§ Mr. Wiggin
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many new classroom assistants were appointed in the UK in the 2002–03 academic year in(a) primary schools, (b) secondary schools and (c) special needs schools. 
§ Mr. Miliband
Information on new appointments is not collected centrally. The table below shows the numbers of teaching assistants in service in January for the last two years and the increase in numbers between 2002 and 2003.
Full-time equivalent number of teaching assistants Maintained primary, secondary and all special schools (January 2002 and provisional 2003 England) Full-time equivalent number of teaching assistants1 Primary Secondary Special2 January 2002 69,310 19,530 14,250 Provisional January 2003 79,790 22,260 16,560 Increase in 2003 10,490 2,740 2,310 1 Includes nursery assistants, special needs support staff, minority, ethnic pupil support staff 2 Includes both maintained and non-maintained special schools. Numbers are rounded to the nearest 10. The increase in 2003 may not appear to equal the difference between the two years due to rounding.