HC Deb 19 July 2000 vol 354 cc200-1W
Mr. Coaker

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) how many Learning Support Units will be established in Nottinghamshire; [131068]

(2) what the timetable is for setting up the new Learning Support Units for disruptive pupils; and if he will make a statement. [130979]

Jacqui Smith

The 223 Learning Support Units (LSUs) in the 24 Local Education Authorities (LEAs) in Phase 1 of the 'Excellence in Cities' (EiC) programme have been established progressively over the current academic year and are now operating. The LSUs in the 22 LEAs in Phase 2 of the EiC programme, which includes the City of Nottingham, will start to be set up from September 2000. Most should be operating from January 2001. We are currently assessing these LEAs' final plans. The LSUs in LEAs outside EiC areas, which includes Nottinghamshire, will be established progressively from September 2000. Most should come into operation between January and March 2001.

The City of Nottingham is planning for all of its 21 secondary schools to have an LSU. Information about Nottinghamshire LEA' s plans is not yet available. The Authority was notified on 30 June of its allocation—a total of some £671,000 to cover both capital and recurrent expenditure over the financial years 2000–01 and 2001–02. It is now for the LEA in consultation with its schools to decide how many LSUs to establish within those resources and in which schools.

Learning Support Units are a proven strategy for improving behaviour and reducing exclusions, and they are cost effective. They enable schools to get disruptive pupils out of the classroom quickly while not excluding them. We aim to have over 1,000 established by 2002.