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7 Sept 2004 : Column 996W—continued

Pensioner Education

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans he has to improve access to education for pensioners. [186451]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Our plans were set out in the White Paper "21st Century Skills; Realising Our Potential" published in July 2003. We are committed to safeguarding a wide range of opportunities for pensioners. This is why we have agreed a budget with the Learning and Skills Council of £207.4 million in 2004–05 for adult and community learning secured through local education authorities, compared with £206 million in 2003–04. 28 per cent. of learners on these courses are aged 65 or over.

PFI/PPP Contracts (Financial Advice)

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many contracts his Department had with (a) Barclays, (b) Royal Bank of Scotland, (c) UBS Warburg and (d) Bank of Scotland for advice on private finance initiative and public private partnership contracts in each financial year since 2001–02; and what fees were paid in each case. [186690]

Mr. Miliband: There are no records of contracts with the organisations listed, or of any payments to them, for these purposes.

Pre-school Education

Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what the Government's policy is on pre-school education access; and if he will make a statement; [186803]

(2) whether the Government expects to meet its target of providing free part-time nursery education places to all three and four year old children by September; and if he will make a statement; [186808]

(3) what plans the Government has to expand access to pre-school education; and if he will make a statement. [186802]

Margaret Hodge: In 1997 access to free nursery education was effectively a postcode lottery. We have since invested more than £11 billion as part of an unprecedented expansion of early years provision. From 1 April 2004, six months ahead of the original target, we have amended the regulatory framework to
 
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require all local authorities to ensure there is sufficient provision to deliver a free part time nursery education place for all three and four-year-olds whose parents want one. Provisional data from the January 2004 Early Years Census, published in May, confirmed that around 93 per cent. of three-year-olds and virtually all four year olds were already benefiting from some free provision. The Department's Five Year Strategy for Children and Learners, presented to Parliament in July (Cm 6272) outlined our plans to transform and build on the basic free entitlement by enabling parents to use it more flexibly as part of a wider integrated offer of education and child care.

Mr. Anthony D. Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many free (a) nursery and (b) pre-school places were available for (i) three and (ii) four-year-olds in Great Yarmouth in each of the last seven years. [186713]

Margaret Hodge: The information is not available in the form requested.

Figures on the number of free nursery education places taken up by three and four-year-olds in Norfolk local education authority area are shown in the table.
Number of free nursery education places1,2 taken up by three and four-year-old children in maintained nursery and primary schools and private, voluntary and independent providers Norfolk local education authority area, 1997–2003

Position in January each yearThree-year-oldsFour-year-olds
19971,5008,200
19981,8008,400
19991,9008,500
20001,9008,900
20012,0008,400
20024,8008,400
20036,1008,400


(24) Part-time equivalent number of free nursery education places taken up by three and four-year-old children.
(25) A free nursery education place comprises five two-and-a-half hour sessions of early years education per week, for 33 weeks of the year, usually three terms of 11 weeks.


The latest figures on provision for three and four-year-olds in England were published in a Statistical First Release, "Provision for Children Under Five Years of Age in England—January 2004", which is available on the Department's website: www.dfes.gov.uk/rsgateway/

From April 2004, six months ahead of our original target, all three-year-olds in England whose parents want one, are eligible for a free, part-time early education place.

Primary Schools (Non-teaching Grant)

Mr. Dhanda: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will ring-fence a specific grant in 2005–06 for planning, preparation and assessment time for primary school teachers. [186308]

Mr. Miliband: I refer the Member for Gloucester to the written statement I laid before the House on 13 July 2004, Official Report, column 55WS, on school funding for 2005–06. On the same day there was also a press notice issued by the Department (DfES press notice 2004/0137), which included a statement welcoming the
 
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school funding settlement by those school workforce unions represented on the Workforce Agreement Monitoring Group.

The written statement to the House sets out how we have considered, with our partner signatories, the costs of implementation of the National Agreement. It announces what funds will be available to schools to implement the Agreement in 2005–06.

Prison Education

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when his Department will (a) release full details of the new contracts for prison education, (b) begin accepting tenders, (c) make decisions on which tenders will be successful and (d) announce a start date for the new contracts. [187238]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: We announced in January that we would not re-tender prison education contracts. With the creation of the new National Offender Management Service and the drive to get more resources to front-line services, we are looking to incorporate offender learning and skills more fully into mainstream further education provision.

The Offenders' Learning and Skills Unit and the Learning and Skills Council are working with the Prison and Probation Services to develop a new integrated service, initially in three development regions in England. The outcome of this work will inform the national implementation of a new, fully integrated service to offenders from September 2006.

In the meantime, in order to ensure stability as we develop the new service delivery arrangements, Prison Service officials are negotiating extensions to existing contracts from September 2004.

Pupil Exclusions

Mr. Anthony D. Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many pupils were excluded from schools in (a) Great Yarmouth and (b) Norfolk in each year since 1997. [186710]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The available information is given in the table.

Exclusions data for 2000/01, 2001/02 and 2002/03 are known to have been under-reported by some schools. The Department carried out a checking exercise, but this was at LEA level only. As a result this information is not available at parliamentary constituency level for the three most recent years.
Maintained primary and secondary schools(26)number and percentage of permanently excluded pupils 1997–98 to 2002–03 2,3

Primary
Secondary
NumberPercentage(29)NumberPercentage(29)
Great Yarmouth parliamentary constituency
1997–98100.09200.59
1998–99100.07300.76
1999–2000(30)0.03100.14
2000–01n/an/an/an/a
2001–02n/an/an/an/a
2002–03(28)n/an/an/an/a
Norfolk LEA
1997–98400.051000.25
1998–99300.041300.31
1999–2000200.03600.14
2000–01200.03400.10
2001–02200.04500.12
2002–03(28)100.02500.10




n/a=Not available.
(26) Includes middle schools as deemed.
(27) Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.
(28) Provisional.
(29) The number of permanent exclusions expressed as a percentage of the number (headcount) of pupils, excluding dually registered pupils.
(30) Less than 5.
Source:
Annual Schools Census




 
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Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) primary and (b) secondary pupils on average were (i) permanently excluded from school and (ii) unable to access a place in school in each of the last five years in (A) the London borough of Enfield, (B) Inner London and (C) England; and if he will make a statement. [187005]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Requested information on the number and percentage of excluded pupils is given in the tables.
Maintained primary schools(31): Number and percentage of permanently excluded pupils, 1997/98 to 2002/03 (provisional) 2

Enfield LEA
Inner London
England
NumberPercentage(33)NumberPercentage(33)NumberPercentage(33)
1997–98100.041500.061,5400.03
1998–99100.021100.051,3700.03
1999–2000(34)0.01800.031,2300.03
2000–01100.02800.041,4400.03
2001–02100.02800.031,4500.03
2002–03(35)100.02600.031,3000.03


(31) Includes middle schools as deemed.
(32) Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10. There may be discrepancies between the sum of constituent items and the totals as shown.
(33) The number of permanent exclusions expressed as a percentage of the number (headcount) of pupils, excluding dually registered pupils.
(34) Less than 5.
(35) Provisional.
Source:
Annual Schools Census.





Maintained secondary schools(36): Number and percentage of permanently excluded pupils, 1997/98 to 2002/03 (provisional) 2

Enfield LEA
Inner London
England
NumberPercentage(38)NumberPercentage(38)NumberPercentage(38)
1997–98700.395700.4810,1900.33
1998–99700.365000.418,6400.28
1999–2000700.344100.336,7100.21
2000–01700.324300.347,3100.23
2001–02600.313900.307,7400.24
2002–03(39)500.223900.307,6900.23


(36) Includes middle schools as deemed.
(37) Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10. There may be discrepancies between the sum of constituent items and the totals as shown.
(38) The number of permanent exclusions expressed as a percentage of the number (headcount) of pupils, excluding dually registered pupils.
(39) Provisional.
Source:
Annual Schools Census.




We do not hold information centrally on the numbers of excluded pupils unable to access a place in school. However, from September 2002 all local education authorities (LEAs) have been committed to providing suitable full-time education for permanently excluded pupils from the sixteenth day of their exclusion. Since then all but a handful of LEAs have met this commitment. Currently only two LEAs are not meeting it and the Department is working with them to help them achieve it.


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