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25 Nov 2002 : Column 91Wcontinued
Margaret Hodge: Since April 2002 the LSC has been responsible for the funding of school sixth forms. In the Secretary of State's Grant Letter for 200203 we asked the LSC to widen council representation from the schools sector. Since then the LSC has been actively recruiting school teachers and head teachers and will continue to do so. Currently there are 19 local LSCs with teachers or head teachers of schools with sixth forms on their local councils.
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These are: Kent and Medway; Berkshire; Milton Keynes; Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire; Surrey; Bedfordshire; Cambridgeshire; Essex; Hertfordshire; Norfolk; Suffolk; County Durham; North Yorkshire; Greater Merseyside; Coventry and Warwickshire; Gloucestershire; West of England; London South; Northamptonshire; and Derbyshire. Three more local LSCs have head teachers of schools which do not have sixth forms.
Further experience of schools' matters is brought by those local council members who come from local authorities and local education authorities (30 local councils have Directors of Education/Chief Education Officers, 40 local councils have elected members and 46 local councils have members with other local authority backgrounds). In addition 40 local LSCs have members who are school governors.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what funding his Department has targeted on preventive education programmes about (a) drugs and (b) youth offending; what funding is targeted at vulnerable groups; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg: The Department recognises the importance of preventative activity and ensuring that support reaches those most in need and we have made significant funding available to facilitate this.
(a) Drug, alcohol and tobacco education in the curriculum is funded via the Standards Fund. This funding, made available to local education authorities (LEAs) is to support the training of teachers and deliver effective drug, alcohol and tobacco education and prevention programmes. £15.5 million has been made available in 200203 and this will rise to £17.5 million in 2003- 04. The breakdown for 200203 is: Standards Fund Drug Prevention Grant£7.5 million; Standards Fund Drug Education Advisers Grant£5.7 million; Teacher training and Connexions Adviser training £2.3 million. The breakdowns for 200304 have not yet been announced.
This increase will improve the quality and coverage of drug, alcohol and tobacco education, fund drug adviser support in each LEA and help teachers deliver programmes tailor-made to meet the needs of young people across the country, including those most vulnerable to the risks of drug misuse.
(b) Through our Behaviour Improvement Programme, we have allocated £50 million to 34 LEAs with high rates of street crime and truancy to work with targeted schools in improving behaviour and attendance. Under the Programme, this summer, we allocated a further £16 million to the Connexions Partnerships covering the 34 LEAs to provide key workers and diversionary activities for over 9,000 of the young people in those areas most at risk of offending.
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sharp focus on those who need it most. I announced last week that funding for Connexions will rise to £515 million by 200506. The vision statement for Connexions that I issued last week, along with ministerial colleagues across Whitehall, reaffirms our joint commitment to securing better outcomes for this age group, but specifically around increasing the number who participate in education training and employment and reducing the number of young people who become involved in crime.
Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will place the data underlying his Department's value for money scores in relation to the 1998 public service agreements in the Library; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate he has made of the progress made towards his Department's targets on (a) reducing the number of secondary schools classed as failing, (b) reducing school truancies and (c) ensuring that all permanently excluded pupils obtain an appropriate full-time education. 
(b) The Department's Public Service Agreement target is to reduce school truancies by 10 per cent by 2004 compared to the 2002 rate, sustain the new lower level, and improve overall attendance levels thereafter. The Department's Statistical First Release showing school absence for the 2001/02 school year published on 9 October 2002 shows the national rate of unauthorised absence to be 0.7 per cent. of half days missed.
(c) All Local Education Authorities have said that they would be able to provide suitable full time education to all permanently excluded pupils from September 2002. Officials are currently conducting a survey to ensure that this target has been met.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate he has made of the additional school transport required in (a) The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and (b) Wokingham District as a result of the Government's plans for housing; and what additional funding he has provided for it. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg: It is for local education authorities to determine how much to spend on home-school transport, taking account of need in their area. Funding for home to school transport is routed through the Education Standard Spending Assessment.
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Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on his policy on pilot-free school bus transport for secondary school pupils living less than three miles from school, with special reference to Staffordshire. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg: Local education authorities (LEAs) are encouraged to pilot and evaluate changes to home to school transport entitlement, particularly where low income groups may otherwise be cut off from successful schools or alternative types of learning locally.
Some LEAs have already expressed an interest in exploring such pilots, including Staffordshire County Council. The outcome of their bid for funding under the Rural Bus Challenge will be announced early in the new year. LEAs are also encouraged to seek funding through local Public Service Agreements when these are negotiated or renegotiated.
Mr. Miliband [holding answer 19 November 2002]: The information requested is submitted to the Department according to local education authority areas, rather than districts within an area. Chesham and Amersham is a district of Buckinghamshire Local Education Authority. In Buckinghamshire LEA, 36 schools had a fall in their cash budget share in 200203. Of these, six schools closed mid-year. Five of the 36 schools also had a fall in their cash budget share per pupil.
Changes in pupil numbers are the principal reason for changes in budget share. 200 schools did not have a fall in their budget share, but of these, six had a fall in their cash budget share per pupil. This was largely in cases where small primary schools had rising rolls and, therefore, received less of the extra funding that goes to the smallest schools under the authority's formula.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much was spent on each (a) primary and (b) secondary school pupil in (i) 200102 and (ii) 200203 in (A) Chesham and Amersham and (B) Buckinghamshire. 
Mr. Miliband [holding answer 19 November 2002]: The information requested is submitted to the Department according to local education authority areas, rather than districts within an area. Chesham and Amersham is a district of Buckinghamshire Local Education Authority. Buckinghamshire LEA spent (a) £2,250 per primary school pupil and (b) £3,030 per secondary school pupil in the 200001 financial year. The Department is in the process of collecting data for the 200102 financial year and I will write to the hon. Member when it is available. Data for 200203 will not be collected until September 2003.
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