|Previous Section||Home Page|
Mr. Jackson : The Government are committed to increasing the participation of 16 to 19-year-olds in education and training, and believe that every young person should either be in full-time education or in a job with time off for good quality training. Recent examination reforms and the Education Reform Act will raise standards in schools giving more young people the qualifications and the motivation to stay on in full-time education. This is the key to improving participation. In 1988, after the first year of the GCSE examination, staying on rates for 16 and 17-year- olds rose to a record level. The Government wish to ensure that young people continuing their education at age 16 have access to a range of opportunities that will equip them with the general skills, knowledge and understanding they will need for adult and working life. Young people will have the choice of pursuing that goal through either the academic route-- comprising mainly A and AS courses--or the vocational route--where they can choose from courses leading to about 4,000 qualifications. My right hon. Friend has asked the Schools Examinations and Assessment Council and the National Curriculum Council to work with the main vocational bodies to advise on the core skills that A/AS level students should develop and how work on them should be built into the A/AS curriculum.
Column 209Mrs. Rumbold : My right hon. Friend discussed the education component of the Government's proposed local authority grant settlement for England for 1990-91 with representatives of the local authority associations at a meeting on 26 October. That was in addition to the statutory consultations about the overall settlement conducted by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment following his 6 November announcement. Many of the letters and other representations which my right hon. Friend receives from local education authorities about a range of education issues also touch on spending.
Mr. Alan Howarth : It is for individual local education authorities and, under local management, their schools to determine how much money should be allocated for school maintenance and repairs. The latest outturn data on recurrent spending show that in 1987-88 local authorities in England spent some £435 million on repairs and maintenance in primary and secondary schools.
38. Mr. Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science by how much the maintenance grant of £3,725 per annum paid by the research councils to research students has increased in real terms since 1979.
81. Mr. Eadie : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the level of maintenance grants paid by the research councils to research students outside London.
104. Mr. Cousins : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the annual post-graduate award for research students living away from home outside London paid by the research councils.
Mr. Sedgemore : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the annual maintenance grant paid by the research councils to research students outside London ; and what estimate he has made of average lifetime earnings of post-doctoral scientists in the United Kingdom.
Column 210away from home is £3,725. The Department does not collect or hold information on the lifetime earnings of post-doctoral scientists in the United Kingdom.
44. Mr. Shersby : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will announce his decision on the application of Bishopshalt school, Hillingdon, to opt out of local education authority control.
Mr. Jackson : My right hon. Friend has occasional meetings with representatives of individual research councils to discuss matters of current concern. He met the heads of all the research councils at a reception he held on 14 September.
Column 211Mr. Jackson : I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave earlier today to the hon. Member for Leicester, West (Mr. Janner).
Mr. Jackson : Ten banks have formed Student Loans Company Limited to undertake preparatory work for the student loans scheme. Additional financial institutions will be invited to become shareholders in the company when a brochure is issued.
Mr. Straw : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what assessment he has made of the costs of the administration of the student loans scheme by (a) the public sector, (b) competitive tender and (c) the student loans company.
Mr. Jackson : Ministers and officials have had a series of discussions with representatives of the financial institutions as proposals for the student loans scheme have developed. Ten banks have now formed a company, Student Loans Company Limited, to undertake preparatory work for the scheme.
Mr. Alan Howarth : It is primarily for each local education authority to ensure that the schools it maintains are kept in an acceptable state of repair. But my right hon. Friend is aware of concern that some school premises fall
Column 212below that standard. Accordingly, Government plans for 1990-91 allow for capital borrowing by local authorities in respect of schools, colleges and other educational services of £436 million. For current spending, the Government's proposals for the 1990-91 local authority grant settlement allow for increased spending on repairs and maintenance relative to the levels assumed in the comparable total for 1989-90. Otherwise, the Department promotes improvements in the quality of school premises through the guidance issued by its architects and buildings branch.
61. Mr. Hoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will examine the professional development scheme operated by the British Computer Society as a possible model for career planning for scientists trained and supported by the research councils.
Mr. Jackson : The British Computer Society professfional development scheme is designed for the particular needs of professionals in information technology. It is not anappropriate model for the career planning of scientists, although aspects may be relevant to them. Responsibility for the career planning of scientists employed by research councils and by higher education institutions rests with their employers.
63. Mr. Franks : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received concerning the joint circular on the approval of initial teacher training courses ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Alan Howarth : My right hon. Friend has received no representations about DES circular 24/89 and Welsh Office circular 59/89 on the approval of initial teacher training courses. The circular was the subject of full consultation before it was issued.
66. Mr. Rowe : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the current pupil-teacher ratio in England and Wales (a) in primary schools and (b) in secondary schools ; and what were the comparable figures 10 years ago.
Mr. Alan Howarth : The pupil-teacher ratios within maintained primary and secondary schools in England in 1989 and 1979 were as follows. Corresponding figures for Wales are the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.
|Primary |Secondary ---------------------------------------- 1989 |22.0 |15.3 1979 |23.1 |16.7
Column 213modern foreign language until age 16 and beyond and their standards of language competence. That is why the national curriculum includes a modern foreign language as a foundation subject at secondary level to be studied by all pupils between the ages of 11 and 16. The national curriculum working group on modern foreign languages is expected to recommend, by July 1990, attainment targets and programmes of study for modern foreign languages based on current best practice, in order to raise standards and to provide a stimulating and worthwhile challenge to pupils of all abilities during their period of compulsory secondary schooling.
Mrs. Rumbold : City technology colleges are focusing on urban areas because it is there that the aspirations and expectations of pupils and parents are, generally, furthest from fulfilment. Macmillan college, the Teesside city technology college, already provides for children in the inner city area of Middlesborough. There are no plans to establish a further city technology college in the vicinity.
96. Mr. Grocott : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list the numbers of representations he has received (a) in favour and (b) against the establishment of a city technology college in Telford.
Mrs. Rumbold : My right hon. Friend has received 36 letters following the announcement by the Mercers' Company of its intention to sponsor a city technology college in Telford. Thirty-one are against the proposal and five sought further information.
42. Mr. Robert G. Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what assessment he has made of the contribution of city technology colleges to educational practice in schools and to inner- city areas in which they are situated.
Column 214contribution to the development of higher standards in all schools. It is too early yet to evaluate their impact in detail but it is already clear that they are immensely popular with parents and pupils. With three city technology colleges now open, and eight more with firm opening dates, we are now looking very carefully at how the good practices they are pioneering can best be disseminated.
75. Mr. Cryer : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he intends that asbestos removal from schools should be included in local schemes of management or financed by the local authority ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Alan Howarth : Under LMS it is for local education authorities to decide whether to retain responsibility centrally for asbestos removal or to delegate responsibility and funding for this within their schemes of local management.
Mrs. Rumbold : Figures for the Basildon area are not available centrally, but in 1988 there were 583,000 results at grade C and above in the GCSE in schools within the Essex local education authority. Figures for 1989 are not yet available.
78. Mr. Alexander : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received from schools in Nottinghamshire about the adequacy of supply teacher cover for schools where teachers have to be absent on national curriculum training courses.
Mr. Alan Howarth : Good progress is being made in encouraging links between schools and local industry and commerce. Preliminary analysis of a recent DES survey indicates that around 90 per cent. of secondary schools now have such links.
The Department is involved with others in a range of initiatives designed to assist in the establishment of links between schools and industry. In particular, it publishes guides to good practice and selectively funds particular
Column 215projects and organisations. Funding for teacher training in this area is made available to local education authorities through the LEA training grant scheme.
86. Mr. Barry Field : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps his Department is taking to encourage mature entrants, with practical work experience in other fields, to train as teachers.
Mr. Alan Howarth : The Department has a range of teacher recruitment measures, one of whose main aims is to increase the number of mature entrants to teacher training recruited from other careers. The teaching as a career unit (TASC) targets older people with special publications, and through its national and local advertising. In conjunction with ICI, the Department has run a well-subscribed programme of taster courses for people considering switching to a career in teaching, and the number of courses is being increased in 1990-91. We are also funding part-time and shortened courses of initial teacher training which take account of students' existing commitments and previous qualifications. The introduction of the licensed teacher route will also facilitate the entry into teaching of mature entrants.
107. Mr. Key : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he plans to announce the next steps towards the introduction of new arrangements for determining the pay and conditions of teachers.
101. Mr. Robert B. Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what information he has available for the percentage of teachers leaving the profession each year in (a) the United Kingdom as a whole and (b) Hertfordshire.
Mr. Alan Howarth : Teachers in Scotland and Northern Ireland are the responsibility of my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Figures for England and Wales and for Hertfordshire for the year ending 31 March 1987 (the latest available) are shown in the table.
Percentage of teachers in England and Wales and in Hertfordshire leaving full-time service in maintained nursery, primary and secondary schools (MNPS) Per cent. Year ending 31 March 1987 |England and |Hertfordshire |Wales --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Percentage of teachers leaving full-time service in MNPS |7.7 |8.6 of which: transfers to other service, full or part-time, in the maintained sector<1> |1.3 |1.1 transfers to teaching in the independent sector<1> |0.3 |0.5 retirements and deaths |2.4 |2.3 others<2> |3.7 |4.6 <1>The Department's "Database of Teacher Records" does not provide complete coverage of the independent sector or of part-time service in the maintained sector, so these figures may be slightly under-stated. <2>Many of these will be women withdrawing from teaching temporarily for family reasons.
Mrs. Rumbold : I refer my hon. Friend to the replies that I gave on 14 November to the hon. Members for Heywood and Middleton (Mr. Callaghan) and for Stoke-on-Trent, Central (Mr. Fisher) at column 218 and that my right hon. Friend gave on 28 November to my hon. Friend the Member for Battersea (Mr. Bowis) at column 181.
89. Mr. Jacques Arnold : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the current state of preparations for the assumption by the London boroughs of the current educational responsibilities of ILEA.
Mrs. Rumbold : The inner London councils are making good progress towards becoming LEAs. Most of the management posts in their education departments have been filled, and councils are developing their own packages to assist the recruitment and retention of good-quality teaching staff. I am looking forward to the operation of an efficient and responsive education service in the capital after 1 April 1990.
Mr. Alan Howarth : Responsibility for providing for pupils with special educational needs lies with individual local education authorities : this includes provision for pupils with severe learning difficulties.
Column 217Mrs. Rumbold : My right hon. Friend and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales are waiting for the final report of the history working group, which is now expected by the end of January. When they have considered that report they will publish their proposals for history in the national curriculum.
Mr. Jackson : I understand that in 1989-90 the research councils have allocated about £29.3 million towards research into all aspects of global climate change, including research into understanding the processes of climate change and the impact of such changes. This amount includes about £8 million by the Agriculture and Food Research Council, £19.3 million by the Natural Environment Research Council and some £2 million by the Science and Engineering Research Council. In addition, other research undertaken by the councils, especially AFRC, bears on environmental aspects.
As stated in his answer on 15 November to my hon. Friend the Member for Rugby and Kenilworth (Mr. Pawsey) at columns 272-76, my right hon. Friend has announced allocations totalling £18.6 million in 1990-91 and 1991- 92 in respect of the construction costs of the RRS James Clark Ross, and a minimum allocation of £2 million per annum for the years 1990-91 to 1992-93 to provide for a remote sensing instrument for the ERS-2 satellite. He also announced that he has sought the advice of the Advisory Board for the Research Councils on the allocation of the science budget for 1990-91 and 1991-92. His decisions after receiving that advice will be announced in due course. Within the totals allocated, it will be for the research councils to decide their priorities for specific research areas.