HC Deb 13 April 1999 vol 329 c172W
Mr. Kidney

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what spending his Department plans to allocate for(a) increased access to information and communication technology in schools, (b) more teaching assistants and (c) more office staff in the next four years. [79906]

Mr. Mudie

Public expenditure plans have not yet been set beyond 2001–02. Over the next three years, we plan to allocate £555m to local education authorities in England to continue the process of equipping and networking schools to the National Grid for Learning. In addition, schools and their teachers and pupils will benefit from the £400m announced in the Budget as part of the Government's national IT strategy. The £400m will help widen access to ICT by establishing a network of learning centres; introducing a pilot project to supply recycled computers to homes, with families on low incomes having to pay only a very small charge; and providing subsidised loans to teachers for purchasing computers.

We plan to allocate £350m over the next three years to provide an additional 20,000 teaching assistants in schools. We do not have plans for specific allocations for more office staff.