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School-based Learning Assistants

Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what funding is available to supply the training needs of primary school-based learning assistants; and if he will make a statement. [128746]

Ms Estelle Morris: Between 1999-2002, we are making available to local education authorities in England a total of £350 million to meet the cost of recruiting and training the equivalent of 20,000 new teaching assistants and to support the training of more experienced teaching assistants, so that they may develop their skills and further their careers. Of the allocation which they devolve to schools, local education authorities should pass at least 80 per cent. to primary schools.

Class Sizes

Mr. Martlew: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what the average primary class size in Cumbria was in each year since 1979; and if he will make a statement. [128285]

Ms Estelle Morris: The requested information is shown in the following table.

In the Cumbria local education authority area, the number of pupils in key stage 1 classes of 31 or more pupils was 854 in January 2000, compared with 2,572 a year earlier. This means that as few as 5.3 per cent. of these pupils remain in classes of over 30 pupils. Allocations of funding in Cumbria to support reductions in infant class sizes have so far amounted to £3.7 million. This funding has helped reduce the average size of key stage 1 classes in the Parliamentary constituency of Carlisle from 27.6 in January 1997, to 25 in January 2000. Over the same time period, the average size of key stage 2 classes in the constituency has fallen from 27.4 to 26.3; and the size of the average primary class from 27.4 to 25.7.

The Government are well on target to deliver their infant class size pledge in England with some £620 million made available to support the pledge. The number of pupils in infant classes of over 30 pupils has already fallen by 300,000.

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Size of classes taught by one teacher in maintained primary schools in Cumbria local education authority 1979 to 2000
Position as at January each year

Key stage 1 Key stage 2Overall primary(31)
Average class sizeNumber of pupils in classes of 31 or moreAverage class sizeAverage class size

(31) Includes nursery, classes and mixed key stage classes.

(32) Provisional

(33) Not available (information not collected by specific key stages)

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what percentage of classes of five, six and seven-year-olds in the Crosby constituency have been reduced since 1997. [127173]

Ms Estelle Morris: Information is not available in the form requested. The Department does not identify or monitor individual classes or registration groups.

The Government are well on target to deliver their pledge to limit infant classes to 30 pupils. In Crosby parliamentary constituency, the average size of key stage 1 classes taught by one teacher in maintained primary schools went down from 28.3 pupils per class in January 1997 to 26.2 pupils per class in January 2000. Since January 1997, there were 830 fewer pupils in Crosby schools being educated in key stage 1 classes of 31 or more, which represents a reduction by two-thirds of the number of pupils being educated in such classes.

Inner-city Schools

Mr. Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what recent steps his Department has taken to improve standards in inner city schools. [128262]

Ms Estelle Morris: In order to improve standards in inner city schools, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Employment has introduced Excellence in Cities (EiC). This is building on the measures already introduced to raise standards in all schools such as the literacy and numeracy strategies. The programme was launched in March 1999, and initially covered secondary schools in 25 authorities. It expanded in March this year to include a further 22 authorities and

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a primary pilot in the original EiC authority areas. Total spending for Excellence in Cities will be some £400 million over the first three years of the programme.

As a direct result of the first phase of the programme, there are already:

Phase 2 will see comparable developments in the new EiC partnership areas.

School Places (St. Albans)

Mr. Pollard: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what steps his Department has taken to help ensure that Hertfordshire Local Education Authority is able to increase the provision of school places in St. Albans to match (a) current needs and (b) future requirements generated by new housing developments; and if he will make a statement. [128143]

Ms Estelle Morris: It is the Local Education Authority's responsibility to ensure that there are sufficient school places within its area. It is under a duty to plan and keep under review the supply of school places, in the light of such issues as proposed housing development, so as to ensure that there is sufficient provision to meet demand.

The Department has supported bids for capital funding from Hertfordshire which met the published criteria for basic need. The Local Education Authority can make further bids for capital funding if need continues to grow. Such bids will be sought from Local Education Authorities in September through the Annual Capital Guideline process.

Teacher Training

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will list the schools which have been granted funding for teacher training, indicating in each case their (a) phase and (b) location. [128105]

Ms Estelle Morris: Schools that have received grant from the Teacher Training Agency through their involvement in School Centred Initial Teacher Training consortiums are set out in table A. Table B lists the additional schools that will receive grant from September 2000. Many other schools receive funding through various initial teacher training partnership arrangements. The allocation of funds in such cases is decided locally.

Table A

Challney High School for Boys, LutonNoYes
Clacton County High School, Clacton-on-SeaNoYes
Charles Darwin School, Biggin Hill, KentNoYes
Mill Hill County High School, LondonNoYes
Buttsbury Infant School, BillericayYesNo
Woodrow First School, RedditchYesNo
Leigh City Technical College, Dartford, KentNoYes
Sharnbrook Upper School and Community College, BedfordshireNoYes
West Oxford County Primary School, OxfordYesNo
Swaffield Primary School, LondonYesNo
All Hallows RC High School, PrestonNoYes
St. Peter's High School, GloucesterNoYes
Thomas Telford School, ShropshireNoYes
Chelmer Valley High School, Chelmsford, EssexNoYes
Wigmore Primary School, LutonYesNo
South East Essex College, Southend-on-SeaNoYes
St. Thomas High School, ExeterNoYes
Sponne School, NorthamptonNoYes
Dartford Grammar School, KentNoYes
Weymouth College, DorsetNoYes

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Table B

Copnor Junior School, PortsmouthYesNo
Penair School, Truro, CornwallNoYes
Chestnut Grove School, Balham, LondonNoYes
South Benfleet Primary School, ChelmsfordYesNo
Holy Family Catholic Primary School, SouthamptonYesNo
Northampton School for Boys, NorthamptonNoYes
Wells Park Primary School and Training Centre, Chigwell, EssexYesNo
Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham College, LondonNoYes
St. Brendan's Sixth Form College, BristolNoYes
Michael Sobell Sinai Primary, MiddlesexYesNo

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