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Special Educational Needs

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children per 1,000 in Nottinghamshire are issued with a statement of special educational needs; and what the figure is per 1,000 children in England. [55414]

Mr. Timms: The information requested is shown in the table.

Pupils with statements of special educational needs(5)— January 2001

Nottinghamshire LEA(6)
Total pupils123,770
Pupils with statements of SEN(7)1,340
Number of pupils per 1,000 with a statement of SEN10.8
Total pupils7,733,640
Pupils with statements of SEN(7)244,269
Number of pupils per 1,000 with a statement of SEN31.6

(5) Includes maintained primary and secondary schools and maintained and non-maintained special schools.

(6) Pupils attending schools within Nottinghamshire LEA.

(7) Estimates have been made at national level for January 2001 because the data for SEN are known to be incomplete. Figures given for Nottinghamshire LEA are as reported by schools in the Nottinghamshire LEA area.

Nursery Education

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children were benefiting from nursery vouchers in 1997. [54887]

Margaret Hodge: In April 1997, 576,176 four-year- olds received a free, part-time, early education voucher as a result of the Nursery Voucher scheme. However, this did not necessarily guarantee a place.

Since September 1998, local education authorities have had a statutory duty to secure a free, part-time, early education place for all four-year-olds.

Furthermore we have increased the number of free, part-time, early education places for three-year-olds from 34 per cent. in January 1997 to 66 per cent. in March 2002. So in 2001–02, 924,742 number of three and four-year-olds received a part-time, early education place.

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Warrington Collegiate Institute

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what discussions she has had with the Cheshire Learning and Skills Council on how its new funding formula will affect students with special needs at Warrington Collegiate Institute; and if she will make a statement. [56678]

Margaret Hodge [holding answer 16 May 2002]: None. Funding of further education (FE) provision is the responsibility of the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). Funding for learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities in mainstream FE provision consists of two elements: funding for the basic costs of the course, as for other students; and additional learning support tailored to meet the costs of activities to meet the individual's needs.

The LSC is introducing limited changes to its funding for basic course costs for 2002–03 which include greater emphasis on rewarding retention and achievement. While broadly cost neutral the changes are designed to reward those institutions that raise participation and achievement rates. I believe it is right that funding for retention and achievement for students with special needs in mainstream FE colleges should be on the same basis as for other students. The LSC have safety netting arrangements in place to help those institutions that may see a drop in income solely due to funding methodology changes.

Additional learning support funding arrangements for the 2002–03 academic year remain unchanged from earlier years. However, the LSC is currently consulting on its proposals to revise the present methodology for funding additional learner needs in post-16 education and training. These new arrangements are intended to ensure a coherent approach, based on common principles, to the funding of special needs regardless of age, mode of study or type of programme.

Veterinary Science

Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) applicants, (b) accepted students and (c) graduates there were in veterinary science in each of the last 10 years. [54990]

Margaret Hodge: The available information is shown in the table.

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Students on undergraduate veterinary science courses

Year of entryApplicants(8)Accepted applicants(8)Academic year in which course was completedGraduates

(8) Covers home and overseas students applying to full-time and sandwich first degree and undergraduate courses only.

(9) Covers home and overseas students on all full-time and part-time undergraduate courses in HE institutions in the UK.

(10) Not available. In these years, applicant numbers by subject were not published.

(11) Because of a change in data sources between 1993–94 and 1994–95, this has been estimated.

(12) Not available. Figures for 2001–02 will be available in January 2003.


Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.

Committee Mandates

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the mandate of the committee on the second general system for the recognition of professional education and training is; what the annual cost of its work is to public funds; if she will list the items currently under its consideration; if she will take steps to increase its accountability and transparency to Parliament; and if she will make a statement. [56763]

Margaret Hodge: The committee on the second general system for the recognition of professional education and training assists the European Commission to consider requests made by member states to revise information relating to Annexes C and D of Directive 92/51/EEC. There has been just one meeting of the committee in the last five years—in November 2001. Travel expenses were met from Commission resources. The subsistence cost incurred by this Department was £114. Amendments to Annex C of Directive 92/51/EEC currently under consideration of the committee are:

In the interests of improving information to the public and transparency, the Committee agreed at its meeting in November 2001 to amend its Rules of Procedure to conform to the new comitology decision. Together with member states, the Commission is currently conducting a review to bring existing legislation on the conduct of comitology committees into line with Council Decision 1999/468/EC, to "simplify the requirements for the

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exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission". As an obligation to this Decision, the Commission undertook to publish an annual report on the working of committees. The first report was deposited in the Libraries of both Houses on 26 February (Commission Document 5685–02). As part of the review process, the UK Government have encouraged the Commission to produce and maintain an electronic database of every comitology committee, its agendas and recent actions, to be accessible through its website.

School Reception Classes

Mrs. Laing: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many primary schools in England and Wales have reception classes for children aged under four years; and what percentage this is of the total number of primary schools. [48218]

Margaret Hodge [holding answer 9 April 2002]: Information is not collected on the age of pupils within classes, however we do collect information on the number of pupils by age by school.

There are 18,069 maintained primary schools in England. Within these 11,844 (65.5 per cent.) have one or more reception classes.

For information on Welsh primary schools I refer the hon. Member to the National Assembly for Wales.

Class Sizes

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the average class sizes were for each age group in each of the past five years. [54894]

Margaret Hodge: Information on the average class sizes by age group is not collected, however tables showing this information by year group have been placed in the Library.

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