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24 Oct 2002 : Column 471Wcontinued
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many schools have not been classed by Ofsted as well led over the last five years; and what proportion this is of all schools inspected. 
Mr. Miliband: These are matters for the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED). The HM Chief Inspector for Schools, David Bell will write to the hon. Gentleman and a copy of his letter will be placed in the Library.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on whether the performance inequalities between (a) primary schools and (b) secondary schools have narrowed since 1997. 
Mr. Miliband: There has been a significant narrowing of the performance inequalities between primary schools, following the introduction of the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies. At Key Stage 2, for example, the average performance of the lowest attaining 20 per cent. of schools improved from 41 per cent. in 1997 to 61 per cent. in 2001, an increase of 20 per cent. points compared to the national average increase of 13 per cent. points.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what has been the total cost in each of the last four years of the performance related pay scheme for teachers, broken down by (a) administration costs, (b) payments to teachers and (c) other costs; how many of those who applied received the additional payments; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Miliband: Teachers have been receiving performance threshold increases since September 2000. Over #245 million in threshold grant payments were paid to local authorities in the 200001 financial year, over #436 million in 200102, and to date over #279 million in the current financial year.
The Department has a contract with Cambridge Education Associates (CEA) for the provision and deployment of threshold assessors and external advisers to governing bodies on heads' performance. We also have a contract with Centre for British Teachers (CfBT) for training in threshold assessment and performance management. The value of these contracts depends on the volume and quality of activity. Since January 2000 total CEA contract costs have been around #47 million and CfBT costs around #13 million.
Not all teachers who were eligible to apply did so. Over 200,000 teachers in England applied to cross the performance threshold in the first round and over 31,000 in the second round. Of these, nearly 224,000 were assessed as meeting the threshold standards. This is something of which the profession can be proud.
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Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of GCSE candidates achieved five or more A* to C grades in each year from 1987 to 2002; and if she will make a statement on the reasons underlying the change in performance. 
|200102 (Early Statistics)||51.2|
198687 198788 School Leavers Survey
198889 199091 School Examinations Survey
199192 onwards Data collected for Secondary School Performance Tables
Mr. Miliband: The proportion of coursework and examination assessment of GCSEs varies between individual subjects and awarding body specifications. The weighting of coursework for academic subjects varies between 2040 per cent.; for practical subjects between 4060 per cent.; in the case of the eight new GCSEs in vocational subjects introduced in September 2002, the coursework weighting is 67 per cent., with the exception of Applied ICT, where the coursework weighting is 6785 per cent.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many employees there were of (a) her Department and (b) its agencies; if she will estimate the annual (i) staff pay costs, (ii) buildings costs, (iii) administration costs and (iv) other cost for each; and if she will make a statement. 
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Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many posts were advertised in the press in each year since June 1999; and what percentage of them were advertised in the Scottish press. 
Clare Short: The information in the table below refers to the number of advertisements placed in the press rather than posts advertiseddetails of which are not maintained. The figures for 1999 are for the full year as monthly information is no longer available for that year.
|Year||Total Advertisements Placed||Total Placed in Scottish Press|
|2002 1 January|
Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will defer implementation of the decision of the former education minister of Northern Ireland to abandon the current 11-plus transfer arrangements, until such time as a suitable and broadly acceptable alternative transfer procedure has been decided. 
Jane Kennedy: Responses to extensive consultation on the Burns Report showed almost universal support for the abolition of the 11 plus Transfer Tests and a predominant view that academic selection should be ended, although there was also substantial opposition to this proposal. There was also support for the development of a Pupil Profile, a broadening of curriculum choice at age 14, and for greater co-operation and collaboration between schools. There is a clear demand for change in order to address the weaknesses of the current system. It is important that we continue to make progress on this key issue and the Department will be meeting the key education partners to build consensus on new transfer and post-primary arrangements that are fair for all children and enable all children to reach their full potential.
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Jane Kennedy: Extensive consultation on the Burns Report has demonstrated almost universal support for abolition of the Transfer Tests and a predominant view that academic selection should be ended although there was also substantial opposition to this proposal. In light of the views expressed the Department of Education will be meeting with key education partners to build on that consensus and develop new post-primary arrangements that are fair, enable all children to reach their full potential and provide a modern education system for the 21st Century.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she intends to reply to a letter sent to her on 24 July by the hon. Member for South-East Cornwall, regarding the Pesticides Residues Committee. 
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