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Mr. Timms [holding answer 15 October 2001]: The rate of return to a private sector contractor in a schools PFI contract is fixed as part of the annual payment made by a local education authority for delivery of the services specified in the contract, and as such is a matter between the local education authority and its private sector partner. All PFI contracts in schools have to demonstrate better value for money than traditional procurement.
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the total amount of spending by her Department was in each nation and region of the UK, in the last year for which figures are available; what proportion of her Department's total spending this constitutes; and if she will make a statement. 
John Healey: The Department for Education and Skills does not have responsibility for spending outside England except for higher education student support and its administration for students from Wales plus some small programmes. The table shows estimated programme spending by Government region in 19992000 by the then Department for Education and Employment on those programmes for education and skills which are now the responsibility of this Department. It does not include local authority expenditure on education and training funded from the education standard spending assessment. This is paid through the revenue support grant distributed by the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions.
|Yorkshire and Humberside||1.3||10|
(15) Expenditure figures rounded to nearest £100 million
(16) Percentage figures may not appear to sum due to rounding
1. Total excludes approximately £100 million expenditure in Wales on student loans, mandatory awards, student loan administration for higher education students from Wales
2. Total includes New Deal for Schools capital, the Children's Fund, Sure Start and Ofsted. Total also includes some smaller programmes of which the proportion allocated outside England is less than £20 million.
3. Total does not include annually managed expenditurethe vast majority of this is teachers' pensions, which also covers Wales.
Departmental Report 2001 and internal analysis
16 Oct 2001 : Column: 1183W
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what her estimate is of the number of primary school age children (a) who are dyslexic and (b) whose condition has been helped by special provision; and if she will make a statement. 
Since 1981, following the Warnock recommendation, information about pupils' special educational needs categorised by disability or learning difficulty has not been collected centrally. We are looking into the feasibility of collating such information. A pilot study was carried out in June and this is currently being evaluated.
16 Oct 2001 : Column: 1184W
If the pilot is successfuland subject to consideration of the burden on schools and LEAsthe new data collection arrangements will be introduced nationally from 2003 as part of the Department's new Common Basic Data Set (CBDS) arrangements.
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what was, for each year since 1995, the average response time for providing a substantive answer to (a) hon. Members' correspondence, (b) correspondence from members of the public and (c) written parliamentary questions in the (i) Commons and (ii) Lords; 
General information on the volumes of correspondence received across Whitehall and on overall performance is published by the Cabinet Office. Figures for 2000 were published on 6 April 2001, Official Report, columns 32428W and on 19 July 2001, Official Report, columns 45456W.
|Commons named day PQs answered:|
|on the named day(17)||714||532||235||183|
|up to two days after||124||172||129||41|
|between three days and one week after||68||167||129||16|
|between one and four weeks after||50||111||102||6|
|between four weeks and three months after||9||32||25||0|
|over three months after||0||2||0||0|
(17) In accordance with Standing Order 22(4) (usually three days from date of tabling)
|Commons Ordinary Written PQs answered:|
|within five days of tabling(18)||703||588||185||184|
|up to two days after||200||107||91||8|
|between three days and one week after||165||210||125||11|
|between one and four weeks after||155||154||134||5|
|between four weeks and three months after||6||23||22||1|
|over three months after||0||5||0||0|
(18) In accordance with guidance on answering of Ordinary Written PQs set out in parliamentary paper HC 393 (197172)
|Lords Written PQs answered:|
|within 14 days of tabling(19)||132||134||53||12|
|up to two days after||0||0||1||0|
|between three days and one week after||0||0||2||0|
|between one and four weeks after||0||0||0||0|
|between four weeks and three months after||0||0||4||0|
|over three months after||0||0||0||0|
(19) In accordance with section 4.108 of the Companion to the Standing Orders and Guide to the Proceedings of the House of Lords
16 Oct 2001 : Column: 1185W
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make it a requirement to include teaching on the non-religious ethical life stance alongside the major faiths in multi-faith religious education; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Timms: The Government have no plans to change the legislation on agreed syllabuses which, since it was introduced in 1988, has helped to contribute towards the rising standards in religious education in non-faith schools reported by Ofsted. Opportunities exist in religious education teaching for pupils to explore issues within and across faiths thereby learning to understand and respect different religions, beliefs, values and traditions (including ethical life stances), and their influence on individuals, societies, communities and cultures.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will extend Government guidelines on multi-faith religious education in community schools to all maintained religious schools. 
Mr. Timms: Extending the guidelines in the way my hon. Friend suggests would undermine the purpose and ethos of faith schools. Religious education in these schools will continue to be taught in accordance with the trust deed or in accordance with the tenets of the religion in question.
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