To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate has been made of
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the number of 16 to 18-year-olds who are eligible for basic skills training; and what proportion have taken it up. 
Jacqui Smith: The Department has not produced a detailed estimate of 16 to 18-year-olds eligible for and taking up basic skills training. However, the Department does collect separate data on achievements in English and Mathematics of 15-year-old school leavers and Skills for Life course enrolments for 16 to 18-year-olds.
| English GCSE A*-C
| English GCSE D-G
|English no qualification
| Mathematics GCSE A*-C
| Mathematics GCSE D-G
|Mathematics no qualification
Any young person who leaves school without a GCSE A*-C (Level 2 qualification) in English or Mathematics is eligible for a Skills for Life course. Skills for Life courses include a literacy or numeracy qualification up to level 2 (basic skills, GCSE's and key skills). In 2003/04 nearly 278,000 16 to 18-year-olds enrolled on a Skills for Life course (table 3).
|16 to 18-year-olds
Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the educational attainment of black and ethnic minority pupils in Liverpool in (a) primary, (b) secondary, (c) further and (d) higher education. 
Jacqui Smith: Information on the educational attainment of pupils, broken down by ethnic origin in primary, secondary and further education for all local authorities is published on the Department's website. The information is available at http://www.dfes.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000564/index.shtml
Information on the educational attainment of students from Liverpool in higher education is shown in the following table. The figures show that the proportion of graduates from Liverpool who are from ethnic minority groups is lower than for graduates from the rest of the country.
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the rest of the UK
|Total first degree graduates of which:
|Black and ethnic minority groups
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what research her Department has undertaken on attainment at key stage 3 taking into account (a) gender, (b) social class, (c) racial or ethnic background, (d) eligibility for free schools meals and (e) location of school. 
Jacqui Smith: Statistics on key stage 3 attainment by various pupil characteristics are published annually in a Statistical First Release (SFR). The 2004 key stage 3 information was made available on 30 September 2005 in additional information to the SFR entitled National Curriculum Assessment, GCSE and Equivalent Attainment and Post-16 Attainment by Pupil Characteristics, in England 2004. This is available at:
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what guidance she has issued to (a) teachers and (b) schools on steps they may take if they believe they have been unfairly criticised on the www.ratemyteachers.co.uk website; and if she will make a statement. 
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 18 October 2005]: My right hon. Friend has not issued any guidance on this website. It is open to teachers and schools to seek their own professional advice on the steps available to them in response to criticism on this or any other website.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many women who have become pregnant or given birth before reaching the age of 16 years attained five GCSEs at grades A*-C in each of the last five years for which records are available. 
Beverley Hughes: Data on births to mothers aged under 16 and data on educational attainment are reported separately, and only at an aggregate level. It is therefore not possible to provide exact figures on the educational attainment of teenage mothers.
However, other sources of data do show there is a strong relationship between poor educational attainment and teenage pregnancy. Data from the 2001 census show that 37 per cent. of mothers giving birth under the age of 19 had no educational qualifications, compared with a national average of around 10 per cent. for all young women. Aggregated data on teenage pregnancy rates and GCSE attainment also show that areas with high teenage pregnancy rates have poorer GCSE outcomes, even after taking account of deprivation.
Bill Rammell: I refer the hon. Member to the written answer given by my hon. Friend Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on 10 October 2005, Official Report, column 160W.
Mr. Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what measures she is taking to reduce the incidence of under-age drinking among school pupils; and if she will make a statement. 
Jacqui Smith: The statutory National Curriculum Science Order requires that all pupils should learn about the effects of alcohol and other drugs. In addition, schools are expected to use the non-statutory frameworks for Personal Social Health Education (PSHE) and Citizenship at key stages 1 and 2, PSHE at key stages 3 and 4 and the Citizenship programme of study at key stages 3 and 4 as the context for developing drug and alcohol education further. In 2004 all schools were issued with guidance on all aspects of drug education, including alcohol.
Since 1997, we have made over £70 million available to local education authorities to support drug, alcohol and tobacco education and prevention in schools. Over the last three years more than 3,000 teachers have undertaken the PSHE certificate which sets standards in the teaching of PSHE, including alcohol education.
Together with the Home Office and Department of Health, we are supporting a national five year research programme called Blueprint" to test the effectiveness of drug education initiatives in schools. It will make a significant contribution to developing a UK evidence base for drug, alcohol and tobacco education.
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