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Land-based Education

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans his Department has to support colleges involved in the land-based industries. [180927]

Alan Johnson: The Department allocates funds for education and training in the post-16 learning and skills sector to the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). As a result of the 2002 Spending Review, total funding for the further education sector is set to rise by over £1 billion in the three years up to 2005–06, when compared to 2002–03. It is for the LSC to agree funding and plans with individual colleges, including those involved in the land-based industries, based on consideration of priorities and the needs of learners and employers.

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what financial support his Department provides to over-19 year olds engaged in full-time land-based education programmes at further education colleges. [180930]

Alan Johnson: My Department makes available Learner Support Funds for students of all ages, via the Learning and Skills Council, to meet the assessed needs of students in all programmes. The Learning and Skills Council also makes a specific allocation of funds to
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colleges providing for land based and art and design students for their residential costs. The latest figures we hold show that £1.9 million was spent on these for students of 19+ in the academic year 2002–03.

Learning and Skills Councils

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what guidance on criteria for selection he has provided to local learning and skills councils for the provision of free learning for any adult who does not have skills for employability to help them achieve a level 2 qualification; and if he will make a statement. [180708]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: DfES officials are working in partnership with the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) to introduce the commitment announced in the White Paper "21st Century Skills" to help unskilled and low skilled people achieve a first level 2 qualification. The entitlement to free tuition for a first level 2 qualification is part of a coherent offer of support being trialled in the LSC's north east and south east regions from September 2004.
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DfES have agreed with National LSC a design framework for the trials, setting out the basis on which they will operate, including eligibility. The trial regions are issuing guidance at a local level based on this framework. I am arranging for a copy of the framework to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what criteria he uses when deciding which parliamentary questions should be referred to the Learning and Skills Council; and how many days after receipt of a parliamentary question the Learning and Skills Council is required to provide a reply. [180710]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Parliamentary questions which request factual information arising from decisions taken by the Learning and Skills Council in the course of its
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operations are referred to the LSC Chief Executive, asking him to write to the hon. Member concerned. The LSC aims to respond within 10 working days of the publication of answers in Hansard. A copy of the Chief Executive's reply is placed in the House Library.

Public Law

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on how his Department is implementing ethnic monitoring in public law proceedings. [180764]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department for Education and Skills collects data on the legal status and ethnic origin of looked-after children. The data provided in the following table are a snapshot of the number of looked-after children at 31 March 2003 and a breakdown of their ethnic origin.
Number of children looked after at 31 March 2003 by legal status and ethnic origin1, 2

All children1,3WhiteMixedAsian or Asian BritishBlack or Black BritishOther
ethnic groups
All children1, 360,80049,2004,7001,4004,2001,300
Care orders39,60033,0003,4007601,900480
Interim care orders10,2008,300890270560160
Full care orders29,30024,7002,5004901,300320
Voluntary agreement(23)18,90014,5001,2005202,100680
Freed for adoption1,9001,700170101010
On remand, committed for trial, or detained250180040
Detained for child protection220140600200

(20) Figures in this table exclude children looked after under an agreed series of short-term placements.
(21) Figures over 1,000 have been rounded to the nearest 100. Figures between 1 and 5 have been suppressed and replaced by '—'. All other figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.
(22) Figures for 'All children' are based on the CLA100. All other figures are derived from the SSDA903 sample. As a result, sum of columns may not agree with totals.
(23) Under S20CA 1989.

The information provided is derived from the SSDA903 and CLA100 returns. The SSDA903 is a statistical return completed by all local authorities with social services responsibilities in England for one-third of all looked-after children. The CLA100 is an annual return providing aggregate data on the numbers of children looked after by each authority on 31 March.

The data provided in the table give an indication of the number of children by ethnic origin involved in public law proceedings.

Pupil Funding (Wigan)

Mr. Neil Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much public funding was spent per pupil in Wigan in each of the last seven years. [169279]

Mr. Miliband: The Department does not collect the information in the way it has been asked for. However, the following table gives a breakdown of the available data:
Net Current Expenditure

Pre-primary educationPrimary educationPre-primary and primarySecondary educationSpecial

1. The financial data is taken from Wigan LEA's Section 52 Outturn Statement submitted to the DfES from 1999–2000 onwards and the ODPM's RO1 statement previously. Expenditure was not distinguished between pre-primary and primary sectors until the inception of the Section 52 outturn statement in 1999–2000. 1999–2000 figures reflect the return of GM schools to local authority maintenance.
2. The outturn 2002–03 tables captured the data in a fundamentally different way to the previous years. Categories were aligned with the Consistent Financial Reporting framework and the spending by LEAs was no longer split by school sector. Consequently the unit costs per pupil in 2002–03 are not strictly comparable with earlier years as they include an apportionment of LEA expenditure based on pupil numbers. 2002–03 data is subject to change by the LEA. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
3. Net current expenditure (NCE) includes expenditure within schools and also that incurred centrally by the LEA.
4. The NCE per pupil figures for pre-primary and primary relate the net current expenditure (after recharges) in the pre-primary sector and maintained primary schools to the total number of financial year pupils who are educated in the maintained nursery and primary schools sector.
5. The NCE per pupil figures for secondary relate the net current expenditure (after recharges) in maintained secondary schools to the total number of financial year pupils who are educated in the maintained secondary schools sector.
6. The NCE per pupil figures for special schools relate the net current expenditure (after recharges) in maintained special schools to the total number of financial year pupils who are educated in the maintained special schools sector.
7. The variations that appear under the pre-primary sector and special school sector have arisen because the LEA scored items within specific areas differently between 2000–01 and 2001–02. The items fall within specific areas such as premises related, supplies and services, and third party payments; and under special schools the specific areas are employees and premises related expenditure. However, the overall total expenditure for all sectors within the specific areas does not reflect similar substantial differences between the years.
8. Pupil data are drawn from the Annual Schools Census adjusted to be on a financial year basis.

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