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Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the Government's aims at the Seville European Council on the establishment of internet twinning links for secondary schools in the EU. 
Margaret Hodge: The European Commission will present its report on helping secondary schools to establish or enhance an internet twinning link with a partner school elsewhere in Europe. The Commission's paper was published on 21 May and sets out proposals for ensuring that school twinning projects are effective. We believe there are considerable potential educational benefits in extending school twinning, so we welcome the Commission's input and look forward to discussing with other member states how work should be taken forward on this issue.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the funding allocations to medical education relative to other branches of higher education. 
Margaret Hodge: Funding allocations for medical education are made by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) as described in the HEFCE publication 'Funding higher education in EnglandHow the HEFCE allocates its funds' (Guide April 02/18).
The HEFCE funding methodology allocates funding over four price groups. Group D forms the base allocation. Group A, the highest, contains medical, dentistry and veterinary science courses. These are funded at four and a half times the base level, and in 200203, will be equal to £12,915 per annum per full-time student place.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many and what percentage of children who lived (a) in a residential care home and (b) with foster parents went into higher education in the last five years for which figures are available. 
Margaret Hodge: The requested information is not held centrally.
Mr. Rendel: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the cost was in 2001 to (a) the universities and (b) the Government of administering
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university tuition fees, broken down by (i) publicity and information costs and (ii) costs incurred as a result of non-payment of fees. 
Margaret Hodge: The information requested is not available. Government funding of higher education institutions in England through the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) takes account of the cost to universities and colleges of administering tuition fees. The forecast income that institutions receive from student contributions to fees is abated by 5 per cent. for collection of fees and any default. For 200102, that amounts to an estimated £18.2 million. The latest survey of the non-payment of fee contributions, published by Universities UK in November 2001, found that the amount unpaid at July 2001 across the UK was well within the 5 per cent. set aside for administration and default.
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many academic staff in each university in England and Wales were made redundant in each year since 1996. 
Margaret Hodge: The requested information is not held centrally.
Mr. Watts: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what impact this year's funding proposals will have on the Government's policy of bridging the funding gap between sixth form schools, sixth form colleges and community colleges who provide sixth form provision. 
Margaret Hodge: The Government remain committed to bringing up the level of funding for colleges towards that of schools. We have always made it clear that we must look to the spending review settlement for 200304 and beyond to address this issue. We will make a further announcement when the outcome of the spending review is known.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what guidance her Department issues to (a) schools and (b) local education authorities on identifying and supporting young carers. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg: The Department for Education and Skills issued guidance to schools on supporting young carers in the circular 1099, Social Inclusion: Pupil Support, sent in July 1999 to the chairs of governors and heads of maintained schools in England.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the pay levels of (a) college lecturers and (b) school sixth form teachers. 
Margaret Hodge: Pay and conditions for teachers in maintained schools, including those with sixth forms, is determined on a statutory basis under the School Teachers' Pay and Conditions Act 1991. The pay and
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terms and conditions of lecturers who work in sixth form colleges and general further education colleges are matters for individual colleges as the employer to determine, in discussion with the relevant unions. A wide range of pay and conditions now exist in the FE sector, reflecting the diverse needs of the colleges' local communities and colleges' individual decisions on implementing the nationally recommended pay settlement each year.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans she has to review the pay levels of college lecturers; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Hodge: We have no plans to review the pay levels of college lecturers. The Department contributed financially to the production of the "Association of Colleges and Joint Unions, National Review of Staffing and Pay in Further Education" published in March 2001.
As independent organisations, it is for colleges in discussion with relevant representative bodies to determine the pay and terms of conditions of their staff.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will include in future Ofsted inspections an assessment of (a) school and (b) local education authority policies and practice in identifying and supporting young carers. 
Mr. Miliband: This is a matter for Ofsted. I have asked HM Chief Inspector, David Bell, to write to the hon. Member and to place a copy of his letter in the Library.
David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans she has to announce the result of the quinquennial review of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. 
Mr. Miliband: Following the quinquennial review of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) a report has been published today, outlining the findings of the review and the recommendations that have been made as a result. The report is available in the Library. It can also be seen on the DfES website: "www.dfes.gov.uk/ consultations".
Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of teaching staff in UK secondary schools are female. 
Mr. Miliband [holding answer 13 June 2002]: In March 2000 (the most recent date for which provisional data are available) 58 per cent. of the teachers in regular full or part time service in maintained secondary schools in England were female.
Some 10 per cent.20 per cent. of part-timers are not recorded on the Teachers' Pension Scheme, from which the data are obtained.
The devolved administrations for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are responsible for the supply of teachers in those countries.
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Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what discussions she has had with Gloucestershire County Council about their policy towards special schools; and if she will make a statement; 
(3) what assessment she has made of statementing in Gloucestershire; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 10 June 2002]: Ofsted published a report of its inspection of Gloucestershire Local Education Authority in January this year. My officials have been working with the Authority's officers as the Authority has developed its Post-Inspection Action Plan. The inspection report was critical of the delay in the Authority's development of an inclusive approach to meeting special educational needs [and noted that the process of special school re-organisation had been slow]. It recommended that the Authority should produce a strategy for special educational needs (SEN), which has a swifter timetable for implementation, shows how it will raise standards for pupils and incorporates the Authority's different reviews in a coherent plan.
The report also recommended that the Authority should work with health authorities and the counties social services department, to reduce the number of cases where exceptional needs prevent the completion of SEN statements within 18 weeks.
My officials received the Authority's Post Inspection Action plan on 1 May. They will continue to work with the Authority's officers as this Plan is developed and implemented.
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