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Departmental Initiatives

Mr. Newmark: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of her Department's budget has been spent on targeted initiatives such as Respect and Aim Higher in each of the last five years. [21802]

Bill Rammell: The amount of money spent on Aim Higher in each of the last five years is set out in the following table:
Table 1: Aim Higher spending
£ millions

Amount spent on initiative

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) ran and funded a separate university outreach programme until August 2004, 'Partnerships for Progression'. From August 2004, HEFCE and LSC funding is included in the above figures as the programme merged with Aim Higher.

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The budget for Respect has not yet been allocated. For information on other programmes and on overall departmental spending I refer the hon. Member to the departmental annual report (Cm 6522).


Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much has been spent on counselling services provided in schools in (a) England, (b) the Tees Valley and (c) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland in each year since 1997. [22325]

Jacqui Smith: My Department does not collect this information.

Departmental Policies

Mrs. Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will set out, with statistical evidence relating as closely as possible to Gateshead, East and Washington, West constituency, the effects in Gateshead, East and Washington, West of changes to her Department's policies since 1997. [22279]

Maria Eagle: The Gateshead, East and Washington, West constituency lies within Gateshead local authority. The most recent key stage 2 and GCSE and equivalents results information for pupils attending schools in Gateshead, East and Washington, West are given in the following tables:
Key stage 2 results of 11-year-old pupils attending schools in the Gateshead, East and Washington, West constituency

Percentage of pupils gaining level 4 and above199720042005 (Provisional)Percentage point improvement 1997 to 2004
Gateshead, East and Washington, West—English(27)5978n/a19
Gateshead, East and Washington, West—Maths(27)6177n/a16
National Average—English(28)63787915
National Average—Maths(28)61747513

(27) Pupils attending schools in Gateshead East and Washington West constituency.
(28) The average for all schools in England (including independent schools).

GCSE and equivalents(29) results of 15–year-old pupils(30) attending schools in the Gateshead, East and Washington, West constituency

Percentage of 15-year-olds gaining199720042005 (Provisional)Percentage point improvement 1997–2004
Gateshead, East and Washington, West—5+A*-C25.451.4n/a26.0
Gateshead, East and Washington, West—5+A*-G76.086.2n/a10.2
National Average—5+A*-C45.153.755.78.6
National Average—5+A*-G87.088.888.91.8

(29) From 2004 results incorporate GCSEs, GNVQs and a wide range of other qualifications approved pre-16. Prior to 2004 results are based on GCSEs and GNVQs only.
(30) As standard the results reported relate to pupils aged 15 at the start of the academic year i.e. 31 August and therefore reaching the end of compulsory education at the end of the school year.

At national level, standards have improved across all key stages. The Primary and key stage 3 National Strategies, together with the measures we have taken to help schools in the toughest areas are continuing to deliver better results.

Further information by constituency, is provided within the Department's 'In Your Area' website available at Where information is not available at the constituency level it has been provided at local authority level.

This website allows users to access key facts and local information about education and skills based on postcodes. The data available within the site offers comparisons between 1997 and the latest available year and covers five geographies. These are parliamentary constituency, ward, local authority district, local authority and Government office region. England figures are also provided.

The information available within the website is grouped in a number of broad categories including Literacy and Numeracy at age 11, Literacy and
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Numeracy at age 14, GCSE and equivalent results, Pupils with Special Educational Needs, School Initiatives, School Workforce, School Funding and Resources, Children's Social Services, Early Years, Class Sizes, Post 16, Higher Education and Adult Education.

Additional information could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, my Department is investigating ways in which we can disseminate more information about the effects of our policies at a local level. The 'In Your Area' website will be further developed over the coming months to include additional information about Adult Education, School Funding, School Initiatives, School Performance, School Workforce and Post 16.

Departmental Staff

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the rates of employee absence in her Department have been in each year since 1997. [21040]

Maria Eagle: My Department remains committed to managing sickness absence effectively and to putting in place the recommendations of the recently published report Managing Sickness Absence in the Public Sector11.

I refer the right hon. Gentleman to the figures contained in the annual report Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service" published by the Cabinet Office. Table A of the report gives details of both the average working days absence per staff year and the number of staff years on which that calculation is based. The most recent report is for the calendar year 2003 and was announced by Ministerial Statement on 1 November and copies placed in the Libraries of the House. Reports for 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 are also available in the Library and on the Cabinet Office website at: of the civil service/conditions of service/occupational health/publications/index.asp.

Disability Discrimination

Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what monitoring she is undertaking of the progress of universities and colleges in making reasonable adaptations to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. [17585]

Bill Rammell: My Department does not directly monitor the progress of universities and colleges in making reasonable adaptations. Universities are autonomous bodies and it is for them to ensure that they are complying with the Act. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) assists HEIs to meet legislative requirements, spreads good practice and helps institutions to improve access and provision for disabled people. It has distributed project capital funding specifically to help institutions meet their duties under the Act, amounting to £173 million, and all institutions have submitted plans to HEFCE concerning their use of this funding. HEFCE has also provided funding to widen access and improve provision for disabled students in HEIs and directly funded FECs. In 2004–05 over £12 million was distributed.
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Performance indicators on the participation of students in receipt of the Disabled Students Allowance have been published since 2002. The latest indicators are published on the website of the Higher Education Statistics Agency ( The Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE) also publishes data on participation of disabled students in higher education (

The Learning and Skills Council monitors the quality of all aspects of provision in further education colleges, including the extent to which college premises are accessible to disabled learners. Since July 2001 the LSC has approved funding to enable colleges to undertake adaptations that will help them comply with the Act. So far over £160 million has been made available. All colleges have made or are making adaptations, or have plans in hand.

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