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11 Jan 2005 : Column 195W—continued

Increased Flexibility Programme

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what evaluation has been undertaken of the impact of the Increased Flexibility programme on (a) behaviour, (b) attendance and (c) post-16 participation. [207548]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: The Department engaged the National Foundation for Educational Research to evaluate the Increased Flexibility programme. The report of the evaluation of the first year was published in February 2004 and the report of the evaluation of the
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second year is due to be published in January 2005. The evaluations have covered the experience of implementation and the impact on:

A final report of the evaluation is due to be published in April 2005 and will include findings on post-16 participation of young people in the first cohort.

The evaluation has involved questionnaires and interviews with a sample from the first two cohorts of IFP students and their associated schools, colleges and training providers. Interviews have also been conducted with a small number of employers and representatives of HEIs.

Infant Schools

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many single form entry infant schools there were on 1 January 2004. [207554]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: The information requested is not collected centrally.

International Students (Visas)

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the cost of processing a visa extension application made by an international student studying at a UK university. [205312]

Mr. Browne: I have been asked to reply.

On 1 August 2003 the Home Office introduced charges for leave to remain applications, including those from international students. Fees were calculated to recover the full administrative costs (including staffing and overhead costs) of processing applications to the point of conveying a decision.

We have recently consulted stakeholders on proposals to extend the principle of cost recovery charging, to include the costs of providing an appeal function and the costs of delivering enforcement activity. The consultation closed on 8 December 2004.

A full analysis of responses will be undertaken following the consultation and published in January 2005. On the basis of the responses received and evidence gathered during the consultation period, a final decision on the proposals will be taken in early 2005. The fees will then be recalculated to reflect up to date budget and forecast information. Regulations will be laid before Parliament seeking approval for the final fees, which will take effect from 1 April 2005.

Lifelong Learning

Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the total cost is of the
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Lifelong Learning Initiative; and what proportion has been spent on (a) intermediaries and (b) front-line service providers. [205396]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Total Government expenditure on lifelong learning, covering Further Education, skills and to develop the 14–19 phase, was around £9 billion in 2003–04. The latest forecast of administration expenditure for the Learning and Skills Council in 2003–04 is around £233 million. This represents a saving of around £50 million compared to the combined administration cost of the Training and Enterprise Councils and the Further Education Funding Council, before the setting up of the Learning and Skills Council.

Local Authority Plans

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the process is for amending a local education authority's (a) Education Development Plan and (b) School Organisation Plan; and whether approval to do so has to be sought from the Secretary of State. [207555]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: The LEA amends the Education Development Plan (EDP) by carrying out an annual review, which is submitted to the Department in July each year. The Secretary of State does not approve the annual review.

There are no formal procedures for amending a School Organisation Plan (SOP), but an LEA must produce a new plan if there is a change in policy, strategy or local circumstances, relating to the organisation of schools, before the next plan is due. SOPs must be approved by the local School Organisation Committee (SOC) or the Schools Adjudicator if the SOC cannot reach a unanimous decision. The Secretary of State has no role in the approval process.

Planning requirements for children's services are being rationalised to help local authorities to operate more effectively in delivering outcomes for children and to reduce bureaucracy. The Children Act 2004 repeals requirements for the EDP and SOP, among requirements for other plans, and also provides for regulations requiring a Children's Services Authority (CSA) to produce a single plan for children's services—the Children and Young People's Plan (CYPP).

Legislation is likely to commence as soon as possible to allow authorities to develop the CYPP. The EDP annual review will not therefore be required for July 2005.

Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland, East

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will set out, including statistical information relating as directly as possible to the constituency, the effect on Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland, East constituency of her Department's policies since 8 June 2001. [206837]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: The Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland, East constituency lies within Middlesbrough local education authority. Available information by constituency, is provided within the Department's 'In Your Area' website available at
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uk/inyourarea. Where information is not available at the constituency level it has been provided at local education authority level.

This website allows users to access key facts and local information about education and skills based on postcodes. The data available within the site offers comparisons between 1997 and the latest available year and covers five geographies. These are parliamentary constituency, ward, local authority district, local education authority, government office region. England figures are also provided.

The information available within the website is grouped in a number of broad categories including Literacy and Numeracy at age 11, Literacy and Numeracy at age 14, GCSE/GNVQ results, Pupils with Special Educational Needs, School Initiatives, School Workforce, School Funding and Resources, Children's Social Services, Early Years, Class Sizes, Post 16, Higher Education and Adult Education.

Additional information could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, my Department is investigating ways in which we can disseminate more information about the effects of our policies at a local level. The 'In Your Area' website will be further developed over the coming months to include additional information about Adult Education, School Funding, School Initiatives, School Performance, School Workforce and Post 16.

Oratory School

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the impact on the School Admissions Code of the judgement made in favour of the Oratory School in the High Court. [207544]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: We are considering the judgment and what, if any, action to take in response.

Primary Schools

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what representations she has received concerning the impact of workforce reform on primary schools; [207560]

(2) what assessment she has made of the financial cost of introducing 10 per cent. planning preparation and assessment time in primary schools; [207561]

(3) what element of the increase in school funding for 2005–06 is to meet the school's requirement to provide 10 per cent. planning preparation and assessment time in primary schools. [207562]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: We have had some correspondence from the primary sector concerning the impact of workforce reform on schools. Last summer we worked with six LEAs and about a dozen schools in each of those LEAs to get a better understanding of their starting points, how they planned to deliver the reforms and to what extent that could be achieved through the redeployment of existing resources.

Based on that work, the minimum per-pupil funding guarantee for primary (and nursery) schools was set at 5 per cent. in 2005–06, 1 per cent. higher than for
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secondary and special schools, to take account of the need to provide teachers with guaranteed time for planning, preparation and assessment (PPA).

The precise cost at school level of introducing PPA time will depend on the strategies schools choose to implement the reforms.

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