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At A level we will introduce a new section in papers covering Advanced Extension Award type material and an Extended Project requiring a high degree of planning, preparation, research and autonomous working.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what research has been conducted by her Department into the consistency of examination standards in (a) the national tests taken at seven, 11 and 14 years and (b) GNVQs. 
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 11 July 2005]: None. While the Department has not undertaken or commissioned research about the consistency of standards over time in national curriculum tests or GNVQ examinations, it takes a close interest in research conducted by others.
Beverley Hughes: Removing Barriers to Achievement", our SEN strategy, already provides a clear vision for improving support and outcomes for children with SEN. It sets out action to ensure that children with SEN receive the help they need as quickly as possible, from schools and other services.
The SEN strategy was informed by a review of special schools. Special schools have a vital role teaching children with the most severe and complex needs, and sharing expertise with mainstream schools.
15. Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the likely effect on funding for an attendance at adult education classes in the Kettering constituency and in Northamptonshire as a result of her Department's emphasis on the 14 to 19 Skills Agenda. 
Phil Hope: Giving young people the skills they need to progress in employment and to gain higher level skills is essential. Similarly we are committed to ensure that adults have the skills they need for employability. I am confident that there will be a wide range of adult education provision in Kettering and that the needs of the local community will continue to be met.
Beverley Hughes: Young people are the most important audience for the Green Paper. We will seek their views in a number of ways including through the publication of a young people's questionnaire, discussions with youth organisations and consultation groups with disadvantaged young people who might not otherwise respond.
Jacqui Smith: Raising educational attainment plays a crucial role in reducing antisocial behaviour and crime by promoting positive values and improving life chances. Our National Primary and Secondary Strategies are improving the quality of teaching and learning in schools. We are also implementing a complementary and comprehensive programme of measures to strengthen schools' capacity to improve pupils' behaviour and attendance.
Primary schools, supported by the National Literacy Strategy, have the highest standards of literacy ever. In 2004 78 per cent. of 11-year-olds reached the target level 4 of the National Curriculum in the Key Stage 2 English tests, an increase of 15percentage points since 1997.
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Phil Hope: This is a matter for the Learning and Skills Council. Mark Haysom, the Council's Chief Executive, will write to the hon. Member with this information and a copy of his reply will be placed in the House Library.
Information regarding the uptake of places on Apprenticeships amongst 16 to 18 year olds is recorded for the Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire area as a whole. It will therefore not be possible to provide an exact figure in response to your question.
The local LSC is anticipating and preparing for a 4% increase in the number of 16 to 18 year olds undertaking Apprenticeships in 200506, for the whole of the Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire area.
A total figure for the number of participants for this year for Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire is not yet available. However, using the available figures, currently at Period 10 for the year 200405, officers at the local office have extracted the number of apprentices with a Milton Keynes postcode.
Clearly this figure cannot be precise and should be regarded as an indication of the potential numbers involved. Ultimately the number of participants will depend upon actual demand from young people and the availability of places from participating employers.
Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many Dance and Drama Fees and Maintenance Fund awards have been made in the last five years to residents of each of the nations of the UK. 
Between 2000 and 2005 Manchester LEA processed 4,156 applications for support from the means-tested fund. Of these 129 were from Welsh
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students and 113 were from Scottish students. The remainder were students from England and the EU, and we do not have a breakdown of these figures.
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