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18 Nov 2004 : Column 2111W—continued

Departmental Estate

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will list the properties
 
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occupied by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies in (i) 1997 and (ii) 2004, showing (A) for each and (B) in aggregate the area; and what in aggregate the annual rental value was. [196368]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: The list of properties occupied by my Department and its agencies in 1997 and 2004 including area and aggregate annual rental value is as follows:
2004
1997
PropertiesArea in square feetRental value (£)Area in square feetRental value (£)
Caxton House (leasehold)19,5048,174,50019,5046,510,000
Castle View House (freehold)9,552741,2509,552723,000
East Lane House (freehold)10,512480,000
Globe Works (leasehold)54321,000
Moorfoot (ground lease)28,0322,580,00028,0322,000,000
Mowden Hall (freehold)10,080437,00010.080435,000
Nursery (freehold)75015,50075010,500
Ranmoor (freehold)6,642210,000
Sanctuary Buildings (leasehold)21,9088,671,22121,9088,671,221
Vincent House (leasehold)1,836104,000
Wales Bar (freehold)1,81733,0001,81750,500




Notes:
1. Where information is not provided, this indicates that the Department did not occupy/own the property.
2. The rental value for freehold properties has been assessed using the rateable values as set by the Valuation Office. To obtain an accurate figure would result in disproportionate costs.




The Department for Education and Skills did have an agency in 1997, Employment Service, who had approximately 1,300 properties. Data is not held centrally and this would require a departmental trawl at disproportionate costs.

Disabled Pupils

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what action he is taking to (a) monitor and (b) improve provision of facilities for sports and physical recreation for pupils with disabilities who attend mainstream schools. [197765]

Margaret Hodge: All schools have a duty under Part 4 of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)1995 prepare an accessibility plan for increasing over time the accessibility of schools to disabled pupils. The plan is expected to cover increasing access to the curriculum (including PE and sport) and the physical environment of the school, so that disabled pupils can take advantage of education and associated services. Ofsted monitors how schools are carrying out the planning duties as part of their ongoing inspections of schools. In the first planning period 1 April 2003 to 31 March 2006, some £300 million is being made available to local education authorities in England through the Schools Access Initiative for projects to improve the accessibility of mainstream schools to disabled pupils.

In 2003, DfES published a training CD-ROM "Success For All". This features a series of filmed case studies showing how teachers in mainstream and special schools include pupils with a range of disabilities in PE and sport. The disc offers lesson plans and points users to relevant resources. Our PE, School Sport and Club Links Strategy aims to increase the numbers of 5 to 16-year-olds who spend a minimum of two hours each week on high quality PE and school sport and makes clear that all children, including disabled children should be able to participate.

Early Years Education

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many pre-school places for (a) under 3-year-olds, (b) 3-year-olds and (c) 4-year-olds were available in Bury, North in each of the last seven years. [198327]

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

Figures on the number of free early education places taken up by 3 and 4-year-olds in Bury local education authority area are shown in the table.
Number of free early education places1, 2 taken up by 3 and4-year-old children in maintained nursery and primary schools and private, voluntary and independent providers, Bury local education authority area, 1998 to 2004

Position in January each year3-year-olds4-year-olds
19981,1002,300
19991,0002,300
20001,0002,100
20011,1002,200
20021,3002,100
20031,5002,300
20041,5002,200


(63) Part-time equivalent number of free early education places taken up by 3 and 4-year-old children.
(64) A free early 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 3 and 4-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/.
 
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From April 2004, six months ahead of our original target, all 3-year-olds in England whose parents want one, are eligible for a free, part-time early education place.

Education (Staffordshire)

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the surplus or deficit was of each school in Newcastle-under-Lyme at the end of the financial year 2003–04. [198667]

Mr. Miliband: The information requested is submitted to the Department according to local education authority areas, rather than districts within an LEA. Newcastle-under-Lyme forms part of Staffordshire LEA. Staffordshire LEA has yet to submit its full section 52 statement and a complete Consistent Financial Reporting return for 2003–04. I will write to my hon. Friend once this information has been received and validated.

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what changes there have been in (a) GCSE and (b) A level results achieved by students in Newcastle-under-Lyme since 1997. [198668]

Mr. Miliband: The results shown in the following tables are for schools and colleges in the parliamentary constituency of Newcastle-under-Lyme.
(a) GCSE/GNVQ achievement of 15-year-old pupils 1997 to 2003

Percentage of 15-year-olds achieving
5+A*-C at GCSE/GNVQ1+A*-G at GCSE/GNVQ
200348.595.4
200246.794.7
200145.295.1
200043.094.4
199941.194.7
199837.592.6
199738.191.6

(b) A level and vocational equivalent achievement 1997 to 2003

Average point score per
A level candidateexamination entry
2003168.266.7
2002207.568.9
200112.44.3
200012.84.3
199912.04.1
199811.73.9
199711.34.1

A new point scoring tariff was adopted by UCAS in 2002. The School and College Achievement and Attainment Tables changed to reflect this. The change is illustrated below.
Grade at A levelPoints 1997 to 2001Points 2002 to 2003
A10120
B8100
C680
D460
E240




Note:
AS levels count as half an A level and VCE Double Awards count as 2 A levels.




 
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Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much has been spent on improving (a) science and (b) sports facilities in schools in Newcastle-under-Lyme since 1997. [198673]

Mr. Miliband: This information is not held centrally.

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much has been invested in improving school buildings in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools in Newcastle-under-Lyme in each year since 1997. [198674]

Mr. Miliband: Information on capital funding invested in improving school buildings broken down by primary and secondary schools is not held centrally. Decisions on how resources should be invested in schools are taken locally in accordance with locally prepared asset management plans. The Department does not hold details of capital allocation by constituency. The following table shows capital resources allocated to schools in Staffordshire local education authority and its schools, since 1997.
Staffordshire LEA

£000
1997–987,421
1998–9925,935
1999–200015,549
2000–0131,145
2001–0222,996
2002–0326,601
2003–0435,529
2004–0541,071

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what measures have been taken to improve basic literacy and numeracy for (a) children and (b) adults in Newcastle-under-Lyme since 1997. [198675]

Mr. Miliband: Since 1997 raising attainment in literacy and numeracy, for both children and adults, has been a key priority.

The Primary National and Key Stage 3 Strategies are the chief means by which we support schools to improve standards of teaching and learning in literacy and numeracy. The National Strategies work with and through LEAs to provide high quality lesson planning and continuing professional development materials, training for headteachers, teachers, and support staff, and hands-on support through a network of consultants. We also offer tailored support to individual LEAs. Staffordshire LEA is currently participating in programmes to improve the quality of leadership and to address low attainment in its schools.

National curriculum test results tell us that this focus is paying dividends. In Newcastle-under-Lyme, the percentage of 11-year-olds achieving the expected level (level 4) in maths has risen from 62 per cent. in 1997 to 75 per cent. in 2003, and from 66 per cent. to 76 per cent. in English. At KS3 the percentage of pupils achieving the expected level for their age (level 5) between 1997 and 2003 has increased from 57 per cent. to 69 per cent. in maths and from 61 per cent. to 71 per cent. in English. 2004 constituency level data will be published in the new year.
 
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We are similarly working hard to improve levels of literacy and numeracy for adults. Since the launch of the Skills for Life Strategy in 2001, Staffordshire Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has had responsibility for addressing the literacy and numeracy skills of adults in Newcastle-under-Lyme. According to information provided by the LSC, an estimated 10,800 young people and adults participated in the Staffordshire Local LSC Skills for Life programmes in the last year (2003–04). Of these learners, an estimated 4,200 will achieve at least one qualification counting towards the Skills for Life target.

Newcastle-under-Lyme College has been active in developing provision in the area, for example by supporting an E Learning bus, which provides state of the art ICT equipment to support adult learners. It offers users the chance to gain nationally recognised qualifications in literacy and numeracy using on-line facilities. Newcastle-under-Lyme is also one of the Region's Testbed Learning Communities and support to improve levels of literacy, numeracy and language skills will be a key strand of this development.

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps have been taken to reduce class sizes in (a) infant and (b) junior schools in Newcastle-under-Lyme since 1997. [198676]

Mr. Miliband: The infant class size limit was introduced in the School Standards and Framework Act 1998. This required all 5, 6 and 7 years from the 2001/02 school year to be taught in classes of no more than 30 with one qualified teacher. The Government have fully funded the implementation of the infant class size limit by making £775 million available between 1998–99 and 2002–03. This is enough for 6,000 new teachers and 2,000 additional classrooms. Between 1997 and 2004, the pupil teacher ratio in primary schools in Newcastle-under-Lyme fell from 26.3 to 25 in Key Stage 1 and from 28.9 to 26.9 in Key Stage 2.

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how the average pay of teachers has changed in Newcastle-under-Lyme since 1997. [198679]

Mr. Miliband: Information on the average pay of teachers is not available at constituency level.

The average salary of full-time regular qualified teachers in the maintained sector schools in Staffordshire local education authority in March 1997
 
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was £24,200. By March 2003 the latest date for which information is available, this had risen to £29,900 (provisional).

The figures include all allowances and cover all grades.

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many families have benefited from Sure Start in Newcastle-under-Lyme; [198682]

(2) how much has been invested in Sure Start in Newcastle-under-Lyme. [198684]

Margaret Hodge: Sure Start provision in Newcastle-under-Lyme consists of a children's centre, based on a former Sure Start local programme and a neighbourhood nursery. The centre was designated a children's centre in October 2004 and offers services to 580 families.

The total capital funding available for the children's centre is £2,269,000. Funding comes from a number of sources, including the Sure Start local programme and neighbourhood nursery funding, Staffordshire local education authority and the European Regional Development Fund. The Sure Start capital investment totals £830,000. The Sure Start local programme revenue allocation for 2004–05 is £727,750.

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many free nursery or pre-reception class places have been created for (a) five, (b) four and (c) three-year-olds in Newcastle-under-Lyme since 1997; [198683]

(2) how many free part-time nursery places have been created in Newcastle-under-Lyme since 1997; and at which locations. [198685]

Margaret Hodge: All 4-year-olds in England have been entitled to a free part-time early education place since September 1998. All 3-year-olds in England have been entitled to a free part-time early education place since April 2004.

The available information on the numbers of free part-time early education places taken up by 3 and 4-year-olds in Newcastle-under-Lyme parliamentary constituency and Staffordshire local education authority area is shown in the tables. Information for private and voluntary providers is available for Staffordshire but not for Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Number of free nursery education places taken up by 3 and 4-year-olds in Staffordshire local education authority area, 1997 and 2004

3-year-olds
4-year-olds
Position in
January each year
Maintained nursery and primary schools(65)Other maintained and private, voluntary and independent providersTotalMaintained nursery and primary schools(66)Other maintained and private, voluntary and independent providers(67)Total
19972,60002,600n/an/a(68)9,600
20042,200(69)4,5406,7407,9308608,780


(65) Headcount of children aged three at 31 December in the previous calendar year from the Annual Schools Census.
(66) Headcount of children aged four at 31 December in the previous calendar year from the Annual Schools Census.
(67) Part-time equivalent number of children aged four at 31 December in the previous calendar year from the Early Years Census data collection exercise and the Annual Schools Census.
(68) Part-time equivalent number of children aged four at 31 December in the previous calendar year from the Nursery Education Grant data collection exercise.
(69) Part-time equivalent number of children aged three at 31 December in the previous calendar year from the Early Years census data collection exercise and the Annual Schools' census.
n/a = not available.





 
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Number of free nursery education places1, 2 taken up by 3 and 4-year-olds in maintained nursery and primary schools, Newcastle-under-Lyme parliamentary constituency area, 1997 and 2004

3-year-olds
4-year-olds
Maintained primary
schools
Maintained primary
schools
Position in
January each year
Maintained nursery schoolsNursery classesOther classes(72)TotalMaintained nursery schoolsNursery classesOther classes(72)Total
19971501900340100130700910
2004100250034050130640820


(70) Headcount of children aged three and four at 31 December in the previous calendar year.
(71) Figures are rounded to the nearest 10 places.
(72) Includes reception classes and classes not designated as nursery classes.
Source:
Annual Schools Census.




The latest figures on early education places for 3 and 4-year-olds in England were published in Statistical First Release 39/2004, "Provision for Children Under Five Years of Age in England—January 2004 (final)", which is available on the Department's website: www.dfes.gov.uk/rsgateway/

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what changes there have been to the level of funding for further education in (a) North Staffordshire and (b) Newcastle-under-Lyme since 1997; [198720]

(2) how much expenditure is planned for investment in the new further education college in Newcastle-under-Lyme; [198721]

(3) what changes have taken place to the funding of Staffordshire Learning and Skills Council since its establishment. [198728]

Dr. Howells: The Department allocates funds for education and training in the post-16 learning and skills sector to the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). The LSC decides on allocations at individual college and local LSC level. Information about these allocations is not collected by the Department. This is a matter for the LSC. Mark Haysom, the council's chief executive, will write to the hon. Gentleman with this information and a copy of his reply will be placed in the House Library.

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what changes there have been to the number of (a) 16 to 18-year-olds and (b) adults taking vocational qualifications in Newcastle-under-Lyme since 1997. [198722]

Mr. Miliband: Information is only available on those achieving, rather than taking, national vocational qualifications (NVQs) and vocationally related qualifications (VRQs); and at local education authority (LEA) level. Therefore the following figures apply to Staffordshire LEA.
Awards of NVQs and VRQs in Staffordshire LEA: 1997/98 to 2002/03—(Awards made between 1 October and 30 September in each year)
Thousand

Age(73)
NVQs
VRQs
Academic year16–1819–7516–1819–75
1997/98(74)(74)
1998/99(74)2.8
1999/20001.76.1
2000/011.24.2
2001/021.13.7(74)(74)
2002/031.43.4(74)2.6


(73) Age at start of academic year i.e. 31 August.
(74) Less than 1,000.
Note:
Accreditation of VRQs commenced in April 2000, reliable figures only available from 2001/02.
Source:
NISVQ




 
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Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what estimate he has made of the number of students who have received the education maintenance allowance in Stoke-on-Trent; [198723]

(2) what estimate he has made of the effect of the education maintenance allowance upon post-16 staying-on rates in Stoke-on-Trent. [198724]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Since the start of this academic year and up to the end of October, 1,050 16-year-olds entering year 12 had received at least one EMA payment in the Stoke-on-Trent LEA area.

Based on extensive piloting, the projection is that EMA will increase participation in education at Y12 by 3.8 percentage points, and by 4.1 percentage points among Y13s. This will be the biggest impact of any single initiative on participation levels since the introduction of GCSEs in 1987. However, the impact will vary depending on the area, and pilot areas such as Stoke-on-Trent will have experienced much of this impact already. We estimate that around 1,400 16-year-olds in full time education in Stoke-on-Trent are eligible on income grounds for EMA. This estimate is based on a range of assumptions around participation and income profiles and is therefore subject to some uncertainty.

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate he has made of the number of students who have benefited from the introduction of the Newcastle Achievement Scheme in further education in Newcastle-under-Lyme. [198725]


 
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Mr. Ivan Lewis: This is a matter for the Learning and Skills Council. Mark Haysom, the Council's Chief Executive, will write to the hon. Member with this information and a copy of his reply will be placed in the House Library.

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate he has made of changes to staying-on rates following the introduction of the Newcastle Achievement Scheme in further education in Newcastle-under-Lyme. [198726]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: This is a matter for the Learning and Skills Council. Mark Haysom, the Council's Chief Executive, will write to the hon. Member with this information and a copy of his reply will be placed in the House Library.

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps have been taken to improve training and skills in Newcastle-under- Lyme since 1997; and if he will list the relevant initiatives. [198727]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Skills Strategy White Paper (published July 2003) introduced a range of policies to meet shortfalls in skills—especially at Level 2, and in some sector-specific areas at Level 3. These include mechanisms to identify and address sectoral and regional skill priorities, to engage employers better in training and enable providers to be more responsive to employers.

The strategy set out our intention to introduce a new entitlement for any adult in the labour force to have access to free tuition for their first full Level 2 qualification. We started trialling the entitlement in the North East and South East regions in September 2004, and will start national roll-out from next year.

In September 2003, we started piloting the new Adult Learning Grant (ALG), offering up to £30 per week to adults on low incomes studying full time for a first full Level 2 qualification, and for first Level 3 qualifications for those under 30. We have now extended the ALG trials from 10 pilot regions into the SE and NE regions as part of linked trials of key initiatives announced in the Skills Strategy

18 Employer Training Pilots (ETPs) are testing new financial support measures to improve access to training and enable employees to attain basic and Level 2 skills. As at the end of October 2004, 13,474 employers and 92,987 learners had registered for ETP.

Trade unions and their Union Learning Representatives (ULRs) are making a major contribution to the Skills Strategy. After seven years of the Union Learning Fund, a further 46 new projects in 27 unions have been approved to start from April this year. These projects are in both small and large unions and in both public and private sectors. They will provide new learning opportunities for thousands of workers. In the last year alone, the fund helped to encourage over 25,000 workers back into learning.

For the economically inactive, we will improve the support to the low-skilled through the New Deal for Skills (NDfS) by creating a new intensive skills guidance
 
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service, co-located with Jobcentre Plus where possible, and improving mechanisms of financial support for those for whom training provides a route back to work.

Skills for Life, the national strategy for improving adult literacy, language and numeracy skills, was launched in March 2001. It aims to help create a society where adults have the basic skills they need to find and keep work and participate fully in society, thereby increasing the economic performance and social cohesion of the country. So far we estimate that 550,000 adults achieved a qualification in literacy, language or numeracy and current projections show that we are on track to meet the target of 750,000 achievements by July 2004. In terms of participation, it is estimated that 2.3 million learners will have taken up 4.7 million learning opportunities between April 2001 and July 2004. Staffordshire has a Basic Skills Strategy Group with representation from all key partners including colleges, work-base learning providers, Job Centre Plus, probation, voluntary and community sector and the LSC. The partnership is working to improve levels of literacy, numeracy and language across the area.

The growing network of UK-wide, employer-led Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) has a key part to play in taking forward these national skills strategies. Each SSC has a key goal of increasing opportunities to boost the skills and productivity of everyone in the sector's work force, including taking action on equal opportunities.

We recognise that there are variations in the skills base of different regions. This is being addressed by Regional Skills Partnerships which are being established in each region, co-ordinated by Regional Development Agencies and involving LSC, Jobcentre Plus, Small Business Service and Skills for Business Network. They are bringing together skills and work force development with support for innovation and business development and labour market services in an integrated approach to deliver Regional Economic Strategies. The Regional Skills Partnership in the West Midlands will be launched in January 2005.

On 10 May the Government announced their intention to put in place a family of apprenticeship programmes to suit a variety of needs from aged 14 upwards. These will include: Junior Apprenticeships for 14 to 16-year-olds, a pre-apprenticeship route within the existing Entry to Employment programme, Apprenticeships at NVQ Level 2, Advanced Apprenticeships at NVQ Level 3 and a strengthened progression route into higher education, including vocational Foundation Degrees. In addition we are developing Apprenticeships for Adults in those sectors with the greatest need.

Since April 2001 the Learning and Skills Council has been responsible for the planning and funding of all post-16 learning outside Higher Education. Mark Haysom, the council's chief executive, will write to my hon. Friend with information about learning and skills in Newcastle-under-Lyme and a copy of his reply will be placed in the Library.

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what changes have taken place to (a) the funding of and (b) the numbers of students attending (i) Keele University and (ii) Staffordshire University since 1997. [198729]


 
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Dr. Howells: The following table shows the changes in funding and associated student numbers for Keele and Staffordshire Universities. The figures do not include Teacher Training Agency (TTA) or national health service (NHS) funded provision. Overseas students have also been excluded.
HEFCE funding for teaching and HEFCE funded student numbers

Keele University
Staffordshire University
Funding (£000)Student FTEFunding (£000)Student FTE
1997–9810,5184,97027,83212,105
1998–9910,5964,91332,18911,806
1999–200011,4324,71933,18211,570
2000–0111,6034,68535,48112,085
2001–0211,8194,88037,25612,168
2002–0313,1634,91138,12311,116
2003–0414,4435,08239,23210,285
2004–0517,408N/a40,512n/a




Sources:
HEFCE Final Grant Announcement Circulars.
HESES student number returns (columns 4 and 4a).




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