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Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children he estimates will benefit from changes in baseline spending on (a) nursery education and (b) Sure Start in 200708. 
Margaret Hodge [holding answer 29 November 2004]: Free part-time nursery education is an entitlement for all three and four-year-olds whose parents wish to take it up. From population projections we predict that 1,116,200 children will benefit in 200607 and 1,141,000 in 200708. We are unable to quote baseline spending on nursery education as this is now included in local authorities under 5's sub block of funding.
The "10 year early years and childcare strategy", published on 2 December, aims to ensure that every child gets the best start in life and that parents have more choice about how to balance work and family life. The additional money announced in the pre- Budget report on 2 December brings the baseline spend for Sure Start in 200708 to £1.78 billion.
By 2008, 2,500 Sure Start children's centres will be operating, and all young children and their families in both the most disadvantaged areas, and in other areas will have access to integrated health, early education, child care and family support. By 2010 the number of children's centres will increase to 3,500, with a children's centre in every community.
The present stock of registered child care places is 1,164,545 for 07-year-olds. The Department has a target to create an extra 1,212,892 places by March 2008. By 2008 a significant proportion of primary schools will offer wrap around child care during term time and school holidays, and a third of all secondary schools will be open from 8 a.m.6 p.m. year round offering a range of exciting activities for young people. We do not currently have an estimate of the number of children who will take up this offer. By 2010 there will be child care guarantee with child care available for all children aged between 314 between the hours of 8 a.m.6 p.m.
Dr. Howells: 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.
Dr. Howells: Government have taken action to narrow the funding gap between school sixth forms and post-16 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.
Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of his Department's budget he expects will be spent on (a) schools, (b) under-fives provision and (c) the teaching of A levels or highers in each year from 200506 to 200708. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: It is not possible to give a breakdown in precisely these categories. The following table shows the proportion of the Department's resources I expect to be spent in the areas shown. These figures are based on current planning assumptions and are, therefore, indicative only and subject to change. They do not include resources within the local government finance settlement.
|Under-fives, sure start and childcare||4||5||5|
|Schools, excluding schools sixth forms||31||30||31|
|School sixth forms and 1618 provision in further education, excluding work based training for young people||13||14||14|
1618 provision in further education includes both academic and vocation provision at all levels of the National Qualifications Framework, and the funding made available in the 2004 Spending Review for 1618 buildings and facilities.
|Children, young people and|
|Further education and skills||19||18||18|
|Activity to support all functions||2||1||1|
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the total funding per head in real terms was for pupils aged (a) three-10 years and (b) 1115 years in (i) the City of Newcastle upon Tyne (ii) England, (iii) local education authorities in the North East region and (iv) local education authorities in Tyne and Wear; in each year from 199798 to 200405. 
|Total funding per pupil aged three-10 in real terms|
|Newcastle upon Tyne||2,530||2,510||2,680||2,930||3,120||3,230||3,460||3,570|
|Tyne and Wear||2,270||2,370||2,530||2,780||2,960||3,080||3,330||3,430|
|Total funding per pupil aged 1115 in real terms|
|Newcastle upon Tyne||3,370||3,470||3,570||3,980||4,280||4,290||4,370||4,530|
|Tyne and Wear||3,240||3,310||3,430||3,800||4,060||4,080||4,220||4,350|
Mr. Byrne: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate he has made of per capita education funding in (a) Birmingham and (b) Hodge Hill in each of the next three years. 
Mr. Miliband: No specific estimate has been made of per capita education funding in Birmingham in the next three years but I would draw the attention of the hon. Member to the announcement made on 2 December regarding the local government settlement for 200506. Information is available on the Teachernet website at the following address http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/management/schoolfunding/ together with information about the Government's proposals regarding three-year budgets for schools, part of the five-year strategy.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what discussions he has had with Exeter University about the closure of the university's chemistry school; and what assessment he has made of the impact of the closure (a) on students studying chemistry at the university and (b) on the numbers of chemistry graduates. 
The Secretary of State has not had any direct discussions with Exeter University about the closure of its chemistry department. The Higher Education Funding Council of England (HEFCE) is monitoring the situation closely. I understand that the university is working closely with the students to ensure that all their individual needs are met. It has, for
13 Dec 2004 : Column 833W
example, given assurances that those undergraduates who wish to complete their chemistry course at Exeter will be able to do so. A number of other institutions have also said they are willing to accept transfers if necessary.
Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) when and by whom his Department was informed of the proposed closure by Exeter university of its undergraduate chemistry provision; 
Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) when the Vice Chancellor of the university of Exeter informed his Department of the proposed closure by Exeter university of its undergraduate chemistry provision; 
Dr. Howells: The Department was informed informally by the Vice-Chancellor of the proposed closure of the chemistry department at Exeter in early November, prior to the formal announcement on 22 November. I met Royal Society of Chemistry on 1 December to discuss the closure and its implications.
Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the impact of the proposed closure by Exeter University of its undergraduate chemistry provision on the Government's 10-Year Investment Framework for Science and Innovation. 
Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, what assessment he has made of the impact of closure by Exeter University of its undergraduate chemistry provision on the Government's 10-Year Investment Framework for Science and Innovation; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: I do not at this stage believe that the closure of Exeter University's chemistry department will adversely affect the 10-Year Investment Framework for Science and Innovation. However, as set out in the framework, I have asked HEFCE to set up an expert group, including business and scientific leaders, to review how falling SET provision will affect long-term regional and national economic development, and whether there is a greater role to be played by business, funding councils, HEIs and other stakeholders.
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