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Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what representations he has received from representative bodies of (a) head teachers, (b) teachers and (c) directors of education on teacher supply and staff vacancies. 
Ms Estelle Morris: I receive regular representations on teacher supply and staff vacancies from organisations representing head teachers, teachers and directors of education. They share the Government's concern that
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Ms Estelle Morris: I receive regular formal and informal representations from LEAs on this subject. In recent weeks, many of them have welcomed the fact that there are 2,250 more trainee teachers now than at the same time in 2000, after recruitment to initial teacher training had fallen each year since 1992-93. They are pleased that there are nearly 7,000 more teachers in post than in 1998. LEAs have also welcomed the funding for local recruitment strategy managers, the doubling in size of the graduate teacher programme, and the support for returner courses for graduate teachers wishing to re-enter the profession in London. We talk regularly to LEAs, especially in the south-east, about recruitment issues, and when help is requested we provide it.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will list the communications sent from his Department to (a) local education authorities and (b) schools in the last two months on teacher recruitment and teacher supply. 
Ms Estelle Morris: The only general communication on this subject was sent by David Normington, Director General of my Department's schools directorate, to all chief education officers on 23 November 2000. No such communications have been sent to schools.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will list the meetings held between Ministers in his Department and representatives of LEAs, individually or collectively, to discuss education funding for 2001-02. 
Ms Estelle Morris: My ministerial colleagues and I regularly talk to representatives of LEAs and funding issues are sometimes on the agenda. In 2001-02, real terms funding per pupil will rise in England by £150, following an increase of £300 since 1997. This contrasts with a cut of £60 per pupil between 1994-97 in real terms.
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Mr. Wicks: My Department does not collect information on the number of youth clubs funded by local authorities. It is for local authorities to decide upon the level of their youth service provision in the light of local needs and priorities.
Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment which of his Ministers is due to visit India in the next three months; what the purpose of the visits will be; by whom Ministers will be accompanied, including family members or partners; and what the estimated cost of the visit is. 
Mr. Wills: My right hon. and noble Friend the Minister for Education and Employment will be visiting India in January 2001 to promote UK education and training. She will be accompanied by two officials from the Department and representatives from the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the British Council. The cost of the visit is expected to be in the region of £18,000.
Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment which of his Ministers has visited India since May 1997; what the purpose of each visit was; by whom these Ministers were accompanied, including family members; and what the cost to his Department was of each trip. 
My right hon. and noble Friend the Minister for Education and Employment visited India in January 1998 to promote British education and training. She was accompanied by two officials from the Department and representatives from the Higher Education Funding Council for England and British Training International. The cost to the Department of the visit was £17,034.
Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what are the budgeted running costs and staff numbers for 2000-01 for the training and enterprise councils, broken down by region. 
Mr. Wicks: We do not collect information on TEC staff numbers or administrative budgets centrally in advance. The costs and staff numbers for 2000-01 by region will therefore not be known until TECs have delivered their contracts and completed their final year accounts.
The following table shows provisional figures by region for 1999-2000 taken from TEC statutory accounts. Where the TEC has subsidiary companies, the figures include staff numbers and costs for the whole group.
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|Region||Running costs (£)||Staff numbers|
|East of England||26,356,722||884|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||32,795,490||1,197|
(26) Includes provisional figures for two TECs
(27) Includes provisional figures for one TEC
|East of England||113.466|
|Yorkshire and the Humber||159.206|
These allocations include funding for Investing in young people, time off for study and training, helping adults improve their effectiveness in the labour market, local competitiveness and strategic activity. TECS receive separate allocations in respect of DTI-funded business services.
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment who has led the United Kingdom delegation to the Commonwealth Education Ministers triennial conference on each of the last five occasions. 
Mr. Wicks: The United Kingdom delegation was led by my right hon. and noble Friend the Minister for Education and Employment at Gaborone in 1997; by Lord Lucas at Islamabad in 1994; by Mr. Nick Stuart, Deputy Secretary, Department of Education and Science at Bridgetown in 1990; by Baroness Gloria Hooper at Nairobi in 1987; and by the right hon. Member for Cities of London and Westminster (Mr. Brooke) at Nicosia in 1984.
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Mr. Wicks: The Careers and Occupational Information Centre (COIC), a unit within my Department, publishes information about a broad range of career opportunities including nursing. For example, "Jobfile" is a booklet containing information on nursing as a career and is made available to secondary schools for issue to pupils in years 9-11. A booklet for young people "Working in Nursing" contains case studies of 15 people in nursing and related jobs.
Qualified advisers working in careers services regularly visit schools to provide information, advice and guidance to pupils on all career issues including nursing as appropriate. This work will continue through the Connexions service from April 2001.
Each year, my Department liaises with the Department of Health to promote "Nurses Day" and "Midwives Day" in schools. Each of these days gives schoolchildren the opportunity to find out more about the two professions.
With DfEE support, the Department of Health launched a schools competition "Make Some Noise" in June 2000, as part of a wider three-year recruitment and retention strategy to promote career opportunities within the NHS. The competition aims to raise awareness among 11 to 19-year-olds of the diversity of careers, including nursing, in the NHS. A similar schools competition in 1998-99 was very successful, with the majority of schools requesting an information pack and estimated 30,000 schoolchildren learning more about work in the NHS. Over 80 per cent. of teachers reported that students were now "quite or very interested" in a career in the NHS.
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