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School Organisation Committees

Mr. Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the impact her proposal to extend the power of the learning and skills councils to put forward reorganisation proposals for 16 to 19 education provision will have on the role of local school organisation committees. [11534]

Mr. Timms [holding answer 31 October 2001]: The proposal will enable learning and skills councils (LSCs) to take the lead in developing and implementing strategic plans for local 16–19 provision across the full range of 16–19 providers. School Organisation Committees (SOCs) will have the right to comment on LSC proposals which affect their area. The range and type of proposals that a School Organisation Committee may itself consider in relation to school organisation will be unaffected. Nor does the proposal affect the range of decisions that a SOC may make, except where a proposal it is considering clashes with one which the LSC has submitted to the Secretary of State, in which case consideration by the SOC would be delayed until a decision is made on the LSC proposal.

Cost of Living (Students)

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent assessment she has made on the cost of living for students in the United Kingdom; and if she will make a statement. [11126]

Margaret Hodge: The most recent assessment made by my Department was in the Student Income and Expenditure Survey 1998–99, published in December 2000, which was the fourth survey since the series began in 1988–89. This showed that average spending on essential items such as food and accommodation had not risen in real terms since 1995–96 but average spending on clothes and discretionary items such as entertainment had gone up sharply. Student income from all sources had risen since 1995–96 by 12 per cent. in real terms, with greater commercial borrowings, earnings from employment and withdrawal from savings. Since 1998–99 the value of the student loan has continued to be increased annually in line with inflation.

Higher Education

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what her targets are for participation in (a) higher education and (b) first degree courses for each year to 2010. [11033]

Margaret Hodge [holding answer 29 October 2001]: We have announced our plans up to 2003–04. We will fund 1,087,000 students (full-time equivalent) in 2001–02; 1,101,000 in 2003–04; and subject to any changes flowing from the current Spending Review, 1,115,000 in 2003–04. As part of the Spending Review we will be looking at our plans up to 2005–06 and beyond.

Sure Start (Northamptonshire)

Mr. Tony Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much Sure Start money has been allocated to the Northampton, South constituency. [11289]

2 Nov 2001 : Column: 901W

Jacqui Smith: Northampton was invited to take part in the third wave of Sure Start, and local stakeholders were invited to choose the programme's catchment area. They decided to situate the programme in Spencer, Kings Heath and St. James, which are outside of the Northampton, South constituency. Northamptonshire has also been invited to develop a smaller scale Sure Start programme as part of the £22 million wave of programmes announced in July 2001, aimed at rural areas and small pockets of deprivation. Local stakeholders also decided to locate this programme outside of the Northampton, South constituency.

The Government are committed to establishing 500 Sure Start programmes by March 2004. So far, 437 have been announced over five waves and a sixth wave will be announced next year. The next 63 programme areas are not yet decided, but the districts will be identified using similar criteria to those used previously, which is on the basis of level of need and deprivation.

Special Measures (Schools)

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many schools were put under special measures in each of the past five years; how many were put under special measures for longer than two years; what additional resources are allocated to such schools; and what plans she has for the direct funding of them. [10496]

Mr. Timms: The number of schools judged by Ofsted to require "special measures" in each of the last five years is as follows:

Academic yearNumber

The Government are committed to ensuring that the number of schools subject to special measures continues to decline year-on-year.

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Over the last five years, a total of 180 schools have been in special measures for more than two years, of which 135 subsequently improved and were taken out of special measures and 16 have now closed. The Government's policy is now that all schools in special measures should be turned round within two years or closed. The recent White Paper "Schools: Achieving Success" proposes further options to support more rapid improvement when schools fail.

This year, local education authorities in England have been allocated £70,000 in school improvement grant for each secondary school in special measures and £25,000 for each equivalent primary school.

The Government have no plans to introduce direct funding of schools in special measures.

Departmental Spending (Deprived Areas)

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much of the expenditure by her Department in each of the years (a) 1996–97, (b) 1997–98, (c) 1998–99, (d) 1999–2000, (e) 2000–01, (f) 2001–02 and (g) 2002–03 (estimated) was allocated with reference to the Index of Multiple Deprivation; which expenditure programmes are allocated with respect to this index and other measures of relative geographic deprivation; and if she will make a statement. [8932]

Estelle Morris [holding answer 25 October 2001]: Department for Education and Skills expenditure is allocated according to a variety of methods. Expenditure on the following programmes, none of which existed prior to 1998–99, which is allocated with reference to the Indices of Multiple Deprivation and the 1998 Index of Local Deprivation, is shown in the table.

The vast majority of programmes targeted at schools serving deprived areas make use of recent data regarding numbers of children in receipt of free school meals. This is because these data are up to date and are at school-level. Figures for these programmes, other programmes allocated using different measures, and any relevant programmes that finished before the current financial year, have not been included in the table, because this information could have been obtained only at disproportionate cost.

£ million

Nursery Education Grant40100200238
Neighbourhood Support Fund606060
Education Maintenance Allowances(17)1178159192
Neighbourhood Nurseries Initiative(18)4674
Learning and Skills Council/Further Education—Widening Participation Initiative (19),(20)22526694n/a
Sure Start(21)758184449

(17) The Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) pilot areas were selected using a number of indicators, one of which was the Index of Local Deprivation (1998). EMA pilots began in 15 areas in September 1999 and were expanded to a further 41 areas in September 2000.

(18) Funding allocated at the Spending Review 2000. Neighbourhood Nurseries Initiative funding has been allocated using the 20 per cent. extent measure from the Index of Multiple Deprivation (2000). It identifies the number of wards within each LEA that fall within the 20 per cent. most disadvantaged in the country. Local education authorities received an allocation of funding according to the number of wards within their area that fall within the 20 per cent., weighted with the population of 0 to four-year-olds.

(19) From 1998–99, Further Education institutions could claim additional funding for students resident in deprived areas. This funding was extended in 1999–2000 to include other types of students.

(20) Widening Participation Initiative allocations for 2002–03 have not yet been finalised.

(21) The Sure Start programme is a cross-departmental programme but is also within the Department for Education and Skills' Departmental Expenditure Limit.

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Sixth Forms

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what changes have been made to the funding of individual sixth forms by the Learning and Skills Council, (a) excluding pure indexation and (b) in absolute terms. [11130]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Learning and Skills Council will begin funding local education authorities for their school sixth-form provision from April 2002. Schools have been given a guarantee that their funding will not fall in real terms provided their pupil numbers have not fallen.

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