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Carers' Benefits

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he will lay the orders implementing changes in carers' benefits. [13903]

Maria Eagle: We propose to make the changes by Regulatory Reform Order, to be introduced in the House as soon as possible.

Pension Funds

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if his Department will hold discussions with the Law Commission on a review to clarify the ownership and distribution of pension fund surpluses. [14349]

Mr. McCartney: Officials have been exploring the matter with the Law Commission.

Housing Benefit

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which Scottish local authorities had received a report from the Benefit Fraud Inspectorate on the administration of housing benefit by 8 November. [14348]

Malcolm Wicks: Benefit Fraud Inspectorate reports have been published 1 on the Scottish local authorities as listed:

Copies of the reports can be found in the Library.


Student Funding

Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the projected funding levels are per full-time student in (a) sixth forms and (b) further education colleges for each of the next two years. [6683]

John Healey: The latest estimate of the average delegated funding per sixth form student in schools is for 2000–01 and is £3,230. On this basis, projected average funding for 2001–02 is £3,330, rising to £3,430 in 2002–03. The total funding per full-time equivalent student in FE sector colleges in 2000–01 allocated by this Department is £3,420 rising to £3,660 in 2001–02, and £3,760 in 2002–03. However, these figures are not directly comparable, as the FE unit funding figures include total public funding allocated for further education, while the schools' figures are based only on

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delegated funds and exclude other funding which the school receives centrally from LEAs which impact on post-16 students.

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much her Department has spent per student in higher education in each year since 1990, excluding contributions from outside the public sector. [11127]

Margaret Hodge: The available data for England are shown in the table.

Publicly planned funding for higher education institutions in England(15)

YearFunding per FTE student(16)

(15) Unit funding is based on HEFCE/TTA recurrent grant and plus tuition fees, divided by the number of full time equivalent students. It excludes capital, funding for widening access and all student support

(16) Figures are rounded to nearest £10

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what is the timetable for an announcement on the new proposals for higher education funding; if representatives of the National Union of Students are being consulted under the review; and whether the present system of tuition fees will be abolished. [13000]

Margaret Hodge: We need to ensure that we have an appropriate balance between the contribution made by students, their families and the state to support our ambitions to widen access and participation in higher education. A range of policy options is being considered and no decisions have been taken.

We plan to consult widely on any proposals for change and would expect the National Union of Students to contribute. No decisions have been taken yet on the timing of an announcement.

Individual Learning Accounts

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many individual learning accounts have been opened (a) in total and (b) in each region and nation of the United Kingdom, (i) in absolute numbers and (ii) per capita of the population of working age. [11267]

John Healey: As at 31 October, an overall 2,529,609 people in England had opened an Individual Learning Account through the national framework, launched in September 2000 1 .

The breakdown supplied of membership by region in the table excludes 86,355 cases for which postcode details are not held.

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AreaNumber of Individual Learning Accounts opened to 28 October 2001Per capita of working age population(18) Per cent.
East Midlands208,0648.0
East of England202,1246.0
North East92,1036.0
North West262,0947.0
South East346,9297.0
South West234,0558.0
West Midlands438,33113.0
Yorkshire and the Humber191,6436.0

(17) Prior to the national ILA framework, 202,654 members applied via TECs. Of these, 79,901 transferred their membership to the national framework and are therefore included in the overall total; 122,753 did not.

(18) Source—Labour Force Survey, Summer 2001.

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, pursuant to her answer of 30 October 2001, Official Report, column 620W, on Individual Learning Accounts, on what date her Department first received a complaint about the operation of the individual learning account scheme; and if she will provide a monthly breakdown of all subsequent complaints received to date. [12290]

John Healey: The Individual Learning Account (ILA) Centre received five complaints in September 2000. Between 4 September 2000 and 30 September 2001 the ILA Centre received a total of 6,053 complaints. At the end of October, taking account of complaints received direct by the Department, the total number of complaints was 8,448 against a backdrop of 2,529,609 Individual Learning Accounts opened. Around a quarter (2,314) of these related to learning providers not following the rules of the programme correctly. It is important to note that the complaints recorded are wide ranging and include issues such as the ending of the £150 opening offer as well as service provision and providers. The October figure relates to those received at the ILA Centre and by the Department. The table provides a breakdown of this figure by month and cumulatively.

MonthAccounts opened (cumulative)Complaints received (cumulative)Percentage complaints (cumulative)Percentage complaints (in-month)
September 2000109,5645
October 2000214,8803650.160.35
November 2000292,6417440.250.49
December 2000347,1759300.260.34
January 2001446,7241,0660.230.14
February 2001556,9281,3200.230.23
March 2001661,5581,4920.220.16
April 2001781,5721,7480.220.21
May 2001988,5392,0190.200.13
June 20011,276,2752,3650.180.12
July 20011,578,0143,0960.190.24
August 20011,941,4684,3040.220.33
September 20012,386,2386,0530.250.39
October 20012,529,6098,4480.331.67

The Department set up a Compliance Unit on 25 September, and figures provided for October, include complaints received by the Unit as well as more general complaints received by the ILA Centre. Also in October

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figures are 754 letters and recorded telephone complaints the Department received directly since the programme began, and not previously included.

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, pursuant to her answer of 30 October 2001, Official Report, column 619W, on Individual Learning Accounts, what evaluation she has made of the system she introduced to monitor the operation of the individual learning account scheme. [12287]

John Healey [holding answer 2 November 2001]: We published our first stage evaluation of the Individual Learning Account programme this September. In addition, we recently completed a follow-up survey which we expect to publish by the end of December.

Departmental Promotions

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much her Department spent on information literature, advertising and campaign material in the financial years (a) 1995–96, (b) 1996–97, (c) 1997–98, (d) 1998–99, (e) 1999–2000 and (f) 2000–01; and if she will make a statement. [12273]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: For each of the years requested, the Department's spend on advertising and on publications is as follows:

£ million

Advertising spendPublication spend
Employment Department7.5n/a
Department for Education0.3n/a

n/a = not available

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