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Paddy Ashdown: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) if he will make a statement on his assessment of local deprivation in Somerset and the allocation of free places for three-year- olds in early years education; 
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Ms Hodge [holding answer 20 July 2000]: A number of indices are used by the Department to measure social deprivation in local education authorities: the proportion of children in one parent families; the proportion of children of Income Support and Job Seeker's Allowance claimants; the numbers of conceptions per 1,000 girls aged 15 to 17; and the Index of Local Deprivation. The last of these is used to distribute funding to enable the creation of new early education places for three-year-olds. As part of the Government's expansion of three-year-old provision, in 2000-01 Somerset was given an initial allocation of £130,000 to enable it to create 112 new free places. The authority has also bid for a number of further places which have been funded in full. It can now provide up to 250 new free places for each of the autumn 2000 and spring 2001 terms.
Mr. Allan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what Employment Service guidelines exist in respect of making disabled clients aware of the Access to Work scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. Allan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many disabled people have joined the New Deal for (a) young people, (b) 25 plus, (c) lone parents and (d) partners of the unemployed. 
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what the percentage change was between January 1997 and January 2000 in the number of pupils in classes taught by one teacher with 31 or more pupils in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools. 
Ms Estelle Morris: The number of pupils in primary classes of 31 or more pupils taught by one teacher in January 2000 was 1,072,000 (26.5 per cent.) compared with 1,344,000 (33.4) in January 1997. The number of pupils in secondary classes of 31 or more pupils taught by one teacher in January 2000 was 334,200 (11 per cent.) compared with 245,400 (9 per cent.) in January 1997. This reflects a general upward trend that dates back to 1991 when the figure was 6.4 per cent. However, 90 per cent. of secondary pupils are still being taught in classes of 30 or below.
The average size of secondary classes in January 2000 was 22.0, and the pupil-teacher ratio was 17.1. In the Budget earlier this year, secondary headteachers received between £30,000 and £50,000 each to spend as they choose. If they spent it on teachers, they could reduce the secondary pupil:teacher ration by 0.4.
In the meantime, the number of pupils in infant classes over 30 pupils has already fallen by 300,000 and the Government are well on target to deliver their infant class size pledge. Some £620 million is available to support the pledge. In addition the average class size in maintained primary schools went down for the second year running--from 27.5 in January 1999 to 27.1 in January 2000, after rising for the previous 10 years. The average size of junior classes also fell, from 28.4 in January 1999 to 28.3 in January 2000.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what was the pupil-teacher ratio in (a) primary, (b) secondary and (c) all maintained schools in (i) January 1997 and (ii) according to the most recent figure available. 
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|Position as at January||Primary||Secondary|
In respect of class sizes, the number of pupils in key stage 1 classes in England of over 30 pupils has already fallen by 300,000 and the Government are well on target to deliver their infant class size pledge. Some £620 million is available to support the pledge.
Secondary PTRs nationally have been rising steadily for the last decade. In the Budget, secondary headteachers received between £30,000 and £50,000 each to spend as they choose. If they spend it on teachers, they could reduce the secondary pupil:teacher ratio by 0.4.
In the recent Year 2000 Spending Review, we also announced that headteachers would be handed £540 million in direct grants next year to spend on boosting standards in classrooms. A typical secondary school will get £60,000 and a typical primary £20,000.Funding per pupil has already increased by over £300 per pupil in real terms since 1997. The Year 2000 Spending Review means a real term increase of £370 over the three years bringing the total to almost £700 per pupil between 1997-98 and 2003-04. Spending per pupil fell by £60 in real terms under the last three years of the previous administration.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many external assessors have been recruited for the purpose of performance- related pay; and what estimate he has made of the number of assessors who will be required after year one of the scheme. 
Ms Estelle Morris: We expect that in the first year of operation of the performance threshold a full-time equivalent of around 570 assessors will be required in England and Wales during the period in which assessor visits will be taking place.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, pursuant to the oral statement by the Minister for School Standards of 17 July 2000, Official Report, columns 21-29, what the length was of the period of consultation on line managers' responsibilities through the fast track; and what plans he has to carry out further consultation. 
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