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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 200506, when compared to 200203. 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. 
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 200203.
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. 
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.
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. 
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.
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.
|All children1,3||White||Mixed||Asian or Asian British||Black or Black British||Other|
|All children1, 3||60,800||49,200||4,700||1,400||4,200||1,300|
|Interim care orders||10,200||8,300||890||270||560||160|
|Full care orders||29,300||24,700||2,500||490||1,300||320|
|Freed for adoption||1,900||1,700||170||10||10||10|
|On remand, committed for trial, or detained||250||180||||0||40|||
|Detained for child protection||220||140||60||0||20||0|
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.
|Pre-primary education||Primary education||Pre-primary and primary||Secondary education||Special|
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