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Mr. Charles Clarke: The Special Advisers in the Department for Education and Skills are Robert Hill and Lisa Tremble. They advise on the full range of education and skills issues for which the Department is responsible.
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underspend for his Department in (a) the current financial year and (b) each of the last five financial years. 
|Total in year underspend||72||261||615||1,128||1,246|
The main reason for these in-year variances from plans stems from the nature of the Department's budgets and the difficulties this causes in forecasting spending accurately. For example: new and innovative programmes such as Sure Start rely on the pace of build up of local partnerships; capital projects can also take longer than anticipated to get off the ground; and the Department has a significant number of demand led budgets. The availability of End-Year Flexibility is designed to allow us to manage such fluctuations sensibly over a number of years.
This year my Department intends to utilise approximately #600 million accumulated End-Year Flexibility, across a range of priorities, this will be drawn down at the spring Supplementary Estimate in February. The planned use of over #880 million accumulated End-Year Flexibility for years beyond 200203 was tabled in my statement of 19 December 2002, Official Report, column 67WS.
Mr. Miliband: Pupils study international development issues as part of both the citizenship curriculumnow statutory in secondary schoolsand within geography. Primary pupils learn about living in a diverse world through citizenship, and about less economically developed countries through geography as part of studying water, settlements and environmental issues. As they progress to secondary level, they are taught about the world as a global community, including the political, economic, environmental and social implications of this, both through geography and citizenship. We have
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worked with educational bodies in this field, such as the Development Education Association, to produce a teaching resource: XCitizenship, the Global Dimension". QCA has also sent detailed guidance to all schools to help teachers to develop pupils international understanding at various stages of their learning.
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what level of funding has been required from secondary schools in relation to offering Mandarin on the curriculum in the next financial year; and what level of funding has been allocated to the subject; 
(3) how many secondary schools taught Mandarin as an extra-curricular subject in (a) 1997 and (b) 2002; and how many taught Mandarin as part of the curriculum in (i) 1997 and (ii) 2002; 
(4) what resources were allocated to train teachers to teach Mandarin in (a) 1997 and (b) 2002. 
Mr. Miliband: The Department does not allocate funding for the teaching of specific individual languages. The National Curriculum requirement is that all maintained secondary schools should offer one of the working languages of European Union. Over and above that, it is for schools to decide which and how many additional languages they choose to offer. There are no specific resources allocated by the Department to train teachers in Mandarin. It is up to Initial Teacher Training providers to choose which languages to include in the courses they offer. However, the Government does allocate #300,000 per year to the British Council run UK-China Educational Co-operation programme, which includes language immersion courses in Mandarin Chinese for teachers and pupils and the exchange of language assistants.
Although there is a strong language learning element to the programme, the UK-China Educational Co-operation programme, which has been running since 2000, also provides grants for school linking visits, joint curriculum projects, electronic curriculum links and head teacher study visits.
There are no figures available on how many language colleges offer Mandarin but 50 of the 157 language colleges offer Chinese. Aspiring language colleges are not required to give advance notice to the Department of the languages they intend to include in their applications so it is not possible to indicate how many intend to teach Mandarin. However language colleges are encouraged to diversify their language provision and Chinese continues to be a popular choice for applicant schools. Specialist applications are assessed by independent assessors and are not approved by the Department on the basis of a specified range of modern foreign languages.
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Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many employers with (a) 25 employees or more and (b) less than 25 employees, were involved in modern apprenticeships in (i) 2000, (ii) 2001 and (iii) 2002. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Data are only available for 2001. The Learning and Training at Work Survey in England for that year indicates that 12,000 employers with 25 or more employees had participated in modern apprenticeships in the previous 12 months and 24,000 with between one and 24 employees. The results of the 2002 survey are due to be published by the Department shortly.
Mr. Miliband: All new maintained schools are funded principally through public funds, but promoters of voluntary aided schools generally provide 10 per cent. of the capital costs. The Department does not maintain any records of the source of the 10 per cent. funding for the establishment of any new voluntary aided schools, or any significant contribution to the costs of establishing any other maintained school.
Academies are publicly funded independent schools with private and voluntary sector sponsors contributing up to 20 per cent. of the capital cost. Three Academies opened in September 2002, one of which is sponsored by a private sector company. A further nine will open in September 2003. At least 33 Academies will be open by 2006.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on his Department's performance against its public service agreement targets on truancy, literacy and numeracy. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department publishes progress against all its outstanding public service agreement targets (PSAs) in its annual departmental report and autumn performance report. Progress against PSAs was most recently reported in the 2002 autumn report, published in November 2002, together with commentary where appropriate. A copy of the report is available from the House of Commons Library.
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