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Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what meetings his Department has held with London borough chief education officers to discuss a pan-London strategy for the recruitment and retention of teachers in London. 
Ms Estelle Morris: I discuss education issues with individual London boroughs regularly. Most recently I discussed a range of issues, including teacher recruitment with the ALG on 11 December. My right hon. Friend announced on 29 August the package of measures for London.
Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what estimate his Department has made of the number of new teachers that will have to qualify each year for the next five years to fill projected teaching vacancies; and what targets his Department has set for recruitment of new teachers for each of the next five years. 
Ms Estelle Morris: The firm and indicative targets are announced for rolling three-year periods. On 8 December, I announced that 29,820 places would be available on initial teacher training courses in England in 2001-02, and that the indicative intake targets for 2002-03 and 2003-04 were 29,535 and 29,095 respectively. Those figures will be reviewed at the appropriate time. The targets that I announced do not take account of the 1,680 employment-based training places that will be available in each of the next three years and for which funding had already been announced. These mean that there is provision for 31,570 people to enter initial teacher training in 2001-02 and that, on current estimates, we plan to make 31,215 places available in 2002-03 and 30,775 in 2003-04.
We expect these targets, together with the new £6,000 training salaries that we are now offering graduate trainee teachers, to allow good progress to be made towards recruiting the number of entrants to initial teacher training that we estimate will be needed to ensure an adequate supply of newly-qualified teachers. We have already, this year, secured the first rise in recruitment to initial teacher training since 1992-93, with more than 2,000 more people currently in training than at this time last year.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) what payments the Treasury (a) has made and (b) intends to make directly to schools in the form of flat-rate payments; 
Ms Estelle Morris: The Government are making School Standards Grant of approximately £290 million available in 2000-01. In 2001-02 the amount of such grant will increase to £540 million, and will continue for the following two years with a 2.75 per cent. annual uplift. Schools receive this grant in lump sums based on the size
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and category of school; in 2001-02 a typical primary school will receive £20,000 and a typical secondary school, £60,000.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will set out the payments made to all local education authorities from his Standards Fund expressed in amounts per pupil for each year since 1997. 
Ms Estelle Morris: The following table shows payments from the Standards Fund, shown as an amount per pupil, for 1997-98, 1998-99 and 1999-2000, for each local education authority. The figures for 1999-2000 are estimated payments, as audited outturn statements have yet to be received from all authorities. The figures include all grants paid through the Standards Fund payment system, excluding New Deal for Schools Capital, which is not part of the Standards Fund programme. Details for 2000-01 are not yet available.
|Local education authority||1997-98||1998-99||1999-2000|
|City of London||89||111||797|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||32||61||158|
|Kensington and Chelsea||41||58||198|
|Barking and Dagenham||44||71||97|
|Kingston upon Thames||23||42||57|
|Richmond upon Thames||24||33||150|
|Newcastle upon Tyne||43||86||112|
|Isles of Scilly||123||144||496|
|Bath and North East Somerset||17||50||116|
|Bristol, City of||28||47||107|
|Redcar and Cleveland||33||63||104|
|City of Kingston-upon-Hull||28||40||206|
|East Riding of Yorkshire||31||53||110|
|North East Lincolnshire||22||59||93|
|Brighton and Hove||24||57||110|
|Windsor and Maidenhead||n/a||52||90|
|Blackburn with Darwen||n/a||51||184|
|Telford and Wrekin||n/a||82||135|
|Isle of Wight||38||65||111|
(5) Estimated for 1998-99
n/a--Authorities affected by local government reorganisation in April 1998
Payments to Lambeth were stopped after September 1998 due to unresolved issues surrounding their audited outturn statement.
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Mr. Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment when he will issue further guidance to local education authorities and higher education institutions concerning students who are temporarily absent from their studies due to (a) illness and (b) caring responsibilities. 
Mr. Wicks: The Department issued further guidance in early November 2000 to all local education authorities and Higher Education institutions on the provisions for students who are temporarily absent from their course due to illness or caring responsibilities. Similar information was also made available to students in Higher Education.
Under the Education (Student Support) Regulations, full-time students in England and Wales who are absent from their course because of illness are entitled to continue to receive student support for the first 60 days of absence. Before academic year 1998-99 this was only 28 days. Local education authorities also have the discretion to determine whether student support should be continued when a student is absent for reasons other than illness or caring duties.
Full-time students who have suspended their studies because of illness or caring responsibilities, and who are required to wait until they are permitted to rejoin their course, can now claim Jobseeker's Allowance and Housing/Council Tax Benefit from when they recover from illness or their caring duties end.
The revised guidance encourages local education authorities to use the discretionary powers available to them to continue paying student support when a student is temporarily absent from their course.
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