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Mr. Rendel: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, pursuant to her answer of 22 October 2001, Official Report, column 44W, on university staff, how many of the academic staff reported to have left (a) University of Oxford and (b) University of Sussex were re-engaged by their universities after 31 March (i) for the academic year until 30 September and (ii) for a longer period. 
The average debt of a borrower with a mortgage style student loan entering repayment at the start of financial years 199798, 199899 and 19992000, the latest year for which data are available, was £2,170, £2,840 and £3,210 respectively.
The first cohort of students on a three-year course who entered higher education under the new student support arrangements is due to start repayment in April 2002. The average income contingent loan account for borrowers entering repayment in that year is estimated to be some £6,200. These borrowers include those who have completed three years of study from the 199899 academic year as well as those from later cohorts on shorter courses or who have left higher education early.
26 Nov 2001 : Column: 605W
Student loans are subsidised by the Government so that in real terms students repay exactly what they borrow. The real interest rate is 0 per cent. This means that in cash terms students are charged interest annually at the rate of inflation on the remaining balance of their loan.
Margaret Hodge: The estimated income to higher education institutions in England and Wales from tuition fees governed by the student support regulations, the mandatory award regulations and for those post-graduate students funded by the research councils is shown in table 1 and table 2. The data is only produced on a financial year basis.
|Public contributions to fees||517.0||498.2|
|Student contributions to fees(6)||302.5||350.1|
(6) The student contributions are net of an estimated 5 per cent. cost for collection and any default.
|Public contributions to fees||34.6||33.5|
|Student contributions to fees(7)||21.3||25.0|
(7) The student contributions are net of an estimated 5 per cent. cost for collection and any default.
Mr. Timms: My Department does not collect detailed information on the demand for school places. The Government believe that decisions concerning the supply of school places are best taken locallyby the main partners in the provision of education who have knowledge of local needs. Local education authorities have a duty to ensure that there are sufficient school places in their area. They must publish annually a School
26 Nov 2001 : Column: 606W
Organisation Plan setting out how they plan to deal with any surplus or deficit of places over a five year rolling period.
Mr. Timms: The Department collects statistics on teacher vacancies annually. We do not collect data specifically for east Devon but in January this year the vacancy rate in Devon was 1.1 per cent. compared with a rate of 1.3 per cent. in England as a whole.
Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on difference in performance at GCSE between state secondary schools (a) with and (b) without a sixth form in England and east Devon. 
|(a) Schools with sixth forms||52.3||56.7|
|(b) Schools without sixth forms||42.6||(8)|
(8) There are no schools without sixth forms in east Devon.
Mr. Flight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many train operating companies are operating without interruption insurance; and if public funds would be used to fund a captive insurer. 
Mr. Jamieson: The majority of train operating companies currently have no business interruption insurance cover. The Strategic Rail Authority is discussing with the rail industry the option of setting up of a captive insurer. No decision has been made regarding funding.
26 Nov 2001 : Column: 607W
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions on what date he sought legal advice on the price at which it would be necessary to compensate shareholders if Railtrack were re-nationalised. 
Mr. Jamieson: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Minister for Transport to the right hon. Member for Wokingham (Mr. Redwood) on 22 November 2001, Official Report, column 389W.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 16 November 2001, Official Report, column 898W, on Railtrack, what advice the agencies gave the Government about (a) what would be required and (b) the minimum time scale to secure an A/A2 rating. 
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 16 November 2001, Official Report, column 899W, on Railtrack, if he will place copies of the correspondence in the Library, as requested. 
Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he has made of the value on 5 October of Railtrack shares held by (a) local authorities as part of a general portfolio and (b) pension funds on behalf of local authority employees. 
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when press officers in his Department were first briefed about the possibility that Railtrack would be put into administration. 
Mr. Byers [holding answer 23 November 2001]: Details of internal discussions and advice are exempt from disclosure under section 2 of Part II of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what advice he received prior to 5 October on the status of the financial facilities held by Railtrack with the banks following the making of the administration order. 
26 Nov 2001 : Column: 608W
Peter Bradley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many and what proportion of Railtrack shares were owned by institutional investors (a) at privatisation and (b) on 1 October for each year following. 
Mr. Jamieson: The proportion of shares in Railtrack Group plc held by institutional investors at flotation on 20 May 1996 and for subsequent yearsas detailed in the Annual Report and Accountsis shown.
|20 May 1996||42|
|24 April 1997||66|
|5 May 1998||70|
|30 April 1999||77|
|5 May 2000||82|
|1 May 2001||83|
Peter Bradley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions on how many days following privatisation Railtrack shares were worth (a) more and (b) less than their opening price; and what the highest and lowest values were of a single Railtrack share between privatisation and 1 October. 
Mr. Jamieson: The closing share price for Railtrack Group plc was above the flotation price of 308p on every day between its flotation on 20 May 1996 and 4 June 2001 and also on 8 June 2001. The share price reached a peak of 1768p on 23 November 1998.
The closing share price for Railtrack Group plc was below the flotation price of 308p on the 5, 6, and 7 of June 2001 and on every day between 9 June 2001 and 1 October 2001. The lowest closing share price was 252p on 20 September 2001.
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