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17 Dec 2003 : Column 966Wcontinued
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the cost, including setting of examinations, printing, postage, marking and publishing SATs at Key Stage 2 was in the last year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. Miliband: The costs of setting the exam, printing, postage, marking and publishing of the Key Stage 2 tests are as follows:
|Key Stage 2||Amount|
|Test development, pre-testing and level setting||1.25|
|National data collection||0.85|
The costs relate to the 2003 Key Stage 2 tests with the exception of results publication which are for the 2002 tests. Publication figures for 2003 will not be available until the cycle has finished. The figures relate to the test cycle and not a financial year.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans he has to produce a White Paper following the publication of the Green Paper, Schools: Building on Success in 2001. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg: The White Paper "Schools: Achieving Success" was published on 5 September 2001.
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps he has taken to inform (a) schools, (b) colleges and (c) universities of the Altran Foundation for Innovation's award for 2004 on the theme of Discovery, Understanding and Enjoying Science through innovation. 
Alan Johnson: My Department has not been involved directly with the Altran Foundation for Innovation's award. I have asked my officials to explore the potential for schools, colleges and universities to participate in this initiative in future years.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills in how many specialist (a) technology, (b) sports, (c) arts and (d) languages colleges the proportion of selective admissions exceeds 10 per cent. of their pupil intake. 
Mr. Miliband: The information requested is set out in the following table:
|Specialism||Grammar schools||Selection exceeds10 per cent.(Non-Grammar)||Total|
Our figures suggest that 40 specialist schools selected by aptitude in 2001. Most of these specialist schools which select by aptitude were selecting by aptitude prior to the 1998 Act, therefore some schools select more than 10 per cent. of their pupils on this basis.
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Ms Drown: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many specialist schools have been in special measures during their time as specialist schools. 
Mr. Miliband: The answer is as follows: 16 specialist schools have been in special measures during their time as specialist schools.
Ms Drown: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of students in specialist schools were entitled to free school meals in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Miliband: The answer is in the following table.
|FSM percentage for specialist schools||15.2||14.9||14.1|
|Number of specialist schools||528||676||982|
|National average FSM percentage (covers all maintained secondary schools in England)||15.8||14.9||14.5|
(15) Source: Annual Schools Census as at January 2001, 2002, 2003.
1. Figures cover specialist schools which were operational at the time of data collection.
2. Figures exclude special specialist schools.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the value was of the full student grant in today's prices in (a) 1973, (b) 1980, (c) 1990 and (d) 2003. 
Alan Johnson [holding answer 11 December 2003]: The available information is shown in the table.
|Rate of grant||1975/76(18)||1980/81||1990/91(19)||2003/04(20),(21)|
|Parental home rate||2,840||2,950||2,610||1,670|
|Board and lodging(23)||1,570||1,560||(24)||(24)|
(16) The rate of maintenance grant, before income assessment, applicable to students normally domiciled in England and Wales and studying in the UK.
(17) In 2003/04 prices based on the September Retail Price Index (RPI), excluding mortgage interest payments, at the beginning of the academic year. Data rounded to nearest £10.
(18) The convention, when showing current values, is to apply the relevant factor of the RPI (excluding mortgage interest payments) to the year in question; however, this factor is not available prior to 1975/76 and so the table shows this as the earliest academic year. The cash values for academic year 1973/74 were £390, £520 and £485 for the parental home, London and elsewhere rates respectively. Those in 1975/76 were £570, £810 and £740 respectively.
(19) Student loans were introduced in academic year 1990/91 to provide extra resources. The 'elsewhere' rate of loan in that year was £420 (£610 in current values).
(20) The rate of grant in academic year 2003/04 applicable to mandatory award holders only i.e. mostly those who entered higher education prior to 1998/99. Those who entered from 1998/99 under the new arrangements receive support solely through loans; grants/allowances are available only for students in particular circumstances e.g. students with disabilities, students with dependents and single parent students.
(21) The values shown relate to maintenance grants only; student loans are also available to mandatory award holders at the (full year) parental home, London and elsewhere rates of £1,500, £2,420, £1,960, giving total support of £3,165, £4,930 and £4,000 respectively.
(22) The 'elsewhere' rate of grant is applicable to students living away from home and studying outside London.
(23) Special grant arrangements applied to students provided with free board and lodging by their college.
(24) not applicable
Department for Education and Skills, Office of National Statistics
17 Dec 2003 : Column 969W
Mr. Alan Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the threshold for commencement of repayment of a student loan (a) was at the time of introduction of student loans and (b) is now; and what the threshold would be now if it had risen in line with the retail price index. 
Alan Johnson: The threshold for repayment of a student loan was £10,000 on the introduction of the income contingent student loan scheme. The threshold is still £10,000. The first point at which borrowers could be required to repay income contingent loans was April 2000. The Retail Price Index figures used to maintain the value of student loans in real terms were 2.6 per cent., 2.3 per cent. and 1.3 per cent. for academic years 200001, 200102 and 200203 respectively. Had the threshold been raised in the same way it would now be £10,630.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what estimate he has made of the annual cost to the Government of the increase in the income threshold for student loan borrowers after 2005; 
Alan Johnson: We plan to publish a Regulatory Impact Assessment early in the new year which will set out the impact of this change alongside the financial implications of the other policies announced in the Higher Education White Paper.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the interest rate on student loans has been in each year since they were introduced; for what reasons the rates have fluctuated; and if he will make a statement. 
Alan Johnson: The interest rate on student loans in each year since their introduction is set out in the following table:
|Academic year||Percentage||Academic year||Percentage|
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Interest applied to student loans is set at the Retail Price Index (RPI) for the financial year ending in the previous March. As an annual measure of inflation, reflecting the change to prices of goods and services in the economy, this ensures that borrowers repay in real terms the value of the loan they take out.
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