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Mr. Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the expenditure per secondary school pupil was in (a) each inner London local education authority and (b) Southampton local education authority in each year since 1997. 
The information requested is contained within the following table. There are two main reasons for the difference in spending: first, most inner London authorities have more pupils living in deprived circumstances than Southampton and receive extra funding to reflect that. Inner London authorities also receive extra funding to reflect the high costs of recruiting and retaining staff.
6 Jun 2005 : Column 349W
|Secondary school based expenditure(34) per pupil(35)|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||3,400||3,500||3,510||3,650||3,960||4,110||4,770|
|Kensington and Chelsea||3,410||3,400||3,700||4,140||4,280||4,680||5,140|
Maria Eagle: Information provided by the Council for the Advancement of Communication for Deaf People shows that in 200304 over 20,000 people were learning British sign language (BSL)approximately 18,500 at level one, 400 at level two, 400 at level three and 200 at level four (including those studying at higher education (HE) institutions).
It is recognised that the demand for BSL courses is currently greater than the supply of provision. The main contributory factor is the recognised shortage of BSL tutors. That is why some of the £1.5 million made available by Government to support the recognition of BSL as a European language is being used to fund six initiatives, which will contribute to establishing a Great Britain wide framework to support the recruitment, training and deployment of BSL tutors. The aim is to enhance numbers, status and levels of qualification. The Learning and Skills Council is currently discussing with the DWP how it might work in partnership to assist in the development of the national framework.
6 Jun 2005 : Column 350W
HE institutions are autonomous and so free to plan and deliver programmes as they wish. If they choose to run sign language courses, they may use funding provided through the HE Funding Council for England for this purpose. However, records are not kept centrally of the number of HE courses involving the teaching of sign language.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps she plans to take to reduce the funding differential between pupils on similar courses in Isle of Wight sixth forms and Isle of Wight colleges. 
Bill Rammell: We have brought up funding levels for Further Education (FE) as we said we would, without penalising schools. The Learning and Skills Council's (LSC) funding rates per course in FE have been rising faster than school sixth forms and the gap has narrowed.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make it her policy to make student loans available to people aged over 54 years; and if she will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: From 2006, tuition fee loans will be available to all students irrespective of their age. We are also increasing the age at which maintenance loans are available to students from 54 to 60; and will keep this position under review.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what her Department's policies are on surplus school places in (a) rural and (b) non-rural for (i) primary and (ii) secondary schools. 
Jacqui Smith: The Government believes that planning the supply of school places is best done at a local level by the local authority. Local authorities have a statutory duty to ensure that there are sufficient places and that high quality education is provided in a cost effective way. We expect local authorities to take parental preferences into account in the planning process.
To help local authorities manage falling primary school rolls the Department and the Audit Commission have developed a web-based toolkit which offers a range of practical advice and guidance. The toolkit is available at www.teachernet.gov.uk/fallingrolls
Jacqui Smith: The Health and Safety Executive has collected the following information relating to schools in England and Wales since April 2001. No relevant information is available for earlier years. They are unable to provide a reason for the variation in the number of total injuries over three years.
|Non-fatal major injuries|
|Teacher||Parent or other associate of pupil||6||32||38|
|Teacher||Parent or other associate of pupil||3||35||38|
|Teacher||Parent or other associate of pupil||1||5||6|
Jacqui Smith: Significant injuries to school staff resulting from acts of violence must be reported to the Health and Safety Executive. Since 2001 it has been possible to identify whether the assailant was a pupil. The figures for England and Wales are:
|Number of teachers|
Mr. Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many prosecutions have been brought against parents for assaulting teachers in each year since 1997; and if she will make a statement. 
Jacqui Smith: This information is not collected. School staff should be able to work in a safe place, free from assault by parents or others. The Department has produced guidance for schools setting out the legal basis on which they can bar or remove intrusive parents or other people from school premises.
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