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9 Dec 2004 : Column 776W—continued

School Building Programme

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on the progress of local education authorities in wave one of Building Schools for the Future. [202964]

Mr. Miliband: The local education authorities involved in wave one of Building Schools for the Future are making good progress with their plans. Projects are being developed in secondary schools in Bradford, Bristol, Greenwich, Gateshead, Knowsley, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Manchester, Newham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Sheffield, Solihull, Stoke-on-Trent, Southwark, Sunderland and Waltham Forest.

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to his evidence to the Education and Skills Select Committee of Wednesday 1 December, what the evidential basis is for his
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statement that a brand new school building improves educational performance; and to what extent that evidence has been disaggregated from other factors with particular reference to (a) exclusions, (b) new leadership and (c) improved staffing. [203784]

Mr. Miliband: In 1999, my Department commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to evaluate the relationship between schools capital investment and pupil performance. This was published in 2000 as Research Report 242 "Building Performance". Further research was then carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers which we published in 2003 as Research Report 407 "Building Better Performance". These studies showed quantitative evidence of a positive and statistically significant relationship between capital investment and pupil performance. Investment included both new schools and improvements to existing buildings, and positive evidence was strongest in relation to investment that supported better delivery of the curriculum. This statistical work included correlation and multivariate analysis to take account of other influences on performance such as those you mention and, indeed, a range of other factors.

The qualitative analysis also suggested a much greater positive impact of capital spending on pupil achievement, mainly through the boost it gives to teacher and pupil morale and hence the quality of teaching and learning.

These research reports are available in the House Library.

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much money his Department is budgeting to spend on the Voluntary Aided Schools Capital Programme in 2004–05; and how much has been spent so far. [203789]

Mr. Miliband: The Department has budgeted to spend £520 million against capital projects in voluntary aided (VA) schools, and we expect this to be fully spent. At the end of November 2004 the Department had paid £288 million in response to claims made by VA schools.

School Staff Profile

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of (a) teachers and (b) other school staff in England are from (i) other EU countries, (ii) Commonwealth countries and (iii) other countries. [202991]

Mr. Miliband: The information requested is not collected centrally.

Science Teachers

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the impact on the future supply of school science teachers of the closure of the chemistry department at Exeter University; and if he will make a statement. [200633]

Dr. Howells: We regularly monitor the supply of teachers, including in science, through the Teacher Training Agency and shall continue to do so. Monitoring the impact of the closure of university science courses would be part of that process. Between January 2001 and January 2004, the number of science
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teacher vacancies in secondary schools fell by 40 per cent. The Government also continue to pay £4,000 Golden Hellos to eligible science teachers entering the profession. This will rise to £5,000 for those entering teacher training from September 2005.

Sector Skills Development Agency

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on the contribution of the Sector Skills Development Agency towards increasing skills and productivity in industry. [200955]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The SSDA was established in July 2002 with the remit to develop, regulate, and support a network of 25 Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) which I anticipate will be in place by the summer of 2005.

The SSDA plays an essential role in ensuring that each SSC has the capability to develop a forward looking skills agenda to help raise skills levels in the public and private sectors and to drive productivity improvement in the industry sectors they represent. It ensures essential cross sector and generic skill issues such as management and leadership are addressed and undertakes important research on the linkages between skills and productivity.

The SSDA is currently in the process of agreeing its Strategic Plan for 2005–08 with Government. This will include a framework of key performance measures centred Around—higher performance working practices; reduction of skills gaps; increased participation in job-related training; the introduction of sector specific Sector Skills Agreements (SSAs) and increased awareness of the Skills for Business network. The SSDA will shortly agree the first four UK wide Sector Skills Agreements (SSAs).

SSAs will be the primary means by which industry articulates and helps deliver the specific skills that individual's need sector by sector to drive improvements to productivity and competitiveness. A further six SSAs were announced on 16 November and eventually all 25 SSCs will have an SSA.

The Skills for Business network in partnership with the Learning and Skills Council has and continues to develop engagement with many large businesses with business leaders playing a key role on SSC boards.

Student Finance

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, if he will make a statement on student loans for students who are on NHS-funded courses. [202568]

Dr. Howells: Students in England who are attending NHS-funded DipHE nursing, midwifery or operating department practitioner courses, and postgraduate level courses, are not eligible for student loans but are eligible for non means-tested NHS bursaries. Students in England who are attending NHS funded degree courses are eligible to apply for means-tested NHS bursaries and for a reduced, non means-tested student loan.
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English domiciled students attending standard medical and dental degree courses may apply for full-rate student loans for the first four years of their courses. For the fifth and subsequent years of their courses they can apply for means-tested NHS bursaries, and a reduced, non-means-tested student loan. English domiciled students on fast-track graduate entry medical degree courses can apply for a full student loan in year one. For years two to four of their course, they are eligible to apply for means-tested NHS bursaries and a reduced, non means-tested student loan.


Mr. Collins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans he has to enable newly qualified teachers in the UK to qualify immediately for qualified teacher status for the purposes of EC Directive 89/48 EEC; what discussions he has held with other EU education ministers on making teaching qualifications precisely reciprocal; and if he will make a statement. [203770]

Mr. Miliband: EC Directive 89/48 EEC does not apply to the qualifications of teachers trained in the UK. The position in England is that teacher trainees are awarded qualified teacher status by the General Teaching Council for England as soon as the training provider has recommended that they have met all the standards required for this award.

For England and Wales, we have implemented the Directive on the mutual recognition of qualifications under the European Communities (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) Regulations 1991, by making the Secretary of State for Education and Skills the designated authority for the purpose of recognising the qualifications of teachers trained in the European Economic Area and Switzerland. As a matter of current practice, the status of any teacher certified as qualified by the member State in which they trained is recognised as equivalent to qualified teacher status in England and Wales. We have not met other EU Ministers to discuss teacher qualifications.

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