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Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what savings she estimates will accrue from the withdrawal of subsidies by (a) central and (b) local government to adult and continuing education. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis:
No savings will be accrued as funding has not been withdrawn. The Government agreed with the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) a budget of
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£207.4 million in 200405 for adult education secured through local education authorities, an increase of 43 per cent. compared with funding in 200001 of £145 million. In addition the LSC has been consulting on reforming the planning and funding of non-qualification provision to meet our commitments to safeguard learning opportunities for personal and community development and to secure a coherent range of "first steps" learning opportunities in every area.
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) courses are being discontinued and (b) staff are being made redundant as a result of the withdrawal of funding for adult and continuing education. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Government are maintaining their commitment to safeguard the availability of these types of learning opportunities. The Government agreed with the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) a budget of £207.4 million in 200405 for adult education secured through local education authorities, an increase of 43 per cent. compared with funding in 200001 of £145 million.
Local Learning and Skills Council (LSC) together with local learning providers are charged with making decisions about the range of courses provided depending on local needs and demands. These are local decisions and there is no national record either of courses discontinued, or indeed new courses created, or on staff redundancies.
Mrs. Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of (a) primary school and (b) secondary school teachers have received specialist training in (i) autism awareness and (ii) teaching techniques relevant for children with autism spectrum disorder. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg: This information is not collected centrally by the Department. The National Autistic Society's 2002 report, Autism in Schools: Crisis or Challenge?, found that 19 per cent. of some 6,800 teachers surveyed had received some autism specific training. In the same year the Department together with the Department of Health published good practice guidance on autistic spectrum disorders one of the aims of which was to raise awareness amongst teachers and other professionals. Some 27,000 copies have been distributed in response to demand.
The Government's recently published SEN strategy, Removing Barriers to Achievement, recognises the importance of effective training and continuing professional development. The Department is working
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with the Teacher Training Agency to carry forward a number of practical proposals for strengthening teacher training in SEN and disability issues.
Margaret Hodge: Government recognises the importance of early intervention for children with autistic spectrum disorders and relevant initiatives aim to ease access to informed intervention for pre-school children below the age of five. All three and four year olds are now entitled to a free part-time early education place, for at least 12 and a half hours a week, if their parents want one. The Government's special educational needs (SEN) strategy Removing Barriers to Achievement (February 2004) set out a programme for improving advice and support to, and the skills of, early years settings in meeting the needs of children with SEN. Local education authorities, where necessary, have duties and powers to assess pre-school children's SEN, including children with autistic spectrum disorders, and to draw up statements of SEN setting out the provision necessary to meet the child's needs. The provision, including the number of hours of any specialist intervention, will depend on the nature and intensity of the individual child's needs.
Mrs. Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children over the age of five years have been diagnosed with autism in the last 12 months; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Hodge: In January 2004, data on type of special educational needs (SEN) was collected for the first time. All schools were sent information about each of 11 types of need to help them to categorise pupils reliably, but the Department believes that for the first year of collection the data should be treated with considerable caution. We are therefore not publishing the data at local authority level this year.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what discussions she has had with local education authorities involved in the first wave of the Building Better Schools programme; 
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Mr. Stephen Twigg: Since February 2004, when we announced the first wave of projects in Building Schools for the Future, we and our delivery partners, Partnerships for Schools, have given each of the 19 authorities tailored and dedicated support. Each authority has a contact officer from my Department to help deal with any education policy queries and a project director from Partnerships for Schools to help develop their business cases. We also contract with the 4ps to give the authorities advice and support about stakeholder consultation and involvement.
The level and frequency of discussions with, and representations from, the local authorities has varied according to the individual circumstances and needs of each project. Key themes of the discussions and representations have included: project affordability and scoping; 'joining up' other capital funding streams to make the most of the programme and develop extended schools; the funding arrangements for voluntary aided schools; the inclusion of pupils with special educational needs; and assessment of the potential role for academies in those areas.
Mr. Wills: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which local authorities have trafficked children in their care; and which local authorities have had trafficked children in their care between 1999 and 2004. 
The statistics included details of overall numbers of looked after children at 31 March, the number of children adopted in 200304, the number and qualifications achieved by care leavers in 200304 aged 16 and over, and the activity of 19-year-old former care leavers.
Mr. Wills: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the (a) country of origin and (b) purposes for which they were trafficked were of trafficked children in local authority care between 1999 and 2004. 
The statistics included details of overall numbers of looked after children at 31 March, the number of children adopted in 200304, the number and
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qualifications achieved by care leavers in 200304 aged 16 and over, and the activity of 19 year old former care leavers.
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