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Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what percentage of full time students remained in education in the Romsey constituency after the age of (a) 16 and (b) 18 years in the last year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Wicks [holding answer 28 March 2001]: At the heart of our drive to improve participation and attainment is the new Connexions Service which we will be phasing in from April this year. The service will provide information, advice, support and access to personal development opportunities for all 13-19 year olds, whatever their needs and circumstances, to keep them learning. Latest figures show that the numbers of 16 to 18-year-olds not in education, employment or training in England fell by 28,000 from 185,000 in 1998 to 157,000 in 1999.
Data on the percentage of students continuing in post-compulsory education at age 16 are not calculated for areas smaller than LEAs, and participation rates by LEA are only available for 16 and 17-year-olds.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many vacancies for teachers there were in the Romsey constituency in (a) 1992, (b) 1997 and (c) 2001 at (i) Key Stage 1, (ii) Key Stage 2 and (iii) Key Stage 3. 
Ms Estelle Morris [holding answer 28 March 2001]: The information requested is not held centrally. The number of vacancies in January each year and the vacancy rate for the local authorities Hampshire and Southampton, in which the constituency of Romsey lies, are given in the table.
|Number of vacancies||Vacancy rate (Percentage)|
The number of regular teachers (excluding short-term supply) in the maintained schools sector in England at January 2000 was 404,600, the highest for 10 years and 6,900 higher than January 1998.
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From April 2001 new graduate recruits can expect to earn £17,000 a year (up 6 per cent. from the previous year) and starting salaries in Inner London will rise to £20,000 (up 9 per cent. from the previous year).
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if proposals for write-off of student loans for student teachers initiated by his Department are planned to extend to all shortage subjects. 
Ms Estelle Morris [holding answer 28 March 2001]: Detailed proposals for the write-off of student loans are still being developed by my Department. Current plans are that they will not extend beyond trainee teachers in shortage subjects--for secondary schools, these are Maths, Science, Technology, Modern Languages and English.
Mr. Wicks [holding answer 28 March 2001]: In England and Wales students eligible for support under the Education (Mandatory Awards) Regulations or the Education (Student Support) Regulations were assessed for contribution on the basis of the income of, for dependent students, themselves and/or their parents and, for independent students, themselves and/or their spouse.
|Academic years||Proportion of eligible students with Independent Status(28)|
|Mandatory Awards Scheme students(29)||18|
|Student Support Scheme students(30)||19|
(28) Independent students are assessed for a contribution towards support based on their own income and that of their spouse. A student is regarded as independent if he/she is aged 25 or over on the first day of the academic year for which they are applying; if both parents have died; if he/she has been self-supporting from earnings for 3 years; or if he/she is irreconcilably estranged from his/her parents.
(29) Students who entered higher education up to 1997-98 and those who entered in 1998-99 to whom existing arrangements applied.
(30) Students starting their course in 1998-99 under the new arrangements. Data include an estimated 600 students who, because they did not expect to receive a contribution to their fees from public funds, did not make an application to their authority.
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Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what guidance he issues in respect of participation in sport in further education colleges and sixth forms in addition to the academic timetable. 
Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many day places were available for (a) children with emotional and behavioural difficulties and (b) autistic children in the United Kingdom (i) from 1990 to 2000 and (ii) in 2000-01. 
Jacqui Smith: Information is not collected on the available places for children with particular categories of special educational needs. This would be impracticable because the majority of these children are educated in mainstream schools which respond to the unique needs of each of their pupils. Special schools will often also commonly include a diverse range of pupils.
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if grammar schools are permitted to object to appeal panels which consider issues other than those defined by the school's admission policy; and if appeal panels are able to consider levels of prior and projected academic attainment of pupils. 
Ms Estelle Morris [holding answer 29 March 2001]: Appeal panels should consider whatever evidence is presented to them by appellants in support of their case. They may also request from the admission authority whatever additional information they themselves consider necessary to aid them in reaching their decision. Although there are statutory matters that must be taken into account by the appeal panel, such as the school's admission criteria, they may consider that other factors are also relevant to an individual case; this is for them to decide. The decisions of appeal panels must be complied with by all parties to the appeal; they can be challenged only through the courts. Guidance on appeal panel procedures is given in our Code of Practice on School Admission Appeals, to which all involved in the admissions process must have regard.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what the cost is of recruitment, training and management of the Threshold Assessment; and what the cost is of delivery of the assessment as a service to schools. 
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than in following years because of the large number. We expect the costs to come down significantly in future years.
In the first 18 months of operation we expect the total contract costs to be in the range of £22 million to £24 million. Around half of this relates to adviser provision and half to assessors, and includes start-up and administration costs.
The DfEE also holds a contract with Centre for British Teachers for the training and accreditation of threshold assessors, external advisers and performance management consultants; and the training of headteachers in the introduction of the threshold and new performance management arrangements.
The value of the contract in each year of operation is subject to the volume and quality of the training provided. Costs for the first round of training will be significantly higher, as they include set up costs and cover the vast majority of training required to introduce the new arrangements. Again, we expect costs to come down in future years.
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