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20 Mar 2001 : Column: 156W
Ms Jowell: The 12 existing ONE pilots are due to run until March 2002, and we are investing considerable resources in a thorough evaluation. Clearly, we do not want to prejudge the results of the full evaluation, but the lessons we are learning from the pilots are helping to inform the development of the service to be delivered by the Working Age Agency, which will bring together the services of the Employment Service and working age-related elements of the Benefits Agency. On 14 March of this year, the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, and the Secretary of State for Social Security, together announced the establishment from October this year of around 50 Pathfinder sites for the Working Age Agency. The Government's commitment to expanding the approach tested in ONE is being taken forward through these Pathfinders, which will deliver a ONE-style service to all working age benefit claimants. This will form the basis for the service we expect the Working Age Agency to deliver, over time, across the country.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will list the television, newspaper and radio advertising and other promotional campaigns conducted by (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its departmental public bodies, in each of the past five years, showing for each the expenditure incurred by his Department; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs. Betty Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what advice he has given to colleges of further education about the age at which men may be offered concessionary fees where women are offered such fees at the age of 60 years. 
Mr. Wicks: Colleges of further education are generally free to vary or waive fees as they wish. The Further Education Funding Council (which is succeeded, from 1 April 2001, by the Learning and Skills Council) will
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Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what guidance he has issued to the Learning and Skills Council regarding the minimum size for a school sixth form to be considered viable. 
Mr. Wicks [holding answer 16 March 2001]: My right hon. Friend has no plans to issue such guidance. Viability is a matter for schools and local education authorities, not the Learning and Skills Council. The LSC only has a role in respect of sixth forms which fail two consecutive Ofsted inspections.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on the funding requirement identified by the final report from the Funding Options Review Group of Universities UK; and what plans he has to meet this requirement. 
Mr. Wicks [holding answer 16 March 2001]: The Government welcome the report from the Funding Options Review Group of Universities UK as a helpful contribution to the debate about the funding of higher education. The Government are increasing funding to universities and higher education colleges in England by £1.7 billion over the six years to 2003-04; funding per full-time equivalent student will increase in real terms in 2001-02 for the first time in over a decade. The funding shortfall identified in the Universities UK report is for 2003-04. The Government will address the funding needs of the sector from 2003-04 in the next Spending Review.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many candidates have entered for A-level (a) mathematics, (b) physics and (c) chemistry in each of the last five years. 
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Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what estimate he has made of the net change in the number of specialist schools which will arise from the proposals in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Bill [Lords]. 
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 16 March 2001]: The Government want an inclusive education service to offer excellence and choice. Where parents want a mainstream place for their child everything reasonably possible should be done to provide one. Equally where more specialist provision is what is sought, it is important and right that the wishes of parents are listened to.
There is a continuing and vital role for special schools. As has always been the case there will be changes to provision to reflect local needs and circumstances. While some special schools have closed, others have been enlarged and new special schools have opened. The overall size of the special school sector has remained broadly the same since 1996 and caters for 1.2 per cent. of all pupils. The Government do not envisage this will change dramatically.
Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on the funding of a replacement playground for Sundorne Secondary School in Shrewsbury. 
Jacqui Smith: This is a matter for Shropshire local education authority (LEA) to manage, working with the school. I understand that the school has made representations to the authority to secure funding for this project.
Several possible sources of funding exist for this project. In January this year, we announced New Deal for Schools (NDS) Condition and New Deal for Schools (NDS) Devolved formula funding for the next three years to 2003-04. From that funding, Shropshire LEA and its schools will receive around £4.08 million NDS Condition funding and £5.82 million NDS Devolved formula funding over the period. The NDS Devolved formula allocation will be increased by the extra funding announced in the Chancellor's Budget statement on 7 March. As a result, I estimate that Sundorne Secondary School will receive over £16,000 in total next year under the NDS Devolved capital funding programme, with increased amounts in later years, for it to use on priority capital work.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many (a) agency teachers and (b) teachers on contracts of one term or less are employed in schools in England and Wales. 
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England working for the whole of the survey date of 20 January 2000. There were a further 11,860 non-agency supply teachers on contracts of less than one month.
At January 2000 there were 750 full-time teachers (including agency teachers) employed on a fixed term contract of one month and less than one term in the maintained nursery, primary and secondary sector in England. Agency teachers on contracts of one month or more are not identified centrally.
A number of factors may have affected the demand for short term supply teachers in January 2000 including the requirement for schools to give teachers in their induction year a 10 per cent. reduction in timetable, and a flu epidemic that some education authorities reported.
The number of regular teachers (excluding short term supply teachers) in the maintained schools sector in England in January 2000 was 404,600, the highest for 10 years, and 6,900 higher than January 1998.
From April 2001 new graduate recruits can expect to earn £17,000 a year (up 6 per cent. from the previous year) and starting salaries in Inner London will rise to £20,000 (up 9 per cent. from the previous year).
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