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Teaching Vacancies (North Somerset)

Mr. Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many permanent specialist mathematics teaching vacancies there were in North Somerset local education authority schools in each year since 1979. [142944]

Ms Estelle Morris: Information on teaching vacancies in North Somerset local education authority prior to 1997 is not available, due to the fact that this particular authority was formed as part of the local government reorganisation of 1 April 1996. The number of full-time mathematics teaching vacancies in maintained secondary schools in North Somerset local authority on the third Thursday in January each year since the authority was created is as follows:


The number of regular teachers in maintained schools increased by 6,900 between January 1998 and January 2000.

A DfEE survey of maintained secondary schools in England in the first week of September 2000 indicated that there were about 1,000 secondary teacher vacancies.

There was a growth of 2000 in the number of people training to be teachers between 1999-2000 and 2000-01, the first such increase since 1992-93.

Education Statistics

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what proportion of children of compulsory school age in each local education authority in England are (a) educated in that authority's special schools, (b) educated in special provision in that

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authority's mainstream schools, (c) receiving special education in private schools or in another local education authority, (d) educated otherwise and (e) not being educated. [143439]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 20 December 2000]: The available information is to be placed in the House of Commons Library: proportion of pupils of compulsory school age in maintained special schools, proportion of pupils of compulsory school age receiving special education in independent schools, proportion of pupils of compulsory school age receiving special education in non-maintained special schools and the proportion of pupils of compulsory school age not on the roll of a school or pupil referral unit.

Section 19 of the Education Act 1996 places a responsibility on local education authorities to provide suitable education outside school for children unable to attend school because of illness, exclusion from school or otherwise. By 2002 provision for pupils excluded from school must be full-time.

Statutory guidance from the DfEE advises local education authorities to set up systems for collecting data on the number of children of all ages who are out of school, and their achievements. Such a register will help authorities ensure that vulnerable groups do not become lost in the system between education and employment.

Information is collected on the number of pupils with special educational needs in mainstream schools.

This is published in the Statistical First Release "Special Educational Needs in England--January 2000" in November 2000. A copy of this publication is available from the Library and can also be accessed on the Department's statistical website However, this does not specifically distinguish between forms of special provision in mainstream schools.

We do not collect information about those pupils receiving special education in another local education authority. However, we have included in the table information about pupils receiving education in non- maintained special schools (including hospital special).

Mixed-ability Streaming

Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what recent assessment he has made of the merits of streaming pupils of different abilities. [143593]

Ms Estelle Morris: Most secondary schools, and a small but increasing proportion of primary schools for their older pupils, set by ability in particular subjects. The balance of evidence supports the effectiveness of this practice in raising standards.

Work Permits

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many work permits were granted to foreign nationals during the last 12 months. [143932]

Ms Hodge: During the 12 month period from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2000 a total of 102,180 work

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permits were granted to foreign nationals. A more detailed breakdown by type and duration of permit is shown in the following table.

Type of permitUp to 12 monthsOver 12 months
Business and Commercial19,98552,571
Sports and Entertainments21,107710
Training and Work Experience (TWES)5,5172,290

Class Sizes (Wansbeck)

Mr. Denis Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what percentage of children aged (a) five, (b) six and (c) seven are taught in classes of over 30 in schools in Wansbeck; and what were the comparable 1997 figures. [144287]

Ms Estelle Morris: We have secured early delivery of our infant class size pledge for the vast majority of infants, including in Wansbeck. In the constituency in September 2000, 2.3 per cent. of five, six and seven-year-olds were in classes of 31 or more. The figure in January 1997 was 36.7 per cent.

The latest infant class size data for September 2000 were recently published in a Statistical First Release "Infant Class Sizes in England 2000" on 1 November, copies of which are available from the Library, or alternatively can be accessed from the Department for Education and Employment statistical website Figures from this release show that since September 1998, 324,000 five, six and seven-year-olds have benefited from the Government's infant class size initiative. In September 2000, 30,000 children were in classes of 31 or more children, compared to 171,000 in September 1999. This demonstrates that the Government are delivering early their infant class size pledge, which is supported by some £620 million.

School League Tables

Mr. Denis Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what course of action is open to schools who wish to challenge the accuracy of school league tables; and if amended league tables are published in the event of errors being discovered. [144291]

Jacqui Smith: It is open to schools to complain that data published in the annual school performance tables are in error. Where they do so we investigate thoroughly and issue errata amending the figures where appropriate. The publication of the information in league table form is, however, a matter entirely for the media.

We have received complaints about the information published in the secondary school performance tables on 16 November last year from two schools in my hon. Friend's constituency. Following investigation the data for King Edward VI School have been amended, and the school has received an apology for the error. The figures for the second school were found not to be in error. Data are published in the Department's performance tables to a very high level of accuracy. Seven of the 5,400 secondary

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schools and colleges included in last year's tables have had errata following errors made by the Department or its contractors.

School Transport

Mr. Nicholls: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how much additional grant has been given to education authorities to provide safer school transport in each of the last five years. [144455]

Jacqui Smith: My Department has made no specific grants to local education authorities to provide safer school transport. Funding for school transport is included as part of local education authorities' standard spending assessments, but it is for individual authorities to decide how they spend the money. The total amount spent by local education authorities on home to school transport in England in 1998-99, the latest year for which figures are available, was £444 million. The Government recently announced £2.8 billion of capital investment over the next five years for local authorities in England for small-scale integrated transport schemes, including safe routes to schools. The Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) has also supported individual local projects on safe routes to schools. It has funded a pilot programme of site-specific advice on school travel plans, will roll out a larger programme this spring, and will help to fund local school travel plan coordinators.

The Government have also worked with their School Travel Advisory Group on a programme of initiatives to improve safety and reduce car use on the journey to school. My Department, jointly with DETR, has produced guidance to schools, governors and local education authorities on measures to encourage healthier, safer and more sustainable school travel.

School Funding (Staffordshire)

Tony Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how much was spent on schools in Staffordshire in each year since 1997; and how much in each case was delivered outside the statutory spending assessment funding formula. [144469]

Ms Estelle Morris: Spending on schools in Staffordshire for 1997-98 and 1998-99, the years for which this information is readily available, was £240.9 million and £255.2 million respectively. These figures are based on net institutional expenditure. The following table sets out the resources made available to Staffordshire local education authority since 1997-98. These are not directly comparable with net institutional expenditure.

£ million

Standard Spending Assessment(7)Special and Specific GrantsSSA and Special/ Specific Grants

(7) Includes the under-fives, primary, secondary and post-16 SSA sub-blocks.

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