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Ms Estelle Morris: For Sefton, SSA has increased from over £106 million in 1997-98 to £132 million in 2001-02. During this period, over £27 million has been allocated to schools capital. In 2001-02 over £12 million has been allocated for other grants, including the Standards Fund and School Standards Grant. Under this Government, funding nationally per pupil has already increased by over £300 in real terms, and it will increase by a further £150 per pupil for 2001-02.
Ms Estelle Morris: My ministerial colleagues and I regularly talk to representatives of LEAs about the level of school funding. 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.
26. Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what recent representations he has received (a) from and (b) on behalf of Worcestershire head teachers about the funding of education in the county; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Estelle Morris: My right hon. Friend has received a number of representations about the funding of education in Worcestershire from and on behalf of head teachers in the county. On top of the significant increases that have already been announced for 2001-02, we have made an extra £52 million available to provide
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support to help some local education authorities manage funding changes in 2001-02. Worcestershire will receive £1.35 million as its share of this additional funding, which will help the authority deal with known pressures in advance of the longer term revision of local authority finance.
Ms Hodge: Bringing together child care and early years education is a vital principle underpinning our approach to this area. It makes sense both for children and for the modern family. We are developing a range of initiatives to support this principle--Sure Start, Early Excellence Centres and the Neighbourhood Reserves Initiatives which all aim to join-up early years education and child care. We will be extending these programmes and setting clear targets for EYDCPs to create new additional integrated placed for young children.
Ms Hodge: All four-year-olds have been able to access a free early education place since 1998. By 2004 we will provide a free place for every three-year-old. Recently, we announced the funding for 2001-02, which will enable us to provide 80,000 more free nursery places for three-year-olds as part of the programme of expansion. We are doubling the amount spent on nursery education from £1 billion to £2 billion by 2004.
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Ms Hodge: Almost 100 per cent. of four-year-olds and 85 per cent. of three-year-olds receive some amount of nursery education each week. All four-year-olds have been able to access a free early education place since 1998. By 2004 we will provide a free place for every three-year-old.
Jacqui Smith: Investment in school buildings over the next three years will total £7.8 billion. This is in addition to over £2 billion being invested in school buildings this year. By 2003-04, this will rise to £3.2 billion a year. This contrasts with the £683 million spent in 1996-97. It means that 650 schools will be completely rebuilt or refurbished; over 7,000 schools will have major repairs; every school will have a share of £1 billion for capital improvements.
18. Mr. Berry: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what discussions he has had with the Higher Education Funding Council for England about the implementation of the Bett report on pay in the higher education sector. 
Jacqui Smith: Ofsted inspections underpin our commitment that all schools are expected to make provision for a daily act of collective worship. Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools' annual report for 1998-99, published in February 2000, revealed that 94 per cent. of primary schools provide a daily act of collective worship. The report says that in most schools teachers work hard to make collective worship a meaningful experience which provides pupils with a chance to reflect on important issues and builds a sense of community.
20. Mr. Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what discussions he has had with teacher representatives about the establishment of learning support units and pupil referral units. 
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from April to tackle truancy, improve discipline and educate excluded pupils. Schools have welcomed the increased provision and the fact that there are 1,000 more places in PRUs for excluded pupils than in 1997, as well as plans for over 1,000 in-school units by 2002.
However, it is for local education authorities and the senior management teams of schools between them to decide where best to establish Learning Support Units to meet identified needs. Before opening or closing a Pupil Referral Unit, local education authorities should consult locally, including other Pupil Referral Units and their management committees, which may include headteachers.
21. Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what estimate he has made of the number of (a) nursery school places for four year-olds, (b) primary school places for five year-olds and (c) secondary school places for 11 year-olds available in the London borough of Southwark in the year 2001-02, and the number of children of each age group during the same year. 
Mrs. Hodge: My Department does not collect detailed information on the provision of nursery or school places by local education authorities in England. It is for each local education authority to plan and keep under review the supply of school places so as to ensure there is sufficient provision to meet demand. The School Standards and Framework Act 1998 requires every local education authority to prepare a School Organisation Plan (SOP). The SOP sets out how the authority proposes to deal with surplus or deficits of school provision over a five-year period and sets out the context for proposals for changes in school organisation. Where LEAs can demonstrate insufficient school places to meet future demand they may apply to the Department for capital funding to provide additional places for statutory aged children. The spring 2000 nursery education grant headcount showed in Southwark there were 2,866 four-year-old pupils. The annual school census for January 2000 showed that there were 3,181 pupils aged five in maintained primary schools and 2,040 11 year olds in maintained secondary schools.
Ms Jowell: At the end of November 2000, 12,680 young people in Liverpool had started the New Deal programme. In Liverpool, the programme has helped 5,350 young people move from benefit into work, through the commitment of over 1,400 employers. We know that many more young people will have left the New Deal for jobs without telling the Employment Service: they are not included in these figures.
In Liverpool the falls in unemployment among the New Deal for Young People client group have also been substantially faster than for other groups. In Liverpool, since April 1998, claimant unemployment among those aged 18-24, unemployed for six months or more, has fallen by 70 per cent. from 3,232 to 952. This compares
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with a fall of 25 per cent. in total unemployment, 33 per cent. in total youth (18-24) unemployment, and 38 per cent. in the total number unemployed for six months or more.
Other New Deals are also showing encouraging results. For example, 6,944 people had entered New Deal 25+ at November 2000, with 1,243 having found employment. To the end of October, 2,718 people had participated in New Deal for Lone Parents with 853 moving into employment.
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