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Teachers' Pay

Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what steps the Government are taking to reduce the disparity in pay between teachers in schools and further education colleges; [198718]

(2) what steps the Government are taking to increase the pay of teachers in further education. [198719]

Mr. Miliband: Further education colleges are run by independent corporations established under the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. Individual further education colleges determine their own staff pay polices.
 
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There are no national pay structures in place. Pay levels will therefore vary from institution to institution. Teachers in maintained schools are subject to national school teachers' pay and conditions.

On 16 September we announced that total funding for the post-16 learning and skills sector, excluding higher education, will rise to £11 billion by 2007–08. From this year, most colleges will have three year funding deals allowing them to plan on a longer term basis.

Universities

Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what research his Department has commissioned on the existing capacity of universities; and if he will make a statement. [197804]


 
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Dr. Howells: The Department has not commissioned any research on the capacity of universities nor is this information available on a systematic or comprehensive basis. Information on the number of students expected to register with each university in the current academic year, and the actual number of students in previous years is available from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

Information on funded expansion of students numbers in forthcoming academic year is also available from HEFCE. However, institutions also have the discretion to vary their total student population and mix of students without any change to HEFCE grant provided they remain within certain financial constraints.