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Opening the bidding

Fears of Labour agenda hamper action zone plan. Some deprived areas are spurning the scheme set up to benefit them

Birmingham: two bids

* Private sector: includes local training and enterprise council.

* No intention to alter pay and conditions.

Bradford: one bid

* Private sector: TEC and Bradford Careers Ltd

* Will alter curriculum to work on literacy, health and disaffection

Croydon: two bids

* Private sector: exam board Edexel, local businesses, Lloyds, TSB, and another national company

* Intends to vary curriculum at key stage 4 to get pupils ready for work. Might vary teachers' contracts

Cumbria: one bid - Barrow-in-Furness

* Private sector: no partners yet

Hackney: one bid

* Private sector: no details

Lambeth: bids for two zones

* Private sector: CFBTconsultancy

* No intention to vary teachers' conditions

NE Lincolnshire: one bid - Grimsby.

* Private-sector partners: World Challenge Expeditions; UKENSA, a computer consortium, and IBEC, a training company

* Will vary curriculum by holding literacy and numeracy hours in secondary schools. Plans to appoint advanced skills teachers.

Liverpool: one bid

* Private sector: no details

* Will involve a "significant re-write" of the curriculum to stress IT and performing arts

Manchester: two draft bids

* Private sector: council says it needs more time to make partnerships with employers

* Will not vary teachers' contracts

Middlesbrough: one bid for east Middlesbrough

* Private sector: consortium, Teesside Tomorrow

Newcastle one bid based around Blakelaw, a failing school to be reopened as a new school

Newham: one bid

* Private sector: includes Arthur Andersen, Capita and Timeplan Norfolk: one bid - Thetford

* Private sector: no details

* No plans to change curriculum or vary teachers' contracts.

Southwark: one bid

* Private sector: includes Price Waterhouse and Optimum Health Trust.

Sheffield: one bid

* Private sector: no details

South tyneside: one bid for south of borough

* Private sector: no details

Wiltshire: one bid - Salisbury Plain.

* Private sector: ICL, Industrial Society, the Army, Royal British Legion training college.

* Scheme to address problem of rapid turnover of army children who move schools every two years on average.

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