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21 Jan 2004 : Column 1317W—continued

E-registration

Mr. Forth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the procedures are for monitoring and assessing the effectiveness of the funding by the Department of schools' e-registration systems. [148745]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Before schools can be awarded Capital Modernisation funding for electronic registration they must submit plans to the Department showing how they would spend it. Departmental officials only authorise local education authorities to release funding to a school when they are satisfied that its plans comply with stringent conditions set by the

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project. Local education authorities are then expected to work with schools to ensure the efficiency of systems installed.

We have also commissioned the University of Warwick to conduct an independent evaluation of the project. A summary of interim findings is available on the school attendance website, http://www.dfes.gov.uk/schoolattendance/. A final report is expected in February 2006.

Gap Years

Mr. Flook: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what representations he has received from (a) schools, (b) parents and (c) pupils about the intentions of year 12 or lower 6th students expecting to complete A-levels in summer 2005 and considering whether to take a gap year in 2005–06. [148504]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: At December 2003 the Department for Education and Skills had received the following representations about young people's gap year intentions for 2005/06: nine from schools, three from parents and three from pupils.

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what discussions he intends to have with charitable organisations in respect of the impact of his proposals for higher education funding on gap year activities in 2005–06. [149026]

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 19 January 2003]: There are no plans for discussions with charitable organisations on the impact of the proposals for higher education funding on gap year activities in 2005–06.

The Higher Education White Paper "The Future of Higher Education" was published on 22 January 2003 and there was an extensive consultation exercise associated with it.

In addition, the impact of higher education funding on gap year intentions is a matter regularly discussed by officials and Gap Year Providers and representative groups at meetings of DfES' informal Gap Year Consultation Group.

School Exclusions (Lancashire)

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) short-term, (b) long-term and (c) permanent (i) high schools and (ii) primary schools exclusions there were in Lancashire in each of the last three years. [148373]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Information on non-permanent (fixed term) exclusions is not yet available centrally.

The Department has recently started to collect information from local education authorities on both fixed term and permanent exclusions on a termly basis. The first term's data are not yet available.

The information requested on the numbers of permanent exclusions is given in the table.

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Lancashire LEA maintained primary and secondary schools: number of permanent exclusions, 1999/2000 to 2001/02

1999–20002000–01(34)2001–02(34)
NumberPercentage of school population(35)NumberPercentage of school population(35)NumberPercentage of school population(35)
Primary(36)190.02340.03390.04
Secondary(36)1440.192070.282400.32
Total1670.092500.142990.17

(34) The 2000/01 and 2001/02 figures shown in the table are based upon the Annual Schools census returns together with LEA level amendments reported by LEAs as part of the data checking process.

(35) Number of permanent exclusions expressed as a percentage of school population.

(36) Includes middle schools as deemed.


Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many pupil exclusions took place in each of the last three years in (a) Lancashire and (b) Chorley. [146975]

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Mr. Ivan Lewis: The information available for the three most recent years is shown in the table:

Maintained primary, secondary and all special schools: number of permanent exclusions, 1999/2000 to 2001/02

1999/2000 2000/01(37) 2001/02(37)
NumberPercentage(38)NumberPercentage(38)NumberPercentage(38)
Lancashire LEA
Primary(39)190.02340.03390.04
Secondary(39)1440.192070.282400.32
Special(40)40.1790.39200.88
Total1670.092500.142990.17

1999/20002000/012001/02
NumberPercentage(38)NumberPercentage(38)NumberPercentage(38)
Chorley constituency
Primary(39)10.0100.0070.08
Secondary(39)80.11130.18170.23
Special(40)00.0010.5120.01
Total90.05140.08260.16

(37) The 2000/01 and 2001/02 figures shown in the table are based upon the Annual Schools census returns together with LEA level amendments reported by LEAs as part of the data checking process.

(38) Number of permanent exclusions expressed as a percentage of school population.

(39) Includes middle schools as deemed.

(40) Includes maintained and non-maintained special schools.

Source:

Annual Schools' Census.


Individual Learning Accounts

Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps have been taken to introduce a replacement scheme for individual learning accounts; when the replacement scheme will commence; and if he will make a statement. [149565]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: In July 2003, we published the White Paper "21st Century Skills, Realising Our Potential" which sets out how we will meet the skills challenge. The reforms in that strategy provide the essential elements we previously sought to develop through Individual Learning Accounts (ILA). As the White Paper says at paragraph 4.31, we have decided not to introduce another stand-alone ILA scheme, separate from the mainstream support for adult learning.

The White Paper goes on to say:


Microsoft Licences

Dr. Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many new licences for Microsoft products were purchased by schools in (a) 1999, (b) 2001 and (c) 2002; and what the cost was in each year of these purchases. [146854]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Information on the number of, and cost of, new licences for Microsoft products purchased by schools in 1999, 2001 and 2002 is not available because of the devolved nature of the purchasing of Microsoft products under IMS arrangements.

Information has been made available to Becta by Microsoft in respect of Microsoft's licensing sales to schools during the 2002/03 Microsoft financial year. This information is the subject of legally binding non-disclosure arrangements.

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Dr. Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether, under the terms of the memorandum between Microsoft and the British Educational Communications and Training Agency, schools will continue to get licences at 20 per cent. to 37 per cent. discounts if the total aggregate number of Microsoft licences held by schools in the United Kingdom falls. [146855]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The discount levels in the memorandum between Microsoft and the British Educational Communications and Training Agency are based on thresholds derived from the estimated number of licenses purchased annually by schools in England rather than on the total number of licenses held. The discount levels are calculated annually in arrears and therefore the discount levels which apply in Year 1 of the agreement relate to purchases already made, are at the maximum level, and are therefore absolutely guaranteed. The discount applicable in Year 2 will relate to the number of licenses actually purchased in Year 1. The discount in Year 3 relates to the actual purchases in Year 2.

The number of licences across the UK required to qualify for the maximum discount in Year 2 and Year 3 are also based on the same numerical threshold as Year 1. Therefore, no growth in the number of Microsoft licences purchased annually by schools is required to achieve the maximum discount levels.

As Becta has a UK wide remit, it has ensured that licence volumes from the Devolved Administrations, although not taken into account in deriving the threshold, can be taken into account in meeting it, thus providing a cost advantage to schools in the Devolved Administrations, and the increased possibility that schools in England will benefit from the highest discount levels.

In the event that the number of licenses purchased by schools across the UK does not fall below 96 per cent. of the number of licenses purchased by schools in England in the year prior to the introduction of the MOU, the maximum level of discount will continue to apply. If the total number of licences sold to schools in the UK in any year of the agreement (the annual sales) falls below 96 per cent. of the number of licences purchased in the year immediately preceding the agreement by schools in England (the base year), the 20 per cent. minimum discount will be reduced as follows:


These two 'pro rata' minimum discount points at 15 per cent. and 10 per cent. were introduced to minimise the impact of any reductions in the purchasing by schools of Microsoft products.

Dr. Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many licences for Microsoft products are held by state schools; and what the total cost of such licences to the schools is. [146856]

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Mr. Charles Clarke: Microsoft has been supplying licences to schools for more than 20 years. Data on the number of licences held by state schools or their total cost are not available because of the devolved nature of purchasing under LMS arrangements.

Dr. Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of new licences purchased in each of the last five years by schools are OEM type licences that come outside the agreement between the British Educational Communications and Training Agency and Microsoft. [146857]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Information on the percentage of new licences purchased in each of the last five years by schools that are Original Equipment (OEM) type licences, is not available because of devolved nature of the purchasing of Microsoft products under Local Management of Schools arrangements.

Microsoft has made information available to Becta in respect of Microsoft's (non-OEM) licensing sales to schools during the 2002–03 Microsoft financial year. This information is the subject of legally binding non-disclosure arrangements.

The Department's ICT in Schools survey provides information which can be used to estimate the year on year growth in the number of computers in schools. It is anticipated that the vast majority of these additional machines will require an OEM licence in respect of Microsoft Windows.

Dr. Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will estimate the savings on software licences following the recent agreement between the British Educational Communications and Training Agency and Microsoft; and what percentage of school expenditure on Microsoft licences this represents in each of the next three years for schools. [146858]

Mr. Charles Clarke: Through aggregating demand for Microsoft Licensing, Becta has been able to identify estimated savings over the next three years of up to £46 million for schools in England. These potential savings apply to all schools in the maintained and independent sectors. Additional savings will accrue to schools in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Compared to April 2003 pricing, the reduction/savings in schools' spending attributable to this deal will be between 20 per cent. and 37 per cent. depending on the actual products purchased.

The estimate of savings for each of the next three years is:


Taking account of the likely mix of products purchased and the licensing programmes used, the overall percentage reduction in school spend on Microsoft licensing compared with spending levels as at April 2003 is estimated to be between 30 per cent. to 33 per cent.

The calculation of these savings was made possible as a result of information made available to Becta by Microsoft in respect of Microsoft's most recent financial year and under legally binding non-disclosure

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arrangements. Procedures to monitor the actual level of savings achieved have been agreed by Becta and Microsoft.


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