|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the impact on the number of international students applying to English universities of the different rules on visa extensions which apply in England and Scotland; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: It is too soon to assess the impact of the Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme on international student numbers. This scheme was introduced in June 2005 as part of the Fresh Talent Initiative to help to address the ageing and declining population in Scotland. International students are able to stay in the UK following completion of their studies under the Science and Engineering Graduate Scheme. This scheme was extended in May to enable all international students, on completion of a postgraduate degree, or an undergraduate degree in a shortage sector, to work in the UK for up to 12 months. The numbers of international students coming to English higher education institutions to study increased by nearly 60 per cent. between 2000/01 and 2004/05, the latest date for which figures are available. The Government recognise the benefits that international students bring to institutions, to the economy and to the country more generally. We also recognise that the international education market has become more competitive. That is why on 18 April this year the Prime Minister announced the second phase of his international education initiative which is designed to secure the UKs position as a leader in the field of international education.
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent discussions he has had with the National Union of Teachers on education policies; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) written and (b) electronic communications were sent to (i) primary and (ii) secondary schools by (A) his Department and (B) other official education bodies in 2005. 
Jim Knight: The Department sent 20 emails automatically to all primary and secondary schools in 2005. These emails provided schools with a regular update on the information and resources available to them online and in hard copy.
The Department only sends hard copy publications automatically to schools in England in exceptional cases having stopped regular paper mailings in December 2004. Discussions with head teachers and detailed research showed that schools wanted to be able to choose the printed publications they needed, when they needed them, and to be able to order multiple copies. No hard copy publications were sent automatically to all schools in 2005.
Details relating to publications sent to all schools by NDPBs during the academic year 2004-05 can be found in the Departments annual section 38 report. The latest report, issued in October 2005, showed that 29 publications had been sent to all secondary schools and 22 to all primary between January 2005 and July 2005. Where a document has been sent to both primary and secondary schools it will appear in both figures.
The increase in the annual cost to public funds in recent years is largely attributable to the costs of modernising the examinations system. This programme of work was announced by the Secretary of State for Education and Skills on 17 November 2003.
Bill Rammell: The Higher Education Funding Council for England has estimated the total cost of the 2008 research assessment exercise (RAE) as at least £45 million. Although that is not a disproportionate sum in view of the size of the budgets whose allocation the RAE informs, the bulk of those costs relate to the time that university staff spend preparing for the exercise. One of the main objectives of the consultation proposals on the reform of higher education research assessment and funding that my Department published on 13 June is to devise a system to replace the RAE which continues to promote high-quality research but frees researchers from the administrative burdens associated with the RAE, allowing more of their time to be spent on academic work.
Sir John Stanley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which (a) primary and (b) secondary schools in rural areas were approved for closure in 2005, broken down by local authority area. 
Decisions about school closures are taken locally. Since February 1998 there has been a presumption against the closure of rural schools. Although this does not mean that no rural school will ever close, decision makers must satisfy themselves that closure is clearly in the best interests of educational provision in the area.
|Local authority||Name of school|
| Note: These figures exclude amalgamations where two schools have been replaced by one new school on an existing site.|
In every school there shall be a washroom or washrooms which are adequate for the number of staff at the school.
There are no required toilet ratios for male and female toilets. The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 provide a table of the minimum number of water closets and wash stations for different numbers of staff as follows:
|Number of people at work||Number of water closets||Number of wash stations|
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) primary and (b) secondary schools in (i) England, (ii) each region and (iii) each local education authority have outdoor toilets that are still in use. 
Jim Knight: Information on numbers of outdoor toilets at schools is not held by my Department. In 1998-2000, £19 million was allocated to local authorities to ensure that every school had indoor toilet provision. Central Government capital support for investment in schools has increased from under £700 million in 1996-97 to £5.8 billion this year and will rise further to over £6.3 billion by 2007-08.
Progress is being made year-by-year in improving the quality of the school building stock. The bulk of schools capital is now allocated by formula to authorities and schools so that they can address their local priorities, including the replacement of outdoor toilets.
Jim Knight: Decisions on how much is spent on repairing toilets in primary and secondary schools are not made centrally but by local authorities and their schools. The Department does not have records of expenditure at this level of detail.
Jim Knight: Statutory requirements have been put in place, along with non-statutory guidance and funding to assist local authorities, governing bodies and proprietors of schools in meeting their duties to improve access and provision for disabled pupils in schools. This includes the provision of accessible toilets for pupils with disabilities.
1. Local authorities, governing bodies and proprietors of schools have planning duties under The Disability Discrimination Act Part 4 Education 2001 to improve access to schools for disabled pupils. They should also comply with The Education (School Premises) Regulations 1999 (regulations 3 and 9), The Education (Independent School Standards) (England) Regulations 2003, The Building Regulations 2000 (as amended). The Department issues non-statutory guidance in the form of Building Bulletins and information issued on the Teachernet website www.teachernet.gov.uk/schoolbuildings.
2. Each year, Schools Access Initiative funding is allocated to authorities and schools so that they can improve buildings for the needs of disabled pupils. This funding is now £100 million each year, and can be augmented by funding from other sources. Some of this will be used for the provision of accessible toilets for pupils with disabilities where this is the local priority. Compliance with non-statutory guidance is usually required for all school buildings funded by the Department.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what financial support the Government have provided to science centres over the past five years; and if he will make a statement; 
Officials from both DfES and DTI met with ECSITE-UK, the umbrella body that represents the science and discovery centre network, in April to discuss their future role and funding. It is our aim that the centres should work to become viable without ongoing government support and should identify alternative sources of funding from local Learning and Skills Councils, Regional Development Agencies and any other sources at local and regional level. Although there has been no firm commitment from our
Departments on future funding, ECSITE-UK have been asked to submit a proposal outlining how the centres will work together more collaboratively and pursue innovative ways of becoming more financially viable, and how the DfES and DTI can help them to achieve this.
David Heyes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many secondary school-age children there are expected to be in (a) Oldham metropolitan borough and (b) Tameside metropolitan borough in each of the next 10 academic years. 
Jim Knight: Population estimates for Oldham and Tameside metropolitan borough areas are the responsibility of the Office for National Statistics. The 2003 based projections for children aged 11 to 18 in each area are given in the following table:
|Projection of population aged 11 to 18 in Oldham and Tameside at mid-year|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|