§ Tony Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans he has to harmonise pay scales between teachers in schools and further education colleges. 
§ Mr. Miliband
Unlike schools, colleges in the further education (FE) sector are independent corporations with their own pay arrangements. Colleges agree annual pay rises and conditions of employment with their staff in the context of local priorities and the overall resources available to them. Pay arrangements in the sector are diverse, reflecting colleges' local flexibility. Government have no plans to change this arrangement.
On 19 November the Secretary of State announced that the total funding for FE is set to rise by £1.2 billion between 2002–03 and 2005–06, a real terms increase of 19 per cent. From next year, colleges which have demonstrated their effectiveness will have three year funding deals allowing them to plan on a longer-term basis, with increases linked to performance. We will also consolidate the funds provided for the Teaching Pay Initiative into core funding. These measures should enable colleges to address structural pay issues and to use the additional resources to narrow substantially the pay gap with schools by 2005–06.