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10. Dr. Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what progress the Government have made towards their target of 50 per cent. of young people entering higher education. 
Margaret Hodge: We are making excellent progress towards meeting our ambitious but realistic target of participation in HE. The target is informed by our analysis of labour market needs over the next decade and by our determination to ensure opportunity for all throughout the education system.
Dr. Ladyman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the proportion of students from secondary modern schools who went on to higher education in each of the last three years. 
Margaret Hodge: Information on the number of pupils from secondary modern schools who go on to HE is not held centrally.
The available information, showing the previous type of educational institution of students accepted for entry to full-time undergraduate courses, is shown in the table. However, not all students who enter HE do so directly after they have left full-time education at 18; some spend a period in employment before returning to study, and others take a gap year to broaden their experience. Around a third of young people enter full-time higher education by the age of 20, including those who enter at ages 18, 19, and 20.
|Academic year of entry to higher education|
|17-year-olds in previous year studying in maintained schools(5)||131,700||132,500||137,100|
|18-year-olds accepted for entry from maintained schools(6),(7)||64,100||64,900||68,200|
|Percentage proceeding to HE from maintained schools||49||49||50|
|17-year-olds in previous year studying in independent schools(5)||36,000||35,000||35,200|
|18-year-olds accepted for entry from independent schools(6)||19,100||18,300||18,800|
|Percentage proceeding to HE from independent schools||53||52||53|
|17-year-olds in previous year studying in FE colleges(5)||183,700||183,100||184,900|
|18-year-olds accepted for entry from FE colleges(6)||37,700||38,100||40,800|
|Percentage proceeding to HE from FE colleges||21||21||22|
(5) Age as at August 31
(6) Age as at September 30
(7) Including city technology colleges and sixth form centres
12. Dr. Palmer: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will replace the boards responsible for setting examinations in schools by a single board. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: We have no plans to replace the current structure in England with a single board.
17. Mr. Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the operation of exam boards. 
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Mr. Ivan Lewis: Millions of examination papers are taken by students in England and Wales each year. It is a massive and complex task to set and manage this number of examsand a task that the awarding bodies generally perform to a high standard.
13. Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans she has to promote engineering as a career; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Government recognise the importance of engineering to the success of our economy.
To this end we have just launched a new science and engineering ambassadors programme as part of Science Year.
In addition, we have recently announced a new campaign to promote modern apprenticeships to young people and employers. Currently the engineering manufacturing sector has the largest number of young people undertaking advanced modern apprenticeship training.
14. Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the results of the recent inspections of further education colleges. 
Margaret Hodge: Of the 64 college inspections carried out to date under the new regime, results have been published for 29 colleges. It is early days and conclusions so far are tentative. There have been some good results but there is still some way to go to achieve consistent quality.
15. Kevin Brennan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what representations she has received from teaching unions about devolving teachers' pay and conditions to the National Assembly for Wales. 
Mr. Timms: My right hon. Friend has received no such representations.
27. Mrs. Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many teachers are expected to progress up the post-threshold pay spine this academic year. 
Mr. Timms: Progress on the upper pay scale is by performance points awarded by individual schools. Teachers on point one of the upper pay scale since September 2000 become eligible to move to point two from September 2002. The number moving to point two will be determined by the number of performance points schools decide to award.
28. Mr. Syms: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent research she has commissioned into the effect of performance-related pay on teachers' morale. 
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Mr. Timms: The Department's evaluation of the first round of performance threshold assessment included a MORI survey of teachers in a sample of schools. The results were summarised in the written evidence submitted by the Department to the School Teachers' Review Body in September. This is available on the DfES website:
http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/Teachers_Pay_EvidenceSTRB_2001 and http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/TeachersPay_STRB_Supplementary_Evidence.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will issue guidance to schools on the advancement of teachers on the upper pay scale. 
Mr. Timms: Progression on the upper pay scale is by performance points awarded by individual schools. Guidance on awarding such points was included in the Department's guidance on teachers' pay and conditions sent to all schools in September.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent meetings she has had with the National Association of Head Teachers to discuss performance-related pay. 
Mr. Timms: I refer the right hon. Member to the reply given earlier today to the hon. Member for Fareham (Mr. Hoban) and my hon. Friend the Member for Wrexham (Ian Lucas) by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, on 14 March 2002, Official Report, column 1003.
19. David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the cost in 200203 of continued funding of performance- related pay for teachers in the county of Leicestershire; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Timms: The cost of threshold pay will depend on the number of teachers in Leicestershire assessed as meeting the threshold standards, including applicants currently being assessed. The cost of performance pay points will depend on the number of points Leicestershire schools decide to award.
16. Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the system of maintenance support available for young people in further education. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: We are breaking down the financial barriers which prevent young people from succeeding in further education in a number of ways. We are piloting education maintenance allowances for young people in 56 local authority areas. We have increased the existing learner support funds from £6 million in 1997 to £51 million in 200102. And we are introducing the Connexions Card which will make a range of discounts and rewards available to young people who participate in learning.
18. Valerie Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what preparations are under way to develop foreign language teaching in primary schools. 
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Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Languages National Steering Group, chaired by my ministerial colleague Baroness Ashton, is developing a national strategy for languages which we plan to publish in the autumn. Our recently published pamphlet, "Language Learning", sets out our aspirations for language learning and teaching and invites comments from key stakeholders. One of those aspirations is to widen the opportunities for language learning in the primary sector.
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