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16 Dec 2002 : Column 574Wcontinued
Margaret Hodge: The Higher Education Funding Council for England is currently reviewing higher education provision in Cumbria. 1,200 additional student places have already been funded by HEFCE since 1999 for local providers. The review will evaluate progress and project local demand and supply.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what discussions his Department has had with the Learning and Skills Council to enable local councils to take advantage of full end-year flexibility in respect of the Local Initiative Fund and other programme budgets. 
Margaret Hodge: The discussions that my Department has had with the LSC resulted in the grant letter to the LSC dated 5 December 2002, a copy of which has been placed in the House of Commons Library. The LSC will be able from 200304 to carry forward unspent funds on each of its budgets, except in exceptional and clearly defined circumstances. I expect that this flexibility will be passed on to local LSCs.
There is no separate Local Initiative Fund (LIF) from 200304. Any activity previously funded by LIF will be covered by the new Local Investment and Development Fund. This provides the LSC with a powerful mechanism for raising quality and increasing the capacity and effectiveness of learning providers.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the statement by the Minister for Local Government and the Regions, 5 December 2002, Official Report, columns 10651084, what (a) the total spending on schools and (b) the total Government support for spending on schools is from all sources for the Isle of Wight Council in (i) 200102, (ii) 200303 and (iii) 200304. 
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Mr. Miliband [holding answer 12 December 2002]: The information requested on school spending is not yet available as the Department is in the process of collecting the data for 200102. I will write to the hon. Member when the information becomes available. The Department is not due to collect data for 200203 until September 2003, and for 200304 in September 2004. The majority of government support for spending on schools takes the form of unhypothecated revenue support grant, so it is not possible to give totals for government support.
Margaret Hodge: We are now into the fourth year of operating the EMA pilot scheme. An independent evaluation of the EMA pilot commenced in September 1999 in 15 pilot areas and 11 control areas. This evaluation is being undertaken by a consortium of four organisations, headed up by the Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP) at Loughborough University.
The findings so far are highly encouraging, indicating that EMA has had a positive effect on participation and retention among the target group, as well as on student behaviour. It is for this reason that we have announced that the scheme will be extended nationally from September 2004. The evaluation will help inform the development of the national scheme by offering evidence of different impacts from the different variants being tested in the pilot.
Mr. Miliband: Unlike schools, colleges in the further education (FE) sector are independent corporations with their own pay arrangements. Colleges agree annual pay rises and conditions of employment with their staff in the context of local priorities and the overall resources available to them. Pay arrangements in the sector are diverse, reflecting colleges' local flexibility. Government have no plans to change this arrangement.
On 19 November the Secretary of State announced that the total funding for FE is set to rise by #1.2 billion between 200203 and 200506, a real terms increase of 19 per cent. From next year, colleges which have demonstrated their effectiveness will have three year funding deals allowing them to plan on a longer-term basis, with increases linked to performance. We will also consolidate the funds provided for the Teaching Pay Initiative into core funding. These measures should enable colleges to address structural pay issues and to use the additional resources to narrow substantially the pay gap with schools by 200506.
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(4) Full-time and part-time students.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many schools have been constructed since 1990 under PFI in each local education authority; and what the average length of time from tendering to handover of the finished education facility was. 
Mr. Miliband : There are now 49 project contracts signed since 1997, covering 558 schools that the Department has supported with PFI credits of approximately 1.3 billion. The private sector partners in more than 30 projects have begun to deliver high quality services to the schools covered by the contracts. This includes more than 30 brand new or replacement schools. Information is not held centrally on the time taken from the commencement of the tendering process to the handover of the facility to the Local Education Authority.
Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans he has to encourage children from deprived areas to attend Russell Group universities; and if he will make a statement. 
Margaret Hodge: We are committed to encouraging young people from deprived backgrounds to aim higher, including entry to our top universities where they demonstrate the ability and potential. We want universities to hunt out the brightest students and to seek better and fairer ways of identifying talent. We have committed over #190 million for three years to the Excellence Challenge programme, which will raise the aspirations and attainment of young people in some of the most deprived areas of the country. All universities, including those in the Russell Group, are engaged with this programme and local excellence challenge partnerships all have links with at least one institution with demanding entry requirements. Through the Excellence Challenge, we have provided additional funding to universities who recruit fewer than 80 per
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cent. from the state sector, so that they reach out to more young people from deprived backgrounds. We will be publishing our 10-year vision for higher education in January. This will reflect our continued commitment to widening participation and excellence.
Mr. Curry: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the total amount of balances held by schools was in each local authority in England in the latest year for which figures are available, expressed as (a) an aggregate sum and (b) a proportion of aggregate school budgets. 
Mr. Miliband: The table, which contains provisional figures derived from Table 2 of the outturn statements provided by local education authorities under section 52 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998, sets out the aggregate balances held by each local education authority's schools at the end of the financial year 200001, and expresses these as a percentage of the schools' planned budget shares for the year. Comprehensive figures for 200102 are not yet available.
|Local education authority||Balances carried forward||Balances as percentage of planned budget shares|
|Barking and Dagenham||3,436,380||5|
|Bath and North East Somerset||3,362,999||6|
|Blackburn with Darwen||5,174,240||9|
|Brighton and Hove||3,140,236||5|
|City of Bristol||5,470,381||5|
|City of Kingston-upon-Hull||5,566,582||6|
|City of London||6,876||1|
|East Riding of Yorkshire||7,308,958||7|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||3,931,932||8|
|Isle of Wight||2,027,599||5|
|Isles of Scilly||187,015||20|
|Kensington and Chelsea||1,897,247||5|
|Kingston upon Thames||2,882,024||6|
|Newcastle upon Tyne||6,423,775||7|
|North East Lincolnshire||3,921,671||7|
|Redcar and Cleveland||3,699,118||7|
|Richmond upon Thames||2,402,104||5|
|Stoke on Trent||5,279,274||7|
|Telford and Wrekin||2,681,119||5|
|Windsor and Maidenhead||2,300,152||5|
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