§ Virginia Bottomley
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which 10 education authorities have(a) the highest and (b) the lowest number of teacher vacancies; what the numbers of teachers involved are; and whether she is taking steps to remove the inequality. 
§ Mr. Timms
I have been asked to reply.
The 10 local education authorities in England that reported the highest number of teacher vacancies1 for maintained nursery, primary, secondary and special schools in January 2001, and their number of vacancies, were as follows:
Education authorities Essex 220 Kent 196 Hampshire 175 Tower Hamlets 157 Surrey 104 Newham 103
Education authorities Hackney 101 Southwark 100 Barnet 100 Suffolk 89
Ten local education authorities reported no teacher vacancies. They were as follows:
- City of London
- Isles of Scilly
- South Tyneside
In 2001–02, the Government made £33 million available to fund local teacher recruitment and retention initiatives. Almost 80 per cent. of those funds went to schools in London and the South East. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State recently announced a further £44 million for 2002–03. More than 3,500 teachers will also receive assistance to purchase homes in areas of high price or demand as part of the Government's £250 million Starter Homes Initiative. 2,890 of these teachers will be in London and the South East. My right hon. Friend has also proposed to accept the School Teacher's Review Body's recommendation to award a fourth successive above-inflation pay increase for all teachers from 1 April 2002.1Vacancies are recorded for posts which have been advertised for full-time appointments of at least one term's duration, that exist on the survey date of the third Thursday in January. A post would not be recorded as a vacancy if someone appointed to that post on a full-time contract of one term or more has filled the post.