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17 July 2007 : Column 338W—continued

In 2003, my Department also set up the implementation review unit comprising representatives from among head teachers, teachers and support staff currently working in schools. Appointed through an open, public appointments process, this was the first ever panel of
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this type to scrutinise the work of a major Government Department. Working independently of, but in partnership with the Department and its agencies, the IRU both challenges and supports the Department on examining policy design and implementation from a burdens and bureaucracy perspective.

We have also rationalised data collections and set up a system to ensure that we collect only essential data from schools, scrutinised by external practitioners through a star chamber board on which head teachers sit. Wherever possible, data are collected by sample. The data are collected once only and used many times. This has led to a significant decrease in the number of requests for new data from schools.

The Department takes the views of schools and teachers very seriously. 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. In response to this, we stopped regular paper mailings to all schools; and since December 2004, have successfully introduced an online ordering service where schools are now able to either download or order paper based copies of publications they need. A regular fortnightly e-mail is sent to schools to inform them of new publications.

Teachers: Pay

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent discussion he has had with the schoolteachers’ review body on (a) holding a review into the level of teachers’ pay and (b) the level of teachers’ pay; and if he will make a statement. [150174]

Jim Knight: The Government submitted written evidence to the STRB on 24 May, in respect of the remit set on 29 March, and the Secretary of State and I attended an oral evidence session with the STRB on 12 July. The Secretary of State also wrote to the chairman of the STRB on 5 June about the current pay award.

Teachers: Recruitment

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what funding has been allocated to the Teach First scheme for each of the next five years. [149884]

Jim Knight: We have confirmed that Teach First will be expanding—indeed this was announced in the Budget 2005. Precise funding allocations to the teacher training providers and schools working with Teach First depend on numbers recruited against agreed targets.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps he is taking to attract more of the best graduates into teaching; and if he will make a statement. [149887]

Jim Knight: The highly successful advertising campaigns run by the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) have contributed significantly to increases in graduate recruitment to teaching, and there is evidence that this has had a
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positive effect on schools’ ability to attract high quality teachers. Teacher vacancy rates are, at 0.6 per cent., now considerably lower than rates for other comparable professions.

Over 75 per cent. of new entrants to teacher training are now graduates who take a post graduate certificate of education or career changers on employment-based routes such as the graduate teacher programme. More trainee teachers than ever have a degree at 2:1 or higher.

We offer a training bursary of £9,000 to those taking a PGCE in shortage subjects, which currently include maths, science, English, modern foreign languages, technology, music and religious education. A golden hello of £5,000 is also paid for maths and science (£2,500 for the other shortage subjects) when a new teacher has completed their induction in schools. A bursary of £6,000 is offered to trainees taking a primary PGCE or a PGCE in history, geography and physical education.

During the past five years we have been running the student associate scheme, which focuses on maths, physics and chemistry and places high quality undergraduates in schools for up to 15 days to provide curriculum support for teachers and to carry out project work with pupils. It also gives participants a taste of teaching as a career. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills has just announced that participation in the scheme is to be doubled.

The Government also provides funding for Teach First a relatively new programme that recruits and trains particularly high-quality graduates to teach shortage subjects in challenging schools for two years, with the option to make a longer-term career in teaching beyond this time. In his statement to the House on 10 July, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families said that he will consult on a new Teach Next programme to promote mid-career routes into teaching, especially for people from industry and the sciences.

Teaching Methods: Finance

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what total funding was allocated for personalised learning in each year since 2004-05, broken down by initiative; what the planned figures are for each year to 2012-13; and if he will make a statement. [149934]

Jim Knight: No funding was specifically allocated for personalised learning in 2004-05. In 2006-07, £500 million was allocated for personalised learning. In 2007-08, £990 million was allocated.

This money was included in schools base budgets, with no conditions of grant, and was not allocated to specific initiatives. Our guidance to schools indicated that our priorities for the funding were: to support intervention and catch-up provision for children who have fallen behind in English and maths; to support the education of gifted and talented learners; and to help learners from deprived backgrounds to access after- school and year-round activities.

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The comprehensive spending review full allocations (for the period 2008-11) for personalised learning will be announced in due course. This will include funding for two areas of work that have already been announced:

Extended schools are also an important part of personalising learning for all children. The Secretary of State announced a subsidy of £265 million for extended schools over the CSR period on 10 July. This consists of £8.5 million in 2008-09, £40 million in 2009-10 and £217 million in 2010-11. This extra investment is to help disadvantaged children to access out-of-school activities, which can support their learning.

Teenage Pregnancy

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the teenage pregnancy rates was in each year since 1990-91; and what he expects it to be in 2007-08. [149930]

Angela Eagle: I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 17 July 2007:

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Conceptions by age: number and rate for England and Wales, 1990-2005( 1)
Under 20 Under 18
Number Rate( 2) Number Rate( 3)

















































































(1) Figures for 2005 are provisional.
(2) Rate per 1,000 females aged 15-19.
(3) Rate per 1,000 females aged 15-17.

Innovation, Universities and Skills

Aimhigher Programme: Finance

Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what plans his Department has to fund the Aim Higher programme beyond September 2008. [149492]

Bill Rammell: While the overall comprehensive spending review settlement for DfES has been announced we are working through the implications of the recent machinery of government changes and are not yet in a position to comment on specific programmes. We hope to be in a position to make an announcement in the near future.


Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what percentage of apprenticeships are (a) work-based and (b) college-based; and if he will make a statement on the future of apprenticeships. [149519]

Bill Rammell: In England, 100 per cent. of Learning and Skills Council funded apprentices must spend a significant period of their learning in a work-based environment in employment in order to complete a full apprenticeship. In addition, some learners participate in programme led apprenticeships in preparation for full apprenticeships. PLAs enable learners to take some of the required apprenticeship qualifications, such as key skills, in a further education college or with another provider before taking up employment as an apprentice. In 2005-06, 24,580 learners, 12.3 per cent. of the combined total of 199,480 PLA and apprenticeship starts, started a programme led apprenticeship and 174,900 or 87.7 per cent. started an apprenticeship in employment.

The apprenticeship programme has been extremely successful with the number of apprentices in learning rising threefold since 1997 and now standing at some 250,000. Quality has also improved, with the completion rate now standing at almost 60 per cent., up from just 24 per cent. five years ago. As a result, the apprenticeship programme is recognised as the principal route for acquiring nationally recognised, high quality occupational skills which contribute to the strength of our economy. We now want to build on that success by expanding the programme further so that in 2013 any suitably qualified young person will be entitled to an apprenticeship place. In addition we have accepted the recommendation of the Leitch review of skills for a target of 500,000 apprentices in learning in the UK by 2020.

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Civil Servants: Qualifications

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills if he will make it his policy to encourage colleagues with postdoctoral titles to employ them in public as an encouragement to learning. [148220]

Bill Rammell: There is no departmental policy on this and I believe that the use of academic titles should remain a matter of personal choice.

Degrees: Employment

Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what estimate he has made of the employment rate of students who did not complete their degree in each of the last five years. [149780]

Bill Rammell: The information is not held centrally.

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