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Universities (Early Leavers)

Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many 18 to 25-year-olds left university without finishing their courses in the last three years. [150651]

Mr. Wicks: The latest "Performance Indicators in Higher Education", published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, give an overall non- completion rate for students starting full-time first degree courses in the UK in 1997-98 of 17 per cent., a figure which has stayed roughly constant since 1991-92. It is not possible to disaggregate the relevant data by age.

Disability Discrimination Act

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment when he will next review his policy in respect of the employer threshold provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. [150820]

Ms Hodge: The Disability Rights Task Force has made recommendations about reducing and removing the threshold below which small employers are exempted from Part II of the Disability Discrimination Act. I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 20 November 2000, Official Report, column 39W. I confirm that we will be responding shortly to the Task Force's recommendations.

Camden LEA

Ms Glenda Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will list his funding allocations to Camden Local Education Authority for each year since May 1997. [150961]

Ms Estelle Morris: I refer my hon. Friend to the letter of 16 February from my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, which sets out the increases in funding that the Government have made available to her local education authority since 1996-97, and the increased funding for 2001-02. My right hon. Friend has written in similar terms to all hon. Members. Between 1997-98 and 2000-01 funding per pupil in Camden has increased by £470 in real terms. Under the last Government funding per pupil in Camden fell by £170 in real terms between 1995-96 and 1997-98.

Ministerial Visits

Sir Brian Mawhinney: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will list the Ministers

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in his Department who visited any of the constituencies which are in the Peterborough Unitary Authority area between 1 January 2000 and 14 February 2001, indicating in each case (a) the date of the visit, (b) the constituencies included in the visit and (c) if the local hon. Member met the Minister. [151023]

Mr. Wills: Two Ministers from the Department have visited constituencies in the Peterborough unitary authority between 1 January 2000 and 14 February 2001. My right hon. Friend the Minister for Employment, Welfare to Work and Equal Opportunities visited North-West Cambridgeshire on 16 November 2000; she did not meet the local Member. My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Employment and Equal Opportunities visited the constituencies of Peterborough and North-West Cambridgeshire on 9 February 2001 and met my hon. Friend the Member for Peterborough (Mrs. Brinton).

In accordance with departmental guidance, hon. Members are informed, in advance, of all ministerial visits to their constituencies.

Centres of Vocational Excellence

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on progress in the establishment of centres of vocational excellence in further education. [151160]

Mr. Wicks: On 21 November 2000 my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced Centres of Vocational Excellence at the Association of Colleges annual conference. Centres of Vocational Excellence are central to our vision of modern further education sector in which colleges are more sharply focused on meeting the skills needs of employers at local and sectoral levels. By 2005, we want half of all general further education colleges to have a Centre of Vocational Excellence. We are allocating £100 million in support of the centres.

We will consult employers, general FE colleges and other key partners in education and employment in March to develop the operational detail of the centres. We plan to have the first pathfinder Centres of Vocational Excellence up and running in the autumn with most centres opening for business from April 2002 onwards.

School Funding

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what estimate he has made of the number of schools with sixth forms which (a) have not received funding for the revised sixth form curriculum in the current financial year and (b) will not receive funding for the next financial year. [151241]

Ms Estelle Morris: £35 million was included in Education Standard Spending for 2000-01 and a further £60 million was included for 2001-02. This funding is unhypothecated: it is for local education authorities to decide, in consultation with their schools, how much should be allocated to each of their schools for the Qualifying for Success reforms of the sixth form curriculum. Information on this is not collected centrally. All secondary schools received £40,000, £50,000 or £60,000 in direct grants in 2000-01, and will receive £50,000, £60,000 or £70,000 in 2001-02.

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Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) what estimate he has made of the net change in revenue funding for each former grant maintained school for each of the last three academic years and for the next academic year; [151242]

Ms Estelle Morris: No such estimates can be made on the basis of the information available to the Department. Nationally, however, funding per pupil has increased by over £300 in real terms under the present Government, and it will increase by a further £150 per pupil for 2001-02. Under the last Government, funding per pupil fell by £60 in real terms between 1994-95 and 1997-98. There will be further increases in funding following the year 2000 Spending Review, with a further £370 per pupil over the three-year period, taking the total increase to nearly £700 between 1997-98 and 2003-04.

Former grant maintained schools are entitled to minimum levels of funding per pupil, derived from the amounts of annual maintenance grant per pupil which they received in 1998-99, with an adjustment for inflation. They have further benefited from the introduction of direct grants to schools in 2000-01: a typical primary school receives £9,000 and a typical secondary school £40,000, rising in 2001-02 to £20,000 and £60,000 respectively.

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what estimate he has made of the number of local education authorities which will be unable to access standards fund money as a result of an inability to supply match funding. [151244]

Ms Estelle Morris: We expect over 99 per cent. of the match funded allocations to be taken up. However, final information is not yet available.

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will indicate for each local education authority the dates on which (a) profit-related pay funds were paid to the local education authority by his Department and (b) those funds were passed on by the local education authority to schools. [151246]

Ms Estelle Morris: There are no profit-related pay funds. However, the Government are providing special grant to cover the additional salary costs of classroom teachers being paid on point 1 of the upper pay scale having crossed the performance threshold. Under Special Grant Report (No. 70), local education authorities were paid monthly instalments of grant on 6 December 2000, 12 January 2001 and 14 February 2001. The December instalment represented four months of grant backdated to September 2000.

Further instalments of grant will be made under Special Grant Report (No. 74) which requires that we pay local education authorities by the 15th of each month.

We do not hold data centrally of when local education authorities pass these funds on to schools. We have given clear guidance that local education authorities should adjust teachers' salaries or, where the authority is not

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the payroll provider, schools' budgets as soon as administratively possible following receipt of the results of assessments in individual schools.

Schools Green Paper

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if graduate teachers in the qualifying subjects detailed in the recent schools Green Paper will have their tutorial fees reimbursed if they choose to teach in Scotland or Northern Ireland. [151270]

Ms Estelle Morris: The recently published Green Paper "Schools: Building on Success" in which this scheme is proposed relates to England only. However, the eligibility criteria for the repayment of student loans are still being worked up in detail. We have indicated that the scheme will apply in Wales, and DfEE officials are currently discussing the proposals with colleagues in Scotland and Northern Ireland. A consultation document outlining how the scheme might work in detail will be published in due course.

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