HC Deb 02 December 1999 vol 340 c430
14. Mrs. Jacqui Lait (Beckenham)

If he will make a statement on the impact of the Government's class size pledge on (a) capital expenditure on school buildings and (b) the provision of teachers. [99354]

The Minister for School Standards (Ms Estelle Morris)

So far, our class size pledge has resulted in the allocation of capital funding of more than £122 million to build 1,700 extra infant classrooms and revenue funding of more than £100.5 million to recruit 4,600 extra infant teachers. In total, £620 million is available for additional classrooms and teachers to reduce infant class sizes.

Mrs. Lait

I thank the Minister for that reply. Is she aware that a primary school in Beckenham has had to double its planned size because of the effect of the 30-pupil limit? Can she guarantee that the capital funding required for that school will be provided without affecting the capital funding required for other primary schools also to meet the 30 limit? Can she also guarantee that sufficient teachers will be available when that school comes on-stream in two years' time?

Ms Morris

Yes, I am happy to give the hon. Lady those guarantees if that is the plan that has been approved and agreed between the Department and the local authority—I do not have it in front of me. We have always said that we shall provide both the capital and the revenue separate from other funding that goes to local authorities. That is yet another example of the Government putting money into raising standards for children, and I am pleased that the hon. Lady welcomes the doubling of places at what I assume is a popular school in her constituency.