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Departmental Policies (Sandwell)

Mr. Bailey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will set out with statistical information relating as directly as possible to the borough, the effects of his Department's policies and actions on the metropolitan borough of Sandwell since 2 May 1997. [156378]

Mr. Wills [holding answer 30 March 2001]: Outlined are details of the effects of a range of the Department's policies on the metropolitan borough of Sandwell.

Sure Start

Sandwell local education authority has one initiative made up of three residential areas which includes Brickhouse, Rowley and Springfield estates.

Schools with specialist status designated since 1997

Wood Green High School has specialist arts status.

Failing Schools

St Mary's RC and Willingsworth Schools are both in Special Measures.

Private Finance Initiative (PFI)

This scheme is to rebuild five primary schools and that complements regeneration proposals in the authority. One of the 5 schools included, Great Bridge Primary, is in the West Bromwich, West.

School Achievement Awards

Thirteen schools within the West Bromwich, West constituency achieved the awards for improvement. This amounted to £95,510 for the constituency.

Education Action Zone

An EAZ began operation in January 2000. It involves 4 secondary and 11 primary schools in the Wednesbury area and concentrates on strategies to raise achievement in literacy, numeracy and information and communications technology by means of new teaching and learning methods. The majority of the schools involved in the EAZ fall within the West Bromwich, West constituency.

Class Sizes

Figures for September 2000 show that Sandwell had 1.0 per cent. of infant pupils (99) taught in large classes with more than 30 pupils. This compares with 1.9 per cent.

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nationally. Sandwell has received capital funding of £1.5 million to build 19 additional classrooms, and revenue support of £3.3 million for 158 extra teachers.

Sandwell performance data key stage 2, percentage of pupils achieving level 4

England average75716563
England average72695962
England average85786969

GCSE--percentage of pupils achieving

5+ A*--C
LEA Average31.729.728.726.9
England Average(16)49.247.946.345.1
5+ A*--G
LEA Average84.984.083.380.2
England Average(16)88.988.587.586.4
No Passes--------
LEA Average7.98.89.712.3
England Average(16)
Average Point Score
LEA Average30.730.128.7n/a
England Average38.938.137.0n/a

A/AS level and advanced GNVQ

Average Points for two or more A/AS levels
LEA Average10.611.812.311.1
England Average18.518.217.817.3
A/AS average per entry
LEA Average3.23.73.8n/a
England Average5.
Average point score GNVQs
LEA Average9.510.68.6n/a
England Average10.19.99.6n/a

Funding per pupil

In Sandwell LEA, funding per pupil has increased by £610 in real terms between 1997-98 and 2001-02.

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Sandwell LEA capital funding

Credit approvals:
PFI credits--12,200------12,200
NDS Condition788--------788
VA grant108120906969456
Schools' formula capital--2,211------2,211
Science labs194194------388
Nursery provision--69------69
AMP support----41----41
SEED challenge234208------442
Infant class size--5596--1,531
Schools Access Initiative34993----361
NDS Devolved Formula(16)1,795--------1,795

(16) Formerly Schools' formula capital

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Further Education

Student numbers at all FEFC funded institutions where home postcode is in the local authority district of Sandwell, are given in the table.

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1996-97 to 1999-2000

FEFC funded Non-FEFC funded
16-18 Adult 16-18 Adult

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Modern Apprenticeships

Information on Modern Apprenticeships for all English constituencies will be placed in the Library by the end of March.

New Deal for Young People

In the West Bromwich, West constituency, 1,565 young people had joined the New Deal to the end of December 2000. 742 have found jobs, 567 of which are sustained.

Labour market statistics

The working age employment rate in Sandwell in autumn 2000 was 66.1 per cent., below the UK rate of 74.7 per cent. The rate in autumn 1997 was 69.2 per cent., in autumn 1998 71.5 per cent., and in autumn 1999 66.6 per cent. These figures are volatile at this level, and our best interpretation of the trend in the employment rate for Sandwell since 1997 is that it has been broadly flat.

The claimant unemployment rate has fallen from 6.7 per cent. in February 1997 to 4.8 per cent. in February 2001 in the West Bromwich, West constituency.

Child Care Workers

Mr. Cann: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what estimate he has made of the effectiveness of the campaign to recruit child care workers. [158109]

Ms Hodge: The response to the campaign has been very positive. By 16 April 2001, the media advertising had generated over 64,000 calls to the national recruitment orderline and over 70,000 booklets have been sent out to callers. The latest survey of callers to the

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orderline shows that over 70 per cent. of all respondents have taken or intend to take action to find work or training in the sector. A survey in January suggested that six months after contacting the orderline 16 per cent. of the sample had found work in the sector, 21 per cent. of an earlier, larger, sample of callers had attended a training course and that many others intended to do so.

Primary Schools (Year 6)

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how much time is spent in primary schools in Year 6 on core subjects as a proportion of all teaching; and what the proportion was in May 1997. [158536]

Ms Estelle Morris: The average percentage of Year 6 teaching time currently spent on the core subjects is 60 per cent. (27 per cent. for English, 22 per cent. for mathematics and 11 per cent. for science). This compares with an average of 53 per cent. (22 per cent. for English, 19 per cent. for mathematics and 12 per cent. for science) in 1996-97.

We welcome the fact that primary schools are now spending more time teaching English and mathematics, where standards were unacceptably low in 1997. Since 1997, we have introduced the daily Literacy Hour and mathematics lesson, which have improved the quality of teaching and raised standards of achievement, not only in English and mathematics but also in science and the foundation subjects of the National Curriculum, which schools are required to teach.

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