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6 Dec 2005 : Column 1169W—continued

New Deal

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what incentives are offered for people (a) to attend and (b) to complete the New Deal's Gateway to Learning scheme. [24419]

Margaret Hodge: I have been asked to reply.

When participants on new deal for young people (NDYP) and new deal 25 plus (ND25 plus) join the new deal, they enter a 'Gateway' period, lasting up to four months, in which a personal adviser works with them to improve their job prospects. At the outset, personal advisers consider whether it is appropriate to refer participants for a formal basic skills assessment and if a need is identified, participants can be referred to relevant provision aimed at addressing this.

The new deal for young people is mandatory for all 18–24 year olds who have been claiming jobseeker's allowance (JSA) for 6 months. New deal 25 plus is mandatory for people aged 25 and over claiming JSA for 18 months or 18 out of the last 21 months. During their time on the Gateway, participants continue receiving the same rate of benefit they were receiving prior to joining the Gateway.

Subsequent weekly Gateway interviews focus on moving people into work. Part of this process is the Gateway to Work course. Jobseeker's allowance (JSA) regulations state that it is mandatory for all NDYP customers, who are still unemployed by week four of the Gateway, to attend the two-week Gateway to Work course. ND25 plus customers can be required to attend the course if it is considered they will benefit from attendance. The two week course is designed to improve a person's employability and enhance their prospects of moving into full-time employment and off jobseekers allowance (JSA).

NDYP participants who do not secure a job before the end of the four month Gateway period must then enter one of the four NDYP Options: the Subsidised Employment Option; the Full Time Education and Training Option; the Voluntary Sector Option or the Environment Task Force Option, all of which are aimed at helping people into work and off JSA. ND25 plus participants must enter an Intensive Activity Period which can combine work experience, work-focused training and help with motivation and job search, to help people into employment and off benefit.
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Popular Schools Expansion Programme

Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many applications have been made under the popular schools expansion programme; and how many (a) have been (i) approved and (ii) rejected and (b) remain under consideration; [32311]

(2) what the total budget is for the popular schools expansion programme; and how much has been spent to date. [32312]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 28 November]: The number of applications submitted to the Department for funding under the expansion of successful and popular school programme is set out in the following table:
Under consideration8
Total applications22

As the successful and popular schools is demand led, no separate budget has been allocated for this programme. Funding arrangements for the seven successful applications are being finalised.

Since the introduction of local decision making in September 1999 there have been, separate to this programme, over 450 approvals of proposals for primary and secondary school expansions.

Primary School Training Courses

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many users of the online application service for primary school training courses have reported that they have not been able to (a) contact the helpline, (b) submit applications online and (c) give references online; and what allowance will be made for applicants who have missed the deadline as a consequence of operational problems with the service; [34805]

(2) what the duration is of the contract with the Graduate Teacher Training Registry for the online application service for primary school teachers; what the value of the contract is; whether there are penalty clauses in the contract relating to the system being unavailable; and how many companies tendered for the contract to provide the online application system; [34806]
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(3) what discussions she has had with the Graduate Teacher Training Registry about the online application system for those seeking to train as primary school teachers; [34808]

(4) if she will make a statement on the effectiveness of the online application system provided by the Graduate Teacher Training Registry for primary school training courses. [34813]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 5 December 2005]: The Graduate Teacher Training Registry (GTTR) contracts directly with initial teacher training institutions. There is no contract between GTTR and TDA for the online application service for primary school teachers. The application service is funded by payments from these member institutions and from applicant fees.

My Department and the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) are aware of the recent difficulties that have been experienced at GTTR. The TDA has been in regular contact with the registry. It is satisfied that GTTR is now taking all the action it should to remedy the problems experienced earlier.

There were some initial difficulties when processing applications while the GTTR were bedding in a new IT system. These difficulties have now been resolved and measures have been established to ensure applications reach institutions as soon as possible. The server that handles the on-line applications is now running smoothly. GTTR is not experiencing any new operational issues at this stage, and the backlog is now being cleared. The great majority of applications are submitted on-line and the remaining paper applications are being turned around within five working days. It is not possible to say how many individual users experienced problems as multiple attempts may have been made by the same people to make contact, submit applications and give references.

GTTR will be providing additional help-line and technical support to enable applicants to submit their forms to meet a new deadline for primary applications, which has been extended by three days to midnight on 4 December. The extension will help applicants who would otherwise have needed to submit their applications by Thursday 1 December.

Private Members Bills

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to her answer of 26 October 2005, Official Report, column 393W, on private Members' Bills, whether the information was collected at any time; and if she will make a statement. [33881]

Jacqui Smith: As far as I am aware, the information has never been collected.


Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many reading recovery teachers are employed in schools in England (a) in total and (b) broken down by local education authority; and how many schools are involved. [34744]

Jacqui Smith: The information requested is not collected centrally.
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Information on reading recovery can be found on the Institute of Education website at the following address:

School Budgets (Ribble Valley)

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) primary and (b) secondary schools in Ribble Valley are expected to have a budget deficit in the 2005–06 financial year. [34067]

Jacqui Smith: The information requested is not yet available. The Department is due to collect the section 52 outturn data relating to the 2005–06 financial year from October 2006.

School Care (Disabled Children)

Ed Balls: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much money has been spent on the provision of extended school care for children with disabilities in each year since 1997 in (a) West Yorkshire, (b) Wakefield district and (c) Normanton constituency; and how much has been allocated in these areas in each of the next three years. [34540]

Jacqui Smith: My Department does not collect this information.

School Finance

Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what funding has been allocated to (a) school sixth forms and (b) 16 to 19 further education for (i) 2005–06, (ii) 2006–07 and (iii) 2007–08 in relation to (A) Level 1, (B) Level 2, (C) Level 3 and (D) Level 4 qualifications; [33346]

(2) what funding has been allocated to 16 to 19 further education in (a) 2005–06, (b) 2006–07 and (c) 2007–08 in (i) sixth form colleges, (ii) general further education and tertiary colleges and (iii) other colleges for (A) Level 1, (B) Level 2, (C) Level 3 and (D) Level 4 qualifications. [33347]

Bill Rammell: My Department allocates funds for post-16 education in school 6th forms and further education colleges to the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) which is the planning and funding body for post-16 education and training in England.

For school 6th forms the LSC allocated £1.6 billion in 2005/06 to local authorities in England. A precise breakdown by level of qualification is not available but it is estimated that 90 per cent. of provision is at Level 3. Allocations for 2006/07 and 2007/08 have not yet been made.

For Further Education the LSC distributes funds regionally for each academic year. LSC Regions and local offices allocate funds to providers based on locally-agreed provider development plans, which are designed to reflect Government policy, priorities and targets. These funds are allocated in blocks to reflect activity supporting '16–18' and '19+' learners. There is considerable local flexibility to move funds around within the region each year and so it is not possible to
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say at this stage how those funds will eventually be used to support learning at each 'Level'. However, information (from the Individualised Learner Record')
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shows that for the most recently completed academic year, 2004/05, '16–18' funds were used in the following way:
Use of Further Education funds 2004/05

sub level 2Level 2Level 3Level 4+Total
Sixth Form Colleges529,781,000486,687,000805,083,00023,933,0001,845,484,000
Other FE providers(15)29,360,00066,150,000441,719,0003,982,000541,211,000

(15) Includes Specialist Colleges and other providers of FE provision

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