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29 Jun 2005 : Column 1629W—continued

School Meals

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to her Answer of 9 June 2005, Official Report, column 698W, on school meals, (a) when she expects to decide how best to capture information about schools meals provision and (b) what information about school meals provision is collected by (i) her Department and (ii) other Government departments. [7214]

Jacqui Smith: Our intention is to send schools a questionnaire covering the relevant information about school meals provision before they break for the summer holidays.

The Department for Education and Skills collects information on eligibility and take-up of free school meals. Other Government departments do not collect information about school meals.
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Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when she expects the School Meals Review Panel to publish its draft school lunch standards for the school year starting in September. [8058]

Jacqui Smith: The Department for Education and Skills will publish the draft version of the school lunch standards for public consultation this September, the final version will be mandatory by September 2006.

Schools (Sutton)

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children are attending schools in the London borough of Sutton in the 2004–05 academic year, broken down by (a) local authority and (b) (i) primary, (ii) secondary and (iii) special school. [7248]

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Jacqui Smith: The requested information is given in the table:
Maintained primary, secondary and all special schools(27): number (headcount) of pupils(28)—as at January 2005 (provisional)—Sutton local education authority area, by local authority area
Headcount of pupils

Sutton local authority14,79014,7402708035029,880
Epsom and Ewell local authority2601,220n/an/an/a1,480
Sutton local education authority15,05015,9602708035031,360

n/a=not applicable.
(27)Includes middle schools as deemed.
(28)Excludes dually registered pupils.
Pupil numbers nave been rounded to the neatest 10. There may be discrepancies between the sum of constituent items and totals as shown.
Annual Schools Census

Special Educational Needs

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the average time taken to statement a pupil in Lancashire education authority was in the last period for which figures are available. [6604]

Maria Eagle: The Department for Education and Skills does not hold data on the average time taken to issue a statement for pupils with special educational needs in local education authorities. Relevant data is however available from the Audit Commission. The LEA Best Value indicator BV 43b shows that 67.1 per cent. of draft statements of SEN in Lancashire were prepared within 18 weeks during 2003–04. If cases covered by the statutory exceptions to the time limits—as set out in the Education (Special Educational Needs) (England) (Consolidation) Regulations 2001, Section 12(7)—are excluded, 89.7 per cent. were prepared within the 18 week period (Indicator BV 43a).

Mr. Truswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps will be taken to consult parents of children with special educational needs (SEN) in the national audit of SEN specialist services. [7299]

Maria Eagle: The national audit of low incidence special needs support, services and provision is currently under way. The questionnaires have been issued to all local authorities and responses are being received and followed up. Structured workshops have been established in each Region to discuss the questionnaire findings and add to the audit data collection. The workshop participants are from local authorities, health and social care as well as the non-maintained, private and voluntary sectors and include representatives from organisations such as the parent partnerships.

James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the implementation of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Rights Act 2001 in (a) hospitals and (b) primary care centres in respect of deaf people and people suffering from hearing impairment. [7377]

Maria Eagle: The remit of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 does not cover hospitals or primary care trusts. The Act amended the Education Act 1996 to strengthen the right to a mainstream
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education for pupils with special educational needs where parents want it and where it is compatible with the efficient education of other children. It also amended Part 4 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 to require local education authorities, schools, colleges, universities and providers of adult education not to discriminate against disabled people in their access to education for reasons relating to their disability and to require local education authorities and schools to plan to increase progressively, and overtime, access to schools by disabled pupils and prospective pupils.

Student Debt

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what the total amount was of debt repaid by (a) UK and (b) EU students who graduated from English universities in each year since 1994; and what proportion of debt remains outstanding for each year; [8029]

(2) what the average proportion of student loan debt repaid by United Kingdom borrowers entering repayment status was in each financial year since 1999. [8030]

Bill Rammell: Borrowers with income-contingent loans repay 9 per cent. of income over £15,000. They may voluntarily pay more. Borrowers enter repayment status in the April after they have graduated, or otherwise left their course.

The table shows the amount repaid on UK publicly-owned student loans by financial year.
£ million

Financial yearAmount repaid

Student Loans Company

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Figures include repayments on both income-contingent and mortgage-style loans. Note that the figures are repayments posted during the financial year from all borrowers, regardless of when they entered repayment status or are due to enter repayment status. It would be misleading to show these repayments as a proportion of the total amount outstanding at the end of the year, as a significant part of the outstanding amount is loans that are not yet in repayment status. EU students are not eligible for maintenance loans in the UK. Figures are not available separately for UK students in English universities.

In general, repayments of income-contingent loans are collected through the tax system. Repayments are notified to the Student Loans Company (SLC) after the end of the tax year, after which SLC reconcile the repayments notified with their records. Therefore there will be some repayments that have been made but are not yet reflected in the figures.

The following table shows repayments of income-contingent loans, and amounts outstanding and repaid as a percentage of the total, for cohorts of borrowers. The table shows the position reported in June 2005; figures will change as further repayments are recorded for each cohort.
Year borrower entered
repayment status
(£ million)
of amount outstanding
Percentage of amount repaid

Student Loans Company

The first cohort of income contingent borrowers entered repayment status in April 2000. The earnings of graduates are likely to rise in the years after leaving higher education, therefore the repayments of income-contingent loans will be lower in the early years. This is reflected in the table. Information in this format is not held centrally for mortgage-style borrowers.

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