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Mr. Wicks [holding answer 2 November 2000]: In England, people aged 19 and over can open an Individual Learning Account and benefit from the incentives. There is no upper age limit for account holding. To hold an Individual Learning Account people must be settled in the UK under the Immigration Act 1971, or be European Economic Area nationals working in the UK, or have the right to remain in the UK. Account holders must be resident in England or, if resident outside of England, be ordinarily resident in England (i.e. living abroad temporarily). The only exception to this is for UK armed forces personnel, who qualify for an Individual Learning Account while serving abroad.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on the discount arrangements for students who wish to pursue courses of study lasting (a) one, (b) two, (c) three and (d) more than three years. 
Mr. Wicks [holding answer 2 November 2000]: Individual Learning Account incentives are made available to individuals on a rolling year basis. For new account holders their account holding year starts when they first book learning using their account. Under current arrangements the first 1 million account holders to book eligible learning can benefit from a £150 contribution towards their course costs, providing they contribute at least £25 themselves. In second and subsequent years account holders can get a 20 per cent. discount on a wide range of learning up to a maximum of £100 in each year.
Account holders can also claim an 80 per cent. discount on a limited number of basic IT and maths courses up to a maximum of £200 in each year. The most anyone can claim in any one year is £200. Limits on how much individuals can claim through the incentives in their account holding year ensure that as many individuals as possible benefit from Individual Learning Accounts. If the course costs are split across more than one academic year, account holders will be able to use each annual entitlement to help pay for the learning costs.
Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what assessment he has made of internet-based teaching programmes that can develop literacy and numeracy for post-16 year olds in education. 
Mr. Wicks: Improving adult literacy and numeracy skills is a priority for this Government. We have introduced a number of relevant measures and have already announced our intention to allocate £150 million additional expenditure over the period 2001-02 to 2003-04, and will shortly be publishing our national strategy.
The University for Industry in conjunction with my Department and the Institute of Education in London are currently undertaking research to examine the effectiveness and appropriateness of ICT based learning
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Mr. Blunkett: The Government are committed to securing comprehensive civil rights for disabled people. That commitment will be underpinned by a significant investment over the next three years until 2003-04. Over the period 2001-02 to 2003-04 the Government will be investing £220 million through the Schools Access Initiative in England to help improve the accessibility of the school building stock. The spending will be £50 million in 2001-02, rising to £70 million in 2002-03 and £100 million in 2003-04. In addition, over the period 2002-03 to 2003-04, £172 million will be made available to the post-16 sector (Further Education, Higher Education, Adult Education and the Youth Service) to improve accessibility for disabled students and adult learners in England. Provision in Wales and Scotland is a matter for the National Assembly for Wales and the Scottish Executive respectively.
I can confirm that the Special Educational Needs and Disability Bill will be introduced in Parliament early in the next Session, although it has not proved possible to publish a draft Bill this Session.
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on the progress of the first year of special regional projects on special educational needs; and what plans he has to draw their annual reports to public attention. 
Jacqui Smith: The network of eleven SEN regional co-ordination projects have been successfully established and cover the whole of England. A team from the University of Manchester has, since April, been evaluating the projects' work. Their Initial Impressions report is being published this week. The report reveals that there is an enthusiasm for the projects, an optimism that the structures already set up, if maintained and developed, have the potential "to make a difference" to the educational experiences of children and young people with SEN. I am today placing a copy of the published report in the Library of both Houses. Copies are also being made available to everyone involved in the projects and it can also be viewed or downloaded from my Department's SEN Website.
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what response he has made to the RADAR report on awareness of the Access to Work Scheme among small employers; and what plans he has to increase (a) their awareness and take-up of the Scheme and (b) the resources available for it. 
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As the Employment Service is an Executive Agency, the Secretary of State has asked Leigh Lewis to reply to your question concerning the RADAR report on awareness of the Access to Work scheme among small employers and what plans there are to increase their awareness and take-up of the scheme and the resources available for it. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to Mr Lewis as Chief Executive of the Agency. I am replying on Mr Lewis' behalf.
I have read the RADAR report and was encouraged to see that 74% of small business respondents to the Jobs Worth Survey reported a relatively high awareness of disability issues. However, I recognise that these respondents also indicated a low level of awareness of the Disability Service, and particularly Access to Work.
Employment Service invest around £300,000 each year in marketing and publicising its disability services and programmes, including Access to Work, through a variety of media such as external advertising, exhibitions, marketing events and video. A major process review of Access to Work is currently underway to improve the responsiveness of the programme to disabled people and their employers. A new Employment Service Website is due for launch during November and will contain information on all programmes and services provided to disabled people and their employers, including information for individuals and employers on Access to Work.
In 1999-2000, the Employment Service spent £24.39 million on providing Access to Work support to disabled people in paid employment. During 2000-2001, the Employment Service has £25.6 million to spend on providing Access to Work support.
I hope this is helpful.
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on the cost and coverage of vocational residential training for disabled people and its effectiveness in meeting demand for such training. 
Ms Hodge: Residential Work Based Learning for Adults offers nationally around 1,200 places for disabled people each year at 13 specialist providers, at a cost of £14.7 million. They provide around 118 courses across a broad range of occupational sectors. In 1999-2000, 46 per cent. of those completing their training entered employment within six months of the end of their course. The type, number and content of the training programmes are regularly reviewed both in the light of demand from applicants and the needs of the labour market. An evaluation of the effectiveness of residential training provision is under way. The results are expected to be published at the end of the year.
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what are the latest available figures for the provision of child care places in rural areas in England; and what the figures were for each year since 1995. 
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