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School Buildings (North Somerset)

Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much money has been allocated for (a) new school building and (b) school building repairs and improvement in north Somerset for each year since May 1997. [5876]

Mr. Timms: A total of £1.1 million has been allocated since May 1997 specifically for new school building in north Somerset, based on the demand for new pupil places as assessed by north Somerset local education authority. The authority has been allocated a further £30.7 million for school building repair and improvement work, making a total capital allocation of £31.8 million. The following table shows the breakdown of the total amount allocated for each year since May 1997. Additional allocations for 2002–03 and 2003–04 will be made later this year.

£000

Financial year New pupil placesRepair and improvementTotal capital
1997–98804,2164,296
1998–994684,4124,880
1999–20003,4993,499
2000–015537,1727,725
2001–024,5424,542
2002–032,8432,843
2003–044,0684,068
Total1,10130,75231,853

Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the condition of school buildings in North Somerset; and if she will make a statement. [5877]

Mr. Timms: Information on the condition of school buildings should be currently available from the Local Education Authority.

Authorities' condition data, supplied to support the Department for Education and Skills' arrangements for appraisal of Asset Management Plans, are being validated with a view to publishing national benchmarking data later this year.

Drugs

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate she has made of the number of exclusions from schools that arose from drug-related incidents in each year since 1997. [5885]

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Mr. Timms: The Department does not keep records of the numbers of drug-related incidents leading to exclusion. In the absence of data it is impossible to make a reliable estimate.

Newly Qualified Teachers

Mr. Blizzard: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of newly qualified teachers have left the teaching profession in each of the last five years for which information is available. [5396]

Mr. Timms: The percentage of regular newly qualified teachers leaving the maintained schools sector 1 in England within one year of entering service is as follows:

Financial year left servicePercentage of new entrants leaving
1994–953.5
1995–964.1
1996–973.9
1997–984.0
1998–994.1

(86) Teachers moving from the maintained schools sector to the Independent sector, FHE sector, miscellaneous or other non-school service or providing FE for adults are included as leavers.


Education Funding (North Somerset)

Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what the 2001–02 Education SSA for North Somerset Council would be if the real terms percentage increase were the same as the English national average; [5874]

Mr. Timms: If the percentage increase (4.64 per cent.) in North Somerset's SSA were the same as the national average (4.78 per cent.) its SSA for 2001–02 would be £74.62 million.

Based on North Somerset's Budget Statement (final outturn information is not yet available), total education revenue expenditure for 2000–01, net of special and specific grants, was £72.24 million. North Somerset's education SSA for 2001–02 is £74.51 million: at 2000–01 prices this is £72.69 million. This is £0.45 million or 0.6 per cent. more than North Somerset's budgeted expenditure for 2000–01.

Teachers Numeracy Test

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills for what reason teachers in England are required to pass the national numeracy test before being qualified to teach. [5869]

Mr. Timms: Trainee teachers in England are required to pass the numeracy test to ensure that they have the necessary numeracy skills to carry out their professional roles effectively. In order to raise standards in schools and ensure that all children achieve their full potential, we need newly qualified teachers (NQTs) who possess these skills. Evidence from Ofsted has confirmed that the

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numeracy standards for a significant number of teachers in schools in England have not been good enough in the past.

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills for what reason teachers who have qualified in Scotland or Wales are allowed to teach in England without passing the national numeracy test. [5868]

Mr. Timms: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 5 July 2001, Official Report, column 299W.

Schools (Oxfordshire)

Mr. Cameron: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which secondary schools in Oxfordshire have applied for specialist status; and what awards have been made to date. [5625]

Mr. Timms: The following Oxfordshire schools successfully applied for designation:

Designation
Banbury SchoolTechnology—1995
Bicester Community CollegeTechnology—1998
Didcot Girls High SchoolTechnology—1997
Henry Box SchoolLanguage—2001
King Alfred's SchoolTechnology—1999
Lord Williams's SchoolSports—2001
Peers SchoolTechnology—1995
St. Birinus SchoolTechnology—1997
Wheatley Park SchoolArts—2000

Applications have also been received from Gillotts School and Bartholomew School for technology college status. This may not be a comprehensive list of unsuccessful applicants as there is no central record of all applications since 1994.

Mr. Cameron: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many teacher vacancies there were in Oxfordshire in each of the years from 1997 to 2001. [5626]

Mr. Timms: The number of vacancies for full-time teachers in maintained nursery, primary, secondary and special schools in Oxfordshire is shown in the table.

Number of vacanciesVacancy rate(87)
January
199710.0
199870.2
1999110.3
200080.2
2001160.4

(87) The vacancy rate is calculated by dividing the number of vacancies by the sum of full-time qualified regular teachers plus teachers on full-time secondment for a term or more.


Graduates (Salaries)

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what her most recent estimate is of the average salary of graduates in (a) the United Kingdom and (b) Wales upon leaving education. [5887]

Margaret Hodge: The annual survey of members of the Association of Graduate Recruiters, "Graduate Salaries and Vacancies 2001", reported typical starting salaries for newly qualified first degree graduates in the UK ranging

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from £12,000 to £32,000 in 1999–2000. The median starting salary for new graduates in 1999–2000 was £18,000 compared to £17,500 in 1998–99. Comparable figures for Wales are not available.

Labour Force Survey statistics show that, on average, graduates working full-time earn around 20 per cent. more than workers with two or more 'A' levels as their highest qualification.

Performing Arts

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the levels of applications for performing arts courses and the funding available to such students; and if she will make a statement. [5752]

Margaret Hodge: The level of applications for performing arts courses continues to be high. We do not collect national totals for applications. There were 9,662 full-time undergraduate drama students and 9,922 undergraduates of music in 1999. While we do not have figures for students applying for performing arts subjects in FE, the Arts continue to be one of the largest curriculum areas.

Students on HE courses which are designated for student support may apply for help with student fees and loans. Students on FE courses may apply for learner support funds and those aged 16–19 in the 56 Education Maintenance Allowance pilot areas have access to the allowances.

Over 1,600 students are currently participating in the Dance and Drama Award Scheme which provides the standard HE support for fees and loans or maintenance to help with fees and living costs for those on the vocational route. Competition for these places continues to be high.

The Music and Ballet Scheme trains over 750 pupils and offers assistance towards fees calculated relative to parental income.


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