§ Mr. Caton
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the impact of the pay gap between schools and the further education sector on recruiting(a) music, (b) maths, (c) IT and (d) construction and engineering lecturers to further education colleges. 
§ Margaret Hodge
We have not carried out an assessment of this type. As independent organisations it is for each college to recruit their own staff and to agree pay within the context of the overall resources available to them. We know that there are differences between salaries in general further education colleges and schools and this issue is being considered as part of the current Spending Review settlement.
An additional £314 million is available for FE this year compared with 2001–02; by 2003–04 total funding for FE will be up by 26 per cent in real terms since 1997 and total funding per full-time equivalent student will be up by 16 per cent over the same period. In 2002–03, the Learning and Skills Council has increased colleges' participation funding rates by 2.5 per cent in cash terms, compared to a 1.5 per cent increase in 2001–02.
As part of the overall funding allocation, we are investing more than £300 million in the Teaching Pay Initiative (TPI). TPI is an important initiative designed to help modernise further education (FE) pay arrangements and to recruit, reward and retain teachers and lecturers as part of the drive to improve teaching and learning. Alongside TPI, we are introducing Training Bursaries, Golden Hellos and, subject to the approval of Parliament, a scheme to pay-off over time the student loans of new teachers in FE shortage subject areas. All of these initiatives offer significant financial rewards both to students training to be FE lecturers as well as those taking up teaching posts in FE shortage subject areas.