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7 Jan 2003 : Column 119Wcontinued
Mr. Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate he has made of the cost of recruiting additional exam markers, following the recommendation of Mike Tomlinson's final report into A-levels. 
Mr. Miliband: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced on 3 December that up to #6 million would be made available to deliver the 2003 examinations securely, the money to be spent in the main on ensuring that the necessary markers can be recruited. QCA are undertaking detailed costing work with the awarding bodies and further advice is awaited.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether there will be a ceiling to increases in funding for FE colleges that continually exceed their targets; and whether the premium rate of funding increase will be reduced as more FE colleges exceed their targets. 
Margaret Hodge [holding answer 16 December 2002]: We want to see a continuing incentive for colleges to continually improve and we are working with the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) on the detailed proposals for the future funding of further education colleges. The strategy document XSuccess for All" sets out our intention that excellent colleges, which exceed their targets, enjoy a 3.5 per cent. real terms increase in each of 200405 and 200506 with no ceiling. This premium rate of increase will not change in those years as the percentage of colleges eligible grows.
7 Jan 2003 : Column 120W
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what advice his Department has received from the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority regarding the introduction of a GCSE in performing arts and related disciplines. 
Mr. Miliband: The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority has been asked by the Department to begin work on the development of additional titles for new GCSEs in vocational subjects. Advice is awaited on the range of possible titles, and timings for implementation.
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which Minister in his Department is the nominated Green Minister; how often he has attended meetings of the Green Ministers; and which official has responsibility for the DEFRA rural proofing check-list in his Department. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg: I have Ministerial responsibility for Green Issues and represent my Department on the Ministers' committee ENV (G). My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Skills is not a member of ENV (G).
|Year of entry|
|2 or more A levels||183,123||181,459||183,852||185,348||193,536|
|All other qualifications(20)||103,554||100,340||102,390||106,267||114,037|
(19) Covers UK domiciled students.
(20) Including students with GNVQs, BTEC, Access and Foundation courses, degree credits, and a small number with no qualifications.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of higher education students in 1997 completed their courses; and what the proportion was in each subsequent year for which information is available. 
Margaret Hodge: Information on the completion rates of HE students is published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in XPerformance Indicators in HE". The latest available data are shown in the table.
7 Jan 2003 : Column 121W
Figures published recently showed that the UK has one of the lowest non-completion rates in the OECD.
|Students starting in||Obtained degree percentage||Obtained no qualification percentage||Other(22) percentage|
1 The projected outcomes are calculated on the assumption that the progression paths of new entrants will be the same as those for students currently in the system.
2 Includes students who obtain undergraduate qualifications other than a degree (e.g an HMD).
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on participation rates broken down by socio-economic class of parents of higher education students in each year since 1990. 
Margaret Hodge: The latest available information is shown in the table. The sharp rise in participation rates in the early 1990s reflects the expansion of the higher education sector during these years. There was an increase in entrant numbers in 1997 related partly to the funding arrangements for higher education, with students choosing to enter HE rather than wait until 1998. There was a corresponding reduction in 1998 before the entry rates started to increase again in 1999.
The Government are committed to raising the participation rates for people from less affluent family backgrounds, and has introduced Excellence Challenge, including the AimHigher campaign, which is targeted at raising attainment and aspirations among young people who traditionally would not consider going to university.
|Academic year beginning:|
|IIIN Skilled non manual||n/a||22||27||29||31||31|
|IIIM Skilled manual||n/a||11||15||17||18||18|
|IV Partly skilled||n/a||10||14||16||17||17|
7 Jan 2003 : Column 122W
|Academic year beginning|
|IIIN Skilled non manual||32||31||29||30||33|
|IIIM Skilled manual||18||19||18||18||19|
|IV Partly skilled||17||18||17||17||19|
n/a = not available
1 Measured by the Age Participation Index (API), which is defined as the number of UK domiciled under 21 initial entrants to full-time and sandwich undergraduate courses expressed as a proportion of the averaged 1819 year old population.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what applications have been made for exemptions related to innovation under the Education Act 2002; and in each case (a) when the application was made, (b) what decision has been reached and (c) what his grounds were for that decision. 
Mr. Miliband : [holding answer 17 December 2002]: The Department has received one application under section 2 of the Education Act (the 'power to innovate'). Langley Junior School applied on 7 November 2002 to gain exemption from the Changing of School Session Times Regulations 1999. The application has been approved because it will enable the school to create time for a curriculum enrichment session for pupils, and planning, preparation and assessment time for teachers. The Power to Innovate was needed to enable the school to implement the changes sooner than the start of the new school year (as required by regulations). We are expecting to receive many more inquiries and applications as this new power becomes known.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what range of languages are included within the Government's plans to make foreign language learning standard in primary education. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg: The entitlement for all pupils to study languages at Key Stage 2 must include one of the working languages of the European Union. It will be for schools to decide which European Union language is chosen. Over and above that, it is for schools to decide which and how many languages they choose to offer. Schools may decide for example to offer one main language, or one or two main languages and additional 'taster' sessions in other languages. In addition, by drawing in foreign language speakers, such as parents, those in the community and in business, schools will be in a position to offer and promote a much wider range of languages than has been possible before.
Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what additional IT resources he will provide to assist primary schools in the development of language teaching at key stage 2. 
7 Jan 2003 : Column 123W
Mr. Stephen Twigg: A total of #710 million has been made available to schools in England through the ICT in Schools Standards Fund over the 200204 financial years. This funding is targeted to improve schools' ICT infrastructure and connectivity. It is for individual LEAs to decide how the funding is distributed to schools in line with their ICT development plans.
An additional #30 million has been distributed to schools in September 2002 in the form of eLearning Credits (eLCs) for the sole use of buying certified curriculum online digital learning products. A further #20 million will be distributed in April 2003.
We will continue to work with public and private sector providers to increase provision, raise the quality and widen the range of online teaching and learning materials. The new curriculum online service will facilitate teacher access to high quality electronic materials across the curriculum and will stimulate the development of materials for languages as well as for other subjects. There are also many online and offline ICT resources already available for teachers, including the British Educational SoftwareDatabase and the National Grid for Learning website. The Department is currently considering other ways of using ICT to support the teaching and learning of Modern Foreign Languages at Key Stage 2.
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