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Student Loans

Mr. Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what method of auditing applies to the administration of student loans. [19810]

Margaret Hodge: Student loans are paid and administered by the Student Loans Company (SLC). The SLC is a Non-Departmental Public Body. It is also a private limited company, and so subject to external audit. The SLC's external auditors are KPMG. The SLC publishes audited accounts each year in its Annual Report. In addition, as an NDPB, the SLC is required to have an internal audit function which meets the Government Internal Audit Standard (GIAS). The SLC has an audit committee which is chaired by one of its non-executive directors.

Copies of the SLC's Annual Report and Accounts are placed in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament and are sent to Companies House.

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Staff Turnover

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) head teachers and (b) university lecturers have left the profession in each of the past five years. [19645]

Margaret Hodge: The available data are given in the following tables.

Head teachers leaving(32) the maintained school sector in England

Heads leaving in year prior to March: Number

(32) The figures exclude head teachers who remain in the maintained sector but who step down to a lower grade.

(33) The effect of the change in the Teachers' Pension Scheme as from 31 August 1997 was that many more teachers (including heads) took early retirement in 1997 than in previous years. In the year prior to March 1999, there was a decrease in the number of heads retiring, and an increase in the number remaining in the sector but stepping down to a lower grade.

Full-time, wholly institutionally financed academic staff (34) leaving UK higher education institutions(35)

Academic yearLeavers

(34) Includes staff whose primary employment function is teaching or teaching/research. Staff whose primary function is research are not included.

(35) Staff who moved to other HE institutions, either in the UK or overseas, have not been classed as leavers and are therefore excluded from the table.

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Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the annual staff turnover has been in Further Education colleges in the last five academic years. [20104]

John Healey: The Department does not collect information about the annual rates of staff turnover in the further education sector.

A survey carried out in 2001 on behalf of the Association of Colleges and further education unions, and partly funded by the Department, found that, in 1999–2000, the rate of staff turnover was 10 per cent. for lecturers and managers and 14 per cent. for support staff. We are not aware any comparative figures for earlier years.

University Resources

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what information she has collected on growth in research income for universities in (a) the sciences and (b) the arts over the last five years; and if she will publish the figures for such growth, broken down by department. [19458]

Margaret Hodge: The information requested is laid out in the following table. These figures represent total research income from HEFCE and external sources over five years.

Time series of total research income(36)
Data are for England only

1995–961996–971997–981998–991999–2000Change in income(37)
Subject group(£ million)(£ million)(£ million)(£ million)(£ million)(Percentage)
Clinical medicine463.2501.0521.8562.7603.630.3
Subjects allied to medicine130.4130.6148.1165.0181.239.0
Total sciences1,551.41,613.91,721.31,866.71,977.327.5
Social sciences206.2212.1224.8245.9262.727.4
Total arts376.4386.1407.6453.7482.228.1

(36) External grants and HEFCE funding

(37) 1995–96 to 1999–2000


HESA Finance Statistics Returns and planned HEFCE research funding allocations as announced in recurrent grant circulars or as subsequently amended.

Tuition Fees

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the total annual public funding is for academic institutions which charge student tuition fees. [19720]

Margaret Hodge: The planned annual public funding for Further and Higher Education in England in 2001–02 is £4,029 million and £5,826 1 million respectively. However the Further Education figure is included within the overall budget for the LSC and it will be for the LSC to decide how to allocate their budget.

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Portable Buildings

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the cost of implementing Statutory Instrument 2718 and the guidance notice relating to portable buildings. [19898]

John Healey [holding answer 30 November 2001]: Statutory Instrument 2718 is The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2001. This order amends the planning guidelines relating to telecommunications masts, and has no relevance to portable buildings. There has thus been no assessment of the cost of implementing this Statutory Instrument.

However, the hon. Member did raise the issue of portable buildings in the debate in the Second Standing Committee on Delegated Legislation on Wednesday 21 November 2001 which considered the Prayer against both Statutory Instrument 2718 and Statutory Instrument 3335, The Building (Amendment) Regulations 2001. The Approved Document to Part L2 of the Building Regulations, which Statutory Instrument 3335 amended, gives guidance on how portable buildings may meet the requirements of Part L2 of the Regulations under the heading "Buildings constructed from sub-assemblies".

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There is nothing in the guidance in the Approved Document that indicates that portable buildings will have to be disposed of after five years. It indicates that there are no restrictions at all on portable buildings that are moved from one place to another on the same site. With regard to buildings moved from one site to another the guidance is that a building constructed from external fabric sub-assemblies obtained from other premises or from a stock manufactured before 31 December 2001, would normally be considered to meet the requirement if the fabric thermal resistance or the prospective annual energy use will be no worse than the relevant performance standards given in the 1995 edition of Approved Document L.

Further Education Colleges

Mr. Chidgey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what core funding was awarded each year to further education colleges in England from 1995–96, adjusted for inflation; [20692]

Margaret Hodge [holding answer 4 December 2001]: Funding allocated to further education colleges in England from 1995–96 adjusted for inflation is as follows.

Further education funding (2001–02 prices)
£ million

1995–96 Outturn1996–97 Outturn1997–98 Outturn1998–99 Outturn1999–2000 Outturn2000–01 Original plans2001–02 Planned
Total FE funding cash3,000.53,130.73,131.43,101.63299.83,502.14,028.5
of which:
FE core participation funding3,000.53,130.73,131.43,101.63216.43,323.13,609.5
additional capital grant0.
FE Standards Fund0.
FE Teachers' Pay Initiative0.
Other additional grants0.
Total FE funding 2001–02 prices3,506.53,546.73,441.33,316.03,443.73,589.74,028.5
of which:
FE core participation funding3,506.53,546.73,441.33,316.03,356.73,406.23,609.5
additional capital grant0.
FE Standards Fund0.
FE Teachers' Pay Initiative0.
Other additional grants0.


1. FEFC/LSC administration funding and FE student support funding excluded from all figures.

2. Additional employer contributions excluded (£35 million in 1999–2000 and £60 million in each 2000–01 and 2001–02.

3. Figures up to 2000–01 based on cash resources made available to the FEFC by the Department.

4. Figure for 2001–02 based on planned FE funding included in the Learning and Skills Council resources. Final decision on levels of funding are for the LSC to take.

Mr. Chidgey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent assessment he has made of the impact of house prices on the recruitment and retention of further education college staff in the south-east of England. [20742]

John Healey [holding answer 4 December 2001]: Turnover of staff in the further education (FE) sector in the south-east of England averages 11 per cent. for lecturers and 17 per cent. for support staff. Recruitment and retention difficulties arise from competition from other institutions and the wider economy.

We recognise that staff in the further education sector need to be able to find affordable homes within a reasonable distance from their work place. The average house price in the south-east of England is £161,748 compared with £124,379 for England as a whole. By 2003–04 capital investment in housing will have risen to more than £4 billion compared with planned spending of £1.5 billion in 1997–98. The Government plan to provide 100,000 new or improved homes for low cost renting or ownership over the next three years and to review the planning guidance to local authorities in order to help them to negotiate more affordable housing. Eligibility for loans or cash grants will be dependent on local arrangements.

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We have also introduced a number of initiatives aimed at tackling recruitment and retention difficulties in the FE sector: the Teaching Pay Initiative, more than £300 million over the next three years, to reward high calibre teaching staff and create a proper career structure for teaching in the FE sector; and additionally, pilot initiatives such as Golden Hellos, student loan write-offs and training bursaries will all attract new staff to the profession.

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