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6 Jun 2005 : Column 348W—continued

Secondary School Expenditure

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. [1697]

Jacqui Smith: 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.
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Secondary school based expenditure per pupil since 1997 in Southampton LEA and each inner London LEA

Secondary school based expenditure(34) per pupil(35)
LEA name1997–981998–991999–2000(36)(37)2000–012001–022002–03(36)(38)2003–04(38)
Inner London(39)
Hammersmith and Fulham3,4003,5003,5103,6503,9604,1104,770
Kensington and Chelsea3,4103,4003,7004,1404,2804,6805,140
Tower Hamlets3,2003,3803,8304,3704,9504,8605,400

(34)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.
(35)Pupil numbers include only those pupils attending LEA maintained secondary schools and are draw from the DES Annual Schools Census adjusted to be on a financial year basis.
(36)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 occurred between 1998–99 and 1999–2000, and 2001–02 and 2002–03.
(37)The 1999–2000 figures reflect the return of grant maintained schools to local authority maintenance.
(38)The 2002–03 and 2003–04 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 and 2003–04 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 2003–04 and would therefore be excluded, though this is not quantifiable from existing sources.
(39)Unit costs in Inner London LEAs are higher than in Outer London and other LEAs, because of higher expenditure on teachers' pay.
1.Figures are reported in cash terms and rounded to the nearest £10 as reported by the LEA.
2.City of London LEA has no LEA maintained secondary schools.

Sign Language Courses

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will take steps to increase theavailability of courses teaching people to use sign language. [930]

Maria Eagle: Information provided by the Council for the Advancement of Communication for Deaf People shows that in 2003–04 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.
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Funding is also being made available to support four initiatives which will promote access for BSL users through awareness-raising among employers, among service providers and in the wider community.

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.

Further Education (Isle of Wight)

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. [1364]

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.

Our policy is to raise the level of funding for colleges, as and when we are able to secure the resources to do so.
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Student Finance

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. [1609]

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.

Surplus School Places

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. [1255]

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.

In managing surplus places in rural areas local authorities must take into account the presumption against the closure of rural schools which we introduced in February 1998.

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

Teacher Assaults

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many teachers have been assaulted by (a) pupils and (b) parents in each year since 1990. [907]

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.
of injured

Non-fatal major injuries
Over-3-day injuries

Total injuries
TeacherParent or other associate of pupil63238
TeacherParent or other associate of pupil33538
TeacherParent or other associate of pupil156
Teacher total154560
2003/04 total154560

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Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many teachers in secondary schools have been assaulted by students since 1997. [2219]

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:
Teachers injured through violence by pupils

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. [775]

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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