HL Deb 15 March 1999 vol 598 c55WA
Baroness Blatch

asked Her Majesty's Government:

  1. (a) whether they will list each Education Action Zone now in place;
  2. (b) what contribution has been secured for each Education Action Zone from the private sector in (i) kind and (ii) cash;
  3. (c) what contribution is being made by each relevant local education authority to each Education Action Zone;
  4. (d) what contribution is being made by the Government to each Education Action Zone; and
  5. (e) by what criteria the Education Action Zones will be judged. [HL1379]

The Minister of State, Department for Education and Employment (Baroness Blackstone)

Twelve Education Action Zones were established in September 1998: Barnsley, Blackburn with Darwen, Grimsby, Hereford, Lambeth, Leicester, Middlesbrough, New Addington, Newcastle, Newham, Salford & Trafford and Weston super Mare. A further 13 Education Action Zones were established in January 1999: Birmingham-Aston & Nechells, Birmingham-Kitts Green & Shard End, Brighton & Hove, East Basildon, Halifax, Kingston-upon-Hull, Leigh, Nottingham, Plymouth, Sheffield, South Tyneside, Southwark and Thetford.

The 25 zones have so far raised some £5 million towards the £6 million target for business contributions in their first year of operation. We will be in a position to provide a more detailed statement of the private sector contributions to each zone when they submit their audited financial statements for the financial year 1998–99.

Each local education authority is a partner on the forum of each zone. Cash and in kind contributions from a local education authority do not count as business contributions unless they are sourced from the private sector.

Each zone receives help and guidance from its DfEE Education Adviser, who is a partner on the forum of each zone, as well as from officials on an "as appropriate" basis. Each zone will also receive up to £750, 000 per annum from government funds and is required to raise £250, 000 per annum from the private sector.

Zones will be assessed at both national and local level to measure their effectiveness in raising standards.