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Academic Performance

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether there is evidence from trends in academic performance that (a) pupils and (b) students
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from (i) white and (ii) other ethnic communities are increasing their level of performance. [188291]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: The Youth Cohort Study has been run by the Department for a number of years and collects information from young people after they have finished compulsory education. The following table shows the percentage of pupils that achieve five or more GCSEs at grade A* to C:
Attainment of five or more GCSE grades A*-C in year 11 by ethnic group: 1991–2001

Weighted sample24,92218,02015,89914,66213,69816,707
Other Asian465061617264
Other ethnic group(10)3746474353
Not stated181629272630

(9) From 1997, includes equivalent GNVQ qualifications achieved in year 11.
(10) Not available.
Youth Cohort Study (England and Wales) cohorts 6–11, sweep 1.

Information on achievement of students is not available from the same source, but the following table, from the Higher Education Statistics Agency shows the numbers in higher education from different ethnic groups and the proportion of these groups who obtained first or upper second class degrees:
Proportion of first degree graduates in each ethnic group achieving a first or upper second class degree

Ethnic group(11)GraduatesFirst or 2:1 (percentage)GraduatesFirst or 2:1 (percentage)
Asian Other2,095402,73546
Unknown ethnicity27,7204816,12545

n/a = not available.
(11) Covers UK domiciled students only. From the academic year 2001/02 onwards, HESA has coded ethnicity using a more detailed ethnic breakdown that allows identification of those of mixed ethnicity. In years prior to this, those of mixed ethnicity will have been recorded in one of the other ethnic groups.
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)


Mr. Hurst: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether he plans to retain archaeology as a GCSE examination subject. [188549]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) is regulator of the public examinations system. It oversees the work of the examinations awarding bodies, to ensure that their administration, marking and awarding procedures run smoothly. Awarding bodies are independent organisations and, as such, Ministers have no powers to intervene in their actions.

The QCA does expect awarding bodies to offer a broad portfolio of qualifications, but cannot insist on them offering specific subjects. QCA can, however, insist that the awarding bodies give sufficient notice to centres and give support to centres in finding suitable alternative qualifications. In this instance the QCA felt that appropriate notice had been given by AQA to drop its GCSE Archaeology specification and, considering the fact that most candidates were post-16 (there were only 92 pre-16 candidates for GCSE archaeology in 2003), the AS qualification seemed a suitable alternative.

When Ministers consider the final report of the Working Group on 14–19 Reform we will ensure that any proposals for reform will allow a wide range of qualification areas and subjects to be available to ensure choice and breadth of knowledge for learners.

Departmental Press Officers

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what his projection is of the number of press officers employed in his Department for 2004–05. [187554]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: It is anticipated that 20 press officers will be employed in this Department in 2004–05.
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European Languages Day

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps his Department is taking to mark European Languages Day. [188037]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: The Department, in conjunction with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and CILT, the National Centre for Languages, will be marking the day with a public event, to be held at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The programme for the day of celebrations will include the European Awards for Languages ceremony, which will recognise the innovation and achievement of 17 different language learning projects across the education spectrum, and the launch of the Languages Work project.

Medical Training

Jim Dowd: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students (a) were admitted to and (b) graduated from medical training in the UK in each of the past 10 years. [189003]

Dr. Howells: The available information covering medical school intake and graduate output at institutions in England is given in the table. Information for Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish medical schools is the responsibility of the devolved Administrations.
Actual Medical School intake and output in England1993/94 to 2003/04

Academic yearIntakeGraduate Output

(12) This figure is provisional until December 2004 when a finalised figure will be cleared.
Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

Public Services Funding

Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will identify, for (a) his Department and (b) the agencies and task forces for which his Department is responsible, each funding stream for public services in (i) the Isle of Thanet and (ii) the Canterbury City local authority area. [181730]

Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 1 July 2004]: The Department provides funding for schools and their pupils aged 3–15, other education services, Children, Young People and Family Services, and the Youth Service, in the Isle of Thanet and Canterbury City, through Kent county council and local partnerships. In 2004–05, Kent county council and local partnerships in the county receive funding from the Department through the funding streams set out as follows. Schools can already spend most of these funds in any way they choose and we will be working with schools and local authorities to take further steps to rationalise funding streams, including a Single Improvement Grant.
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Recurrent funding for education in Kent

Capital funding for education in Kent

Recurrent and capital funding for children, young people and family services in Kent

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Recurrent and capital funding for post-16 learning and skills provision (outside higher education) in Kent

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) is responsible for the funding of post-16 learning and skills provision (outside higher education) in the Isle of Thanet and City of Canterbury local authority areas. The Department provides funding to the LSC through the following funding lines:

Recurrent and capital funding for higher education in Kent

There are five institutions in Kent LEA: three higher education institutions (HEIs) and two further education colleges who run higher education courses. All of these receive funding from Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). As there are no HEIs on the Isle of Thanet there is no funding by HEFCE. HEFCE provided funding for the following funding lines:

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