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Graduate Income

Mr. Alan Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what the (a) upper and (b) lower parameters are of Government estimates of extra life-time earnings of graduates; [140797]

Alan Johnson: Higher education is undoubtedly a good investment for the average graduate. Individuals with higher education qualifications earn on average around 50 per cent. more than those without. Separate analysis of the benefits of higher education estimates that first degree graduates earn on average around £120,000 more—in present value terms—over their working lives than those with two or more A-levels 1 . This estimate is technically different from the 50 per cent. graduate premium because it controls for background factors that affect earnings, independently of the qualification itself.

No specific estimates have been made of the extra lifetime earnings of graduates by degree subject, profession or gender. However, other studies suggest that there will inevitably be some variation in the lifetime differential because graduate earnings are influenced by a number of factors, including subject studied and occupational choices, which in turn may differ by gender.

Higher Education

Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of students in higher education did not complete their degrees in (a) the last year for which data is available, (b) 1997 and (c) 1992. [141959]

Alan Johnson: Since 1996–97, information on non-completion rates has been published annually by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in 'Performance Indicators in Higher Education'. The latest figures cover students starting courses in 1999–00; overall non-completion rates for students starting full-time first degree courses in the UK are as follows.

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Students starting courses in:Non completion rate (percentage)

Non completion rates for earlier years were calculated and published by the Department and figures are shown in the table below for 1992/93. These figures also cover students on full-time first degree courses, but the methodology and institutional coverage used by the Department was different to that used by HEFCE, so the two sets of figures are not directly comparable.

Students starting courses in:Non completion rate (percentage)

Figures published in 2003 by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) show that the UK as a whole has one of the lowest non-completion rates among OECD countries.

Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of (a) GCSE and (b) sixth form students have continued to higher education in (i) West Derbyshire, (ii) the East Midlands and (iii) England in each year since 1990. [141449]

Alan Johnson: Figures at constituency level are not currently available. However, the available information on participation rates by local authority and region shows the proportion of 18-year-olds entering full-time undergraduate courses in the UK via the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), and is given in the table. Comparable figures for the years prior to 1994 are not available centrally.

It should be noted that the proportions in the table are based only on the number of 18-year-olds entering full-time HE. This is a different definition to the Department's main measures of HE participation: the Age Participation Index (API), which measures the proportion of UK domiciled students who enter full-time HE by the age of 20, and the Initial Entry Rate (IER) which measures the proportion of 17–30 year old English domiciled first time entrants to full or part-time HE. Neither the API nor the IER are calculated for each LEA, because of the lack of detailed data at local authority level.

Proportion of 18-year-olds entering full-time undergraduate courses via UCAS

Students from:
Year of entryCity of Derby(37)Derbyshire(37)East Midlands(38)England

(37) The local education authority of Derbyshire was split into the City of Derby and Derbyshire due to local government reorganisations in 1997.

(38) Covers the local education authorities of City of Derby, Derbyshire, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire and Rutland.

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Independent Schools

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will list for each local education authority the (a) number and (b) proportion of children resident in that authority area attending independent schools. [141257]

Mr. Miliband [holding answer 2 December 2003]: The number of pupils resident in an authority is only available for pupils attending maintained primary, secondary and all special schools as well as city technology colleges and academies as at January 2003.

The best available information has been placed in the House of Commons Library and shows (a) the number of pupils attending independent schools that are located in the local education authority (LEA) and (b) these pupils expressed as a percentage of all pupils attending schools within the same LEA. These figures therefore refer to the pupils in such schools irrespective of the pupils' normal place of residence.

Non-resident Parents

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many cases involving disputes over contact with children for non-resident parents involved accusations of sexual abuse in the last year for which figures are available. [141064]

Margaret Hodge: Data about the factors underpinning contact applications, such as allegations about injuries caused to children during previous contact with an allegedly violent parent, are not collected, either by the courts or centrally. In recent research commissioned by the Department for Constitutional Affairs in three County Courts from year 2000 files, there were indications that in 22 per cent. of the cases reviewed, physical or emotional abuse towards a family member was indicated. A more specific reference to child sexual abuse appeared in 6 per cent. of cases, though there may be overlap between the two categories.

Pathfinder Projects

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many schools benefit from Pathfinder projects in the current financial year, broken down by local education authority; and what the total funding made available in the current financial year under the programme is in each education authority area. [141463]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The following table shows the number of schools involved in Pathfinder projects, and the total amount of funding available for such projects, in each local education authority in England in 2003–04. A school may be involved in more than one Pathfinder project and it will be counted once for each project. The Pathfinder projects are:

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