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School Playing Fields

Volume 264: debated on Wednesday 18 October 1995

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many school playing fields have been sold since 1979. [36221]

There is no reliable historical information on the level of school playing field disposals. The Sports Council's register of recreational land, which is not yet complete, is designed to ensure that better information is available in future.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what has been the total amount allocated to capital grant for grant-maintained schools; and in each case, how much has been allocated to (a) committed expenditure, (b) formula allocation, (c) basic need provision, (d) change of character proposals, (e) named projects and (f) other purposes in each financial year since 1990. [35808]

These matters are now the responsibility of the Funding Agency for Schools. I have asked its chairman to write to the hon. Member with this information.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, what was the total sum paid in speakers' expenses to head teachers and governors of grant-maintained schools speaking at meetings on grant-maintained status; and, in each case, what was the number of meetings for which claims were received, and from how many individuals in the financial years 1993–94 and 1994–95. [36151]

The total sum paid in GM speakers' expenses for the financial year 1993–94 was £33,488. The equivalent sum for 1994–95 was £27,947.Records of the number of speaking engagements undertaken or the number of individuals to whom payment was made prior to April 1994 are no longer available. During the financial year 1994–95, claims were received from approximately 175 GM speakers who undertook over 450 speaking engagements.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what is (a) the actual or estimated total value of cash protection included in the central annual maintenance grant of grant-maintained schools and (b) the number of grant-maintained schools actually or estimated to be in receipt of cash protection for each of the financial years 1993–94 to 1999–2000. [36159]

The calculation and payment of annual maintenance grant to grant-maintained schools, including the cash protection element, have been the responsibility of the Funding Agency for Schools since 1 April 1994. It also holds grant information relating to previous financial years. I have asked the chairman of the funding agency to write to the hon. Member about the cash protection figures for the years up to and including 1995–96.As the hon. Member is aware, we announced earlier this year, and have reaffirmed in a consultation paper issued in July, our intention to phase out cash protection over the four years 1995–96 to 1998–99, so that none remains in 1999–2000. It is not possible to provide realistic estimates of amounts of cash protection for 1996–97 onwards: these will depend on a number of unpredictable factors.