HC Deb 08 December 1999 vol 340 cc589-90W
Charlotte Atkins

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what advice he has issued to(a) primary schools and (b) local education authorities on (i) the employment of classroom assistants, (ii) extending their role within the classroom and (iii) providing incentives for classroom assistants to develop their knowledge and expertise in the fields of numeracy, literacy and record-keeping. [101705]

Ms Estelle Morris

A Supplement to the Standards Fund 2000–01 was issued on 27 October 1999. It advised Chief Education Officers of new arrangements to increase numbers of teaching assistants and to improve their training and career development. £130 million is being made available in 2000–01, enabling schools to recruit and train up to 15,000 additional full-time equivalent teaching assistants. LEAs must consult schools over relative local needs in deciding where assistants should be deployed.

The Department is developing a national framework of training and qualifications in partnership with the Local Government National Training Organisation and the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. It is also producing guidance on the effective deployment of teaching assistants by heads and teachers. Both of these documents will be published next year following consultation with schools, local authorities and national bodies.