§ Mr. Dorrell
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many posts have been created within the Standards and Effectiveness Unit in his Department; and what is his estimate of the cost of this unit in 1998–99. 
§ Mr. Byers
The Standards and Effectiveness Unit was set up in May 1997 to be the focus for the Department's work on raising standards in schools. It covers a wide range of functions including literacy and numeracy, performance measurement and target-setting, inspection of schools and LEAs, Education Action Zones, Education Development Plans, the Standards Task Force and the National Year of Reading. Its current complement of 95 staff are drawn very largely from existing staff together with some ten experienced practitioners with recent experience as headteachers, inspectors, researchers and advisers. The costs of the Unit for 1998–99 have yet to be finalised but will be met within the running costs of the Department's Schools Directorate.