|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary is responsible for the law on charitable status. Under the Charities Bill an organisation qualifies for charitable status only if it has a charitable purposesuch as advancement of educationand is for the public benefit. The Charity Commission, the independent regulator, will review the public benefit credentials of
16 Jun 2005 : Column 584W
fee-charging charities, including independent schools. Any that are not for the public benefit face loss of charitable status.
Beverley Hughes: During March 2005, nationally across all Sure Start local programmes, 79,356 children were seen. Our expectations have been that programmes will see between a quarter and a third of the children in their area per month so these figures are broadly in line with expectations. Over the course of a year we expect that all families with young children will have some contact with their local Sure Start programme.
Jacqui Smith: Primary schools, supported by the National Literacy Strategy, have the highest standards of literacy ever. The Strategy has evolved to take account of the latest developments, and the time is right to renew the literacy framework, to build on this success. To inform this work, I have appointed Jim Rose to review best practice in the teaching of early reading, including synthetic phonics, and the range of provision to support children with significant literacy difficulties.
Phil Hope: The Government gives a high priority to improving offenders' literacy skills. During 20045, offenders in custody achieved almost 30,000 nationally accredited literacy qualificationsa major contribution to the Government's targets for improving basic skills.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will take steps to make all Acts of Parliament published before 1988 for which her Department is responsible available on-line. 
The Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO) within the Cabinet Office is the Queen's Printer of Acts of Parliament, and responsible for the publication of Acts of Parliament. HMSO has considered the publication of Acts prior to 1988, which is the earliest date when these were available electronically, but has decided not to do so as many have
16 Jun 2005 : Column 585W
been heavily amended and to publish them in their original form would be misleading for many users. The Government are, however, taking forward development of a Statute Law Database which will contain the fully revised and updated text of all legislation from 1275. It is expected that this will be made available to the general public during 2006.
Bill Rammell: The following individuals, representing a range of interests and expertise in international comparisons studies of attainment have been invited, together with appropriate DFES officials, to attend a seminar on this subject scheduled for 4 July 2005:
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills for what reasons the budget of Bournemouth and Poole College of Further Education for the academic year 2005/06 is being reduced. 
Bill Rammell [holding answer 25 May 2005]: Funding for further education is increasing and will rise by over £1 billion in 2005/06 compared to 2002/03almost a 20 per cent. real terms increase over three years. Funding increases for individual colleges will depend on a number of factors including the extent to which college activities align with our key priorities. The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) have not yet confirmed Bournemouth and Poole College's allocation for 2005/06. As the allocation of funding to colleges relates to the LSC's operational responsibilities. I have asked the LSC's Chief Executive, Mark Haysom, to write to the hon. Member with the information requested. A copy of his reply will be placed in the Library.
I write in response to your recent Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Education and Skills regarding FE funding for Bournemouth and Poole College. Following discussions with colleagues who work with the College, I hope the following will answer your concerns.
Bournemouth and Poole College's Further Education allocation for 2004/05 was £22,684,000. The budget for this year, (2005/06) has been confirmed at £23,134,337an actual increase on the previous year. Written confirmation of this amount was given to the college on 27 May.
The LSC is aware that some FE institutions are warning of serious cuts in courses for adults, particularly part-time courses, to make ends meet while others talk of the need for staff redundancies. We have always been clear that this funding round was going to be tough and that the whole sector is going to have to make difficult choices.
None of this is due to the LSC cutting FE budgets. In fact we have increased FE funding nationally from £3.5 billion to £4.5billion from 2001/02 to 2005/06, an increase of 29 per cent. This year we will be increasing national funding by a further £170 million. This increase is reflected across the country with Bournemouth and Poole College seeing an increase of £450,337.
The fact that budgets have increased does not disguise the immense challenges ahead. Public funds are always finite and there will never be enough money to do all that the LSC or the FE colleges would like to do. There are a number of key factors to explain why colleges like Bournemouth and Poole are feeling the funding squeeze. The first is their success in driving up participation and achievement. For example, we now have the highest ever level of 1618 year olds in education and training. These numbers have to be funded and this has put a strain on budgets, leaving less for other areas and ensuring that money will be tight in the next academic year and beyond.
Funding is also being squeezed because we are concentrating funding on key priorities we have agreed with the Government in the areas of education and training for 1618 year olds, young people taking Apprenticeships, anyone needing to improve their literacy and numeracy and anyone without a full level 2 qualification. These priorities are vital to delivering the Government's Skills Strategy.
Copies of The Skills We Need": Our Annual Statement of Priorities, which sets out the key actions for this coming year, were distributed during December 2004 and this was followed by a paper outlining local priorities, several group presentations and one to one meetings with the College. The last of these was held on May 12 to finalise allocations and gave them a week to respond with views.
We recognise this situation will not be easy and we understand that some colleges find it difficult to reduce courses outside our priorities. That is why we believe they can develop additional funding by increasing the fees for those individuals with higher-level qualifications and from employers.
The Skills Strategy clearly emphasised the need for employers and individuals to contribute more in relation to the significant benefits they receive from education and training. That is why following consultation last year, the LSC increased the levels colleges are assumed to charge for courses from 25 per cent. to 27.5 per cent. Raising fees is designed to ensure public funds are concentrated on those people with low or no skills to bring about a better balance between public and private investment in education and training.
In the summer of 2004, I discussed with college principals from all parts of the country the major and urgent issues facing further education. The extensive dialogue was an essential part of the LSC's commitment to work in partnership with FE in a spirit of trust, openness and transparency.
Following this we produced an agenda for change, identifying issues crucial to the transformation of FE to meet the needs of learners and employers. For our part, the LSC made very clear the scale of the challenges that we face together and the transformation agenda that we must pursue in FE to meet those challenges. I will be speaking further about our progress during a second series of regional road shows planned for this summer.
Trish Taylor, Executive Director for Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole plans to keep you updated throughout this year with progress against our priorities for Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole. In the meantime, I hope this letter answers your questions regarding funding for Bournemouth and Poole College.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|