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Mr. Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what telephone helplines to assist the public are administered by his Department and its agencies. [159509]

Mr. Wills: The Department administers the following helplines which provide advice and information to the public:

Helpline number
Career Development Loans0800 585 505
Childcare Link0800 096 0296
Computers for Teachers0870 241 4679
Individual Learning Accounts0800 072 5678
Millennium Volunteers0800 917 8185
New Deal Helpline0845 606 2626
Work-Life Balance020 7273 5626

In addition to these directly administered helplines, the Department regularly works with outside partners during the year to set up, or provide temporary support for, helplines on specific topics. Those planned in the near future are:

The Department's Public Enquiry Line (0870 000 2288) is the official contact point for members of the general public on all areas of DfEE activities.

The Department does not centrally hold information about helplines run by its agencies.

Departmental Policies (Mitcham and Morden)

Siobhain McDonagh: 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 constituency, the effects on the Mitcham and Morden constituency of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [159511]

Mr. Wills: Outlined are details of the effects of a range of the Department's policies on Mitcham and Morden constituency and Merton LEA.

Beacon Schools

Connexions Partnership

Merton as part of the London South area is one of the 12 areas where the Connexions Partnership began to deliver the service from 1 April 2001. The London South

8 May 2001 : Column: 100W

area has been allocated a provisional budget allocation of £9,408,621 and covers the boroughs of Merton, Kingston Upon Thames, Sutton, Croydon and Bromley.

Infant Class Sizes

Progress in implementing plan:

As at January 2001, Merton LEA had no infants in classes of more than 30. The figure in January 2000 was 1,470 (30.8 per cent.).

The authority has been allocated £2.4 million in capital funding and £1.7 million in revenue funding between 1999-2000 and 2001-02.

Performance Data (England averages include independent schools)

Key stage 2: pupils achieving level 4 and above


GCSE and GNVQ results

5+ A*-C
LEA average40.538.837.337.5
England average49.247.946.345.1
5+ A*-G
LEA average85.886.384.882.9
England average88.988.587.586.4
No passes
LEA average7.
National average5.

GCE A/AS examinations and Advanced GNVQs

Average points for two or more A/AS levels
LEA average15.014.613.212.3
National average17.318.217.817.3
A/AS average per entry
LEA average4.
National average5.
Advanced GNVQ point score
LEA average9.79.211.4n/a
National average10.19.99.6n/a

LEA capital funding

VA Grant3,774187138104105
Devolved Formula Capital--531------
Additional Devolved Formula Capital--463------
Science Labs103103------
Access at 85 per cent.23296----11
Class size--1,3511,076----
Outside toilets------23--
Energy Efficiency------42--
Assistance with AMP----21----
Nursery Provision----------
NDS Condition Funding404--------
NDS Devolved formula802--------
PFI Credits20,700--------

Funding per pupil

In Merton LEA, funding per pupil has increased by £600 in real terms between 1997-98 and 2001-02.

Private Finance Initiative (PFI)

A PFI project to reorganise its secondary schools as part of a wider reorganisation was approved by the Project Review Group in July 2000 and is currently working towards contract signature.

Further Education

Student numbers at all FEFC funded institutions where home postcode is in the local authority district of Merton.

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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 was placed in the Library of the House of Commons on 30 March 2001.

New Deal for Young People

In the Mitcham and Morden constituency, 988 young people have joined the New Deal to end January 2001. 461 have found jobs, 361 of which are sustained.

Labour Market Statistics

The working age employment rate in Merton in winter 2000-01 was 73.9 per cent., below the UK rate of 74.5 per cent. The rate in winter 1996-97 was 74.6 per cent., in winter 1997-98 78.3 per cent., in winter 1998-99 81.1 per cent., and in winter 1999-2000 77.1 per cent. These figures are volatile at this level, and our best interpretation of the trend in the employment rate for Merton since 1997 is that it has been broadly flat.

The claimant unemployment rate has fallen from 13.8 per cent. in March 1997 to 6.3 per cent. in March 2001 in the Mitcham and Morden constituency.

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Teaching Methods

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will take steps to integrate the methods of teaching in secondary education with those in higher education. [159799]

Ms Estelle Morris: The Government recognise that there are significant differences between secondary and higher education and that the approaches to teaching in the two sectors should reflect this. However, we also believe that there are significant opportunities for the sectors to interact with and learn from each other.

The recent Green Paper "Schools: Building on Success" makes proposals which will strengthen the links between the university and school sectors to the advantage of both. These include the idea of joint appointments of teachers to the staff of both a university and a school. The Green Paper also sets out the Government's intention to pilot a university fellowship scheme to allow school teachers with real expertise in their subject to take a secondment to a university, in order to research their subject and perhaps

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embark on a higher degree. These proposals both recognise the differences between the sectors and the opportunity for each to learn from the other.

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