HC Deb 19 June 2002 vol 387 cc359-60W
Mr. Watts

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent assessment the Government have made of the need to increase funding to retain academic staff in sixth form colleges. [62255]

Margaret Hodge

The Department has not carried out a specific assessment of the potential link between the funding gap and the retention of academic staff in sixth form colleges. We are, however, aware of the funding gap between schools and the further education sector, and remain committed to bringing up levels of funding for colleges over time and as resources allow. This issue is being considered as part of the current spending review.

We are investing significant funding in the FE sector, including more than £310 million in the Teaching Pay Initiative (TPI) during the period 2001–04 to allow colleges, including sixth form colleges to recruit, reward and retain, high quality teachers. A survey conducted by the Sixth Form Colleges' Employers' Forum has shown that 85 per cent. of eligible teaching staff are in receipt of a professional standards payment within TPI.