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Schools Education

28. Mrs. Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on funding for schools education. [64423]

Mr. Miliband: Since 1997–98 recurrent funding per pupil has risen by an average £670 (24 per cent.) in real terms: by 2003–04 it will have increased by over £760 in real terms.

31. Mrs. Calton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the future of funding for schools education. [64426]

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Mr. Miliband: We will be consulting on proposals for a new system of school and LEA funding over the summer, starting by mid-July. We aim to create a simpler, more transparent and fairer formula that reflects fairly, on the basis of up-to-date evidence, the needs of authorities in different parts of the country.

Primary Schools

29. Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when she next expects to meet governors of state primary schools to discuss the burden of paperwork. [64424]

Mr. Miliband: Ministers meet school governor representatives from time to time to discuss a range of issues. The Secretary of State does not have any meetings currently arranged with governors of state primary schools specifically to discuss paperwork.

Roger Casale: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many reception places are available at each primary school in Merton, broken down by parliamentary constituency; and how many applications there have been in each case for the school year 2002–03. [66777R]

Mr. Miliband: Information on places available by year group and the number of applications to schools is not collected centrally.

Student Support

32. Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans she has to consult with universities over the new system of student support. [64427]

33. Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when she intends to publish a consultation document outlining options for a new system of student support; and if she will make a statement. [64428]

Margaret Hodge: The review of higher education student funding is still under way. We will make an announcement when the review is complete, at which time there will be opportunity for the universities and others to comment.

School Buildings

34. Colin Burgon: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much money has been allocated for new school buildings and renovations in the current financial year; and if she will make a statement. [64429]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Government support for capital investment in schools in England for 2002–03 is over £3 billion. We allocate most of this funding to schools and local education authorities (LEAs) by needs related formulae, so that they can prioritise investment in line with locally agreed Asset Management Plans. We do not collect information on the spread of capital investment between new buildings and renovation.

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what Government funding has been given to each London education authority to improve and upgrade school buildings in each of the last three years. [65049]

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Mr. Ivan Lewis: The table sets out the amount of funding we have allocated to each London education authority to support capital expenditure in the last three years. This funding was provided for the improvement, renovation or replacement of school buildings.

Capital allocation

Inner London
City of London67155133
Hammersmith and Fulham3,6773,6084,133
Kensington and Chelsea2,5062,9682,099
Tower Hamlets6,6027,90410,211
Outer London
Barking and Dagenham5,0265,79439,816
Waltham Forest7,3688,51763,789
Total capital allocation240,229304,661595,475


1. Allocations comprise of capital grant and credit approvals, including Private Finance Initiative (PFI) credits for school buildings.

2. The total allocation for 2000–01 includes £9 million of PFI credits.

3. The total for 2000–01 also includes £610.8 million announced for New Deal for Schools 4, which was available for use in 2000–01 and 2001–02.

4. The total allocation for 2001–02 includes £84.2 million of PFI credits.

5. The total allocation for 2002–03 includes £298.1 million of PFI credits.

6. All allocations include funding allocated direct to schools within each LEA.

Individual Learning Accounts

Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the moneys owed to course providers following the closure of the individual learning account scheme. [64409]

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Mr. Ivan Lewis: Following the closure of the individual learning account (ILA) programme on 23 November 2001, at the end of June £16.8 million of claims from 267 registered learning providers has been withheld pending the results of investigations.

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what payments (a) have been claimed, (b) have been paid, (c) are outstanding and (d) are in dispute with ILA providers in each month since August 2001. [60231]

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 10 June 2002]: The amounts claimed, paid and withheld at the end of each month from August 2001 to 28 June 2002 are set out in the following table. The amounts in the withheld column relate to those claims from registered individual learning account (ILA) providers which are subject to validation checks and/or investigation. The claims withheld are those which are in dispute.

At the time of closure on 23 November a total of £19.4 million relating to learning episodes confirmed on the ILA centre system was awaiting payment and therefore outstanding. Following validation checks payments for eligible learning relating to this amount were subsequently made in December and January.

ILA programme rules allowed bookings to be made six months in advance of the learning episode, so booked learning could be confirmed up to and including 22 May 2002. A paper-based claims and payment system was introduced in January 2002 to allow providers to confirm and claim for delivery of this advanced booked learning. Claims, payments and amounts withheld are reflected in the table. In addition an estimated sum of £5.6 million remains unclaimed relating to advance booked learning by providers who cannot be invited to claim until all investigations are complete.


Month(a) Amount claimed(b) Amount paid(c) Amount withheld /in dispute
August 200124,672,600(5)26,216,1741,580,245
September 200126,401,84225,818,692583,150
October 200139,173,099(5)39,251,2490
November 200151,334,14131,789,658113,100
December 200103,495,59411,280,502
January 20020(5)2,241,2382,422,450
February 2002559,290(5)507,636107,854
March 20023,299,073(5)1,937,8401,365,652
April 20022,078,824(5)1,555,490540,489
May 20021,048,282(5)928,924199,303
June 2002380,898(5)382,37168,672

(5) These payments include amounts released from earlier claims which had been previously withheld.

School Fire Safety

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make it a requirement that all new schools and extensions should be fitted with fire sprinkler systems. [64304]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Since April 2001, all new construction work at schools has been subject to approval under the Building Regulations. The Building Regulations

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do not require the installation of fire sprinkler systems in new school accommodation and the Department does not intend to seek such a change.

With regard to fire safety, projects will not be approved unless they are designed in accordance with the 2000 edition of Approved Document B (Fire Safety), which accompanies the regulations. The Department's guide 'Fire Safety' includes information on sprinklers. It states that, though expensive to install, sprinklers can be worthwhile in areas where the risk of arson is high. In these circumstances their use can help minimise the loss of valuable course work and teaching materials, and prevent major disruption to the life of a school.

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