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Income Statistics (Mothers)

Ms Harman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the income distribution is in deciles of (a) lone mothers and (b) women in two-parent families who are in work when they give birth and who are eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay. [114791]

Angela Eagle: I have been asked to reply.

The information is not available in the format requested as past eligibility to Statutory Maternity Pay is not collected in the sample survey used to derive income data. Further, the sample is not large enough to identify sufficient numbers of women in receipt of Statutory Maternity Pay at the time of the interview for an analysis by decile.

Such information that is available is in the table.

Proportions of women in receipt of Statutory Maternity Pay in each half of the equivalised household income distribution, 1996-97 and 1997-98 combined (including the self-employed)

Proportion of women in receipt of SMPBottom half of income distributionTop half of income distribution
Before Housing Costs3070
After Housing Costs3664


1. The information comes from the 'Households Below Average Income' (HBAI) series and relates to Great Britain. The estimates are presented on household income both Before Housing Costs and After Housing Costs in line with HBAI conventions. All the estimates in the table relate to women who were, at the time of the survey interview, in receipt of Statutory Maternity Pay.

2. Estimates are subject to sampling error.

3. Estimates were based on two survey years combined, and should be treated with caution as the sample sizes are small.

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Standard Spending Assessments

15. Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what recent representations he has received on the levels of standard spending assessments for education. [114612]

Ms Estelle Morris: My right hon. Friend has received a number of representations on the area cost adjustment element of the standard spending assessment. We have already acknowledged that there are valid objections to the current SSA formula. The Government, in partnership with local government, have set up a review to see whether there is a better way of determining the distribution of funds which is simpler, more stable, more robust and fairer than the present arrangements.

Low Pay Commission (Therapeutic Activity)

16. Mr. St. Aubyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what discussions his Department plans to hold with the DTI on the recommendation in the second report of the Low Pay Commission that Departments should work together to produce clear guidance on the worker status of individuals undertaking therapeutic activity. [114613]

Ms Hodge: The Government support the recommendation made by the Commission and welcome their endorsement of the view that disabled people should benefit fully from the National Minimum Wage. As the Commission recognises, the worker status of those undertaking therapeutic activities is a complex issue. We are already working with DSS and DTI, and providers and users of therapeutic activities, on revised guidance.

Information and Communications Technology

17. Mr. Clapham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what support has been given to teachers to ensure that they are able to utilise information and communications technology to raise standards. [114614]

Mr. Wills: The New Opportunities Fund is making available £230 million to support the training of serving teachers and school library staff in the maintained sector in the effective use of information and communication technology (ICT). The training is available to all teachers in maintained schools and is specifically targeted at using ICT in the classroom to support the National Curriculum. The Government are supporting this programme by providing £20 million in 2000-01 to help teachers purchase their own computers.

Schools (Special Measures)

18. Barbara Follett: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many schools are currently on special measures. [114615]

Ms Estelle Morris: The number of schools in special measures rose to 515 at the end of the academic year 1997-98 which was the year in which the first round of inspections was completed. Since then the number of schools in special measures has fallen to 424 at the end of the autumn term 1999.

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Further Education Funding

19. Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on the funding of further education. [114616]

Mr. Wicks: I refer my hon. Friend to the oral reply I gave to our hon. Friend the hon. Member for Conwy (Mrs. Williams) earlier today, Official Report, column 1095.

Lytham St. Anne's High Technology School

20. Mr. Jack: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will instruct an official from his Department to visit the Lytham St. Anne's high technology school to assess the school's future infrastructure requirements. [114618]

Jacqui Smith: The right hon. Member may be aware that a key element of the Government's schools' capital strategy is the requirement for local education authorities to produce Asset Management Plans. In drawing up AMPs, LEAs are required to assess the condition, sufficiency and suitability of school buildings, and to set clear priorities for building work. The Asset Management Plan is a local document drawn up in close consultation with schools and other partners; an official visiting at this stage is unlikely to enhance that process.

Secondary School Funding

21. Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on secondary school funding. [114619]

Ms Estelle Morris: In 2000-01 Education Standard Spending has increased by £1.1 billion or 5.4 per cent. An extra £64 million is being made available to local authorities of which £14 million will be used to provide additional support to LEAs in Excellence in Cities areas and £50 million will go to support school budgets generally. In addition, schools will benefit from £500 million extra in Standards Fund grant, and through the New Deal for Schools they will receive an additional £1 billion for school repairs and adaptations. All schools will also benefit from the rescheduling of most of the increase in teachers' pension contributions from April 2000.

Secondary schools will all benefit from these increases in funding.

Departmental Jobs (Regional Policy)

22. Mr. Campbell-Savours: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what the policy of his Department is on the dispersal of jobs in his Department to the regions. [114620]

Mr. Wills: The Department has headquarters sites in Runcorn, Sheffield and Darlington in addition to its London buildings. It also has staff located in each of the nine Government Offices for the Regions. Our policy is to locate jobs away from London, especially in the more cost-effective northern offices, wherever it makes operational sense to do so. The Employment Service maintains a network of Jobcentres across England, Scotland and Wales, with a main headquarters presence in Sheffield.

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Long-term Unemployment

(Information Technology)

23. Ms Rosie Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what action he is taking to help the long-term unemployed back into work through information technology. [114621]

Ms Jowell: As part of a major modernisation programme we shall be putting all the Employment Service vacancies and jobs from the private sector and other European countries in a new national job bank. They will be available on the Internet and by jobseekers on touch screen kiosks in Jobcentres which will give a wider choice of jobs than on the current vacancy display boards. All ES advisers and the national telephone helpline, ES Direct, will have access to the new jobs database. Jobseekers will be able to search for jobs and information about learning opportunities and careers through public access terminals in libraries, community centres and training centres, and in a number of Programme Centres.

Pupil Deprivation Levels

24. Mr. Blizzard: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what methodology is used to measure deprivation levels of pupils in schools. [114622]

Ms Estelle Morris: A number of different indicators are used to measure pupil deprivation levels for funding purposes. The education standard spending assessment methodology takes account of the additional educational needs of deprived pupils through indicators for the proportion of children of lone parents; and the proportion of children eligible for free school meals. The Standards Fund uses eligibility of children for free school meals as one factor to distribute grants for programmes such as family literacy and numeracy, social inclusion and study support. Common indicators used by local education authorities to distribute funding for additional educational needs to their schools are: eligibility for free school meals; unemployment rates; and English as a second language.

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