HC Deb 27 October 2003 vol 412 cc84-5WS
Mr. Damian Green

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what has been spent since 1997 on projects to increase standards in rural schools. [133695]

Mr. Ivan Lewis

Aggregated data on funding to increase standards in rural schools is not collected in the form requested. Funding is focused on improving standards in all schools, irrespective of whether they are based in rural or urban areas.

Specific contributions to rural schools have included some £56 million of funding for rural Excellence Clusters and rural Education Action Zones. Many rural schools are small schools and benefited from the small schools fund which was set up in 2001. The Education Formula Spending system includes a sparsity element to reflect the fact that rural and other sparsely populated areas face extra costs in providing a common standard of service.