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11 Jun 2003 : Column 889W—continued

School Budgets

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will list by local education authority (a) the number of schools requesting a budget deficit and (b) the value of budget deficits requested in each year since 1997. [118122]

Mr. Miliband: Data on schools reaching agreements with their local education authority for a licensed deficit are not collected centrally.

School Funding

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will place in the Library copies of correspondence between his Department and schools relating to school funding in 2003. [118125]

Mr. Miliband: Fulfilling this request would incur disproportionate expense to the Department.

Sector Skills Councils

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what progress has been made in the creation of a sector skills council for the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism sectors. [117068]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The hospitality, leisure , travel and tourism (HLTT) Board submitted a full business proposal for SSC Licence on 31 March 2003. They have been fully supported by the Sector Skills Development Agency (SSDA) during the development stage.

Following a series of feedback and progress review meetings between SSDA and HLTT, a substantially revised proposal for SSC Licence is expected on 6 June 2003, in time for it to be considered by the SSDA Board meeting in August 2003. The aim is for HLTT to be licensed by September 2003.

It is recognised by the SSDA and HLTT that this is a challenging, but achievable target.

Teachers Pay and Pensions

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on the breakdown

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of funding for pay and pensions out of the total amount provided for education in the recent local government settlement. [114941]

Mr. Miliband [holding answer 21 May 2002]: The overall increase of £2.7 billion in the local government finance settlement does not provide funding specifically for pay, pensions or any other pressure. It is for local education authorities and schools to decide how to manage their budgets within the total available. However, we estimate that the cost of the increase in employer's contributions to teachers' pensions amounts to some £640 million and that the costs of teaching and non-teaching education staff represent an increase of some £820 million. Overall, the increase in total funding is about £250 million more than all the pressures including the pensions pay pressures described schools and authorities face in 2003–04.


Mr. Watts: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on his Department's review of work-based training and the effects that the benefits system has on participation. [117374]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The review of financial support for 16 to 19-year-olds has been jointly run by the Department for Education and Skills and the Department for Work and Pensions, with the close involvement of other relevant Departments and partners. This review has looked at making more effective the measures to support young people to participate in education or vocational training. In the Budget 2003 Red Book the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a more comprehensive review of financial support for 16 to 19-year-olds, including the financial incentives for young people, their parents and carers, and the interaction between this support and the case for any new minimum wage for 16 and 17-year-olds. The work of the current review group, including that relating to work based training, will inform the wider review announced by the Chancellor, which is due to report in spring 2004.

UK & Universities Worldwide

David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what level of government resources have been expended on supporting the UKEU project; [114133]

Margaret Hodge: The Government have provided £62 million to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) over the period 2001–04 to launch the eUniversities project, now being taken forward by UK eUniversities Worldwide (UKeU). HEFCE has agreed to provide up to £55 million to UKeU. The remainder has been used by HEFCE for projects to set up and advance the general aims of the project, notably the eChina Programme and to further research into e-learning provision. HEFCE will review

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the venture this autumn and no decisions have yet been made on future funding. The purpose of the HEFCE grant is to secure services to support the UK higher education sector by providing a technological and marketing infrastructure, and advice and guidance in providing online courses of study. Funds are invested through a Holding Company (the eLearning Holding Company Ltd.) which is owned by the higher education institutions of the UK. HEFCE currently requires that the Holding Company maintains at least a 50 per cent. stake in UKeU so that it may oversee the value for money represented in the services provided, and to oversee quality and standards of a venture which carries a brand backed by UK higher education. Profits, proportionate to the public funding element, from the venture will be returned to the sector through the Holding Company.

Voluntary Organisations

Mr. Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what funding programmes are operated by his Department to support voluntary organisations working with young people; and what the level of support has been over the last three years. [116495]

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 3 June 2003]: The Department funds 90 National Voluntary Youth Organisations (NVYOs) through the National Voluntary Youth Organisations Grant scheme. The grant scheme is a three year cycle of funding with a current budget of £18 million for April 2002-March 2005 a 50 per cent. increase in the previous three year cycle which was £12 million. The scheme is based on two ministerial objectives, tackling social exclusion through addressing priority groups and raising standards and quality of youth work.

The Department has also allocated £1 million from the Transforming Youth Work Development Fund to the NVYOs within the grant scheme for 2003–04. This allocation is specifically aimed to support the following activities:

The previous and first year (2002–03) of the Transforming Youth Work Development Fund the NVYOs were allocated £2 million.

The NVYO grant scheme is the only source of direct Government support for the voluntary youth sector; however the Department does fund the Millennium Volunteers (MV) programme. The programme has been designed to encourage 16–24 year olds to make a sustained commitment to volunteering that benefits others and their communities. Currently there are around 140 projects across England and the majority of these are existing voluntary and community organisations, offering a wide range of volunteering opportunities to young people. This year's budget is forecasted for £17.653 million while previous years' budgets have been £18.745 million for 2001–02 and £13.593 million for 2000–01.

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In addition to the Department's direct funding to the voluntary sector it does provide funds through the following:

Education Standard Spending (ESS) Fund. For 2002–03 ESS allocated the LEA other block a potential resource of £397 million. £316 million of this total was allocated to the statutory youth services. It is estimated that around 16 per cent. (£50 million) of this allocation was spent on the voluntary sector.

The Community Champions Fund (CCF) which has been set up by the Department to help support and develop the work of local people who are involved in, or who want to be involved in changing their communities for the better. In 2003, £289,000 of the £3 million is being used specifically to support the development of the fund with just over £2.7 million being devolved to the nine Government Offices, who administer the fund on DfES behalf. The fund will receive £2 million per year from April 2004 March 2006. The Fund is currently in its third year and has helped to turn visions into reality for well over 3,500 individuals and community champions in 2003/04.

And the Neighbourhood Support Fund (NSF) which supports local Voluntary and Community Organisations to provide innovative projects for the hardest to reach 13–19 year olds. NSF is delivered via three managing agents:

£60 million has been allocated to the fund over three years until September 2003. The Minister recently announced that NSF will receive funding of £10 million a year from 2003–04 to 2005–06.

NSF has supported just over 44,000 participants since it started up with 61 per cent. of leavers achieving positive outcomes.

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