§ Margaret Hodge
[holding answer 29 April 2002]: The investments we are making via the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) to support both school sixth forms and further education colleges should ensure that staff receive appropriate salary increases this year. The real terms guarantee (RTG) for schools with sixth forms means that their funding will be protected at least at 2000–01 levels, providing pupil numbers are maintained. Indeed in 2002–03 around two thirds of sixth forms will benefit with higher funding from the LSC's formula funding and the remaining third will be funded at their RTG level.
We are also investing significant funding in the FE sector. In 2001–02, £527 million extra was planned for FE—a 12 per cent. real terms increase, with a further 3 per cent. increase this year. By 2003–04, annual funding for FE will have increased by £1.4 billion compared with 1997–98, a real terms increase of 26 per cent. It is for each college to agree annual pay rises and conditions of employment with its staff in the context of the overall resources available to them. Within the total funds for FE, the Teaching Pay Initiative (TPI) budget is £311 million over the period 2001–04. This is to reward excellent teaching and is over and above any general pay rise.
§ Margaret Hodge
Teachers in maintained schools are subject to national school teachers' pay and conditions. Further education sector colleges are run by independent corporations established under the Further Education and Higher Education Act 1992 and there is no national pay structure in place. Colleges are free to establish pay scales that meet their needs and can be agreed with their staff. This Government have acknowledged the historic funding gap between schools and FE and we have pledged to bring up levels of funding and ensure upward convergence over time. The Teaching Pay Initiative (TPI) budget is £31 1 million over the period 2001–04. This is to reward excellent teaching and is over and above any general pay rise. The additional investment we are making in the FE sector should help support the pay aspirations of their staff.