HC Deb 10 April 2001 vol 366 cc548-9W
Mr. Nigel Griffiths

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if she will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to the Edinburgh, South constituency, the effects on Edinburgh of the Department's policies and actions in health, education and other services since 2 May 1997. [155338]

Mr. Foulkes

[holding answer 26 March 2001]: On health, a range of policies have been adopted since May 1997 to improve the NHS in Scotland. These measures include, for example, the abolition of the internal market and the commitment to substantial increases in expenditure on the NHS. All areas of Scotland, including Edinburgh and Edinburgh, South, benefit from these policies.

On education, between 1997 and 1999 there was a 10 per cent. reduction (from 63 to 57) in the number of primary school classes in Edinburgh, South with more than 30 pupils. Between 1996 and 1999, the number of teachers (full-time equivalent) employed in Edinburgh, South rose by 15 in primaries and by 12 in secondaries. The pupil-teacher ratio dropped from 21.5 to 19.7 in primaries and from 13.3 to 13.0 in secondaries over this period.

Between 1996 and 1999, the percentage of the S4 school roll gaining five or more Standard Grades at levels 1–4 in secondary schools in Edinburgh, South rose from around 61 per cent. to around 74 per cent.

Early in 1999, the City of Edinburgh council was awarded funding of £600,000 over three years for a New Community schools project under phase 1 of the pilot programme. Four primary schools in Edinburgh, South are included in the project (Fernieside, Gilmerton, Moredun and St. John Vianney RC).

Also early in 1999, the City of Edinburgh council was awarded £1.5 million over three years to implement an Education Action Plan to improve attainment in schools facing particular challenges. Two secondary schools in Edinburgh, South are covered by the Education Action Plan (Gracemount and Liberton High Schools).

Additional capital resources of £0.6 million in 1997–98 and £1.7 million in 1998–99 and 1999–00 were made available to the City of Edinburgh council under the New Deal for Schools for repairs to school buildings across the council's area.

The recurrent grant in aid allocations to the three Edinburgh Further Education colleges rose from £30.762 million for financial year 1997–98 by 9.9 per cent. to £33.812 million for financial year 1999–2000.

Since 1 July 1999, health and education have been mainly devolved matters for the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Executive.