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24 Feb 2004 : Column 401W—continued

Homeless Young People

Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what arrangements are made for the continuation of social services support for a young person who has been refused a home by his or her family and has not been made ward of court, once he or she becomes 16 years old. [155640]

Margaret Hodge: Local authority social service departments have a range of powers and duties under the Children Act 1989 to provide services for children in need in their area.

A general duty is placed on local authorities by section 17 of the Children Act 1989 to safeguard and promote the welfare of children in their area who are in need by providing a range of services appropriate to those needs. The definition of a child in need is set out in section 17(10) of the Act, which applies to all children, regardless of whether or not they reside with their family.

There is also a duty under section 20 of the Children Act to provided accommodation for children in need if necessary.

Jenny Gray

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to his answer of 30 January 2004, Official Report, columns 579–80W, under which section of the Code of Practice on Access to Information he declined to provide the information requested; and whether Jenny Gray is a full-time employee of his Department. [153588]

Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 6 February 2004]: I refer the hon. Member to exemption 12 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information. In line with this exemption, it is not our policy to disclose information on individual civil servants that may constitute or could facilitate an invasion of privacy.

Learning and Skills Councils

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what instruction he gives learning and skills councils on the extent of their written communications with hon. Members. [155240]

Alan Johnson: As an executive Non Departmental Public Body, the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) comes within the remit of "The Code of Practice on /Access to Government Information". This includes a requirement to answer requests for information, and to provide full facts and analysis of major policy proposals.

As part of the Management Statement agreed with my Department, the LSC is required to answer correspondence and questions of an operational nature

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from hon. Members. We are also keen for the LSC to engage with hon. Members on major issues affecting post-16 learning within their constituencies.

Medical Students

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps he is taking to provide additional places for UK students wishing to train as a medical practitioner; and if he will make a statement. [155882]

Alan Johnson: The Higher Education Funding Council for England allocated, between 1999 and 2001, a total of 2,145 additional medical school places to higher education institutions. Eligible medical students have their fees paid by the NHS for the fifth and, where there is one, sixth years of their courses and receive a means-tested NHS Bursary of up to £2703 (in London) in those years. In addition, they may receive a maintenance loan under the student support regulations.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many days on average his Department took in Session 2002–03 to give a substantive answer to a Parliamentary Question for ordinary written answer; and what the greatest number of days taken to answer such a question was. [155929]

Mr. Charles Clarke: At present, our records system does not allow us to retrieve the information requested without incurring disproportionate cost.

School Capital Investment

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much was spent on new capital investments in each school in the City of Newcastle upon Tyne including private finance initiative projects in each year since 1997–98; and what type of project it was in each case. [154616]

Mr. Miliband: The majority of capital support is allocated to schools and local education authorities (LEAs) by formula, and they decide how to invest it in line with their asset management plans. The Department does not, therefore, have complete information about all the capital investments in each school; this should be held locally. The following table sets out the capital support made by this Government to Newcastle upon Tyne LEA since 1997–98, in total and by programme, including devolved formula capital grants to each school.

We have also allocated indicative funding for future years worth approximately £70 million in 2004–05 (this includes £60 million of PFI credits) and £5 million in 2005–06. Additionally we have just announced that Newcastle LEA will be part of the first wave of Building Schools for the Future commencing in 2005–06. We will be working with the LEA over the coming months to confirm details and funding of their plans.

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Capital allocations for Newcastle upon Tyne LEA

Newcastle upon Tyne LEA capital allocations1997–981998–991999–20002000–012001–022002–032003–04
Assistance with Asset Management Plans33
Formulaic funding for VA schools45262340
Basic Need40745189664424179181
City Learning Centres1200
Class Size initiative3677080342
Devolved Formula1787143421733351
New Deal for Schools (NDS) 1487
NDS 36318
NDS 43300
Nursery Provision65
Private Finance Initiative47100
School Labs170170
School Security688485845749
Schools Access Initiative3070100139220355519
Seed Challenge172193321318
Specialist Schools300
Staff Workspace68135
Supplementary Credit Approvals11851394605353
Targeted Capital Funding430
Targeted Capital Funding—VA4996
Voluntary Aided School Grant8377022373281216653

Specialist Schools

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills in which year each (a) language college and (b) specialist school achieved specialist status; how many and what percentage of pupils at each obtained five A*-C GCSEs in each year since two years before it achieved specialist status; and how many language (i) GCSEs at A*-C grade and (ii) A-levels were obtained at each in each year since two years before it achieved specialist status. [155270]

Mr. Miliband [holding answer 23 February 2004]: The information requested has been placed in the Library.

The list below shows the year in which each specialist school, including Language Colleges (a specialism which has existed since 1995), achieved specialist status. The list also shows how many and what percentage of pupils at each school obtained five A*-C grades at GCSE in each year from two years before it achieved specialist status.

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The information requested regarding language GCSEs and A-Levels is not published at school level. To collate this information would involve disproportionate costs.

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills in which year since 1992 each specialist school was established as such; in which year each of those schools which ceased to have specialist status did so; and what the value is of (a) capital grants and (b) revenue funding to each school consequent upon its specialist status since its establishment. [155276]

Mr. Miliband [holding answer 23 February 2004]: The following table shows the number of schools designated, re-designated, or de-designated as specialist schools, by specialism, for each of the years since the programme began in 1994. Funding information is not readily available at school level for each of these years. However, the table shows the overall level of capital grants and recurrent funding for each year.

Designated specialist schools receive a one-off £100,000 capital grant and £126 per pupil per annum for four years. At current rates, a typical specialist school of 1,000 pupils would receive £100,000 capital funding and £504,000 revenue funding over a four-year phase.

Number of specialist school designations, de-designations and re-designations(23)by year

1994–95 1995–96
Business and enterprise
Mathematics and computing
Year total4958

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1996–97 1997–98
Business and enterprise
Mathematics and computing
Year total7575

1998–99 1999–2000
Business and enterprise
Mathematics and computing
Year total7076

2000–01 2001–02
Business and enterprise
Mathematics and computing
Year total134149

2002–03 2003–04
Business and enterprise186482
Mathematics and computing126476
Year total3084521,446

(23) The term re-designation is used here to indicate a school which was de-designated but subsequently regained specialist status.


The first specialist schools became operational in September 1994 under the technology specialism. Further specialisms have since been added with the first language colleges becoming operational in September 1995 followed by sports and arts colleges in September 1997. The first business and enterprise, science, maths and computing and engineering colleges became operational in September 2002. The first music and humanities colleges were designated in January 2004 but do not become operational until September 2004.

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Funding (calculated by financial year)
£ million


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