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7 Jan 2003 : Column 36W—continued

Online Centres

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many hours per week each UK online centre is used for community use; and if he will list each UK online project in Luton, South. [88308]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The DfES does not specifically collect such information, however findings from recent evaluation on UK online centres funded by the Capital Modernisation Fund (CMF) stated: There is a strong community based feel to most centres.

A large proportion of centres are based within target communities such as those in the 2,000 most deprived local authority wards; rural areas with significant transport and deprivation problems.

A table showing all UK online centres in the Luton, South constituency follows.

Centre nameAddress 1Address 2TownPostcode
The Luton Health and Training Centre179a-b Dunstable RoadLutonLU1 1BT
The Dale ICT Centre127 Dunstable RoadLutonLU1 1BW
Luton Foyer63 Inkerman StreetLutonLU1 1JD
Outset Ltd.Telemax House15 New Bedford RoadLutonLU1 1SA
Luton Lives28a Chapel StreetLutonLU1 2SE
Barnfield College—Rotherharn Avenue SiteRotherharn AvenueLutonLU1 5PP
Barnfield College—Charles StreetCharles StreetLutonLU2 OEB
CYCD ICT Centre94–106 Leagrave RoadLutonLU4 8HT
KHIDMAT ICT Centre47a Leagrave RoadLuton LU4 8HT

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many UK online centres there are; how many hours on average they are used per week; and if he will list the location of each centre. [88309]

Mr. Charles Clarke: My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister officially announced the achievement of 6,000 UK online centres open across England on 19 November 2002, six weeks ahead of schedule.

Due to the diversity of centres an average of hours they are used per week is not applicable. UK online centres range from voluntary and community centres (including mobile centres) to, libraries, colleges and high street cyber-cafés some can be in a church or post office.

The DfES website includes information on all UK online centres, individuals can find their nearest centre at or call free on 0800 77 1234.

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will list the (a) number of participants, (b) numbers receiving qualifications at each level, (c) socio-economic status of each participant and (d) cost per participant of DfES-funded UK online courses. [88313]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The following information is taken from the Management Information the DfES collect from centres funded by the CMF which represents 2,840 of the over 6,000 figure. These figures are representative of 1,589 centres which were open for

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use as at the end of September 2002. I have included a breakdown of stats in my hon. Friend's regional Government Office East (GOE) along with national stats for each question.

(a) Number of Participants

The number of users recorded nationally at CMF funded UK online centres between July and September 2002 was 115,250.

The number of users recorded within the same period for GOE was 9,379. This represents 8 per cent. of the national figure.

(b) Numbers receiving qualifications at each level

The DfES do not collect information for qualifications at each level; however

the numbers of users that have gone onto further learning are as follows:

Nationally a total of 21,916 users of UK online centres have progressed onto further learning.

GOE represents 8 per cent. of the national figure with 1,790 users going onto further learning.

(c) Socio-economic status

UK online centres specifically target those in deprived communities. I have listed the numbers of users that fall in UK online centres target groups.

Basic Skills Needs18,684
Lone Parents5,682
Over 6514,593
Ethnic Minorities22,316
Basic Skills Needs773
Lone Parents560
Over 651,430
Ethnic Minorities1,210

(d) Cost per participant of DfES-funded UK online courses

#199 million was made available from the CMF to help fund UK online centres in deprived communities. There are no funded UK online courses that have been developed by the DfES.

UK online centres offer an introduction to the internet and e-mail, with learner support to help new users. Centres may wish to develop their own learning material to achieve this.

Public Schools

Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans he has to amend the charitable status given to public schools; and if he will make a statement. [86834]

Beverley Hughes: I have been asked to reply.

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The Strategy Unit report, XPrivate Action, Public Benefit", was published on 25 September 2002. Its 61 recommendations set out a package of measures which aim to modernise charity law and enable a wide range of organisations to be more effective and innovative.

The report recommends that in future all charities should have to demonstrate public benefit. Part of the report considers what happens now with those charities that charge fees which serve to exclude large sections of the population in terms of their having to make provision for wider access for those who would be excluded because of the fees. The report cites the example of independent schools.

At present there is no systematic programme in place to check the public character of charities. The report recommends that an on-going review programme run by the Charity Commission should check the public character of such organisations. It is proposed that the Commission would identify charities likely to charge high fees (such as independent schools), and undertake a rolling programme to check that provision was made for wider access. This programme will be designed to minimise red tape and will not focus on any particular sector. Short returns will be issued which ask charities what they do in terms of widening access, such as making provision for sharing facilities. It is envisaged that for the majority of cases no further inquiry will be necessary beyond the initial return.

It is proposed that the Charity Commission, in consultation with charities likely to be affected and their umbrella bodies, would issue guidelines as to the level of access appropriate in particular circumstances.

Of course at the moment these are only proposals. The report was out for consultation until 31 December 2002, and we shall consider the responses to this, and all the other matters addressed in the report, very carefully.

Pupil Profiles (Leeds)

Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children in Leeds, West aged (a) 0 to 5, (b) 5 to 11, (c) 11 to 16 and (d) 16 to 18 were diagnosed as having (i) severe learning difficulties and (ii) moderate learning difficulties at the latest date for which figures are available. [83473]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The information requested is not collected centrally at the moment.

There is currently no requirement for schools to submit information in the Annual Schools Census on the nature of such pupils' disability or learning difficulty. However, in June 2001, the Department carried out a pilot study involving a sample of 200 mainstream and special schools to assess whether it would be possible to collect data from schools on a broad range of types of Special Education Needs (SEN). It is likely that schools and local education authorities will be asked to provide this information from January 2004.

The available information on the total number of pupils with SEN in Leeds, West parliamentary constituency is shown in the table.

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Number of pupils with special educational needs (SEN)—January 2002—Leeds, West parliamentary constituency

Under 5Aged 5 to 10Aged 11 to 1516 and overTotal
Pupils with statements of SEN
Maintained primary schools1515710173
Maintained secondary schools001906196
Maintained special schools63013424194
Total maintained schools2118732530563
SEN pupils without statements
Maintained primary schools1611,495201,658
Maintained secondary schools0084120861
Maintained special schools0000
Total maintained schools1611,495843202,519


Annual schools census.

Spending Statistics

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills by how much (a) central and (b) local government spending will increase, on average, per child in (i) primary and (ii) secondary education in (A) England and (B) Devon in the next three years. [87313]

Mr. Miliband [holding answer 17 December 2002]: As a result of our drive to give extra resources to the front line, there will be no increase in central government spending per pupil but a national average increase of over #540 per pupil in our plans for local government spending over the next three years.

It is not possible to set out now Education Formula Spending Shares (EFSS) for Devon for 2004–05 and 2005–06: they will depend on pupil numbers and indicator data at January 2003 and 2004. However, we have provided local authorities with increases in total Education Formula Spending for 2004–05 and 2005–06, together with forward projections at national level of pupil numbers for those years. We have also said that there will be minimum and maximum increases for authorities as we introduce the new LEA funding system. Indicator data will be averaged over three years to provide further stability and predictability in future Formula Spending Shares. Authorities will be able to use this data—together with local knowledge about pupil numbers and indicators—to form a good estimate of what their EFSS might be in those years. That will in turn allow them to provide schools with indicative budgets for the next three years.

The balance of spending between primary and secondary education is determined by local decisions made in each LEA, both in respect to local government spending and, for the most part, support from central government.

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