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31 Oct 2005 : Column 799W—continued

Unemployment Statistics

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many economically inactive people in Northern Ireland have been recorded as wanting to work in each quarter since 1995. [22752]

Angela E. Smith: The number of economically inactive people recorded as wanting work in each quarter since spring 1995 is shown in Table 1.
Table l: Economically inactive people that want work (1995–2005)

QuarterEconomically inactive
who want work (000)

NI Labour Force Survey

31 Oct 2005 : Column 800W

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the level of youth unemployment was in each of the Westminster constituencies in the Province in each of the last three years. [22632]

Angela E. Smith: The labour force survey (LFS) is the preferred source of statistics on unemployment, however, it can not be used to provide estimates of youth unemployment at parliamentary constituency level, as the LFS sample size is not large enough to produce reliable estimates of groups that are small in number.

However, average youth unemployment levels from the claimant count in each of the Westminster constituencies in Northern Ireland in each of the years 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 (to September) are provided in the following table.
31 Oct 2005 : Column 801W

Parliamentary constituency2002200320042005(22)
Belfast East385425395340
Belfast North810775695780
Belfast South655625505500
Belfast West1,2851,1451,0951,160
East Antrim585545520495
East Londonderry560540535545
Fermanagh and South Tyrone535490370320
Lagan Valley310325285290
Mid Ulster345295255270
Newry and Armagh645625500455
North Antrim500420405435
North Down350370325320
South Antrim420395310350
South Down565560460435
Upper Bann475495415420
West Tyrone680675605600

(22) January to September.


Administration Costs

Mr. Newmark: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the administrative costs were of (a) the Sector Skills Development Agency, (b) the Learning and Skills Council, (c) Investors in People and (d) learndirect in the latest year for which figures are available. [21800]

Phil Hope: The latest year for which the figures on administrative costs are available is 2004–05. The figures are subject to the usual confirmation through the external audit of accounts with the exception of the Sector Skills Development Agency and Investors in People UK where the figure is final and derived from their audited accounts.
2004–05 administrative costs (£000)
Sector Skills Development Agency5,824
Learning and Skills Council241,047
Investors in People UK2,495
Ufl Ltd.(23)25,213

(23) Ufl Ltd. operates the learndirect/UK online network and services. As part of the efficiency savings being delivered as a result of the Gershon Review each of these bodies is committed to achieving 15 per cent. efficiency savings by 2007–08. In particular the LSC has announced a major transformation programme and as a result estimate savings of up to £40 million by 2007–08.

A-level Examiners

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 10 October 2005, Official Report, column 334W, on A-level examiners, what qualifications are required in order to become an examiner at A-level; and how many qualified A-level examiners were employed (a) in 2005 and (b) in each year since 1996. [18857]

Jacqui Smith: A-level examiners are employed by the awarding bodies. The awarding bodies have a duty to fulfil the obligations placed upon them by the exams regulators' code of practice.
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The code of practice states that candidates work should be marked by 'suitably experienced and trained' examiners. The code also requires stringent training, sampling and monitoring of markers performance. The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority is the regulatory body in England responsible for ensuring that awarding bodies fulfil their obligations.

No data are collated by the Department on the number of A-level examiners contracted by the awarding bodies. This information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Attainment Standards

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the effect of the city academies on standards; and how standards are measured. [22719]

Jacqui Smith: The Department has commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to undertake an independent five-year evaluation of the Academies Programme, reporting finally in September 2007. The Second Annual Report from this evaluation, published in June, demonstrated that academies have made a significant difference to the teaching and learning culture from their predecessors. Provisional GCSE examination results data show a strong performance, with the average academy improving at 5 per cent. per year of opening, five academies improving by over 20 per cent. since opening and an overall improvement rate of at least 6.6 per cent. this year. At key stage 3, the rate of increase in pupils gaining level 5+ between 2004 and 2005 is higher in each subject than schools nationally.

Standards in academies are measured through inspections by Ofsted and by our own education advisers. Ofsted have conducted 13 monitoring visits to academies, finding that five academies were making good progress and most were making at least satisfactory progress. In addition, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools, David Bell said in August about standards in academies that

Basic Qualification

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many and what percentage of 19-year-olds in England are without a basic qualification. [22987]

Bill Rammell: From the autumn 2004 Labour Force Survey we estimate that 7.9 per cent. and 142,800 19 to 21-year-olds in England had no qualifications.

Building Schools for the Future

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what plans she has to implement the Building Schools for the Future programme for (a) primary and (b) comprehensive schools in Hartlepool constituency; [21657]

(2) what scope there is for sixth form colleges to undertake capital building projects as part of the Building Schools for the Future programme. [21780]

31 Oct 2005 : Column 803W

Jacqui Smith: Building Schools for the Future (BSF) aims to renew all secondary schools of any category in England in the next 15 years. Investment is prioritised on social and educational need, and we have informed Hartlepool of our ambition that it should enter the programme in waves four to six, which should be by 2011 at the latest.

BSF does not support investment in primary schools or sixth form colleges, for which other funding is available. In the March budget, the Chancellor announced additional funding of £150 million for primary schools from 2008–09, rising to £500 million by 2009–10, with the aim that at least half of all primary schools will be renewed in the next 15 years. I aim to announce further details of this programme later this year.

Sixth form colleges are funded through the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). From 2006–07, there is a new joint schools and LSC budget for investment in post-16 provision, which will be administered by the LSC. This reaches £180 million by 2007–08, including £100 million from schools capital. The Chancellor's Budget statement also strengthened the government's commitment to the further education sector by announcing new capital funding of £100 million for the sector in 2008–08, rising to £250 million in 2009–10.

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