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30 Jan 2006 : Column 93W—continued

School Maintenance

Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much public funding has been spent on (a) repairing and (b) rebuilding schools in the Ruislip-Northwood constituency in each year since 1992. [45842]

Jacqui Smith: Capital allocations to local authorities and schools are higher than ever before. In 2005–06 they are £5.5 billion and they are planned to rise to £6.3 billion in 2007–08, an increase from £683 million in 1996–97.

Central records on capital expenditure are held from 1996–97. Allocations are made directly to local authorities and schools and not at constituency level. Capital allocations made to Hillingdon local authority and its schools since 1997 are set out in the following table:
£ million

1998–99 and 2002–03 figures include Private Finance Initiative credits of £18.4 million and £14.6 million respectively.

We expect local authorities and schools to take decisions locally on allocating funds on school repairs and rebuilding schools in accordance with their local asset management plan. Accordingly, records of these categories of capital expenditure are not held centrally.

School Staff (Checks)

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how long foreign nationals may work as teachers in a school before having to register with the General Teaching Council. [44738]

Jacqui Smith: Overseas trained teachers can teach in England for up to four years without Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). If they wish to continue to work in
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maintained schools for longer than four years they must gain QTS via the appropriate TDA approved route and register with the General Teaching Council (GTC).

Directive 89/48EEC facilitates the free movement of any national of an EEA member state (MS) wishing to pursue a regulated profession in a host MS. Therefore a migrant teacher with the relevant qualification is given automatic recognition under the directive and they are awarded Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) following an application to the GTC. Again, once they have gained QTS they will have to register with the GTC to teach in a maintained school.

School Transport

Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will ask the Children's Commissioner to undertake a review of local authority tendering processes for school transport to ensure vulnerable children are protected. [45172]

Jacqui Smith: The Department for Education and Skills advises that employers should carry out criminal record checks on anyone working with children, and is actively considering whether more guidance is needed in relation to child protection and school transport. At the moment, we have no plans to involve the Children's Commissioner.

The Children's Commissioner is independent of Government and free to look at any issue he considers relevant in promoting awareness of the views and interests of children. If the Secretary of State asks the Children's Commissioner to look at a particular matter, unless it involves holding an enquiry into the case of an individual child, he is free to decline.

Schools (Extended Hours)

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many schools offer extended hours from 8 am to 6 pm; and if she will make a statement. [41302]

Beverley Hughes: Many schools are open before and after normal schools hours offering child care and study support type activities. We know, through a baseline survey of extended services in schools published in September 2005 that 40 per cent. of primary schools and 61 per cent. of secondary schools are providing some
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before school child care or activities, and that 87 per cent. of primary schools and 95 per cent. of secondary schools are providing some after school child care or activities, though only a small number, 2 per cent. of primary schools and 0.5 per cent. of secondary schools, provided access to the 8 am to 6 pm child care all year round.

We have committed £840 million to developing extended services, including high quality 8 am to 6 pm all year round child care, study support, and before and after school clubs so that they are accessible through all our schools by 2010. We have also appointed the National Remodelling Team to provide support to schools and local authorities in developing extended services. Good progress is being made with 4,400 schools, thus far, indicating their willingness to work on developing extended services.

Schools Finance

Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the level was of local authority spending on education (a) in total and (b) per student in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in (i) 2004–05 and (ii) 2005–06; what the dedicated schools grant proposed (A) in total and (B) per student in Newcastle-upon-Tyne is for 2006–07; and what the cash spending increase is (1) in total and (2) per pupil between 2005–06 and 2006–07. [44597]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 24 January 2006]: Total education spending by Newcastle-Upon-Tyne local authority in 2004–05 was £185 million, including spending on provision outside schools. The Department is currently working on figures for spending on school provision for 2004–05 that are comparable with the Dedicated Schools Grant, on both a cash and per pupil basis, and will place them in the Library as soon as they are available.

The Dedicated Schools Grant 2005–06 baseline per pupil for Newcastle-Upon-Tyne is £3,390. In 2006–07 the guaranteed per pupil unit of funding is £3,640, an increase of 7.3 per cent. The total DSG allocation will not be finalised until May 2006 when the January 2006 pupil figures are finalised. In addition, while authorities must apply the whole of their allocation of DSG to their Schools Budget, they are free to add to it from their own resources. Final figures for total budgeted expenditure per pupil for 2006–07 may therefore be higher than the authority's allocation of DSG per pupil for that year.


Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the adequacy of the level of direct support grant allocated to those Shropshire schools with deficits for the next financial year. [46272]

Jacqui Smith: The Department for Education and Skills pays dedicated schools grant (DSG) to local authorities, to provide for those items that are included in each local authority's schools budget, which consists of the delegated budgets allocated to individual schools, and a budget for other provision for pupils which local authorities fund centrally. Each local authority then decides, in consultation with its Schools Forum, on the
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distribution of funding between its schools. The national formula for distribution of DSG does not take account of the level of deficit at an authority's schools and, normally, local authority formulae for distributing funding do not do so either. However, it is open to an authority to distribute additional funding to a school which is in financial difficulties. Where a school is in deficit, it should agree a plan with its local authority to eliminate the deficit over a three-year period.

Skills for Life

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much the Government have allocated to the Skills for Life campaign in each year since its inception; and if she will make a statement. [46315]

Phil Hope: I refer the hon. Member to table 13 of the NAO's report Skills for Life: Improving adult literacy and numeracy", 15 December 2004, which sets out estimated actual spend on Skills for Life from 2000–01. Copies of this report have been placed in the House Libraries. Confirmed spend for 2004/05 is not yet available.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will increase funding (a) for the skills strategy and (b) to assist those young people who do not have adequate skills in communication, numeracy and literacy. [46081]

Jacqui Smith: The Skills for Life Strategy to address adult literacy, language and numeracy skills, which forms part of the wider Skills Strategy, covers all young people and adults aged 16 and above. Therefore young people aged 16–19, who for whatever reason, have not gained the literacy and numeracy skills they need for life and work, are included in the strategy. Around 39 per cent. of Skills for Life learners are 16–18 year olds. Since 2001, the Government have invested £3.7 billion to develop an infrastructure, put in place standards, curriculum and qualifications and help millions of young people and adults to improve their skills.

As part of the forthcoming comprehensive Spending Review, the Department is actively considering the future resource needs to meet the ambitious Skills for Life aims and the objectives of the wider Skills Strategy.

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