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Local Government Finance

Mrs. Shephard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what criteria determined the shift of resources in standard spending assessments from shire areas to metropolitan areas in the current financial year. [47573]

Ms Armstrong: The standard spending assessments of the shire areas increased by £662.7m in 1998-99 (on a like for like basis); those of the metropolitan areas increased by £386.9m. The criteria used in the calculation of standard spending assessments are based on objective indicators and the most up-to-date information available is used for all authorities. The same formulae apply to all authorities with the same responsibilities for services. We treat authorities all on a fair and consistent basis.

Ministerial Helicopter Travel

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many times, and on which occasions, he and his Ministers have travelled by helicopter during the current month; and at what cost to public funds. [48034]

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Angela Eagle: My right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister travelled by helicopter during part of his visit to the Donana National Park when, at the invitation of the Spanish Government, he viewed the environmental damage caused by a leak of toxic waste. My right hon. Friend the Minister for the Environment travelled by helicopter to address the Institute of Wastes Management Centenary Conference. On neither occasion was there any cost to public funds.

EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT

Unemployment

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what proportion of the total unemployed workforce are aged over 25 years; and what targets he has set under the New Deal to reduce unemployment for those aged over 25 years. [47723]

Mr. Andrew Smith: The proportion of all claimant unemployed who are aged over 25 is currently 74 per cent. One of this Government's objectives is to increase the proportion of adults unemployed for more than two years who find jobs and leave unemployment through the New Deal for people aged 25 and over.

Teachers Pension Scheme

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what charges are made by the Prudential Insurance Company for the management of the Teachers Pension Scheme; and if he will place the management agreement for that scheme in the Library. [47596]

Dr. Howells: The Teachers' Pension Scheme is a statutory scheme for which the Secretary of State retains responsibility. The administration of the scheme is carried out under contract by Capita Business Services Ltd. The Prudential Insurance Company is the appointed provider of the scheme's Additional Voluntary Contribution (AVC) arrangements. Those arrangements are governed by the Teachers' Superannuation (Additional Voluntary Contributions) Regulations 1994 (SI 1994/2924). No charge is levied by Prudential under these arrangements, although their administration costs are met by a 1 per cent. deduction from the AVC contributions paid by individual teachers.

University Students (Residence)

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many students who went to university resided at home with their parents, as a percentage of the total, in each year since 1990 including 1998 to date. [47720]

Dr. Howells: Comprehensive data on the number of university students who resided at home with their parents are not available in a consistent form for the period requested. Available information is that from local education authorities in England and Wales which provide data on the number of mandatory award holders studying in the United Kingdom who are eligible for the parental home rate of grant. Numbers of award holders eligible for the parental home rate of grant and the percentage of mandatory award holders this represents are given in

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the table for academic years 1990-91 to 1996-97 (provisional), the latest year for which information is available.

Mandatory awards in England and Wales(27)(28): academic years 1990-91 to 1996-97(29)
Students eligible for the parental home rate of grant(30)(31)

Academic yearAward holders eligible for the parental home rate of grant(31) (thousands)Percentage of award holders eligible for the parental home rate of grant(31)
1990-9138.98.1
1991-92(32)49.89.1
1992-9365.910.2
1993-9478.710.9
1994-9588.311.6
1995-9695.912.4
1996-97(29)101.913.3

(27) Awards made by local education authorities to students normally domiciled in their area

(28) Table includes students who receive partial or nil maintenance grants because of high parental or other income but whose fees are still paid by the authority

(29) 1996-97 data are provisional

(30) Excludes placement year sandwich students

(31) LEAs can exceptionally give the parental rate to students who live away from the parental home but who could, in their opinion, conveniently attend their course from the parental home

(32) Data for 1991-92 do not include information on approximately 8,600 awards made by the London Residuary Body for which information on rates of grant is not available


Education Action Zones

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will list those schools included in the education action zones announced on 23 June which currently have grant-maintained status. [47823]

Mr. Byers: There are six schools in the first tranche of Education Action Zones which currently have grant- maintained status. One of the Zones, East Basildon, has a grant-maintained school as its leading partner. The Schools are:








Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) what index of social deprivation his Department used in determining the winning bids for education action zones announced on 23 June; [47824]

Mr. Byers: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State selected the 25 education action zones on the basis of recommendations from his advisory panel. The criteria used by the panel were three: social deprivation, as indicated by free school meals data; the innovative quality of the strategies proposed by the partnership; and on an assessment of the ability of the proposers to deliver school standards.

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Higher Education

Mr. Gorrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many of those aged (a) under 21, (b) 21 to 24 and (c) 25 years and over, registered in England, applied through UCAS for admission to a course of higher education for the (i) 1994, (ii) 1995, (iii) 1996, (iv) 1997 and (v) 1998 entry cycles; what were the numbers of the population in England aged (a) to (c) for (i) to (v); and what was the proportion of those applying as a percentage of the appropriate population cohort. [47272]

Dr. Howells: Figures on English domiciled UCAS applicants to full time first degree, HND and DipHE courses in the UK by age and relevant English population from 1994 to 1998 are given in the table. Final applicant figures are shown for 1994 to 1997 together with the latest available, as at 16 May, in the current application cycle for 1998 entry, compared with corresponding figures as at 17 May 1997. The latest figures show that applications from young people so far this year are 1.6 per cent. higher than at the same stage last year. Even when population movements are taken into account the rate of applications is similar to last year. Furthermore, while mature applicant members are down, demographic factors have affected these. Another factor may be the strong labour market.

English domiciled UCAS applicants to full time first degree, HND and DipHE courses in UK by age and relevant English population 1994-1998

Age group/yearApplicantsPopulation(33)Proportion (%)(34)
Age under 21
1994222,7391,751,83912.7
1995222,7641,689,18513.2
1996223,9891,654,31113.5
1997246,7161,693,59014.6
1997(35)232,6811,693,59013.7
1998(35)236,3021,776,52213.3
Age 21 to 24
199435,0052,822,0611.2
199535,1212,717,8681.3
199631,6172,583,8131.2
199734,6152,460,9021.4
1997(35)26,1042,460,9021.1
1998(35)23,0962,354,3871.0
Age 25 and over
199446,89211,231,6960.4
199548,09811,369,7560.4
199644,85811,506,6300.4
199748,08211,568,9860.4
1997(35)35,83011,568,9860.3
1998(35)30,24111,562,8750.3

(33) The English population cohorts used are aged 18 to 20, 21 to 24, 25 to 39 and are mid-year estimates. The ages of UCAS applicants are as at 30 September in year of entry

(34) These give the proportion of the age group shown who applied in the given year. Because some of the age group may apply in later years, the proportions do not indicate the full take up of higher education over time by these age groups

(35) The latest available figures for 1998 entry are as at 16 May and comparable figures for 1997 are given as well as final totals of applicants for that year. Final applicant figures are given for earlier years


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