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3 Dec 2003 : Column 86Wcontinued
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what action his Department has taken to raise awareness of the need for accessibility to polling stations. 
Mr. Leslie: Local authorities are responsible for designating polling places and for keeping them under review. They are obliged, so far as it is reasonable and practicable, to designate as polling places only places which are accessible to disabled people. National minimum standards for access were re-issued to electoral
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administrators for the general election. Administrators can also apply for grants from central funds to purchase temporary ramps to improve polling station accessibility and are encouraged by my Department to do so.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what (a) capital and (b) revenue support was made available for each city academy in (i) 200304 and (ii) each of the last two financial years. 
Mr. Miliband: Academies are funded comparably with local maintained schools with similar characteristics. The table sets out the revenue funding made available to open Academies in the financial years 200203 and 200304; there were no open Academies in the financial year 200102. The figures include grant to cover annual running costs and the start-up costs associated with opening new schools.
|Academy||Revenue 2002/03||Revenue 2003/04|
|Bexley Business Academy, Bexley||4,244,838||4,232,598|
|Greig City Academy, Haringey||4,822,377||3,966,945|
|Unity City Academy, Middlesbrough||5,705,520||5,381,861|
|Capital City Academy, Brent||n/a||4,419,823|
|The City Academy, Bristol||n/a||5,437,152|
|West London Academy, Ealing||n/a||4,644,164|
|Manchester Academy, Manchester||n/a||3,516,223|
|King's Academy, Middlesbrough||n/a||5,940,095|
|Djanogly City Academy, Nottingham||n/a||7,293,347|
|City of London Academy, Southwark||n/a||1,868,433|
|The Academy at Peckham, Southwark||n/a||5,998,577|
|Walsall City Academy, Walsall||n/a||2,927,266|
Capital funding made available to open Academies, outside of the initial build or refurbishments costs, are made through the devolved capital Standards Fund and are administered by the Academies local LEA in the same way as for maintained schools. The Department does not hold records of these individual allocations as they are the responsibility of the LEA.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will set out the funding formula used to calculate amounts payable to city academies. 
Mr. Miliband [holding answer 1 December 2003]: Academies are funded comparably to local authority maintained schools, with similar characteristics, in their local area. The main elements of Academies funding are made up of the following:
LEA HoldbackFunding representing a proportion of the LEA education budget money which the LEA would usually retain for services it provides to maintained schools;
Specialist Schools AllowanceFunding equivalent to that which a maintained school with the Academy's characteristics would receive in respect of their participation in the specialist schools programme.
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Teacher Threshold paymentsfunded on the same basis as maintained schools for all of an Academy's teachers who are entitled to threshold payments;
LGPS contributionsto cover extra costs being charged to Academies, above those paid by maintained schools, in order to be a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme, due to having a small number of employees partaking in the scheme.
Mr. Miliband: Sites are transferred from local education authorities to Academies voluntarily, at nil cost. Local education authorities may transfer sites on either a leasehold or a freehold basis. On whichever basis a site is transferred, it will revert to the local education authority in the event that it is no longer required for the purposes of the Academy.
Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of young people in (a) St. Helens, (b) Merseyside and (c) the North West achieved one or more A Level passes in (i) 1992, (ii) 1997, (iii) 2001 and (iv) the last year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Miliband: The proportion of 16 to 18-year-old students in (a) St. Helens, (b) Merseyside, and (c) the North West region who achieved one or more A Level (and equivalent) passes in 1992, 1997, 2001 and 2003 in all maintained schools and further education sector colleges are:
|(a) St. Helens||86.9||91.8||96.2||93.1|
|(c) North West||88.3||93.7||94.6||95.4|
Figures for 2003 are provisional. Revised figures will be published in January 2004. Qualifying for Success reforms were introduced in September 2000, thus A Level results for 2001 were the first year in which the impact of these reforms became apparent. Further information about the effect of the Qualifying for Success reforms can be found in the Statistical Bulletin, "GCSE/GNVQ and GCE A/AS/VCE/AGNVQ Examination Results 2000/01England", published on the Department's website in May 2002 (http://www. dfes.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SBU/b000334/index.shtml).
Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of children in (a) St. Helens, (b) the North West and (c) England remained in education after completion of their GCSEs in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Miliband: The percentage of 16-year-olds participating in full-time education, and in education and training, in St. Helens local education authority, the
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North West Region and in England for end 1997 to end 2000, the latest available year, are shown in the following table:
|End 1997||End 1998||End 1999||End 2000|
|Education and training|
(15) Education and training figures by LEA were first published for 1998.
Participation rates by LEA for 16 and 17-year-olds are published in an annual statistical bulletin, "Participation in Education and Training by Young People Aged 16 and 17 in Each Local Area and Region, England".
Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will break down by local education authority, (a) in descending order of share and (b) alphabetically, the average (i) primary and (ii) secondary formula spending share per pupil in each local education authority in England and Wales for 200405. 
Mr. Miliband [holding answer 1 December 2003]: The information requested has been placed in the Libraries.
Mr. Hood: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the outcome was of the Education, Youth and Culture Council held on 24 and 25 November 2003; what the Government's stance was on the issues discussed, including its voting record; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Charles Clarke: I attended the Education session of this Council. Peter Peacock, Minister for Education and Young People at the Scottish Executive, also attended, and led on Youth issues.
The Council adopted the Erasmus Mundus and eLearning Programmes. Erasmus Mundus aims to provide higher education institutions with scholarships, offering further opportunities to attract overseas students, helping them to forge partnerships within existing EU countries and with third countries. The eLearning Programme has four priority areas: addressing the digital divide, promoting virtual universities, encouraging school twinning via the internet and promoting other transversal actions under, for example, the Commission's eLearning Action Plan.
The Council adopted a Common Position after first reading on the Decision to provide grants to European organisations active in the field of education and training. A budget of Euro77 million for 200406 had already been agreed with the European Parliament. The programme will now go to Second Reading.
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Ministers adopted a Council Resolution on the importance of combating early school leaving and disaffection among young people. This encourages further work by member states on making learning more attractive and keeping young people engaged in learning.
Ministers also adopted Council Conclusions on human capital, which urge member states and the Commission to focus work on more effective investment on education and training.
The Commission presented its Languages Action Plan, which proposes action at member state and Community level for 200406.
The Commission's draft Interim Report on the detailed work programme on the follow-up to the Lisbon Objectives on education and training systems in Europe was the main focus of discussion. A report on this will be submitted jointly by the Council and the Commission to the 2004 Spring Council.
Ministers discussed the Presidency's paper on the future of EU Youth policy, and adopted a Council Resolution setting out member states' commitment to help young people participate in society, particularly in political processes. The Resolution also commits member states to report to the Commission on progress against the objectives by the end of 2005.
Ministers adopted a Common Position after first reading on the Decision to provide grants to European organisations promoting youth activities. A budget Euro13 million for 200406 had already been agreed with the European Parliament. The programme will go to second reading.
A copy of the Council Minutes will be placed in the Library in due course.
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