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Teacher Redundancies

Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to his answer of 7 July 2003, Official Report, column 633W, on teacher redundancies, what the reasons were for the delay in answering the question; at what level information on redundancies is collected centrally; if he will place that information in the Library; and if he will make a statement. [125772]

[holding answer 14 July 2003]: The answer to the hon. Member's earlier question was being processed in the usual way and was answered at the earliest opportunity. Provisional statistics on teacher numbers and teacher vacancies at January 2003 were published in April in Statistical First Release 10/2003. In May this year, in response to concerns about the difficulties some schools are facing as a result of changes to the funding arrangements, my Department liaised with local education authorities (LEAs) to make a broad assessment of the extent to which schools were making changes in their teaching staff complements, including making teachers redundant, and the possible reasons for such changes, including falling rolls. This was based on the best information available to local education authorities (LEAs) at that time; many told us that definitive information was not available and that the situation was changing rapidly as schools finalised their budgets and their staffing. In addition they advised that a significant number of the redundancy notices were 'protective' and were likely to be withdrawn as the situation within schools and the LEA became clearer.