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3 Jun 2003 : Column 211W—continued

Employee Development Schemes

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what discussions he has had with the Treasury relating to the tax-exempt status of educational benefits received through employee development schemes; and if he will make a statement. [115118]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: We have had no specific discussions with the Treasury concerning the tax status of employee development schemes.


Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of students achieved (a) one, (b) one to three and (c) more than three A to E grade A Levels (i) in England, (ii) in Teesside, and (iii) at schools and colleges in the Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland, East constituency in the last year for which figures are available. [114502]

Mr. Miliband: The percentage of students achieving (a) one and (b) one to three A to E grades and (c) more than three A to E grades at GCE/VCE A Level in England , Teesside and Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland, East in 2001/02:


Number of A Levels achieved
OneOne to threeFour or more
Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland, East20.664.229.9

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans he has to alter the administration of examinations. [115588]

Mr. Miliband: Following Mike Tomlinson's report into A Level Standards, the QCA has significantly amended the Code of Practice governing examinations and provided clear guidance on the standards for AS and A Level examinations. We, QCA and the awarding bodies are considering Mike Tomlinson's longer term recommendations to remove unnecessary differences in the administrative process; raise the professional status of examining; and increase the use of ICT in examinations and assessment.

From September 2003, under the terms of the School Workforce Agreement, the way in which exams are administered in schools will change. Teachers will no longer be routinely required to administer public and external examinations. From September 2005, this will include the invigilation of external and public examinations.

Further/Higher Education

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans he has in conjunction with the Learning and Skills Council to introduce standing arrangements to reduce bureaucracy in the further education sector. [115082]

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Margaret Hodge: The DfES and the LSC are committed to reducing the burden of bureaucracy for providers across the whole of the learning and skills sector. We will establish an independent gatekeeper group to reduce bureaucracy. The group will assess the bureaucratic impact of new and existing policies and practices on providers in the sector. It will challenge the Department and the LSC to change these, and advise on how this can best be done. The group will begin its work this summer.

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of 16 to 18-year-olds in the Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency have gone on to (a) further and (b) higher education in each of the last five years; what percentage these figures represent of the total number of 16 to 18-year-olds in the area; and what the average is in England for such persons. [115536]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Data on the percentage of students participating in post-compulsory education are not calculated for areas smaller than LEAs as reliable estimates cannot be made. Participation rates at sub-national level are available only for 16 and 17-year-olds.

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency is divided between Redcar and Cleveland LEA and Middlesbrough LEA. The percentage of 16 and 17-year-olds participating in full-time further education for these two LEAs and England in each of the last five years, for which data are available, are set out in the following table.

Participation in full-time further education
Percentage of age group

End 1996End 1997End 1998End 1999End 2000
Middlesbrough LEA6159586868
Redcar & Cleveland LEA6059616462
Middlesbrough LEA4645485055
Redcar & Cleveland LEA5146495151


Population data do not include any revisions following the 2001 census


DfES Statistical Bulletin, published 16 December 2002

Participation rates by LEA for 16 and 17-year-olds are published in an annual statistical bulletin, 'Participation in Education and Training by 16 and 17-Year-Olds in Each Local Area in England'. This bulletin is available on the departmental website www.

Figures for the number of students who enter higher education are not collated centrally on a constituency basis. Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency is divided between Redcar and Cleveland LEA and Middlesbrough LEA. The proportion of students domiciled in these two LEAs and England, aged 18 and accepted through UCAS to full-time undergraduate courses in the UK is given in the following table.

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Autumn Entry

Middlesbrough LEA
17 year-old-population2,1002,1002,0002,1002,100
18 year-olds accepted to HE314325340406379
Proportion entering Higher Education(31)14.615.616.919.418.4
Redcar and Cleveland LEA
17-year-old population2,0001,9001,9001,8001,900
18-year-olds accepted to HE328341302353334
Proportion entering Higher Education(31)16.417.816.019.417.1
17-year-old population619,700612,100601 ,000610,900613,600
18-year-olds accepted to HE124,533123,441123,708131,322134,840
Proportion entering Higher Education(31) 522.0

(31) Percentage


Participation rates have been calculated using the 17-year-old population from the previous year to reduce the distortion caused to LEA populations by the migration of students to their place of study. England figures include a very small number of accepted applicants of unknown English domicile. Population figures relate to persons aged 17 at 31 August in the year prior to entry, counts taken at the following 1 January; accepted applicants are aged 18 at 30 September in the year of entry.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on (a) plans for merger and (b) recent closures of further and higher education institutions, with particular reference to proposals that affect Hampshire. [116348]

Margaret Hodge: I am not aware of plans to merge or close any further or higher education institution in Hampshire. There are always a number of potential changes being discussed locally; the majority of which do not result in a formal proposal to the Secretary of State. More further and higher education institutions are entering into strategic alliances to increase collaboration both within each sector and across sectors. However, one school sixth form in the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Learning and Skills Council Area has recently decided to close due to falling numbers of students in an area well provided with high quality colleges.

Mr. Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many students were admitted to higher education from each socio-economic group in each academic year since 1997; [110104]

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Margaret Hodge: The available information, as given in the table, covers only those who apply to full-time and sandwich undergraduate courses through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS); data on the family background of students applying to part-time courses are not held centrally. In 2002 UCAS moved to recording social class using the National Statistics Socio-Economic Classification (NS-SEC) measure. There is no method of converting between the two measures of social class. As a result, the figures for 2002 entry are given in a separate table. There was an increase in entrants in 1997/98 related partly to changes in the funding arrangements for higher education, with students choosing to enter HE in that year rather than wait until 1998/99. There was a corresponding reduction in 1998/99 before entrants started to increase again in 1999/00.

The Government are committed to raising the participation rates for people from less affluent backgrounds, and has introduced the Aimhigher programme, which is targeted at raising attainment and aspirations among young people who traditionally would not consider going to university.

UK domiciled applicants and accepted applicants via UCAS to full-time and sandwich undergraduate courses in the UK from 1996 to 2001

Year of entry:
Skilled non-manual43.049.647.
Skilled manual58.260.758.958.557.260.6
Partly skilled28.332.231.030.831.729.5
Accepted applicants
Skilled non-manual31.337.335.636.337.838.8
Skilled manual40.944.844.244.544.448.4
Partly skilled19.923.522.723.124.223.1

3 Jun 2003 : Column 215W

UK domiciled applicants and accepted applicants via UCAS to full-time and sandwich undergraduate courses in the UK in 2002

Applicants2002 entry
Higher managerial and professional occupations71.1
Lower managerial and professional occupations99.4
Intermediate occupations51.0
Small employers and own account workers24.5
Lower supervisory and technical occupations15.6
Semi-routine occupations43.5
Routine occupations19.9
Higher managerial and professional occupations61.4
Lower managerial and professional occupations83.5
Intermediate occupations42.1
Small employers and own account workers20.1
Lower supervisory and technical occupations12.8
Semi-routine occupations34.6
Routine occupations15.9

Mr. Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many and what proportion of undergraduates failed to complete a course at a higher education institution, broken down by institution and course title, in each year since 1997. [110136]

Margaret Hodge: The available information on non-completion rates is contained in "Performance Indicators in Higher Education", published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), copies of which are available from the House Library. The figures cover full-time first degree courses only, and show, for each individual HE institution in the UK, the proportion of entrants who failed to complete their course. Copies of the HEFCE publication are available for students starting courses in 1996–97, 1997–98, 1998–99 and 1999–2000. The next edition, covering students starting courses in 2000/01, is scheduled for publication in autumn 2003.

Nationally, the non-completion rate has remained broadly the same at 17–18 per cent. since 1991–92, a period of considerable expansion of student numbers.

Figures published in 2002 by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) show that the UK has one of the lowest non-completion rates among OECD countries.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment his Department has made of the impact of its higher education proposals on the UK economy. [115591]

Margaret Hodge: The Government's White Paper, "The future of higher education", sets out in broad terms the economic case for expanding and improving higher education.

Officials in my Department are currently developing a Regulatory Impact Assessment which will consider in more detail the costs and benefits of our higher education proposals on business and the sector.

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