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Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the transfer of responsibility for post 16 education from Coventry city council to the Learning and Skills Council; and for what reason an additional £1.5 million has been taken away from the SSA grant. [28887]

Margaret Hodge [holding answer 23 January 2002]: The Learning and Skills Council will begin funding LEAs for the provision delivered in their school sixth-forms from April. LEAs will continue to pass funds to schools and retain their wider responsibilities for sixth-forms.

4 Feb 2002 : Column 716W

The overall amount of funding that we have transferred to the LSC is £1.35 billion for 2002–03. This represents our best estimate of the likely funding for school sixth- forms in that year, taking into account growth in pupil numbers and in funding per pupil. The LSC issued provisional allocations for 2002–03 to LEAs and schools in December. These include funds for both mainstream sixth-forms and for post-16 pupils with special needs. The provisional allocation for Coventry was £11.8 million, of which almost £1 million was for provision for pupils with statements of SEN.

Data on pupil numbers and qualifications taken from the September 2001 pupil count have been used to calculate funding levels for mainstream school sixth- forms under the LSC's formula. A higher proportion of schools than originally expected are being funded under the formula. For around two-thirds of sixth-forms it generates higher levels of funding than their underpinning real terms guarantee. The pattern in Coventry is broadly in line with this national picture.

The total amount of funding passing to an LEA from the LSC for school sixth-forms will be matched by a deduction from their Education SSA. The allocations will be confirmed shortly.

New Schools

Ms Shipley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list the new schools built since 1997; and if she will list those granted funding to be built in the next two years. [29627]

John Healey: We do not hold information in the form requested. It is for local education authorities to determine the need for additional school places in the maintained sector and, where necessary, to build or support the provision of new schools. The Department makes available capital funding for new school places; many of these are provided in existing schools.

School Places

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, pursuant to her answer of 30 November 2001, Official Report, column 1209W, on school places, what application her Department has received from Buckingham local education authority for capital funding for school places in each year since 1997; and what the outcome was in each case. [30083]

John Healey: The table shows the number of new pupil places applied for by Buckinghamshire local education authority since 1998, the earliest year for which records are readily available, the number of places the Department recognised and supported and the amount of funding that was allocated. This support reflected the need for additional numbers of school places in areas of population growth where there was no capacity in any of the schools in the surrounding area.

Places applied forPlaces supportedFunding allocated (£000)

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National Grid for Learning

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, pursuant to her answer of 8 January 2002, Official Report, column 712W, what the average National Grid for Learning funding has been per LEA in each year since 1997. [30123]

John Healey: National Grid for Learning funding through the Standards Fund began in 1998–99. Funding is allocated to LEAs by formula based on school and pupil numbers and any average would not be an accurate indication of the amount of funding allocated to each LEA. However, a notional average for National Grid for Learning allocations by LEA is:

£ million

Government-supported Training

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many young people were on Government training schemes in each of the last 10 years. [30479]

John Healey [holding answer 30 January 2002]: This information is published in quarterly Statistical First Releases, which are in the Library of the House. The information is also available on the world wide web. Figures for England are on the Department for Education and Skills site at DB/SFR/s0310/ index.html. Government supported training is a devolved matter in Wales, and figures for Wales are on the National Assembly for Wales site at content/post16education/2001/hdw20011221a-e.htm.

Sector Skills Development Agency

Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when the new Sector Skills Development Agency will be created. [30549]

John Healey: The Sector Skills Development Agency will come into existence from the beginning of April 2002. We expect to have a chair in place and other senior post holders identified by 31 March. A small support team will be in place from the beginning of April. The SSDA will have filled most posts by June 2002.

Schools (Harwich)

Mr. Ivan Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much funding has been given

4 Feb 2002 : Column 718W

to (a) primary and (b) secondary schools in the Harwich constituency for the refurbishment of school buildings since 1997. [30983]

John Healey: Information is not available in the form requested. Allocations of most capital funding for schools are made at local education authority level, which will hold information about how allocations have been made at school level.

The new deal for schools (NDS) programme was introduced in 1997, particularly to focus on refurbishing schools and also to help address the backlog of urgent repairs in school buildings. The following table sets out the capital resources made available for schools in Essex under the NDS programme, including those already announced for future years. Total capital resources for schools allocated to Essex over the period 1997–98 to 2003–04 amount to £210 million.

New deal for schools: Essex
£ million


School Sports Facilities

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many schools have private sports facilities built on school grounds. [31061]

John Healey: The Department does not hold this information.

Mobile Phone Masts

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many schools have sold land to mobile phone companies to build mobile phone masts since 1997. [31062]

John Healey: The Department does not collect this information.

Class Sizes (Lancashire)

Mr. Pope: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many five, six and seven-year old children were taught in classes of more than 30 pupils in Lancashire in (a) 1997 and (b) 2001. [31219]

Mr. Timms: The total number of key stage 1 pupils in classes of 31 or more pupils taught by one teacher in Lancashire local education authority as at January 1997 and 2001 were 17,712 and 127 respectively.

Union Learning Fund

Dr. Francis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the growth and development of the Union Learning Fund. [31466R]

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John Healey: Trade unions play a key role in promoting the development of learning and skills in the workplace. To help them do this my Department has provided financial support through the Union Learning Fund since 1998. This year (2001–02) funding will total £7 million, rising to £9 million next year and £11 million in 2003–04.

When it was launched, the Union Learning Fund was a new and innovative experiment, but it has now become an established part of the lifelong learning agenda. It is helping trade unions use their influence with employers, employees and others to encourage greater take up of learning at work and boost their capacity as learning organisations. It has so far benefited over 25,000 people in the workplace through a wide variety of projects ranging from tackling basic skills needs to advanced professional development. It has also led to the development of a new breed of activist, the union learning representative, and helped to establish a network of over 3,000 learning representatives nationwide.

Union learning representatives are ideally placed to help and encourage workers to improve their skills, particularly among the very lowest skilled workers and those with literacy and numeracy problems. That is why we have included a clause in the new Employment Bill that will give statutory backing to union learning representatives. It will reinforce the invaluable role that union learning representatives are currently playing in the workplace to promote work force development and open up new training opportunities for their colleagues.

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