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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the cost of internet access so far achieved in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Timms: The Department for Education and Skills does not collect data on the cost of internet access. Internet costs are dependant upon the supplier, the bandwidth and the level of service and the cost therefore varies from school to school. However, I can report that the average annual school spend in England, as from January 2001, on ICT for teaching and learning was £8,500 in primary schools and £49,600 in secondary, this compares with averages of £6,800 and £41,800 in January 2000. Substantial progress has been made towards the Government's target for every school to have access to the internet with over 99 per cent. of secondary and 96 per cent. of primary schools connected as of January 2001.
Mr. Timms: The cost in 200102 will be known only after the end of the financial year. Expenditure in 200001 was £442,000 for adjudicators' costs (mainly fees and expenses) and £355,000 for support staff. We expect expenditure in 200102 to be lower than 200001 as the number of cases referred to the adjudicator has fallen.
Mr. Timms: Over 200,000 teachers in England applied to cross the performance threshold in the first round, some 80 per cent. of those who were eligible to apply. Of these, nearly 195,000 were assessed as meeting the threshold standards and are now receiving over £400 million per year in associated pay increases.
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We intend to introduce a new grant to contribute towards performance points for leadership group members, post-threshold teachers and high performers on the main scale. We intend to make available £100 million in financial year 200203 and £150 million in 200304, in addition to existing threshold funding.
Mr. Timms: In the financial year ending 31 March 2001 we invested £4.6 million to establish the fast-track teaching programme, which will attract high calibre graduates, career changers and serving teachers and support their development into leaders of the teaching profession.
The fast-track scheme is not designed to increase the number of classroom assistants. With local education authorities we are investing £350 million in the three years from 19992000 to 200102 to increase the number of teaching assistants; and we have recently announced a further £198 million for the financial year 200203. There are now 25,000 more teaching assistants in post than in January 1999.
Mr. Timms: £173 million is available in recurrent grants to provide initial teacher training places. A further £169 million in total is available for teacher training bursaries and the Graduate and Registered Teacher Programmes in 200102.
Mr. Timms: £170.5 million is available through the New Opportunities Fund Out of School Hours Childcare Programme for the creation of 350,000 out of school child care places in England by 2003. £55 million has also been
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Mr. Ivan Lewis: We expanded the education maintenance allowance pilot scheme to cover 56 LEA areas from September 2000. Planned expenditure in this financial year is £156 million with over 100,000 young people expected to benefit.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the cost will be of the public service agreement target of increasing provision of nursery places for three year olds from 34 per cent. to 66 per cent.; and if it will be achieved by 2002. 
Mr. Timms: Many local authorities provide funding for nursery education on top of resources the Government make available through direct grant to provide nursery education places. The Government have increased the under 5s sub-block within Education Standard Spending (ESS) by more than the level of inflation which has increased the resources available for this and other purposes. However, it is not possible to identify separately the total amounts spent specifically on three-year-olds.
We have made £390 million of direct grant funding available between 19992000 and 200102 to help increase the number of three year olds with access to a free early education place from 34 per cent. to 66 per cent. by March 2002. The target will be met in full.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) if she will make a statement on progress made on the public service agreement targets for objective 2 which are described on page 8 of the departmental report 2000; 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: While we are making good progress in increasing the achievement of level 2 by 19-year-olds which is based on current trends, it is apparent that the target may not be reached. We are working closely with the Learning and Skills Council to ensure maximum progress is made towards achieving this target.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on expenditure per pupil in (a) Buckinghamshire local education authority and (b) other local education authorities in England and Wales in the last 12 months. 
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Mr. Timms: Information for the financial year 200001 is not yet available for England. I will write to the hon. Member when it has been collected. Responsibility for education matters in Wales rests with the National Assembly for Wales.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The qualifications budget for 200102, at 1 April 2001, was £102 million. Expected receipts for the year total £334,000. The majority of this money (£69 million at 1 April 2001) comprises grant in aid for the Qualification and Curriculum Authority. The remainder of the budget is used mainly for development work. The costs of the qualifications themselves are met by schools, colleges and others through the payment of fees.
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