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Edinburgh Road Special School, Holt

Mr. Prior: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on the future of the Edinburgh Road School for Children with Special Needs in Holt, Norfolk. [132374]

Jacqui Smith: In October 1999 Norfolk LEA served Notice on the Secretary of State of its proposal to relocate the existing Edinburgh Road Special School to a new site in Sheringham. The statutory process involves local consultation, the serving of the Notice by the LEA, a period for objections followed by consideration by the Secretary of State during which he will consider, among other information, advice from HMI.

Today I have informed the hon. Member and Norfolk LEA that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is minded to approve the proposals, subject to the necessary planning permission being granted.

Teacher Training

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many applications have been received for courses of postgraduate initial teacher training commencing in September; and how many had been received at the same stage (a) in 1999 and (b) in 1997, broken down in each case into those applying by subject for secondary training, separately identifying those applying for maths, foreign languages, science and technology; and if he will list the Government's targets for recruitment for those subjects for September. [131676]

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Ms Estelle Morris: Targets for 2000-01 for England are given in the table.

English and Drama2,160
Modern Foreign Languages2,050
Margin for flexibility200


1. Targets are for undergraduate combined with postgraduate.

2. The margin for flexibility is equivalent to the provision the Teacher Training Agency had last year to "vire" places between secondary subjects within certain parameters, but is now given explicitly.


Department for Education and Employment

Applications for postgraduate initial teacher training courses are only available on an England and Wales basis. Latest available figures for secondary teacher training by subject together with comparative figures for the previous year and 1997 are given in the table.

19 July 199717 July 199915 July 2000
English and Drama2,8292,6942,756
Modern Foreign Languages2,2751,9672,282


The above figures are for applications as entered on the GTTR computer system.


Graduate Teacher Training Registry (GTTR).

The number of trainees recruited onto mathematics postgraduate initial teacher training courses declined between 1994-95 and 1998-99, and there was a similar decline in the number of trainees recruited onto science postgraduate initial teacher training courses between 1996-97 and 1998-99. In October 1998 'golden hello' incentives were announced for teacher trainees taking a postgraduate certificate of education in mathematics or science. Such trainees received £2,500 during their training and a further £2,500 on going on to take up a relevant teaching post. Recruitment to these subjects in 1999 was up on the previous year.

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My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced on 30 March 2000 that £6,000 training salaries would be introduced for postgraduate trainees starting initial teacher training courses from September 2000. New style 'golden hello' incentives of £4,000 were announced for postgraduate trainees in mathematics, science, modern foreign languages, information technology and design and technology, who successfully complete their induction and go on to take up a relevant teaching post. Since the announcement, postgraduate application figures for secondary initial teacher training as provided by GTTR are 15 per cent. higher for mathematics, 21 per cent. higher for science, 61 per cent. higher for modern foreign languages and 53 per cent. higher for technology than for the same period from the end of March to July last year. Applications for postgraduate secondary subjects taken together are 38 per cent. higher than for the same period last year from the end of March to July last year.

Beanfield Community College

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what consultations have been carried out regarding the decision to close the sixth form of Beanfield Community College in order to bring about its reconfiguration as Corby Community College under the Fresh Start policy; what assessment he has made of the effect of this closure on the education of members of the present lower sixth in the college; and if he will make a statement. [131677]

Mr. Wicks: The proposals to close the sixth form at Beanfield Community College were decided under the new arrangements for local decision making. Since September 1999, most decisions on statutory proposals have been taken by local School Organisation Committees. Statutory guidance requires those bringing forward proposals to consult all interested parties, and also requires School Organisation Committees to satisfy themselves before deciding proposals with a significant post-16 dimension that all interested parties have been fully consulted and their views explicitly addressed.

AS Levels

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on the policy of university admission authorities towards AS levels; and how many universities he expects to use AS levels as predictors of likely A level performance. [131692]

Mr. Wicks: Universities are responsible for their own admissions policies. Initial indications are that they will consider the new AS level qualifications as early predictors of A level performance and make conditional offers that include, alongside A levels, AS qualifications as evidence of breadth. The position will be clearer once the HE prospectuses are published early in 2001. A guidance note for HEIs on changes to the post-16 curriculum in England, Wales and Northern Ireland was published by UCAS in June 2000 in conjunction with the Department and the regulatory authorities. Copies will be placed in the Libraries.

Examination Fees

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how much schools were

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charged in respect of examination fees for (a) GCSE examination entries and (b) A levels in each year of the last five years. [131693]

Mr. Wicks: As schools are charged individually and may have arrangements with more than one awarding body to buy a range of qualifications of which GCSE and GCE A level are but two, it is not possible to provide precise figures. Estimates of the amounts charged to maintained schools (including grant maintained schools) in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, based on the number of reported entries and the average fee charged for each qualification in each year are set out in the table:

£ million


This information has been provided by the Joint Council for General Qualifications.

The increases in charges are due to higher numbers of entries, as well as to take account of inflation.

City Academies

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what his most recent estimate is of the number of City Academies that will be in place in September 2001. [131694]

Ms Estelle Morris: Initial discussions are under way with a number of potential sponsors and LEAs about possible City Academies. It is too early to say when the first City Academies will be established.


Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will list the new primary and secondary classrooms built in Shrewsbury and Atcham since 1997. [131706]

Jacqui Smith: Local education authorities may draw on a number of different sources for funding to build new classrooms. The Department does not currently collect information on how local authorities use their Annual Capital Guideline allocations, nor on what building projects are funded from authorities' own resources. Details of projects in the Shrewsbury and Atcham constituency funded under the New Deal for Schools initiative, which included new classrooms, were given to my hon. Friend on 8 May 2000, Official Report, columns 291-92W. In addition, Shropshire local education authority has received £2.6 million under the Class Size Initiative. Two new infant classrooms have been built in the Shrewsbury and Atcham constituency: one at Greenfields County Primary School, and one at Springfield County Infant School.

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