|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
23 Feb 2004 : Column 195Wcontinued
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how the new information referral and tracking system protocols and technical developments will interrelate with the wider e-Government programme; and how they will be integrated to ensure that local authorities are not unduly burdened. 
Margaret Hodge: Any new systems will conform to the e-GIF (e-Government Interoperability Framework) and we are working with the Office of e-Envoy to ensure that those requirements are met.
We are consulting other Government Departments on potential links with their e-Government developments and also liaising with ODPM colleagues in regard to the local e-Government programme. Our proposals in this area would only be commenced subject to a proper assessment of impact on local authorities and their capacity to deliver.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much additional funds will be available to support the implementation of new information referral and tracking systems. 
Margaret Hodge: Funding for the implementation of our proposals on information sharing systems will depend on the outcome of the 2004 spending review.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what his policy is on the regional dimension of future research grant allocation. 
Alan Johnson: The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) allocates research funding selectively to universities by a formula according to the quality and volume of their research activity. The funding formula has no explicit regional element. The Government's policy is to target available resources on the highest quality research wherever it exists to ensure our global competitiveness.
The report of the Lambert Review of Business-University Collaboration in December 2003 recommends that there should be a new stream of funding for business-led collaborative research, which should be delivered at a regional level through Regional Development Agencies. The Government expect to respond fully to the report this summer.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what criteria are set for dispute resolution within learning and skills councils. 
Alan Johnson: This is a matter for the Learning and Skills Council. Mark Haysom, the Council's Chief Executive, will write to my hon. Friend with this information and a copy of his reply will be placed in the Library.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what criteria he uses in determining value for money from learning and skills
23 Feb 2004 : Column 196W
councils; and what account he takes of value for money from councils when deciding upon re-appointment of council (a) directors and (b) board members. 
Alan Johnson: The Learning and Skills Council Remit Letter, issued in November 2000, places a duty on the LSC to make the best use of its resources. It requires the Council to take account of the findings from individual provider and area inspection reports, and the assessments of the Inspectorates about whether the financial resources made available to providers are managed effectively and used in ways which provide value for money.
The appointment of directors to the LSC is an operational matter for the LSC. Over 600 local Council 'board' members bring a wealth of knowledge, skills and expertise to bear on the delivery of the skills agenda at the local level. They make this commitment on a voluntary basis (which clearly yields excellent value for money). Appointments of Council members is in line with the Nolan principles of fair and open competition and operated in accordance with the guidance issued by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. Reappointments are a matter for the LSC. Mark Haysom, the Council's Chief Executive, will write to my hon. Friend with this information and a copy of his reply will be placed in the Library.
Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on education provision for (a) children and (b) adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg: The Education Act 1996 places duties on local education authorities (LEAs) and all LEA-maintained schools to identify, assess and make suitable provision to meet children's special educational needs (SEN), including the SEN of children with profound and multiple learning difficulties. In doing so, maintained schools and LEAs must have regard to the SEN Code of Practice, which gives practical guidance on identifying and meeting children's SEN, covering all areas of needcommunication and interaction; cognition and learning; behaviour, emotional and social development and sensory and physical needs.
The Government's new SEN Strategy "Removing Barriers to Achievement", launched on 11 February, will build on the improvements to the statutory framework brought about by the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act and the SEN Code of Practice, both 2001. Children with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities will benefit particularly from the proposals in the Strategy to improve early support for children with special needs from birth, to improve multi-agency working throughout education and in the transition to adult life, and to transform special schools, giving them an important role to play in providing education for children with the most severe and complex needs and sharing their specialist skills and knowledge with mainstream schools to provide children with a range of inclusive experiences.
My Department has strengthened the rights of people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities (LDD), including those with profound and multiple learning
23 Feb 2004 : Column 197W
disabilities, to appropriate post-16 provision through a combination of legislative change and collaborative work with key organisations representing disabled learners. Under Section 13 of the Learning and Skills Act 2000, the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has a specific responsibility to help young people and adults with LDD. Although the LSC does not develop policies relating to specific groups of learners, its broad remit means that it can fund a wide range of provision to ensure these learners have access to suitable provision which meets their needs and, where appropriate, the additional support they require to undertake it.
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the paper from the National Institute for Adult and Continuing Education on the implementation of lifelong learning. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: I have only recently received the paper which NIACE is circulating to key partners in advance of the Government's forthcoming Spending Review. The Government will consider the submission during the Spending Review.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will list, for the most recent year for which information is available, the (a) first degree subjects studied and (b) first degree classifications achieved by those completing PGCEs in mathematics; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Miliband: Information on the first-degree subjects studied by students on Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) courses is not collected centrally. However, all candidates training to teach secondary school pupils in England must, by law, demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of their subject at a standard equivalent to degree level before Qualified Teacher Status may be awarded.
Of those candidates who successfully completed PGCE courses in mathematics in 2001/02, the latest year for which data are available, and whose first-degree classification is known, 10 per cent. held First-class Honours; 31 per cent. Upper Second-class Honours; 37 per cent. Lower Second-class Honours; and 13 per cent. Third-class Honours. A further 8 per cent. held Ordinary degrees.
Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) if he will trial the modern apprenticeship in sporting excellence scheme before it is introduced to all relevant sporting organisations; 
(3) if he will delay the introduction of the modern apprenticeship in sporting excellence scheme until full consultation has been possible with all those involved; 
23 Feb 2004 : Column 198W
(4) if he will allow sporting organisations more flexibility than provided for in the proposed modern apprenticeship in sporting excellence scheme to adapt the scheme to allow progression in careers other than sport. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: It was the intention to introduce the new Modern Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence MA SE for football from August 2004. I have decided that the current football scholarship will be available for a further year while work to develop a Modern Apprenticeship framework appropriate for football is continued. We ensure that all relevant football interests are consulted about the design of the framework. The scholarship will then be phased out from 2005.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|