|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
The Department does not collect information about how many children pay to study a musical instrument outside the classroom. However, in February this year we undertook a survey about the numbers of children who are studying music instruments through Local Authority Music Services. Findings will be available at the end of November 2005.
21 Oct 2005 : Column 1255W
The opportunity to study particular musical instruments is not part of the statutory curriculum but we are working towards creating this opportunity for every child at Key Stage 2. In November 2004, we announced an additional investment of £30 million for this work. Funds will come on stream during 200607 and 200708.
Jacqui Smith: "Playing with sounds" has been adopted for use in the Early Reading Development Pilots as it is the Primary National Strategy's (PNS) most up to date guidance on the teaching of phonics, incorporating various recommendations arising from the expert phonics seminar convened by the Department in 2003. The purpose of the pilots is principally to test certain aspects of the teaching of phonics such as determining an appropriately fast pace, and exploring different models of support to schools and ways of enhancing parental involvement. The pilots are not seeking to examine the evidence for different phonics teaching methodologies currently available; Jim Rose's independent review of the teaching of early reading will look at those wider questions.
The content of "Playing with sounds" builds on advice given in previous PNS publications and represents the Strategy's latest guidance to schools. The content of the phonics pilots is therefore the same as the advice given by the Strategy. Where it differs is that it explores a more rigorous and systematic application of these approaches with greater emphasis on the "Playing with sounds" resource, and more direct guidance on teaching phonics and the application of phonics across the curriculum. It also tests whether children can learn all 44 phonemes, including the long vowel sounds, by the end of the foundation stage, as part of a rich and relevant early years curriculum
In addition to the materials and support already available to all schools, practitioners from the schools and key linked settings which take part in the pilot will receive intensive support from an "Early Reading" consultant employed through the local authority who will work alongside practitioners and deliver training in the suggested accelerated approach to the teaching of phonics within an appropriate foundation stage curriculum and context. The precise consultancy model will be determined locally drawing on local capacity of leading practitioners. Participating schools and settings will receive guidance materials produced by the Primary National Strategy.
21 Oct 2005 : Column 1256W
The list of schools involved in the pilots is not yet complete. I will write to the hon. Member once the information has been collated and will place a copy in the Library of the House. The 20 local authorities involved in the pilot will each decide on which schools and settings should take part, supported by colleagues from the PNS, based on several factors. These include their capacity and commitment to engage with the pilot throughout the school or setting; a need to improve children's outcomes in communication, language and literacy, while already having at least a satisfactory quality of teaching in the foundation stage; and the potential for at least two of the 10 schools/settings identified in the authority to become leading practice schools/settings which can build long-term capacity in early reading in the authority area.
Bill Rammell [holding answer 20 October 2005]: From the 2006/07 academic year, no eligible full-time undergraduate student in higher education will be required to contribute towards their tuition fees while they are studying. Students entering higher education in 2006/07 will be liable for variable fees of up to £3,000; but they will also be able to take out student loans to cover those fees and only pay them off once they are in employment and earning at least £15,000 per year and so able to afford to repay. Eligible students from low income families will also be eligible for a new maintenance grant of up to £2,700, and those who are charged the maximum £3,000 fee will also be eligible for a bursary of at least £300 from their institution. Indeed, most institutions have been significantly more generous than that with bursaries of up to £3,000, and in some exceptional cases up to £5,700.
In 2005/06, full-time undergraduate students attending courses at publicly funded higher education institutions are eligible for a grant of up to £1,175 towards their fees, the actual amount to which they are entitled depending upon the level of their household income. Students who are attending courses at privately funded institutions will be eligible for a non income assessed grant of £1,100 towards the full fee charged by their institution.
For part-time undergraduate students in 2006/07 there will be an increase of 27 per cent. in the grant for fees as compared to 2005/06. This will mean that a student studying at an intensity of 75 per cent. of the equivalent full-time course who is eligible for £885 in 2005/06 could receive up to £1,125 in 2006/07. In addition, the course grant of up to £250, introduced in 2004/05, will continue to be available.
As well as improvements to statutory support in 2006/07, Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) will be provided with additional discretionary funding for fee
21 Oct 2005 : Column 1257W
support. This approach will allow HEIs the flexibility to decide how best to use this resource and support those students who most need extra help.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans the Department has for increasing assistance to university students, with particular reference to those studying for foundation degrees. 
Bill Rammell [holding answer 20 October 2005]: Students studying for foundation degrees are eligible for the same package of support as students on other higher education courses and they can continue to receive support if they follow up their foundation degree course with study for an honours degree.
From 2006, new full-time undergraduate students with household incomes between £17,500 and £37,425 will be eligible for a new non-repayable maintenance grant of up to £2,700. The poorest students who are entitled to the full £2,700 maintenance grant and who are being charged the maximum £3,000 fee will also be entitled to a minimum institutional bursary of £300. However, most institutions will be offering much more than this with bursaries of up to £3,000, and some will be offering as much as £5,700.
Students will also be able to apply for maintenance loans which, for 2006, are being increased at a rate well above the rate of inflation. For students living away from home in London, this increase will be as much as 19.2 per cent. when compared with 2005 rates.
For part-time undergraduate students in 2006/07, there will be an increase of 27 per cent. in the grant for fees as compared to 2005/06. This will mean that a student studying at an intensity of 75 per cent. of the equivalent full-time course who is eligible for £885 in 2005/06 could receive up to £1,125 in 2006/07. In addition, the course grant of up to £250, introduced in 2004/05, will continue to be available.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|