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Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on the role of comprehensive spending reviews in enabling local education authorities and others to plan expenditure over the longer term. 
Mr. Miliband: The spending review 2002 set out the resources that the Government would be making available for education over the three years 200304 to 200506. The allocation of general funding to each local
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education authority, taking account of the increases from SR2002, and the new local authority funding system, will be announced by early December. Those allocations will set a trend for local education authorities for the next three years, and we will work with local education authorities to encourage them to deliver three-year budgets for their schools. These will be firm budgets for 200304, but will be indicative for 200405 and 200506 because of the impact of changes in pupil numbers and other data.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will list, by subject, the adjustments made by the Examination Boards' accountable officers to the grade boundaries recommended by principal examiners in (a) 2001 and (b) each preceding year for which the information is available. 
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which schools have moved between bands for the purposes of School Standards Grant in each of the last two years as a result of a change in pupil numbers, showing in each case the increase or decrease in the school budget and the date on which the change took effect. 
Mr. Miliband: Local education authorities (LEAs) are responsible for paying School Standards Grant (SSG) to individual schools on the basis of a central grant received from the Department. The format of LEAs' financial returns would mean that providing the required information would incur disproportionate cost.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) if he plans to limit the number of hours per week that a pupil should be (a) taught and (b) supervised by a teaching assistant; 
Mr. Miliband: The Government's proposals on developing the role of support staff, which were published for consultation in October, include proposals which would for the first time provide a regulatory framework to underpin the involvement of support staff in the teaching and learning process. These are based on the key principles that qualified teachers must have overall responsibility for effective teaching and learning, and that there must always be a clear system of leadership and supervision by a qualified teacher to ensure high standards of teaching and learning. Provided those conditions are met, it is proposed that determining what should be delegated should be primarily a matter for the professional judgment of headteachers and qualified teachers rather than for rigid national demarcation. The draft Education (Teaching Work and Registration)
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(England) Regulations 2002 do not include proposed limits on the hours or subjects that a pupil should be either taught or supervised by a teaching assistant. The draft regulations provide that teaching assistants may only undertake a list of Xspecified teaching work" under a system of supervision determined by a qualified teacher using his or her professional judgment. Qualified teachers will remain responsible and accountable for the quality of teaching and learning in their classrooms.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans he has to ensure that the Technology Colleges Trust has the resources to support the proposed expansion of the specialist schools programme. 
Mr. Miliband: The Department provides annual grant-in-aid to the Technology Colleges Trust to support the specialist schools programme. As in the past, we will consider the level of resources required for this in the context of the expansion of the specialist schools programme.
Mr Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent assessment he has made of progress toward his Department's targets for the recruitment of trainee teachers in 2002, broken down by subject. 
Mr. Miliband: Provisional figures published today by the Teacher Training Agency show that 31,261 people have been recruited to courses of initial teacher training in England in 200203, 2,067 more than in 200102. This third successive annual rise in recruitment vindicates the Government's decision, announced last December, to make 1,900 more training places available this year than in 200102.
The table shows numbers of trainees recruited as a percentage of the total number of training places available by phase and subject. Figures do not include the 1,904 new entrants to the Graduate Teacher Programme so far this year, of whom 935 are training in the priority subjects of mathematics, science, modern languages, technology and English.
|ITT recruitment||ITT places||ITT recruitment as percentage of ITT places|
|English & Drama||2,475||2,350||105|
Teacher Training Agency ITT Trainee Numbers Census 2002 (Provisional).
1. The recruitment figures by subject exclude the 116 entrants on the fast track teaching route, attending ITT in 200203 as part of the programme. Of these, 29 are train in primary, and 87 in secondary, (8 mathematics, 20 English, 22 science, 16 modern foreign languages, 1 technology, 13 history, 3 geography, 1 physical education, and 3 music).
2. The 200203 ITT target includes a margin of flexibility. The 100 places available under the margin of flexibility is used as a provision for the TTA to Xvire" places between secondary subjects within certain parameters.
3. Other secondary subjects, includes classics, economics and other social sciences and other subjects.
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Simon Hughes: To ask the right hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission what evaluation is being made of the difference between the turnout for local council elections during the last year (a) where there has been a directly elected mayor and (b) where there has not been a directly elected mayor. 
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Committee on the Electoral Commission what discussions he has had with the Electoral Commission on more active promotion of postal voting. 
A key element of this programme is dedicated activity to promote postal voting across Great Britain in the spring of each year in which there are public elections. In support of this, the Commission will be producing new leaflets about postal voting by December this year, which will be distributed to Electoral Registration Officers and displayed in post offices across Great Britain prior to the elections planned for next spring.
Information about postal voting is also available from the Commission's website and the Commission published good practice advice to local authorities on local promotion of postal voting and other issues in its October 2002 report XMaking an impact".
Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many representations he has received with regard to the reform of the Mental Health Act 1983 since the publication of the draft mental health Bill. 
Mr. Lammy: We will be making an announcement on the publication of the national service framework delivery strategy for diabetes shortly and would hope to do so by way of a written ministerial statement. I shall make sure that my hon. Friend receives a copy.