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16 Jan 2006 : Column 1030W—continued

State-funded Education

Mr. Pelling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of gross domestic product was spent on state-funded education in (a) 1979–80, (b) 1987–88, (c) 1997–98 and (d) 2004–05. [41126]

Jacqui Smith: The following table shows the percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) spent on education in the UK.

1.Figures on UK education spend for the years shown were obtained from the Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses.
2.The GDP figures used are the latest available and were updated at the end of December 2005.
3.The international definition of education expenditure used to produce the figures for the Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses has changed over time; therefore, the figure for 1979–80 is not directly comparable with the other years. The figures for 1987–88, 1997–98 and 2004–05 have been produced to the same definition and so are comparable.

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Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people have qualified but have not taken up a career in teaching since 1997; and what the cost per student has been of training such people. [39909]

Jacqui Smith: Data from the Teachers Pension Scheme indicate that the following proportions of qualifiers are not known to have any teaching service up to March 2004 since qualifying.
Year of
Percentage without teaching serviceQualifiers recorded on Teachers Pension Scheme

Figures exclude those qualifying through employment based routes.

The main reason for the higher figures in the most recent years is that some qualified teachers delay the start of their teaching careers. The proportion of qualifiers without teaching service usually falls substantially over the first year or two after qualification, and in the long-term has been around 9–10 per cent. since 1990; the figures for the 2003 qualifiers are expected to fall to a similar level. For example, the proportion of all qualifiers without recorded teaching service by March of the year after they qualified has remained at 20 per cent. for 2001, 2002 and 2003, but for 2002 qualifiers it fell to 11 per cent. after another year and for 2001 qualifiers it fell to 8 per cent. after two.

The Teachers Pension Scheme has only partial coverage for those teaching outside maintained schools, for example in independent schools or in further or higher education, so the true proportion is expected to be lower.

The cost of teacher training varies according to different routes to achieving qualified teacher status (QTS) to work in maintained schools in England. The three main types are:

The funding which each of these routes attracts from the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) is in 2005/06:


Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children were (a) stopped
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and (b) cautioned for truancy in (i) Wimbledon and (ii) the London borough of Merton in each year since 1997. [41706]

Jacqui Smith: Since December 2002, the Department has co-ordinated national truancy sweeps in England. These usually take place during the autumn and spring terms. Data are collected from each local authority (LA) which participates in the national sweeps and relates to the whole LA and not to individual areas.

Under Section 16 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 police officers have the power to return truants to their school or to a local designated place. There is no power to arrest, caution or detain children because they are out of school without a good reason. Children who truant from school are not committing a crime; their parents are legally responsible for their non-attendance. However, it is important that follow up arrangements are made for children who are out of school with no good reason.
Data for the London borough of Merton

Total number of truancy sweepsTotal stoppedTotal stopped with no valid reason for being out of schoolTotal stopped over the year with no valid reason for being out of school
Autumn 2002Not known631111
Spring 2003216740
Autumn 200354433
Spring 200444822
Autumn 2004523830
Spring 20053151111
Autumn 2005(55)(55)(55)(55)

(55)Data still being collected

Deprivation Funding

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when she will announce the full conclusions of the Deprivation Funding Review; and if she will make a statement. [41300]

Jacqui Smith: My written statement of 7 December on the School Funding Settlement for 2006–07 and 2007–08 announced that the report of the DfES/HM Treasury review of deprivation—Child Poverty, Fair Funding for Schools"—was being published on the same day, and is on Teachernet at A copy of the report has also been placed in the House Libraries.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the allocation of funding to schools in deprived areas of Somerset; and if she will make a statement. [41301]

Jacqui Smith: Under the current Schools Formula Spending Share (SFSS) arrangements in 2005–06, Somerset's SFSS takes account of the incidence of Additional Educational Needs, in the form of the numbers of families found to be in receipt of income support and working families tax credits, and the level of primary and secondary ethnicity in schools in Somerset. The school funding regulations stipulate that authorities must have a factor within their local funding formulae which recognises the incidence of deprivation in distributing resources to local schools.
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From April 2006, the Department is introducing a new ring fenced Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) in distributing resources directly to authorities based on authorities spending levels in 2005–06. Somerset will receive increases of 6.7 per cent. and 6.5 per cent. per pupil in the next two financial years. It will be for the local authority to decide how to distribute their resources to schools via the local funding formula.

Variable Top-up Fees

Ms Gisela Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment the Government have made of the impact of variable top-up fees on the number of UK-domiciled students taking up postgraduate courses. [40657]

Bill Rammell: Separate arrangements apply in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. In England, there should be no impact on the take-up of postgraduate places as variable tuition fees apply only to undergraduate courses and designated initial teacher training courses, for which the Government will continue to provide non-means tested support in 2006/07.

Postgraduate tuition fees are unregulated. However eligible students may receive specific support for postgraduate study through the disabled students' allowance and awards funded by the Office of Science and Technology through the Research Councils and HE institutions.

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