Previous Section Index Home Page

Standards and Effectiveness Unit

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people are employed by the standards and effectiveness unit; and what its budget was for each year since 1997. [3122]

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 9 July 2001]: The SEU is responsible for taking forward key parts of the Government's agenda for raising standards in schools. Created in 1997, the unit's remit has expanded with the development of new policies. The unit has led on strategies for literacy and numeracy, for intervention in failing schools and LEAs, and for key stage 3. It is also responsible for new policies such as city academies, excellence in cities, education action zones and beacon schools. It has taken on responsibility for specialist schools and city technology colleges, and more recently, for dealings with local education authorities on a day- to-day basis across a wide range of the Department's business.

The unit is staffed with a mix of civil servants, and education advisers appointed from outside with recent experience of education.

At the end of May 2001, the total number of staff in the unit was 275. The running cost budget for the unit for each year since 1997 was as follows:

£ million

Fast Track Teacher Scheme

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many places have been accepted on the fast track teacher scheme; and how many of these teachers on the fast track scheme will be employed in (a) specialist schools, (b) city academies, (c) city technology colleges, (d) beacon schools, (e) grammar schools and (f) other maintained schools. [3360]

Mr. Timms: The total number of fast track places offered now stands at 135. Candidates are currently in the process of responding to these offers. Successful candidates will begin a year of high quality initial teacher training this autumn, and take up posts in schools in September 2002. All categories of school will be encouraged to identify how they could best use a fast track teacher.

16 Jul 2001 : Column: 29W

Teaching Staff (Harrow)

Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) teaching staff and (b) teaching assistants were employed in Harrow schools in each of the last five years. [3132]

Mr. Timms: The full-time equivalents of regular teachers (excluding short-term supply) and teaching assistants employed in the maintained schools sector in Harrow local authority are as follows:

JanuaryRegular teachersTeaching assistantsTotal

(2) Provisional


Totals may not be the sum of the component parts because of rounding.

n/a = 2001 data for teaching assistants are not yet available at individual local authority level.

Specialist Schools

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many specialist schools there are in England; how many are in areas within the worst 20 per cent. of wards in England according to the DETR's index of deprivation; and what specialisms have been chosen by the schools which are situated in such areas of deprivation. [3491]

Mr. Timms: From September 2001, there will be 685 specialist schools of which 181 schools (26 per cent.) are in the most disadvantaged 20 per cent. of wards in England, based on the Government's index of deprivation. This comprises 100 technology, 33 sports, 25 arts and 23 language colleges.

Teachers (Early Leavers)

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what research her Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated into the reasons for teachers leaving the teaching profession. [3645]

Mr. Timms: The Department has not commissioned any such research to date. A research project on this topic has, however, been included in the Department's research programme for the current year.

Tuition Fees

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if it is her policy that the maximum increase in student tuition fees in (a) 2002–03, (b) 2003–04 and (c) 2004–05 will be equivalent to the rate of inflation. [3859]

Margaret Hodge: The level of student fee contributions at publicly funded institutions for those years will be decided in due course.

16 Jul 2001 : Column: 30W

"Schools—Building on Success"

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, pursuant to her answers of 9 July 2001, Official Report, column 389W, on "Schools—Building on Success" if she will list the organisations with which officials have held meetings to discuss the Green Paper "Schools—Building on Success". [4365]

Mr. Timms: Officials have held meetings to discuss the Green Paper "Schools—Building on Success" with the following organisations:

Teacher Training (Eastern Region)

Mr. Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of the Teacher Training Agency's budget was spent in (a) the eastern region and (b) Bedfordshire in the last financial year. [4715]

Mr. Timms: This information is not available. The Teacher Training Agency does not account for its budget on a regional basis.

Education Reform White Paper

Geraint Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when she will publish the White Paper on Education Reform. [4778]

Estelle Morris: The Government will issue a White Paper on education reform in early September 2001.


Communications Data Protection Directive

Mr. Allan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the Government's policy (1) on the change in wording in recital 10 of the revised telecommunications data protection directive (com2000/189); and if she will set out the reasons underlying the case for this recital; [3234]

16 Jul 2001 : Column: 31W

Mr. Alexander: At the Telecommunications Council on 27 June, member states and the Commission agreed to clarify that the proposed Communications data protection directive should not alter the existing balance between individual rights to privacy and the possibility for member states to take measures necessary for law enforcement. Recital 10 of the proposed directive now makes it clear that member states will be able, but will not be required, to introduce data retention requirements provided that these are proportionate and in accordance with the general principles of Community law. The position will therefore be essentially the same as it is under the existing telecommunications data protection directive.

The UK Government welcome this outcome, although there are no plans to introduce legislation mandating the retention of communications data here. Such a move could be considered only in the context of detailed consultation with all relevant law enforcement, industry and civil liberties interests.

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) if it is the policy of her Department that United Kingdom manufacturers should have legal liability for the disposal of waste electrical and electronic equipment which was (a) manufactured outside the United Kingdom and (b) manufactured by companies which have ceased trading; [3900]

Mr. Wilson: The Government support the common position text of the draft waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) directive agreed at the Environment Council of Ministers meeting of 7 June 2001.

The directive will help to provide a common framework for all member states in an area where some individual member states had already started to adopt national legislation. The effect on retail price and competitiveness of UK manufacturers will partly depend on the domestic implementation option adopted. The Government will seek to achieve the environmental

16 Jul 2001 : Column: 32W

objectives while minimising the cost burden placed on business through the implementing of legislation, alongside the maintenance of a level playing field.

The common position text would require "producers" to provide for the financing of the environmentally sound treatment, recycling and disposal of WEEE. This definition of "producer" goes wider than manufacturers. For the majority of goods manufactured outside the United Kingdom it will be the professional importer who will bear the responsibilities of "producer".

The financing method for the management of WEEE arising from "producers" who have ceased trading will be dependent upon the United Kingdom implementing regulations. The common position text would require producers to provide for this financing either when electrical/electronic goods are placed on the market or when arising as waste. The detail of these cannot be agreed until the directive is adopted and published in the Official Journal of the European Community.

For all goods placed on the market before adoption of the directive (historic WEEE), irrespective of whether the manufacturer is still trading or not, the common position text would require all existing producers to provide the financing on a proportionate basis.

Initial regulatory impact assessments (RIA) have been placed in the Library of the House of Commons. There will be a further update when the formal common position text is submitted to the House following the Commission's juriste/linguiste procedure.

Next Section Index Home Page