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11 Dec 2003 : Column 608W—continued

Further Education

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students studied (a) part-time and (b) full-time in further education in each of the last five years; and how many (i) full and (ii) part-time lecturing staff there were in each of those years; what figures for student/lecturer ratios for further education over this period he uses. [143276]

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Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 11 December 2003]: The numbers of full time and part time students studying at further education sector colleges in the five years to 2001/02 were published by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) in the Statistical First Release (SFR) "Student Numbers At Colleges In The Further Education Sector And External Institutions In England In 2001/02" on 19 December 2002 and are shown in the following table. The numbers of full time and part time teaching staff in further education sector colleges in the five years to 2001/02 were published by the LSC in "Staff Statistics, 2001/2002" on 30 October 2003 and are also shown in this table.

Student and staff in further education sector colleges 1997/98 to 2001/02

Full time925.1890.6860.7839.6870.7
Part time2,211.82,124.02,076.12,215.02,625.9
Teaching staff
Full time47.046.145.646.847.3
Part time92.795.791.187.589.6


LSC Individualised Student Record; Staff Individualised Record

Staff student ratios are based on full time equivalents and are routinely published in the DfES Departmental Report. The following figures are derived from Annex L of the Department's 2003 Report. 2001/02 figures are not yet available.

Student to teaching staff ratio (in full time equivalents) in further education sector colleges

Student/staff ratio


LSC Individualised Student Record; Staff Individualised Record

Graduate Income

Mr. Alan Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what the latest Government estimate is of the extra life-time earnings arising from graduation; [140794]

Alan Johnson [holding answer 1 December 2003]: Higher Education is undoubtedly a good investment for the average graduate. The Department has previously estimated 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. The analysis is based on the spring 2002 quarter of the Labour Force Survey (LFS) for Great Britain. The £120,000 differential is derived from gross lifetime

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earnings streams that are assumed to grow at 2 per cent. per annum in real terms and are discounted at a rate of 3.5 per cent 1 . The Department estimates that the differential would fall to around £90,000 using net lifetime earnings streams, given that higher earning degree-holders would pay more tax on average over their working lives than those with only A-levels.

Key Stage 1

Stephen Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans he has to reform assessment methods at Key Stage 1; and if he will make a statement. [142858]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: We have developed a new approach to assessment at Key Stage 1. We have asked the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority to trial an approach that uses testing to underpin teacher assessment.

Teachers will make a rounded assessment of each child, taking into account task and test results and their own judgement on the child's work. 37 LEAs are in the trial. If the trial is successful it will be extended to all schools in the next academic year.

Oxbridge Funding

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the Government contribution was, at today's value, towards the funding of (a) Oxford and (b) Cambridge universities, (i) in total and (ii) as a percentage of the total, in (A) 1973, (B) 1980, (C) 1990 and (D) 2003. [143695]

Alan Johnson: The information is shown in the following table using 2002–03 prices.

£ millionPercentage of total


Statistics of Education—Universities 1973, University Statistics—Finance 1980 and 1990–91, and HESA—resources of higher education institutions 2001–02.

School Finance

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what discussions he has had with the local authorities whose grant increase is equal to their schools' formula spending share increase in the 2004–05 settlement. [143146]

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Mr. Charles Clarke: No Ministers from the DfES have had specific discussions with the relevant local authorities regarding the 2004–05 settlement. Representatives of local authorities and the Local Government Association were involved in discussions on this topic with officials from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister at Settlement Working Group meetings.

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what guidance he has issued to local authorities regarding the passporting of schools' formula spending share budget increase of the 2004–05 settlement. [143166]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Both myself and my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister wrote to all local authorities with an education responsibility setting out their clear expectation that LEAs will passport their Schools Formula Spending Share in full unless there are wholly exceptional circumstances. The Government have ensured that every authority will receive an increase in its Formula Grant which is at least as big as its cash SFSS increase, on a like-for-like basis and has put additional resources into other services—a total of £300 million in additional Revenue Support Grant and specific formula grant to ensure that a decision to passport the full SFSS increase to schools should not be at the expense of other services.

Officials have also written twice to Chief Education Officers, firstly setting out the basis of the passporting calculation and explaining the amendments to the "reserve power" provisions of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 (as amended) which were recently enacted through the Local Government Act 2003; and secondly setting out the passporting figures, the steps authorities need to take and the timetable involved.

Small Businesses

Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether his Department uses a database of individual small businesses for consultation purposes. [142477]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: There is no DfES departmental small business contact database. Normally DfES uses contacts in the representative bodies eg Small Business Council, Confederation of British Industry, Federation of Small Businesses; or through our delivery partners such as Learning and Skills Council and Sector Skills Development Agency as a way of consulting small firms. DfES shares research that the Small Business Service or DTI have gathered. The Department's small firms portal can also be used to seek views.

Specialist Schools

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of specialist schools are permitted to select pupils by aptitude. [140977]

Mr. Miliband [holding answer 1 December 2003]: Section 102 of the 1998 Education Act and associated Regulations made under it allow schools with a specialism in modern foreign languages; the performing arts; the visual arts; physical education or sport; design and technology or information technology to select up to 10 per cent. of their intake on the basis of aptitude in the relevant specialism.

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Ninety per cent. of mainstream secondary schools currently designated as specialist schools have one or more of these subjects as part of their specialist curriculum.

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