favour of proceeding with an application. Forty-one proposals have so far reached me for decision : I have approved 32 of them.
14. Mr. Allen : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how much money his Department has spent (a) on repair and maintenance of all schools in Nottinghamshire and (b) on the city technology college in the past year.
Mr. Alan Howarth : Repairs and maintenance of schools, other than external repairs at voluntary aided schools, are the responsibility of Nottinghamshire local education authority. No figures are available for sums spent by it on these items over the past year. A total of £5.96 million has been spent on the building of the city technology college in Nottingham in the last calendar year.
15. Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will state the number of letters he has received from head teachers concerning the shortfall of resources for implementation of the national curriculum.
Mrs. Rumbold : Development of the national curriculum will be achieved largely by the redirection of existing resources. However, we intend next year to use specific grants to support some £120 million expenditure by local education authorities expressly to help with the introduction of the national curriculum. This is in addition to general RSG support of local education authority expenditure. Some £30 million will additionally be deployed to support central expenditure on the national curriculum, including the running costs of the National Curriculum Council and the School Examinations and Assessment Council and the costs of developing standard assessment tasks.
108. Mr. Speller : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many letters he has received from primary school head teachers concerning the speed at which changes within their school operation and curriculum are being made.
Mrs. Rumbold : The information is not readily available in the form requested. My right hon. Friend frequently receives correspondence from primary school head teachers about various aspects of education provision.
Mrs. Rumbold : The parental awareness survey published on 4 December indicated that some 90 per cent. of parents interviewed support the introduction of the national curriculum. In particular, they welcome the broadening of provision and the setting of clear objectives. Parents also value the availability of more information from the school about the education being provided.
Column 20169. Ms. Gordon : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what plans he has to ensure that there are sufficient teachers to teach the national curriculum.
Mr. Speller : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will urge Devon county council to engage in a priority programme to equip all rural schools with indoor sanitation facilities.
Mr. Alan Howarth : It is the responsibility of the Devon local education authority to determine the priority given to projects included in the authority's annual capital expenditure plans. This requires detailed knowledge of individual schools and their needs as part of the whole educational provision of the area and the authority is best placed to judge these needs.
Mrs. Rumbold : The Government believe that there should be a diversity of provision for pre-school children and that its scope and balance should be for local decision. We want to ensure that the educational experience offered to three and four-year-old children is as high as possible, and that is the purpose of the committee of inquiry which I am chairing.
17. Mr. Wray : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will seek information from his Danish, Dutch and French counterparts about their policies on under-fives public education in order to improve Her Majesty's Government policies in this area.
Mr. Jackson : We expect to see significant growth in student numbers during the 1990s, actively fostered by the Government's education policies. The latest projection indicates full-time equivalent student numbers rising from about 760,000 in 1988 to about 820,000 by 1992. As a result of the very substantial decline in the relevant age groups, numbers are then expected to level off until 1995 before rising again to about 890,000 by the turn of the century.
102. Mr. Maclennan : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what percentage of young people over the age of 18 years are in higher education in each of the 12 member states of the European Community.
New entrants<1> to higher education Country<2> (main ages on |Latest year |Participation rate<3> entry) |(per cent.) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Belgium<4> (18 to 19) |1985 |39 Denmark (18 to 20) |1985 |35 France (18 to 20) |1985 |32 West Germany (19 to 21) |1987 |29 Greece<5> |1984 |38 Ireland<5> |1985 |35 Italy (19 to 21) |1986 |25 Netherlands<4> (18 to 20) |1985 |38 Portugal<5> |1984 |14 Spain (18 to 20) |1985 |31 United Kingdom<6> (18 to 21) 1987 <1> Includes full-time and part-time students entering higher education for the first time, ie excluding postgraduate students and others already having a qualification in higher education. Not all other countries may adhere to this general definition. <2> Compatible information is not available for Luxembourg since most higher education is undertaken abroad. Ireland figures partly estimated. <3> To aid comparison and overcome the problem of the varying lengths of courses in different countries the participation rate is the percentage of all new entrants (defined above) to a derived relevant single year group. The latter is calculated by taking the total populations for the ages providing at least 70 per cent. of the new entrants and dividing by the number of ages involved. For the United Kingdom this is the population of ages 18 to 21 divided by four. OECD recommend this procedure. <4> Provisional. <5> Main ages on entry unavailable. <6> Excludes the private sector and students from abroad. Includes nursing and paramedical students at Health Department establishments.
45. Mr. Riddick : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what percentage of persons aged 16 and 18 years went to institutions of higher education in 1979, 1983 and the latest year for which figures are available ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Jackson : A measure of young peoples' participation in higher education is the age participation index (API). This is defined as the numbers of young home full-time initial HE entrants expressed as a percentage of the average numbers of 18 and 19-year-olds in the population. In 1979 and 1983 the API for higher education in Great Britain were 12.4 per cent. and 13.1 per cent. respectively. A provisional estimate for 1988 is 15.1 per cent. I also refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave earlier today to the hon. Member for Leeds, West (Mr. Battle).
Mrs. Rumbold : Last year the then Secretary of State made clear his view that local authorities which nominate only majority party supporters as school governors are not behaving as their electorates would expect. My right hon. Friend fully endorses that view. Choosing the best people to be school governors need not be a party political matter. However, where a number of governors are to be appointed by a local authority which does wish to act on the basis of political affiliation, they should have regard to the balance of the parties within the authority itself.
We have issued information and guidance on the training of school governors on a number of occasions, particularly in relation to the use of education support grant funds to support LEA training schemes. The Department and HMI have also recently held two conferences bringing together governors and their trainers to discuss this important task.
21. Mr. Jack : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what increases in capital and revenue spending have taken place in Lancashire in each of the last five financial years ; and what are the national average figures.
Financial year Average |1983-84|1984-85|1985-86|1986-87|1987-88 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lancashire Capital £ million |16.0 |11.4 |14.4 |16.2 |13.4 |14.3 Percentage increase on previous year |22.3 |-28.5 |25.7 |12.4 |-17.4 |2.9 Recurrent £ million |275.9 |292.3 |305.5 |322.9 |348.7 |309.1 Percentage increase in previous year |6.0 |4.5 |5.7 |8.0 |8.0 |6.4 England Capital £ million |469.2 |501.3 |530.2 |574.9 |592.8 |533.7 Percentage increase on previous year |2.9 |6.8 |5.8 |8.4 |3.1 |5.4 Recurrent £ million |10,111 |10,517 |11,003 |12,002 |13,021 |11,331 Percentage increase in previous year |5.3 |4.0 |4.6 |9.1 |8.5 |6.3
Mr. Jackson : By the beginning of this month, the Universities Central Council on Admissions had received 135,600 applications from home and overseas students for admission to university next autumn, some 12.8 per cent. more than the corresponding position last year.
31. Mr. Darling : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is his latest estimate of the number of students likely to be admitted to university education in 1991-92 expressed as a proportion of the total number of school leavers.
Mr. Jackson : The latest projection of numbers of young, home initial entrants to full-time higher education in Great Britain in 1991-92 is 137,000. The projection of the associated age participation index-- defined as the number of full-time, home initial entrants aged under 21, expressed as a percentage of the averaged 18 and 19-year-old populations-- is 18.3 per cent.
25. Mr. Tom Clarke : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what discussions he has had with local education authorities in the last six months relating to integration into mainstream schools of children with special educational needs.
50. Mr. Ronnie Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what discussions he has had with local education authorities regarding the integration of children with special education needs into mainstream schooling.
Mrs. Rumbold : My right hon. Friend has consistently made clear his expectation that authorities would take special care to ensure that their proposals for local management of schools reflected fully the need to ensure appropriate provision for all children with special educational need. A number of authorities believe this provision can be best made by delegating resources to schools and have made appropriate proposals in their submitted LMS schemes. Others have indicated that they wish to retain central control of such resources.
Mrs. Rumbold : The Government believe that governors have a central role in improving the effectiveness of our schools. This is reflected in the provisions of the Education Reform Act, including the new arrangements for the local management of schools.
Mrs. Rumbold : The 20 outer London education authorities all submitted their schemes of local management by the due deadline of 30 September, and my right hon. Friend has to date announced his preparedness to approve six of them for implementation in April 1990, subject to certain modifications. The 13 inner London councils are not required to submit their schemes until 30 September 1991 ; but one--Westminster--had done so already, and my right hon. Friend has announced his intention to approve it for implementation in April 1990.
68. Mr. Hind : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what plans he has to recommend to education authorities reductions in the size of education departments and the numbers employed there in order to facilitate the release of resources for local management of schools ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Rumbold : Under local management of schools, more decision- making and administration are being delegated to schools. There should accordingly be scope for economies in local authorities' central administration costs. The scale of these economies, and the speed at which they can be achieved, will vary. But my right hon. Friend expects authorities to secure the largest economies they can as soon as they can, in order to maximise the proportion of available resources which can be delegated to schools.
Mrs. Rumbold : My right hon. Friend has had a number of letters from schools in Norfolk about aspects of local management of schools. Norfolk LEA's scheme for local management of schools was the first to receive approval from my right hon. Friend, and I understand that the LEA is on course for the successful introduction of local management next April.
52. Mrs. Ann Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what discussions he has had with local authority associations regarding local management of schools ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 207Authorities on 13 September to discuss a wide range of local management of schools issues. Representatives expressed their support for the principles of local management. They also set out their concerns about the position of schools with high teaching staff costs when funding is determined mainly by pupil numbers. I made clear in response that it was open to LEAs through their formulae to enhance funding for small schools with above-average salary costs, and that we would also consider sympathetically proposals for an extended transitional period to pure LMS funding for larger schools with high salary costs.
Mr. Alan Howarth : In January 1989 there were 162 vacancies for full -time physical education teachers in maintained secondary schools in England, equivalent to 1.2 per cent. of physical education teachers in post.
Mrs. Rumbold : The first 18 schools were incorporated as grant- maintained schools in September 1989. They are now experiencing the benefits of greater financial and administrative autonomy. They are proving popular with parents and pupils. I share their confidence in the future and expect them to take full advantage of the opportunities which grant- maintained status offers.
32. Mr. Madel : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what further proposals he is considering as to how industry can help to alleviate teacher shortages ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Alan Howarth : Officials from the Department are engaged in discussions with a number of industrial concerns about their future involvement with teacher shortage initiatives. My right hon. Friend acknowledges the valuable contribution that industrialists have already made in this field and welcomes new proposals.
Mrs. Rumbold : The employment and deployment of teachers are matters for local education authorities and schools. The Secretary of State's role is to ensure that there are sufficient teachers from whom they can recruit.
Column 208Government measures include the provision from next April of education support grant for local recruitment measures to attract more mature new entrants and re-entrants to teaching, and my right hon. Friend's request to IAC to look at measures to improve supply in areas where vacancy rates are highest, particularly in inner London.