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6 Dec 2004 : Column 297W—continued

Departmental Websites

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether his Department's websites comply with the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines adopted by the Government in 2001; and if he will make a statement. [199627]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The DfES websites do comply with the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

All sites comply with level 1 of the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines while some sites also comply with levels 2 and 3 of the guidelines.

Specific examples of sites that comply up to level 2 of the guidelines include:

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The website is currently being developed to meet levels 2 and 3. It will go live in March 2005. Jobs4U is a searchable database which allows young people to find information on possible career paths and the qualifications and skills required to achieve these.

The DfES is currently reviewing our major sites with a view to bringing them all up to level 2 and 3 of the w3c standards.

The DfES is also responsible for delivering three sections on Directgov ( that meet the WAI "A" standard for accessibility and are Working towards "AA" standard for 2005.

Education (Lewisham)

Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what changes have been made in the provision of services for children aged under five years in the Lewisham, Deptford constituency since 1997. [201103]

Margaret Hodge: Since 1997 we have created five Sure Start local programmes in Lewisham providing services for 3,676 children. Of these, three are based within Deptford: Honor Oak; Grinling Gibbons and Evelyn—providing services for 2,253 children. We have established 17 neighbourhood nurseries in Lewisham, delivering 586 nursery places. Of these, five are in Deptford, delivering 171 nursery places. There are six children's centres planned for Lewisham and each of Deptford's Sure Start local programmes will develop into a children's centre.

From April 1999—March 2004 Lewisham created 3,732 childcare places. This shows an increase in the stock of childcare places, taking into account turnover of 2,929 places.

In 1997 4,300 free nursery education places were taken up by three and four year old children. In 2004 5,700 children aged three and four years had taken up free nursery education places.

Education Bodies

Mr. Cameron: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps the Government are taking to ensure consistency between advice given to schools by (a) the Specialist Schools Trust, (b) the National College for School Leadership, (c) the Teacher Training Agency and other advice from his Department. [201137]

Mr. Miliband: In April 2003 the Government established an Implementation Review Unit. The unit is an independent panel of headteachers and senior school managers whose remit is to cut unnecessary burdens on schools. Its responsibilities include advising the Department and national education agencies about the consistency and timeliness of advice and guidance to schools.
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Education Finance

Mrs. Anne Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what action he is taking to eliminate the funding gap between schools and further education colleges in Cambridge. [201271]

Mr. Miliband: The Government have already taken action to narrow the funding gap between school sixth forms and further education colleges. For the academic year 2003/04, base funding rates per qualification increased by 3 per cent. for school sixth forms and by 4.5 per cent. for further education colleges on a broadly comparable basis. In 2004/05, funding rates for colleges meeting their targets increased by 5 per cent., while those for school sixth forms rose by 4 per cent. We expect to see this trend continue in the 2005/06 academic year.

Educational Psychologists

Mrs. Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of future (a) demand for and (b) supply of educational psychologists in local education authorities; and if he will make a statement. [199775]

Margaret Hodge: Decisions on the recruitment, retention and deployment of educational psychologists (EPs) are matters for local authorities as employers to determine in light of local circumstances and available resources.

We are considering the future role and training needs of EPs within the context of wider discussions on children's workforce issues.
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Exeter University

Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what guidance he will give to Exeter university chemistry students regarding the completion of their degrees in the event of the closure of their Department part-way through their degree course; and what assistance his Department will provide to these students. [199946]

Dr. Howells: Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are autonomous organisations responsible for their own academic direction and strategic use of funds. It is for Exeter university to decide on how to support students affected by the closure. However, I understand that the university is working closely with the students to ensure that all their individual needs are met. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) will monitor the situation closely.


John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the expenditure per pupil was in the Bassetlaw constituency over each of the last 10 years for (a) nursery education, (b) primary schools, (c) secondary schools and (d) further education. [201093]

Mr. Miliband: The information requested for nursery education, primary schools and secondary schools is submitted to the Department according to local education authority areas, rather than districts within an LEA. Bassetlaw forms part of Nottinghamshire LEA. The information requested can be found in the following table:

School based expenditure(5)(5) per pupil(7)
Pre-Primary Education9,10Primary Education(10)Pre-Primary and Primary Education (10)Secondary EducationCombined LEA and school based expenditure(8) per pupil (9)
Pre LGR Nottinghamshire(3)(3)

(2) 1999–2000 saw a change in data source when the data collection moved from the RO1 form collected by the ODPM to the Section 52 form from the DfES. 2002–03 saw a further break in the time series following the introduction of Consistent Financial Reporting (CFR) and the associated restructuring of the outturn tables. The change in sources is shown by the dotted line.
(3) Financial data is collected at local authority level and not constituency level and as such figures provided are for Nottinghamshire LEA.
(4) Local government reorganisation (LGR) took place in Nottinghamshire during 1998 where pre-LGR Nottinghamshire was split into Nottinghamshire LEA and City of Nottingham LEA from 1998–99 onwards.
(5) School based expenditure includes only expenditure incurred directly by the schools. This includes the pay of teachers and school-based support staff, school premises costs, books and equipment, and certain other supplies and services, less any capital items funded from recurrent spending and income from sales, fees and charges and rents and rates. This excludes the central cost of support services such as home to school transport, local authority administration and the financing of capital expenditure.
(6) The 2002–03 calculation is broadly similar to the calculation in previous years. However, 2001–02 and earlier years includes all premature retirement compensation (PRC) and Crombie payments, mandatory PRC payments and other indirect employee expenses, while in 2002–03 only the schools element of these categories is included. In 2001–02 this accounted for approximately 70 per pupil of the England total, while the schools element of these categories accounted for approximately 50 per pupil of the England total in 2002–03. Also, for some LEAs, expenditure that had previously been attributed to the school sectors was reported within the LEA part of the form in 2002–03 and would therefore be excluded from school based expenditure, though this is not quantifiable from existing sources.
(7) To calculate school based expenditure per pupil, the pupil numbers include only those pupils attending maintained establishments within each sector and are drawn from the DfES Annual Schools Census adjusted to be on a financial year basis.
(8) The combined LEA and school based expenditure includes all expenditure on the education of children in LEA maintained establishments and pupils educated by the LEA other than in maintained establishments. This includes both school based expenditure and all elements of central LEA expenditure except youth and community and capital expenditure from revenue (CERA).
(9) To calculate combined LEA and school based expenditure per pupil, the pupil figures include all pre-primary pupils, including those under 5s funded by the LEA and being educated in private settings, pupils educated in maintained mainstream schools and other LEA maintained pupils. The pupil data for pupils attending maintained nursery, primary, secondary and special schools are taken from the DfES Annual Schools Census. Private voluntary and independent (PVI) under 5 pupil numbers are taken from the Early Years census but are only included for 1999–2000 onwards. For 1995–96 onwards other LEA maintained pupils are included in the pupil count. This includes all pupils attending schools not maintained by the Authority for whom the Authority is paying full tuition fees, or educated otherwise than in schools and pupil referral units under arrangements made by the Authority drawn from the Form 8b submitted to the DfES. Also included as other LEA maintained pupils are all pupils attending pupil referral units who are not registered at a maintained mainstream school drawn from the DfES Annual Schools Census.
(10) Expenditure was not distinguished between the pre-primary and primary sectors until the inception of Section 52 for financial year 1999–2000.
(11) 0 School based expenditure in nursery schools was not recorded in 2002–03.
(12)(13) Spending in 1997–98 reflects the transfer of monies from local government to central government for the nursery vouchers scheme. These were returned to local government from 1998–99.
(14)(2) The 1999–2000 figures reflect the return of GM schools to local authority maintenance.
(15)(3) Figures are rounded to the nearest £10.
(16)(4) n/a = not available

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(d) The Department does not collect information on the level of funding per pupil in further education at the local or regional level. However, the following table shows funding per full-time equivalent student in further education in England from 1994–95 to 2003–04:
FE total funding per pupil
2002–03 (17)4,120
2003–04 (18)4,240

(17) Provisional Data
(18) Planned Expenditure
1. These are cash figures that show total funding for the further education (FE) sector.
2. The figures include moneys provided for participation and certain funding for earmarked purposes, including capital, the Standards Fund and other special grants to colleges.
3. The figures are consistent with those published in the DfES "Departmental Annual Report 2004".

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