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Nursery Places

Mr. Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if the Government funds nursery places on the assumption of 100 per cent. take-up. [68326]

Ms Hodge: Early education places for 4-year-olds in maintained schools are funded through Education Standard Spending according to the number of eligible pupils in the Annual Schools' Census; places in the private and voluntary sectors, together with additional places in the maintained sector, attract a per capita grant calculated from termly headcounts.

Special Educational Needs

Mr. Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what provision his Department has made for the funding of early years provision in the private and voluntary sectors for 4-year-olds with special educational needs. [68323]

Ms Hodge: Local Education Authorities have a duty to arrange the provision specified in a child's statement of special educational needs. They also have the power to supply goods and services to providers of early years education in the private and voluntary sectors to help support 4-year-olds who have special educational needs but who do not have statements. The cost of providing additional support is reflected in each Local Education Authority's SSA allocation.

Pay and Performance Management

Mr. Darvill: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on the technical consultation document on pay and performance management following the Green Paper "Teachers: Meeting the Challenge of Change". [68913]

Mr. Blunkett: I am pleased to announce that, following up the Green Paper "Teachers: Meeting the Challenge of Change", my Department has today published a Technical Consultation Document on Pay and Performance Management. Copies are available in the Vote Office and the Library.

School Teachers Review Body

Mr. Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on the report of the School Teachers Review Body. [68914]

Mr. Blunkett: The 1999 report of the School Teachers' Review Body has been published today. Copies are available in the Vote Office and the Library. I am grateful to the Chairman and members of the Review Body for their work.

1 Feb 1999 : Column: 488

In the Comprehensive Spending Review, the Government made it clear that public sector pay settlements would need to be fair, affordable, and consistent with the targets for public service improvements we have set. That is why new arrangements were announced in the CSR for the Pay Review Bodies, designed to ensure a closer and more effective link between pay settlements and departmental expenditure limits and service delivery targets. As part of these arrangements, the Prime Minister asked the School Teachers' Review Body to ensure that, in making its recommendations, four key considerations set out in the CSR were taken into account:


I am satisfied that the recommendations meet these considerations. Accordingly I have decided to accept the Review Body's main recommendations to restructure the pay of headteachers from September, at a cost of 0.1% of the total teacher paybill in 1999-2000 and 0.2% in a full year, and to award a general increase of 3.5% to the pay of all teachers from 1 April. The full cost of the settlement in 1999-2000 will be 3.6%. This will be affordable within my Department's Expenditure Limits announced in the CSR in July (Cm 4011), and is fully consistent with the targets for improved services set out in my Department's Public Service Agreement published in December (Cm 4181). It is in line with the Government's prudent and disciplined approach to public spending and its commitment to deliver high quality public services and low inflation.

The restructuring of headteachers' pay is necessary to enable schools, especially small primary schools, to recruit, retain and motivate headteachers of the quality that we need to improve standards of education. It recognises the role headteachers will play in making the proposals in the Green Paper "Teachers: Meeting the Challenge of Change" work, and it recognises the responsibility headteachers have always had for managing and improving the performance of their teachers and schools. The Review Body makes it clear that headteachers' pay should be linked to their performance against agreed targets, with no automatic increases. It recommends improvements in the performance management and review mechanism for headteachers and I propose those improvements, subject to consultation, with effect from September 1999.

I am grateful to the Review Body for recommending a general increase at a level which is fair and which I can implement without staging. I hope teachers will welcome the fact that they will receive their pay increase in full on 1 April this year.

The Green Paper published in December 1998 set out the Government's wide-ranging proposals for modernising and strengthening the teaching profession. An extensive consultation is now underway. This current pay settlement is an excellent springboard for the further changes from September 2000 which I hope to put in place following the consultation, and the continuing advice of the Review Body. These changes will make the

1 Feb 1999 : Column: 489

teaching profession better paid and more attractive, and they will also create better links between pay and performance. I welcome the Review Body's constructive approach to the need to reward good performance, and I look forward to next year's exercise extending this approach to the determination of the pay of all teachers.

I will not initiate consultation with the teacher associations, the employers' organisations and other interested parties, as required under section (2)1 of the School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Act 1991, before I make provision by order for teachers' pay and conditions in 1999-2000.

National Year of Reading

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what was the cost of the television advertisement and booklet accompanying the National Year of Reading. [68525]

Mr. Mudie: The cost of the television advertisement was £1,400,000.

The cost of producing the accompanying booklet was £177,000 for the English language version with a further £46,000 for ethnic minority language, Braille and audio cassette versions.

We had requests for 822,000 leaflets from parents and schools following the advertising campaign which emphasised the valuable contribution which parents can make to their children's reading.

Teachers (Pay)

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will estimate the total cost of increasing teachers' salaries by (a) 0.1 per cent., (b) 3.5 per cent., (c) 4.0 per cent. and (d) 4.5 per cent. [68215]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The figures in England and Wales are as follows: (a) £12 million, (b) £423 million, (c) £484 million, and (d) £544 million. Figures for England alone are: (a) £11 million, (b) £398 million, (c) £454 million and (d) £511 million.

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how much of the extra expenditure on education over the next three years, announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review, has been set aside to fund increases in teachers' pay in each year. [68218]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The cost of teachers' pay awards in 1999-2000, 2000-01 and 2001-02 will be contained within the Department Expenditure Limits announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review in July (Cm 4011). In respect of 2000-01 and 2001-02, up to £1 billion is available within the Departmental Expenditure Limits to support implementation of proposals in the Green Paper "Teachers: Meeting the Challenge of Change".

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if the next teachers' pay award will be funded in full by central Government. [68718]

Mr. Charles Clarke: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Employment today to my hon. Friend the Member for Poplar and Canning Town (Mr. Fitzpatrick), Official Report, columns 487-89.

1 Feb 1999 : Column: 490

Failing LEAs (Contractors)

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many (a) profit-making organisations and (b) non-profit-making organisations have requested details of his Department's proposals to allow contractors to take over key functions of failing local education authorities, in response to his Department's recent advertisement. [68530]

Ms Estelle Morris: Our recent advertisements asked for expressions of interest from organisations able to perform LEA functions and those able to provide management consultancy services. As of Wednesday, 27 January, my Department had sent out information about both consultancy and the provision of functions to 644 interested parties. The deadline for the receipt of formal expressions of interest is 15 February.


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