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Learning Funds

Dr. Francis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what independent evaluations have been undertaken of the adult and community learning fund since its inception; [94467R]

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Mr. Ivan Lewis: Since its inception in 1998 there have been three independent evaluations of the adult and community learning fund (ACLF) as follows:

The Department's annual expenditure on the ACLF was as follows:

£ million

(5) Expenditure to date (£5 million budget)

The Department's annual expenditure on the union learning fund was as follows:

£ million
2002–03 (6)4.5

(6) Expenditure to date (£9 million budget)

I am considering the future of the adult and community learning fund within the Department's wider review of the funding of adult learning and the skills strategy and associated delivery plan, which we intend to publish in June 2003.

On future plans for the union learning fund, our intention is to help trade unions to continue to develop the key role they have to play in promoting the uptake of learning and skills in the workplace. We have allocated a further £33.6 million in the next three years up to 2005–06. From April 2003 the Learning and Skills Council will assume responsibility for its management and administration. This will place union learning at the heart of the LSC's strategy for workforce development.

Information on the proportion of projects supported by the ACLF which were based on voluntary and community-based organisations is not immediately available. I will write to the hon. Member shortly with the information, and place a copy of my reply in the Libraries of the House.

The Department ensured that the lessons from the adult and community learning fund contributed to the development of the Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy by providing officials within the Neighbourhood Renewal Unit with the findings of the independent

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ACLF evaluations and impact studies as the Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy was being devised. The Department also provided the same material on the ACLF to local LSCs to help inform their strategic planning.

Minimum Wage

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will estimate the impact of increasing the minimum wage (a) in line with average earnings, (b) to £4.17 per hour, (c) to £4.87 per hour, (d) to £5.00 per hour and (e) to £5.30 per hour, on the cost of salaries of departmental employees (i) in total and (ii) for each nation of the United Kingdom in the next financial year. [90608]

Mr. Miliband: There are no departmental staff employees paid below the main adult minimum wage of £4.20 per hour.

The estimated impact on the cost of salaries by increasing the minimum wage to (c) £4.87 per hour, (d) £5.00 per hour and (e) £5.30 per hour is £1,200, £18,500 and £68,800 respectively. The Department does not have employees located outside of England.

Modern Apprenticeships

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps he is taking to (a) improve the standards of Modern Apprenticeships and (b) expand their provision. [94317]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Government and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) are wholly committed to Modern Apprenticeships (MA) as a quality work-based learning route to craft, supervisory and technician skills for young people in England. We are implementing Modern Apprenticeship Advisory Committee recommendations to ensure the highest standards and to encourage take-up by employers and young people. We have adopted a challenging Public Service Agreement (PSA) target for MA entrants by 2004—28 per cent. of young people to begin an MA by the age of 22. We are also implementing with key partners a quality improvement strategy to improve MA outcomes and completion rates.

My right hon. Friends the Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, along with the Chairman of the Learning and Skills Council have announced a new Modern Apprenticeship Task Force which will take a key role in promoting MA to employers and thereby contributing to increased take-up. In addition, the Government will be publishing a national skills strategy in June setting out how we will further boost numbers of young people acquiring technical and craft skills across the economy.

Schools (Specialist Status)

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what support and assistance he is able to provide to schools looking to raise money to apply for specialist status; and what measures he will take to remove the barriers to schools looking to apply for specialist school status. [94909]

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Mr. Miliband: The Department has done much to help schools which are having difficulties raising the sponsorship necessary to apply join the programme. We grant-aid the Technology Colleges Trust and the Youth Sport Trust, which advise schools on raising sponsorship. The Trusts are often able to help schools with money donated centrally, on the basis of criteria set out by sponsors.

In 1999 we reduced the sponsorship requirement to £50,000, and in 2002 we reduced the amount of sponsorship required by small mainstream schools (defined as those with under 500 pupils on roll) to £100 per pupil, subject to a minimum of £20,000.

In November 2002 my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced the creation of a Partnership Fund. The Fund, which will contain £3 million in 2003–04, is designed specifically to help schools which have had serious difficulties meeting the £50,000 sponsorship requirement.

The criteria for the allocation of the Partnership Fund will be based around evidence that the school has made a real effort to raise sponsorship and that, although they have not been able to get the required level of private sector funding, the school has created other valuable links with businesses.

Shire Education Authority Funding

Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will list the planned capitation per pupil in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools for each shire education authority in 2003–04. [95033]

Mr. Miliband: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Lichfield (Michael Fabricant) on 8 January 2003, Official Report, columns 231–33W.

Teachers (East Riding of Yorkshire)

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many teachers have left the teaching profession in the East Riding of Yorkshire in each year since 1997. [94305]

Mr. Miliband: The table shows the number of teachers that left full or part time service in maintained schools sector in East Riding of Yorkshire in each of the years shown and did not go on to teach in maintained schools in other LEAs in England. Data for 1999–2000 are the latest that is available at local education authority level.

Teachers leaving service

Out of service118107134

The table is based on pension returns. Some leavers will be taking career breaks (eg for maternity leave) and will return to service at a later date. Others may have moved from known service to service not recorded on the teacher pension return.

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