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Staff Pay Awards

Volume 405: debated on Monday 12 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what funding, as a proportion of costs, has been made available to (a) primary and (b) secondary schools to meet (i) teachers pay awards, (ii) non-teaching staff pay awards, (iii) the national insurance increase, (iv) increased pensions costs, (v) grade drift arising from pay spine compression, (vi) pay inflation caused by recruitment and retention pressures and (vii) threshold payments in schools within the Essex LEA. [108476]

The total national cash increase in revenue funding for schools and LEAs in 2003–04 is £2.7 billion. In 2003–04 the cash increase in Education Formula Spending and School Standards Direct Grant is 11.6 per cent; this is £250 million greater than the 10.5 per cent. pressures due to pay, pensions, inflation and ending grants. It is not possible to identify these costs at the level of the individual local education authority since we do not collect information on the distribution of staff salaries by individual LEA. However, we appreciate that for some authorities, such as Essex that received low education formula funding increases coupled with reductions in grant through the Standards Fund, low budget increases for schools may result. In the light of representations, we have announced an additional £28 million in grant to ensure that the effective increase for all LEAs between 2002–03 and 2003–04 was no less than 3.2 per cent. per pupil for all authorities, taking account of specific grants as well as EFS. Essexs share is £1.164 million. As far as threshold payments are concerned, the full cost including on-costs is covered by 100 per cent. grant on a demand-led basis.My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State published on 2 May an analysis of all LEAs schools for 2003–04. The analysis raises issues and the Department has written to the Assistant Director of Education asking about these and other issues. The authority has in particular been asked to explain why its central budget is increasing faster than its budget for schools, why it has significant funds intended for schools but not yet allocated to individual schools and why the range of increases for the authoritys individual schools is so wide. The authority has until 12 May to respond.