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EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT

Remploy Ltd.

Mr. Anthony D. Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on the findings of the first stage of the quinquennial review of Remploy Ltd. [122343]

Ms Hodge: The Department has now completed the prior options stage of the quinquennial review of Remploy. Copies of the report have been placed in the Library and will be sent to those who contributed to the consultation exercise. The report is also available on the DfEE website (www.dfee.gov.uk).

The review considered a number of options but decided that Remploy's position and NDPB status should remain as it is for now. The next stage of this review will start shortly and will be completed within three months. During this stage the review team will look at the relationship between the Government and the Company to ensure that it operates to the highest standards in line with the commitment set out in the Modernising Government White Paper.

There will be a further review in two years time to assess the impact of Remploy's new Corporate Plan--Remploy 21.

Correspondence

Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment when he will reply to the letter dated 30 March from the hon. Member for West Derbyshire in relation to the Chairman of the Governors of the Fitzherbert School in Fenny Bentley, Derbyshire. [121450]

Mr. Wills: A reply to the hon. Member was issued on Wednesday 10 May 2000.

12 May 2000 : Column: 506W

Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment when the hon. Member for West Derbyshire will receive a reply to his letter of 30 March about the William Gilbert School in Duffield, Derbyshire. [121441]

Mr. Wills: A reply to the hon. Member's letter was issued on 8 May 2000.

New Deal

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many (a) men and (b) women from ethnic minority communities living in the Greater London area have benefited from the New Deal. [121122]

Ms Jowell: New Deal actively promotes equality of opportunity and outcome for people of all ethnic and racial groups. Targets have been set for all Units of Delivery to achieve parity of outcome on jobs between white and ethnic minority young people, by the end of this Parliament. Latest figures show that to the end of February 2000, in Greater London, 19,157 men and 10,035 women from ethnic minority groups have benefited from starting the New Deal for young people and that 12,198 men and 2,565 women from ethnic minority groups have benefited from starting the national New Deal for long-term unemployed people aged 25 or over. Many others will have benefited from the New Deal for Lone Parents and other New Deals.

Free School Meals

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many children living in the Greater London area were receiving free school meals on 1 April. [121973]

Ms Estelle Morris: The data are not available in the form requested. Figures on the number of day pupils attending maintained schools 1 in the Greater London Government Office Region who took a free meal in January this year is currently being collected. Latest estimates show that there were 226,000 such pupils, which represents 21 per cent. of the pupil population.

Final national figures will be published in the Statistical Volume "Statistics of Education: Schools in England 2000" in September, a copy of which will be available in the Library.


1 Includes pupils of all ages attending maintained nursery, primary and secondary schools, pupil referral units and all special schools in the Greater London Government Office Region.

Primary and Secondary Schools

(Gloucestershire)

Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how much was spent per pupil in (a) Gloucestershire and (b) England and Wales, in (i) primary schools and (ii) secondary schools in each of the last ten years for which figures are available. [122005]

Ms Estelle Morris: The following table sets out spending per pupil in Gloucestershire and England, from 1990-91 to 1998-99, the latest year for which expenditure figures are available. The figures are based on Net Institutional Expenditure.

12 May 2000 : Column: 507W

Table 1.
£ per pupil

Net institutional expenditurePre-primary and primarySecondary
Gloucestershire
1990-911,2031,912
1991-921,3791,811
1992-931,6272,122
1993-941,5232,084
1994-951,5552,113
1995-961,4942,082
1996-971,5692,133
1997-981,6642,243
1998-99(3)1,8132,321
England
1990-911,3392,019
1991-921,4692,145
1992-931,5832,256
1993-941,6302,245
1994-951,6612,270
1995-961,6872,286
1996-971,7312,340
1997-981,7392,359
1998-99(3)1,8822,450

(3) Provisional


The following tables set out the resources being made available in Gloucestershire and England for primary and secondary education as part of the drive to raise standards. These figures are not comparable with the net institutional figures set out in table 1. The special and specific grant totals include the money for schools announced in the Budget on 21 March.

Table 2.
£ per pupil

Standard Spending AssessmentPrimarySecondary
Gloucestershire
1998-992,0812,703
1999-20002,1992,816
2000-012,2822,935
England
1998-992,2482,918
1999-20002,3723,031
2000-012,4743,175

Table 3.
£ per pupil

Special and specific grantsPrimarySecondary
Gloucestershire
1998-995949
1999-200012788
2000-01238176
England
1998-997364
1999-2000140103
2000-01250190

Higher Education (Standardised Testing)

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what plans he has to encourage higher education institutions to introduce standardised testing for scholastic attainment. [119143]

12 May 2000 : Column: 508W

Mr. Wicks [holding answer 17 April 2000]: Admissions procedures are a matter in the first instance for individual higher education institutions.

The Government wish to see a widening of access to higher education, and we share the aspiration of those who promote the use of Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SATs) that higher education should be available to all who can benefit from it. The substantial reform of post-16 qualifications to be introduced from September will help broaden access to university by giving recognition to a wider range of qualifications. In addition, we are investing heavily in raising standards in deprived areas through "Excellence in Cities". This year we shall be launching new summer schools to help young people to understand better the opportunities higher education can offer. New "Opportunity Bursaries" of up to £1,000 per year will also be introduced from next year to give able young people from areas without a history of participation in higher education the extra financial incentives and confidence they need to embark on a higher education course.

The Sutton Trust is running a small pilot of SAT-type tests in schools in England this year.

Although its research is entirely separate from DfEE activities in this area we are happy to work closely with the Trust because its work is focused on widening the socio-economic profile of students in higher education. We have learned from its experience in running summer schools and have adopted much of its best practice in the summer schools we will launch this summer.

Education Funding (Somerset)

Mr. Ashdown: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) what is the average per pupil education standard spending assessment for 2000-01 in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools in (i) England and (ii) Somerset; what is the reason for the difference between (i) and (ii); and if he will make a statement; [121235]

Ms Estelle Morris [holding answer 10 May 2000]: The following table shows for 2000-01 education SSA per primary and secondary pupil for Somerset and England.

£
SSA SomersetEnglandDifference
Primary per pupil2,3102,474164
Secondary per pupil2,9843,175191

The differences between the figures for England and those for Somerset are a result of the authority receiving a below average share of the national total for education standard spending to reflect social deprivation and area costs. If Somerset's SSA per pupil for primary and secondary schools were the same as the national average it is estimated that its education SSA would be £11 million higher. Since 1997-98 Somerset's education SSA per pupil has increased by £338, and its special and specific grants per pupil have increased by £193.

12 May 2000 : Column: 509W

Somerset will benefit this year from Standards Fund grant of £8.8 million. Its share of the £50 million and £290 million special grants will be £3 million.


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