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1 Sept 2004 : Column 783W—continued

Holiday Playschemes

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will estimate the average weekly cost in each region of a place on a holiday playscheme; and if he will make a statement on holiday playscheme provision. [185358]

Margaret Hodge: The Government does not collect data on the cost of holiday playschemes.

Job Losses (Civil Servants)

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many of the reductions in the numbers of civil servants in his Department announced in the comprehensive spending review will be of special advisors. [185471]

Mr. Charles Clarke: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I have given to my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, on 20 July 2004, Official report, column 90W.

Ministerial Travel

Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the total cost of air travel between Northern Ireland and Great Britain was for (a) Ministers and (b) officials in the Department in the latest year for which figures are available. [184531]

Mr. Miliband: Information relating to travel within the UK for both Ministers and officials is not held centrally and hence could be supplied only at disproportionate cost. However, since 1999 the Government have published an annual list of all visits overseas undertaken by Cabinet Ministers costing £500 or more during each financial year. The Government have also published on an annual basis the cost of all Ministers' visits overseas. Copies of the lists are available in the Libraries of the House. These report information reaching back to 1995–96. Information for 2003–04 is currently being assembled and will be published shortly. All ministerial and civil service travel is undertaken in accordance with the rules set out in the Ministerial Code, Travel by Ministers, and Civil Service Management Code, copies of which are available in the Libraries of the House.

Nursery Education

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what criteria are used for admission to neighbourhood nurseries which are oversubscribed. [185524]

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Mr. Stephen Twigg: Neighbourhood nurseries are intended to provide child care and early education places for children under five in the most disadvantaged areas of the country. Providers that have set up a neighbourhood nursery are required to ensure that they give priority to children and families who live within the target area. It is for individual providers to establish their own admissions policy and determine how they will deal with oversubscription. However, in doing so they must meet this requirement. We expect providers and the local authority to monitor the position on an annual basis.

Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how the nursery education grant budget was spent in 2003–04. [185735]

Margaret Hodge: The information is not available in the form requested. From April 2003, local authorities (LAs) no longer received funds through the Nursery Education Grant. Funds were consolidated within the under-fives sub-block of the Education Formula Spending Share (EFSS)—their main education budget. It is for individual LAs in consultation with local partners to determine how overall resources should be used.

All LAs received sufficient funding to enable them to meet their statutory responsibilities to provide free nursery education for three and four year olds. The overall EFSS under fives sub-block in 2003–04 was worth some £2.6 billion.

Out-of-school Clubs

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many out of school clubs are operating in England; and how many places are available at these clubs for children aged (a) five to 10 years and (b) 11 years and over. [185359]

Margaret Hodge: The Department is unable to provide the data in the form requested. In March 2004 there were 9,200 registered out of school childcare clubs 1 offering 326,700 places for children aged five to seven years. At the same time there were more than 2,600 unregistered out of school childcare clubs 1 offering more than 89,300 places. These are mainly for children aged over seven, but also include breakfast clubs of less than two hours, which may cater for younger children and do not need to be registered.

The Government's objective is that all schools should offer a programme of out of school hours study support. For 2004–05, all local education authorities and schools have received Government funding through the School Development Grant to support such activities. This is in addition to funding to support the creation of new childcare places made available as part of the General Sure Start Grant for 2004–06. It is for local authorities and schools to determine what provision will best meet the needs of the young people in the area.

1 These figures include holiday play schemes.

Policies (Environmental Impacts)

Mr. Horam: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many new policy proposals or significant changes in policy were produced by his Department in (a) 2002–03 and (b) 2003–04; how
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many of these were screened for their environmental impacts; and how many were the subject of separate environmental appraisals. [185107]

Mr. Miliband: The Department for Education and Skills produces a Regulatory Impact Assessment where a proposed policy is likely to have an impact on business, charities and the voluntary sector. The Regulatory Impact Assessment includes an environmental impact appraisal where this is deemed appropriate. In 2002–03, 2003–04, none of the Department's Regulatory Impact Assessments have included an environmental assessment.

Pre-school Education

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much, at today's prices, was spent on education of children aged under three years in each of the last 10 years. [186016]

Margaret Hodge: This information is not available centrally. All funding for under fives has been consolidated within the Education Formula Spending Share (EFSS)—the main source of funding for local authorities and schools. The resources are unhypothecated and it is for individual local authorities
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to determine funding priorities in the light of local needs and circumstances. In doing so, they must meet their statutory obligation to provide free part-time early education for three and four year olds. In 2003–04 overall funding in the EFSS under fives sub-block was worth some £2.6 billion.

My right hon. Friend the Chancellor announced in the context of SR 2004, proposals to provide free early education and care for more disadvantaged children through running pilots to reach 12,000 two year olds in disadvantaged areas. Details have yet to be finalised, although we are clear that any offer to two year olds should be underpinned by the widely welcomed 'Birth to three matters: A framework to support children in their earliest years'.

Primary Education (Tamworth)

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the average (a) infant and (b) primary school class size was in Tamworth constituency in each year since 1992. [185831]

Mr. Miliband: The requested information at constituency level is available from 1997 and is given in the table.
Maintained primary schools(42)average size of classes taught by one teacher(43)position in January each year.1997 to 2004 (provisional v2)Tamworth Parliamentary Constituency(44)

Key stage one
Number of pupilsNumber of classesAverage class sizeNumber of pupilsNumber of classesAverage class size

(42) Includes middle schools as deemed
(43) Classes as taught during the one selected period in each school on the day of the census in January.
(44) Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.
(45) Includes reception classes,
(46) Provisional
Annual schools census

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