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Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many employees in her Department who regularly use computers have taken up the provision of a free eye test; and how this service is advertised to (a) current and (b) new staff. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992, effective January 1993, require employers to provide and pay for, upon request from an employee, an eye and eyesight test. There is a requirement for further tests at regular intervals; the optometrist doing the first test can recommend when the next one should be. In addition, employers must pay the cost of special spectacles required where normal ones cannot be used.
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by her proposals for new loan, grant and fees rates for 200203 is; and if she will set out the allowances against gross parental income she proposes to allow in 200203, including those for other dependent children, which determine the residual income for assessment of loans and fees. 
Margaret Hodge: The residual income threshold above which parents are assessed for a contribution towards higher education student tuition fees and loans is raised annually in line with the latest forecast change in the Retail Prices Index. In 200203, parents will not be expected to contribute towards their children's fees or living costs support if their residual income is below £20,480. If their residual income is higher than £20,480, they will be expected to make a contribution towards their children's fees, rising with every pound of residual income. The maximum level of contribution towards tuition fees will be £1,100, which is broadly 25 per cent. of full tuition costs. If their residual income is higher than £30,502, parents will be expected to contribute towards their children's living costs support as well as their fees.
If the parent is also a student and is eligible for support: £950
If the parent being assessed is incapacitated: £1,850
If the parent has a cohabiting spouse or cohabiting partner who is incapacitated and is financially dependent upon the assessed parent: £1,850.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children have been excluded from school in the constituency of Portsmouth, South in each year since 1997; and if she will make a statement. 
|Number of permanent exclusions||48||26||19||9|
|Percentage of school population(14)||0.40||0.22||0.15||0.07|
|Number of permanent exclusions||12,668||12,298||10,438||8,323|
|Percentage of school population(14)||0.17||0.16||0.14||0.11|
(14) Number of permanent exclusions expressed as a percentage of the number (headcount) of full and part-time pupils of all ages (excluding dually registered pupils in special schools) in January each year.
Annual Schools Census
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children have been statemented as having special needs in the constituency of Portsmouth, South in each year since 1997; and if she will make a statement. 
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|Pupils with statements of SEN||207||216||225||225||229|
|Percentage of pupils with statements||1.66||1.74||1.83||1.87||1.93|
(15) Includes maintained primary and secondary schools and all maintained special schools
Annual Schools' Census
John Healey: Employers wanting to form a Sector Skills Council (SSC) will submit an expression of interest to the Sector Skills Development Agency (SSDA). A reply will be made normally within six weeks. Expressions of interest accepted by the SSDA will lead to a development period of up to six months. At the end of this period a firm proposal to form an SSC will be submitted for consideration by the SSDA. There is no set time limit for the consideration of a proposal. If the proposal is acceptable the SSDA will make a positive recommendation to the Secretary of State for Education and Skills and the responsible Ministers in the devolved Administrations for the award of a SSC license.
John Healey: A deadline for the submission of an expression of interest to form a Sector Skills Council has not been set. It is important that a Council has influential employer leadership and broad support from its sector. The Sector Skills Development Agency therefore will consider an expression of interest from employers when they have committed to deliver action to drive up skills and productivity performance in a sector.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students are taking higher education courses in further education colleges (a) in total and (b) as a proportion of the overall total number of higher education students. 
Margaret Hodge [holding answer 30 January 2002]: The latest available figures for the 200001 academic year show that there were 218,200 students on HE courses in FE colleges, which represents 10.8 per cent. of the total number of HE students in the UK.
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Margaret Hodge: Information on entrants to higher and further education courses in English institutions is not available for all the years requested. The available information on total student numbers is shown in the table.
|Academic year||Higher education(16)||Further education(17)|
(16) Census count as at December 31 in years up to 199394, and as at December 1 in subsequent years. Includes HE students in FE colleges and the Open University.
(17) Includes FE students in HE institutions in all years, and sixth form colleges as from 199394. Due to a change in data collection, the figures for FE sector colleges for the years 199495 to 200001 are not comparable with those for earlier years; as from 199495 the figures are based on a whole year count of students, whereas in previous years they a based on a snapshot count at November 1. As from 199495, includes funded and non-funded students.
(18) Provisional. The figures for FE sector colleges are estimated.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will state for each local education authority the size of special grant paid where funding changes as a result of the transfer of functions to learning and skills councils of responsibility for post-16 education occurred. 
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