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7 Nov 2002 : Column 722W—continued

Modern Apprenticeships

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, what progress he has made in increasing the use of modern apprenticeships. [78459]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: There are currently 100,000 more young people on Advanced Modern Apprenticeships and Foundation Modern Apprenticeships than at the same time in 1998. The Government has published a target for 2004 for at least 28 per cent. of young people to start a Modern Apprenticeship by age 22. The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has a lead role in meeting the target and has in place robust plans to do so. It is working closely with the Connexions Service, the new Sector Skills Councils and others to increase demand for places from both young people and employers. The LSC and Ministers are advised on MA developments by a Board made up of employers and others. New publicity campaigns are underway, including one aimed at employers which began last week.

IT Skills Shortages

Ross Cranston: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, what recent representations he has received from (a) right hon. and hon. Members, (b) trade associations and employers organisations and (c) training companies, concerning higher level skills shortages in the information technology sector. [79834]

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Mr. Ivan Lewis: I have not received any significant representations on higher level skills shortages in the Information Technology (IT) sector in the last six months. Skills deficits in the sector have declined from their peak in 1999 when the Stevens report, ''Skills for the Information Age'' highlighted these issues. Since that time, an #8 million programme of measures has been put in place to improve the image of the IT industry, build greater understanding of the labour market and strengthen links between education and industry.

Grant-maintained Schools

Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, if he will list the former grant-maintained schools which are parties to operating leases in respect of buildings. [79912]

Mr. Miliband: The information is not held centrally. Decisions in respect of operating leases were a matter for the governing bodies of former grant maintained schools.

Examinations (Irregularities)

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, how many cases of irregularities with SATs results and tests were reported to the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority in each local education authority in (a) 2000, (b) 2001 and (c) 2002 to 10 October; and how many investigations were carried out by the QCA into these reports. [80049]

Mr. Miliband: The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) has made a concerted effort to raise awareness of the need to report every event, which could lead to an allegation of malpractice or maladministration in national tests. This has led to an increase in the number of events reported. All such reports are logged, but not all merit further investigation. Reports which do not normally require further investigation would include, for example, where a school has received its test pack with the external sealing damaged.

The total number of events reported to the QCA and investigated by the QCA in each of the last three years is as follows:

Events reported to QCA147270479
Cases investigated by QCA475996

The breakdown of these totals by Local Education Authority is still being compiled. I shall write to my hon. Friend with this information when it becomes available and place a copy in the library.

School Boredom

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, if he will make a statement on the causes of the boredom suffered by British secondary school pupils in the classroom. [79436]

Mr. Miliband: There are various factors which can lead to boredom in secondary school classrooms, including: lessons which are not challenging enough;

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lessons that do not cater for pupils with special educational needs; lessons that recover old ground; lack of progress on transition to secondary school; pupils' lack of awareness of their learning goals; and perceived lack of relevance of the curriculum to pupils' personal goals.

We believe good teaching and a good curriculum are the best ways to engage and motivate pupils. We have introduced a wide range of strategies to improve teaching and learning, including our widely-acclaimed Literacy and Numeracy Strategies. Since September 2001 we have been implementing our new strategy to improve the attainment of 14 year olds (the Key Stage 3 Strategy). There have already been major improvements: OFSTED now rate nearly 70 per cent. of lessons as good compared with 40 per cent. five years ago.

Learning and Skills Council

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, if he will list the members of the board of the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Council of the Learning and Skills Council, indicating (a) their place of residence and (b) those of them who represent or serve on local district, city or county councils. [79487]

Margaret Hodge: The board members of the Herefordshire and Worcestershire Learning and Skills Council, are as follows;

Learning And Skills Council Herefordshire And Worcestershire
Council Member names, sector representation and residence location

Mr. C Swan (Business) Chairman of LSC Herefordshire and Worcestershire Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire Work: HerefordshireMrs. C Bucknell (Further Education) Hereford Work: Warwickshire
Mr. A Curless Executive Director of LSC Herefordshire and Worcestershire Ross on Wye, Herefordshire Work: HerefordshireMr. N Pringle (Local Authority Chief Executive Officer) Bredwardine, Herefordshire Work: Herefordshire and Worcestershire.
Mr. N Bromley (FE College Principal) Bromsgrove, Worcestershire Work: WorcestershireMr. N Price OBE (Regional Development Agency Representative) Kidderminster, Worcestershire Work: Worcestershire
Cllr D Wicksteed (Councillor, Worcestershire County Council) Worcester Work: WorcestershireMr. John Worker (Business) Pershore, Worcestershire Work: Worcestershire
Mr. R Quallington (Voluntary) Little Witley, Worcestershire Work: Herefordshire And WorcestershireMr. Stuart Houghton (Business) Colwall, Malvern, Worcestershire Work: Herefordshire
Mr. P Bannister (Trade Union) Bromsgrove, Worcestershire Work: WorcestershireMr. Mark Day (Business) Redditch, Worcestershire Work: Worcestershire
Mr. N Helme (Business) Leominster, Herefordshire Work: HerefordshireVacant post advertised for school Headteacher from either Herefordshire or Worcestershire.

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Graduate Employment

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, how many students graduated from university and how many graduates gained

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employment in the region in which they graduated, broken down by region in each year since 1995. [78556]

Margaret Hodge [holding answer 4 November 2002]: The available information is shown in the table.

Full-time UK domiciled first degree graduates from HE institutions in England

Year of graduation:
Graduates from HEIs in:
Yorkshire and Humberside20,31921,52322,21821,68922,72223,45823,320
East Midlands14,91016,28215,35316,81816,84916,56916,241
East Anglia4,4534,7394,7444,5604,6354,7444,716
South East27,71733,58133,79632,97033,37230,92830,853
Greater London29,63028,63327,57327,08027,23129,50028,919
South West13,59513,81114,49214,76215,11215,72015,308
West Midlands15,54417,07616,85916,94217,39817,12317,370
North West21,94822,59423,26122,77223,25924,19124,180
Percentage gaining employment in their region of graduation(27)
Yorkshire and Humberside14.118.621.221.722.622.824.1
East Midlands4.35.07.819.018.118.820.0
East Anglia2.
South East11.712.518.025.624.324.825.9
Greater London12.511.516.624.830.526.029.2
South West10.312.414.821.421.021.922.1
West Midlands10.710.516.318.819.921.021.4
North West9.410.312.021.224.728.131.7


Higher Education Statistics Agency's First Destination Record.

(27) In the early years of the time series, not all graduates specified the region in which they obtained employment, and this has contributed to the lower employment rates in these years.

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