Examination of Witnesses (Questions 240-259)|
12 DECEMBER 2006
Q240 Mr Gauke: Looking specifically
at the announcement in the PBR.
Ms Brivati: We have now made progress
on the capital side with the announcement on capital spending
in the PBR.
Q241 Mr Gauke: How much of the capital
spending announcement in the PBR relates to schools and how much
to colleges and universities? The evidence we received from the
IFS yesterday was suggesting that it essentially related to colleges
and universities and not schools.
Ms Brivati: The total amount of
spending relates to both schools and colleges and universities.
Q242 Mr Gauke: But the additional
Ms Brivati: The additional money
is £250 million for FE colleges.
Q243 Mr Gauke: So the additional
capital expenditure announced by the Chancellor in the PBR relates
to FE colleges, not schools?
Ms Brivati: The announcement in
the PBR related to schools and colleges and was a capital settlement
for the Department for Education and Skills.
Q244 Mr Gauke: Is it possible to
break down the announcement in the PBR? How much of that money
is going to schools for capital expenditure?
Ms Brivati: I have that number
but not readily, if you would let me come back to it. 
Q245 Mr Gauke: I would be grateful. Would
you be able to give it to us this morning?
Ms Brivati: Yes.
Q246 Mr Gauke: I would be grateful
for that. On current spending on schools, what is the new money
there that the Chancellor announced in the PBR?
Ms Brivati: Let me search my brief
and find that for you.
Q247 Mr Gauke: One final question:
the Chancellor's aspiration relates to independent schools. He
has also talked about the capital spending figures for independent
schools. On what basis does the Treasury determine what the figures
are for independent schools? There has been some press comment,
certainly, that independent schools are at a loss to know where
the Treasury is getting the numbers from. I would be grateful
Ms Brivati: We use a variety of
data sources, including from the collective body which represents
independent schoolswhose name escapes me for the moment.
Q248 Mr Gauke: Anything else? You
say a variety of data sources.
Ms Brivati: Data provided to us
by the Department for Education and Skills, for example.
Q249 Mr Mudie: Staying on education,
can I take you to page 147. You refer to a long-term programme
of refurbishment and replacement of secondary schools, you say
over 15 years. You refer to the secondary schools as "over
15 years", but in the preceding paragraph, for primary schools,
you say "over around 15 years". Why the hell "over
around" for primary, and what does "over around"
mean in accountancy terms? Why do you not just put the additional
word "maybe over around" and it would make it even clearer?
Mr Cunliffe: We are gratified
the documents are read that closely, but do we know the answer?
Q250 Mr Mudie: It was in last year's
Budget book as well"over around". It would be
useful if you had a look at that. We will accept "maybe"
in future but "over around" seems hedging your bets,
in a way Mr Fallon would certainly not accept in order to prevent
forecasting errors. However, aspirations in targets, etc, etc
When did the 15 years start for each? We do not want a Golden
Rule here, where we discover it starts next year or it startedwhen
did it start?
Ms Brivati: I think the Building
Schools for the Future programme began in the SR04 period
or, possibly, SR02 period.
Q251 Mr Mudie: Which would give me
a starting date of when?
Ms Brivati: Of 2004-05. Let me
check that. I would not want to give you
Q252 Mr Mudie: Is that for secondary?
Ms Brivati: That is for both of
Q253 Mr Mudie: I will give you the
context in which I ask this question. The Chancellor brought forward
the Millennium Goals and we were going to give education to every
Third World child, etc After a few years this Committee actually
pinned the Chancellor down to accept that at the current rate
of progress it would take 120 years for some of the goals to be
achieved. What are we doing with these schools? For example, how
many secondary schools do we have? Do we know? Do you know how
many primary schools we have?
Mr Cunliffe: We have that information
but I do not have it with me, no.
Q254 Mr Mudie: We are anxious to
know. We have got a 15-year programme to refurbish or rebuild.
How many have we done at what individual cost? I am coming on
to child poverty figures: are we below or above? Do we know? Do
Mr Cunliffe: I do not have the
Q255 Mr Mudie: Why not? Are you not
in charge of the Budget? If you put a 15-year programme on but
we do not know how many schools, I presume you do not know the
average cost of the refurbishment or rebuild. After two or three
years with this programme in being we do not know where we are
relative to the target.
Ms Brivati: It is known it is
just that we do not know.
Mr Cunliffe: We can certainly
write to you
Mr Mudie: Some aspiration.
Q256 Mr Todd: Somebody knows.
Ms Brivati: They are in the Department
for Education and Skills, who are in charge of this programme.
Q257 Mr Mudie: Another aspiration.
How much have we spent on academies and is that part of the same
programme, part of the same budget? They are costing £25
million each. How many have we done? Are we on target? Are the
figures in this Budget book, ensuring that the target of 200 academies
is met, on target? How do we know?
Mr Cunliffe: I make a general
point that these programmes are for the Department for Education
to carry through.
Q258 Mr Mudie: I am sure they are
but they cost money and you give them the money.
Mr Cunliffe: Yes, that is true;
we give money right across government for a range of targets that
are reported on by individual departments. We will certainly come
back to you.
Q259 Mr Mudie: Jon, what do those
words mean, they are a matter for the department? First of all,
they are matter for you because you are paying for them.
Mr Cunliffe: The carrying out
of the programme and implementation is for the department.
3 Ev 81 Back