Mr. Gareth R. Thomas
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what funding is available to supply the training needs of primary school-based learning assistants; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Ms Estelle Morris
Between 1999–2002, we are making available to local education authorities in England a total of £350 million to meet the cost of recruiting and training the equivalent of 20,000 new teaching assistants and to support the training of more experienced teaching assistants, so that they may develop their skills and further their careers. Of the allocation which they devolve to schools, local education authorities should pass at least 80 per cent. to primary schools.