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Jacqui Smith [holding answer 15 January 2001]: Before October 1998, there was nothing to prevent a local authority selling a school playing field if it wanted to. An estimated 40 playing fields a month were sold in this way under the previous Government. Section 77 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 was introduced, with effect from 1 October 1998, to stop the indiscriminate sale of school playing fields. Local authorities and governing bodies of all maintained schools are now required to obtain the Secretary of State's consent before disposing of playing fields, or any part of a playing field.
Since October 1998, 82 applications from local authorities and governing bodies to sell areas equal to, or larger than, a sports pitch have been approved. As no national figures were collected before October 1998, these approved applications can be broken down for each year since the law was changed as follows:
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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will list for each local education authority the amount (a) in total and (b) per pupil, that is spent an ICT, broken down into (i) primary and (ii) secondary schools. 
Mr. Wills [holding answer 18 January 2001]: Details of NGfL funding allocations are available on an LEA-by-LEA basis on the Standards Fund website ("http://www.dfee.gov."uk/standardsfund/). However, expenditure on ICT may be supplemented at both LEA and school level and this information is not held centrally.
There was no ICT survey in 1997. The following table shows changes since 1996. Funding on ICT by schools has doubled in the primary and special sectors since 1996, and has increased substantially in the secondary sector over this period.
|Average expenditure on ICT per school in:|
|Average expenditure on ICT per pupil in:|
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many children in (a) primary school and (b) secondary school education there were on (i) 1 January 1997, (ii) 1 January 2000 and (iii) 1 January 2001 in North Yorkshire. 
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|Maintained primary(12) aintained secondary(12)|
(12) Headcount of pupils
Mr. Wills: Three hundred and sixty thousand copies of the magazine are published every two months, with six issues a year. "Teachers" replaced "Schools Update", a magazine for teachers which was published under the previous Administration, and which survey work commissioned by the last Administration found was not widely read. The average cost of Update was about 27p at today's prices. "Teachers" costs 31.5p per copy (including advertising revenue) and is much more widely read by teachers.
Ms Estelle Morris: A survey of head teachers, school governors and local education authorities in London, produced in autumn 2000 by the Office of Manpower Economics on behalf of the School Teachers' Review Body, identified housing costs as a factor affecting the recruitment of teachers. The Government announced in December 2000 the Starter Homes Initiative, which has earmarked £250 million over three years to help teachers and other key workers buy their first homes.
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Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many responses his Department has received from LEAs to the letter from the Director General for Schools to LEAs of 23 November regarding teacher shortages; and if he will place a copy of these responses in the Library. 
Mr. Chris Smith: I published "Creating Opportunities" Guidance for local authorities in England on Local Cultural Strategies in December. Strategies will cover the whole range of cultural services. They will show how these services can help tackle the wider objectives of regeneration, lifelong learning and healthier and safer communities. Copies are available in the Libraries of both Houses.
Kate Hoey: Supporters Direct was announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State last November to assist groups of supporters wishing to become involved in the responsible running of clubs. It has already exceeded its first-year targets, helping to establish 12 supporters' trusts to date, plus a further nine trusts which are agreed in principle, and has assisted in the election of four supporter-directors. Supporters Direct has held discussions with groups representing supporters at a total of 100 football clubs.
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