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Volume 403: debated on Monday 14 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what net percentage increase per pupil Barnet is receiving from central Government funds in 2003–04; and if he w ill make a statement. [109184]

Figures for 2003–04 for all central Government funding for education, including formula funding and grants, and which are fully comparable with those of 2002–03, are not yet available. In particular not all grant allocations have yet been made. Compared with 2002–03, Barnet's Education Formula Spending Share per pupil for 2003–04 has increased by 7 per cent.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the (a) percentage and (b) cash increase necessary in (i) the schools budget and (ii) the individual schools budget in Barnet fully to meet his passporting requirements. [109185]

Based on the passporting targets given to authorities in December 2002, Barnet was required to increase its schools budget from £133.5 million in 2002–03 to £167.4 million. This increase of £34 million includes the LSC provisional grant of :18 million and £1.5 million of specific formula grants. The required passporting increase thus equates to an increase of £15 million or 11.3 per cent. over the 2002–03 schools budget figure.The Secretary of State's passporting requirements do not extend to the individual schools budget; it is for local education authorities, in consultation with their school forums, to make decisions on the distribution of funding within the schools budget.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of representations from Barnet council that (a) the cost pressures on schools to set a statemented budget in Barnet equate to 8.5 per cent., (b) the net loss in support from the changes to the standard fund is £4 million net and (c) the centrally retained budget is one of the lowest in (i) London and (ii) the country; and if he will make a statement. [109186]

The Department does not collect information on the distribution of salaries by local education authority. It is therefore not possible for us to assess cost pressures on an individual local authority basis.The Standards Fund DfES grant has changed from £9.8 million in 2002–03 to £7.6 million in 2003–04—a reduction of £2.2 million. The figure for 2002–03 includes class size grant of £109,333. The funding for class size grant is no w distributed via the Education Formula Spending Shares. Barnet received an increase in EFS per pupil of 7.0 per cent on a like for like basis.In terms of dealing with cost pressures, it is the increase in central spending, rather than the size of that spending in relation to other authorities, which will have a significant impact on the increase which Barnet's schools will see.