To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many surplus school places there were and what was their cost in each local education authority in England in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
For the numbers of surplus school places in each local education authority I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to the hon. Member for St. Ives (Mr. Harris) on 9 December 1994, Official Report, columns 410–14. At a national level, the average premises-related cost of maintaining a surplus place is estimated to be £182 a year for a primary school and £303 a year for a secondary school at 1995–96 prices. The actual cost and the scope for realising savings from removal of surplus places in practice in each local education authority will depend on local circumstances.