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Mr. Miliband: Middlesbrough local education authority is responsible for planning school places in the area. It has to ensure that schools serve the needs of their local communities and provide good quality education in a cost effective way.
I understand that Middlesbrough LEA is consulting on a number of options for reorganising schools to deal with falling pupil numbers and hopes to publish
6 Dec 2004 : Column 308W
statutory proposals early in 2005. Any proposals to close Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland schools will be decided locally by the school organisation committee, or by an independent schools adjudicator if the committee cannot reach an unanimous decision.
Mr. Stephen Twigg [holding answer 2 December 2004]: We are taking forward a number of projects to improve school food and provide consistent messages about healthy eating across the curriculum. We plan to extend our standards for school lunches to cover food consumed in schools throughout the day, which will include food provided at breakfast clubs.
Mr. Stephen Twigg [holding reply 2 December 2004] : The Healthy Living Blueprint was launched on 6 September 2004. It contains guidelines for schools to develop and implement a whole-school food policy, and school nutrition action groups have helped many schools improve the standard of food provided and consumed throughout the school day. Further information can be found on the website: http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/wholeschool/healthvlivina/wholeschoQlapproach/rmks/
Dr. Howells: Higher education students from England and Wales do not qualify for financial assistance under the Department's student support arrangements if they are undertaking their entire course at an overseas institution. However, students who are attending a course offered by a UK institution in conjunction with an overseas institution, and who are required to spend a period of study at that overseas institution as part of their UK course, are eligible for financial assistance for the period spent overseas.
UK students who spend a period overseas under the Erasmus exchange scheme normally receive an Erasmus grant, provided by the European Commission, which contributes towards the extra costs arising from studying abroad.
Dr. Howells: The available information has been taken from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) Student Record. In 2002/03, there were 250,195 non-UK domiciled students enrolled on higher education courses at HE institutions in Great Britain and of these, 87,090 were from the EU and 6,390 were from the EU accession countries.
[holding answer 30 November 2004]: Sure Start local programmes were originally intended to be time limited. However, we are now intending, in discussion with local programme managers and local authorities to continue funding Sure Start children's centres as part of ongoing mainstream funding for children's services. We will tell the Sure Start children's centres what their continued funding will be as soon as final discussions are taken.
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Margaret Hodge [holding answer 30 November 2004]: We will be discussing with local authorities and Sure Start programmes how to ensure that key services and ways of working successfully delivered by the programmes are maintained as local authorities take on increasing responsibility for planning of children's services including Sure Start local programmes. We expect to begin this process in April 2006, and hope that all programmes will be administered through local authorities by April 2008. We will ensure that ring-fencing remains until we have agreed ways of ensuring that funding mechanisms support the transition from Sure Start local programmes to Sure Start children's centres without jeopardising the quality of services for local families.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many full-time equivalent posts were being funded by Sure Start programmes on the latest date for which figures are available; and what proportion of these posts are occupied by men. 
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether prospective students who are required to undertake a one-year foundation course prior to commencing an art degree in 2006 will be liable to pay top-up tuition fees for their art degree; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: Students taking art or other foundation courses in 2005/06 (prior to starting their higher education course in 2006/07) will come within the variable deferred fees regime. Such students will be able to take advantage of the new system under which tuition fees do not have to be paid until after graduation (and only then while the individual is earning above a certain level, currently set at £15,000), and of the enhanced student support package in 2006/07, including the new means-tested £2,700 grant.
|Black or black BritishCaribbean||895|
|Black or black BritishAfrican||1,755|
|Other black background||290|
|Asian or Asian BritishIndian||6,720|
|Asian or Asian BritishPakistani||3.930|
|Asian or Asian BritishBangladeshi||1,180|
|Chinese/other ethnic backgroundChinese||1,595|
|Other Asian background||1,505|
|Mixedwhite and black Caribbean||370|
|Mixedwhite and black African||235|
|Mixedwhite and Asian||1,000|
|Other mixed background||645|
|Other ethnic background||830|
|Total known ethnicity||122,800|
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many video conferencing units are installed in (a) the Department and (b) each agency of the Department; what percentage of offices have these facilities in each case; and what plans there are to increase the number. 
|Number of video units installed|
At the present time, there are no formal plans to increase the number of videoconferencing units in the Department but we constantly monitor the amount of use made of the studios to inform decisions about the potential need for extra facilities.
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