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90. Miss Emma Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what assessment he has made of the special financial needs of the disabled in formulating his proposals for the introduction of the top-up loan for students.

Mr. Jackson : The top-up loans scheme is designed to provide an additional source of support for all students. The Department is examining the evidence submitted by organisations representing the interests of disabled students, relating to both top-up loans and the present system of student support.

Mr. McFall : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what plans he has for the administration of the student loans scheme ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Harry Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what plans he has for the administration of the student loans scheme ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Jackson : I refer the hon. Members to the reply I gave earlier today to the hon. Member for Aberdeen, South (Mr. Doran).

110. Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what decision has been made on whether supplementary allowances for dependants will be frozen following introduction of student loans.

Mr. Jackson : Supplementary allowances in respect of dependants will continue to be available to all eligible students under the mandatory awards system after the introduction of top-up loans. The rates for 1990-91 are currently being considered and will be announced shortly.

The levels of these allowances for 1991-92 and subsequent years will be considered at the appropriate times in the light of all relevant circumstances, including available resources.

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will set out the decisions he


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has made to date on the administration of the student loans scheme, pursuant to the withdrawal of the banks from the administration of the scheme and his statement to the House of 21 December 1989 ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Jackson : It remains the Government's intention that, subject to the passage of the Education (Student Loans) Bill, the Student Loans Company Limited will administer the scheme. The Secretaries of State for Education and Science and for Scotland have acquired the company and have appointed directors. The company has selected a managing director and acquired premises. Detailed information about the administration of the scheme will be made public as soon as possible. The principles, objectives and funding of the student loans scheme are not altered by the withdrawal of the banks.

School Leaving Age

45. Mr. Holt : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he last received representations to consider further the statutory school leaving age.

Mr. Alan Howarth : My right hon. Friend has received no such representations.

Temporary Classrooms

47. Mr. Cryer : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether any research into the disadvantages of education carried out in temporary classrooms separate from the main school building has been carried out ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Alan Howarth : I am not aware of any recent research into the subject in question.

Youth Service

49. Mr. Steen : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how much has been spent on the running of the youth service in each of the last three years.

Mr. Alan Howarth : The information requested is given in the table. The figures consist of direct expenditure by the Department to voluntary organisations, and local authority expenditure on the youth service as recorded by them in their annual returns, including that supported by specific grant. The figures include recurrent and capital expenditure on the youth service.


Expenditure on the Youth      

Service-England               

          |£ million          

          |Cash               

------------------------------

1986-87   |156                

1987-88   |188                

1988-89   |175                

Teacher Training

52. Mr. David Evans : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many people were recruited onto teacher training courses in England and Wales in 1989 and 1988.

Mr. Alan Howarth : A total of 21,757 students started initial teacher training courses in September 1989--an increase of 1,574 on the corresponding 1988 total of 20,183.


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Essex Education Committee

53. Mr. Amess : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he last met the chairman of Essex county council education committee.

Mr. Alan Howarth : My right hon. Friend has not met the chairman of Essex county council education committee recently, but I met her on 23 November. I also met, on 22 January, the chairman of the county council, who is standing in for her while she is in hospital.

City Technology Colleges

55. Mr. Grocott : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is his latest estimate of the cost to public funds of implementing his policy on city technology colleges.

Mrs. Rumbold : Total planned Government expenditure from the announcement of the city technology colleges programme to the end of the financial year 1991-92 is £122.4 million. In addition to this, there are sponsors' contributions totalling over £43 million.

69. Mrs. Currie : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on progress on the development of city technology colleges in the midlands.

Mrs. Rumbold : We are making rapid progress on the establishment of CTCs in the midlands. During the last two weeks my right hon. Friend has announced plans for CTCs in Corby and in Derby, and in addition sponsors have declared their wish to fund a CTC in Telford. These are in addition to the CTC already open in Kingshurst, Birmingham.

PhD Students

56. Dr. Reid : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what proportion of university PhD students are now of British nationality.

Mr. Jackson : Sixty per cent. of university students registered for PhD qualifications in 1988 were of United Kingdom domicile.

Teacher Supply

57. Mr. Buckley : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what new proposals he has to improve the supply of teachers.

Mr. Alan Howarth : We shall continue and reinforce the range of measures we are already pursuing to meet the staffing demand of schools in the 1990s. These include expanding the teaching as a career unit, providing bursaries to trainee teachers of shortage subjects, funding in-service training for retraining teachers in the shortage subjects, and encouraging mature entrants to the profession through a series of taster courses and through the licensed teacher scheme. In addition, from April 1990, education support grant of £4 million will be available to support the recruitment of married women returners and mature new entrants to teaching.


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Education Reform Act

58. Mr. Burns : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the work of teachers implementing the Education Reform Act 1988.

Mrs. Rumbold : Teachers are at the forefront of implementing our education reforms. The success of the reforms depends crucially on their contribution. I am encouraged by the evidence I have received of the enthusiasm and dedication with which the reforms are being implemented, and I pay tribute to the dedication, professionalism and hard work of teachers in this.

Local Management of Schools

62. Mr. Gill : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what reductions in staff numbers employed in local education authority offices he anticipates as a result of local management of schools.

Mrs. Rumbold : I refer my hon. Friend to the reply that I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Lancashire, West (Mr. Hind) on 19 December 1989 at column 206 .

Interim Advisory Committee

63. Mr. Anthony Coombs : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he last met the chairman of the Interim Advisory Committee on School Teachers' Pay and Conditions ; and what matters were discussed.

Mrs. Rumbold : My right hon. Friend meets Lord Chilver from time to time in the normal course of business.

70. Mr. Evennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the progress being made by the Interim Advisory Committee on School Teachers' Pay and Conditions.

Mrs. Rumbold : My right hon. Friend asked the Interim Advisory Committee to report by the end of January.

Science Budget

64. Mr. McKelvey : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the allocation of the science budget for 1990-91.

Mr. Jackson : I refer the hon. Member to the reply that my right hon. Friend gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Hexham (Mr. Amos) on 10 January at columns 623-4.

Classroom Closures

68. Mr. Blunkett : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many teaching days have been lost to children in the current academic year due to their classroom's closure on structural grounds.

Mr. Alan Howarth : The information requested is not collected centrally.

Surplus School Places

71. Mrs. Maureen Hicks : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what action he has considered to ensure that local education authorities reduce their number of surplus school places.


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Mr. Alan Howarth : Local education authorities are aware of the high cost of under-used capacity at schools with a substantial proportion of surplus places. They recognise therefore that it is very much in their own financial interests to continue to come forward with proposals to rationalise their school provision where appropriate and continue to make proposals to that end.

University Education

79. Mr. Teddy Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many applications for university education have been received in 1990 ; and what were the comparable figures in each of the previous three years.

Mr. Jackson : By 15 December 1989, the Universities Central Council on Admissions had received 195,600 applications from home and overseas students for admission to university in 1990. Comparably incomplete figures for previous years are, for entry in 1989, 176,600 ; in 1988, 164,800 ; and in 1987, 156,600.

Higher Education (Salaries)

80. Dr. Marek : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what was the average annual increase in real terms between 1979 and 1989 of national average earnings, average professors' salaries, senior lecturers' salaries, and PhD research student grants respectively.

Mr. Jackson : The average annual increases in real salary-grant over the 10-year period 1979 to 1989 were :


                                              |Per cent.          

------------------------------------------------------------------

Average national earnings                     |2.5                

Professors' average salaries                  |1.9                

University senior lecturers' maximum salaries |1.3                

Research council studentships (London)        |0.6                

Research council studentships (elsewhere)     |0.4                

Notes:                                                            

1. The figure for average national earnings has been derived from 

the New Earnings Survey and is based on males and females on full 

time rates across all occupations, industries and services.       

2. Average salaries and earnings are based on the period 1 April  

to 31 March in each of the years. The figures for academic        

salaries do not include non-salary earnings.                      

3. Studentships grants are based on the period 1 October to 30    

September in each of the years. The figures do not include        

British Academy grants.                                           

4. All figures have been calculated by use of the Retail Price    

Index.                                                            

Saturday Sports Facilities (Schools)

82. Mr. Favell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the level of provisions of Saturday sports facilities in schools.

Mrs. Rumbold : Figures on Saturday use of sports facilities in schools are not available. The Government wish to encourage the wider use of school sports facilities by the local community and will shortly publish a practical guidance booklet on dual use.

Standard Assessment Tests

Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what decisions have been made about the publication of standard assessment tests at seven years ; and if he will make a statement.


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86. Mr. Stott : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what decisions have been made about the publication of standard assessment tests at seven years ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Rumbold : I refer the hon. Members to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Wolverhampton, South-East (Mr. Turner) earlier today.

National Union of Teachers

88. Mr. Bellingham : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he last met the president of the National Union of Teachers ; and what subjects were discussed.

Mrs. Rumbold : My right hon. Friend met the NUT president last week to discuss teacher supply and other matters.

Ko Hsuan School, Chawleigh

Mr. Speller : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps Her Majesty's inspectorate has now taken to ensure that the Ko Hsuan school at Chawleigh in north Devon conforms with approved practice in terms of sleeping arrangements, religious instruction and supervision outside school hours ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Alan Howarth : I refer my hon. Friend to the reply that I gave on 11 January 1990 at column 706.

Under-fives

92. Mr. Wray : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he is taking to bring public education services for the under-fives into line with other European countries such as Denmark, Holland, France, Spain and Sweden.

Mrs. Rumbold : European countries vary in the nature and extent of their provision for the under-fives. The Government do not see conformity as a desirable end in itself ; our intention is rather to build on the strengths of our existing services, including the important contribution made by the voluntary sector.

Ms. Armstrong : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what are his latest figures for each local education authority for expenditure on the education of under-fives.

Mrs. Rumbold : The information requested is not collected centrally. Local authority expenditure returns to the Department of the Environment do not identify separate figures for the education of under-fives. Expenditure is returned for all pupils in the nursery and primary sector taken together.

Supply Teachers

94. Dr. Kim Howells : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what discussions he has had with local education authorities about the number of supply teachers ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Rumbold : I refer the hon. Member to the reply that I gave to the hon. Member for Dewsbury (Mrs. Taylor) earlier today.


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Examination Results

100. Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what assessment he has made of the factors which most influence whether schools and local authorities achieve good public examination results.

Mrs. Rumbold : The Department has undertaken numerous analyses and commissioned research in this field. HM Inspectorate also records and comments upon examination results in its reports on schools, local education authorities and aspects of the education system. In the light of the evidence, my right hon. Friend has concluded that the major influence on examination results is the quality of teaching and organisation of individual schools. The reforms now being instituted under the Education Reform Act, including in particular the introduction of the national curriculum, are intended to improve the quality of teaching and learning in all schools, and across all local education authorities.

School Visits

102. Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received over his Department's revised policy on charging for school visits.

Mrs. Rumbold : Letters to the Department about the new law, which include requests for clarification as well as expressions of opinion, have reduced considerably in recent months. It is clear that many schools are managing well within the new arrangements, but we are continuing to monitor the situation.

Interactive Video

103. Mr. Rowlands : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what support he is giving to the development and testing of interactive video teaching material on compact discs for use in the school science curriculum.

Mr. Alan Howarth : The Department is taking a number of steps to stimulate the production of interactive video materials. Currently we are funding the production of five discs in mathematics. The question of support for other curriculum areas will be considered in due course.

Underspending

105. Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the areas in which his Department is underspending.

Mr. MacGregor : DES public expenditure Votes in 1988-89 were underspent by 1.8 per cent. Three quarters of this arose on two programmes of specific grant where local authorities did not claim as high a proportion of grant within the financial year to which it related as had been projected. Action has been taken to ensure that in future outturn more closely matches Vote provision for these programmes.


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Infant and Junior Schools (Manchester)

107. Mr. Litherland : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received from head teachers of infant and junior schools in Manchester regarding present working conditions ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Alan Howarth : My right hon. Friend last year received via the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe (Mr. Morris) a representation from the headteacher of Oldwood infant school in Manchester concerning staff facilities at the school.

As part of a visit to Manchester last December my right hon. Friend visited Ravensbury county primary school where he saw working conditions at first hand.

Decisions about the allocation of capital resources in county schools are a matter for Manchester education authority.

Physical Education

108. Mr. O'Brien : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he expects to be able to announce the appointment of the working party on physical education and the national curriculum ; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Rumbold : I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Leeds, Central (Mr. Fatchett) on 23 January, 1990 at column 598.

Local Management of Schools

109. Mr. Paice : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on pupil-led funding and the system of local management of schools.

Mrs. Rumbold : Pupil-led funding is a key element of local management of schools. At least 75 per cent. of the resources to be allocated to schools by authorities' formula must be allocated on the basis of pupil numbers weighted for age. The remainder may be used to reflect variations in the circumstances of schools within each authority, including the size and condition of premises, the number of pupils with special needs and the need to provide a balanced curriculum in small schools.

Mr. McCartney : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what recent representations he has had from governing bodies about local management of schools.

77. Mr. Hoyle : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has had from governing bodies about local management of schools.

Mrs. Rumbold : My right hon. Friend has received a number of representations from governing bodies. Very many of these have expressed support for the greater role that governing bodies will play in the running of schools under local management.

Science Libraries

Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what action he is taking to make it possible for university science libraries to acquire more of the relevant periodicals in their disciplines.


Column 165

Mr. Jackson : It is for individual universities to decide their own priorities within the total resources at their disposal.

Council of Ministers

Mr. Robertson : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science who will represent his Department at the European Community Council of Ministers meeting on 31 May, education and 18 May, culture ; and what the agenda will be for both meetings.

Mr. Jackson : My right hon. Friend represents the United Kingdom at the meetings of European Community Ministers of Education. It is too early to predict the final agenda for the meeting on 31 May. Early indications are that it may include discussions on education co-operation, European schools, equality of educational opportunity in initial and in-service training of teachers, education for enterprise and distance education. The Council will also receive from the Commission a number of progress reports on education programmes. Responsibility for cultural matters rests with my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Arts, who expects to be present at the 18 May meeting of European Community Ministers of Culture. Present indications are that the following items may be among those discussed : education and training in the cultural sector, free movement of cultural goods in the single European market, the MEDIA programme, library co- operation in the field of data banks, and the European City of Culture programme.

Grant-Maintained Status

Mr. Straw : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will place in the Library a copy of each proposal for acquisition of grant-maintained status required from the governing body of the school under section 62 of the Education Reform Act 1988 received by him to date.

Mr. MacGregor : Under section 62 of the Education Reform Act 1988 the governing body of a school applying for grant-maintained status must publish statutory proposals, a copy of which they are obliged to send to me. I shall put in train arrangements for the Library to receive a copy of the proposals for those schools on which I have reached decisions.

Creches

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list by location, where creche facilities are provided for working mothers employed in his Department ; and if they have to make any payment for this service.

Mrs. Rumbold : The Department has not yet provided creche facilities but is participating in an interdepartmental study of the scope for providing creches centrally and in commuting areas.

Accountancy Firms

Mr. Austin Mitchell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science, further to his reply to the hon. Member for Great Grimsby of 13 December 1989, Official Report, column 651, concerning the accountancy firms


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employed by his Department ; if he will give (a) the names of the four firms, (b) a list of the payments made to each in 1988 and 1989 and (c) details of the consultancy contracts given to each firm.

Mrs. Rumbold : The four firms and the overall amounts paid during the 1988 and 1989 calendar years are as follows :


                            |1988   |1989           

                            |£      |£              

----------------------------------------------------

Coopers and Lybrand                                 

Deloitte, Haskins and Sells                         

Ernst and Whinney           |205,674|336,073        

  (now Ernst and Young)                             

Peat Marwick McLintock                              

It is not possible to state the amount paid to each firm as this would break commercial confidentiality. The contracts awarded to each firm are listed below. The 1987 contracts are listed as some expenditure fell in 1988.

1987

Coopers and Lybrand

Study of education and training databases.

Coopers and Lybrand

Financial delegation to schools.

Peat Marwick McLintock

Resource Management.

1988

Coopers and Lybrand

Management framework for the control of information system projects.

Deloitte, Haskins and Sells

Financial management advice to the University Grants Committee. Ernst and Whinney

Management system for HM Inspectors travel and subsistence. Peat Marwick McLintock

Study of requirements for an integrated Vote and Management accounting system.

1989

Coopers and Lybrand

Review of MRC capital expenditure systems.

Delloitte, Haskins and Sells

Assistance with the implementation of the Department's accounting system and selection of the accounts payable system.

Ernst and Young

Specification and selection of a teachers superannuation payment system and reorganisation.

Peat Marwick McLintock

Financial management survey of SERC.

Peat Marwick McLintock

Study into student loans.

Peat Marwick McLintock

Assistance with the implementation of the accounting system.


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