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Education Maintenance Allowance

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what is the predicted budget for education maintenance allowance payments in 2005–06 is; and what proportion of post-16 students are in receipt of this allowance. [22496]

Maria Eagle [holding answer 27 October 2005]: The current budget for education maintenance allowance (EMA) payments in the financial year 2005–06 is £403 million. However EMA is a demand-led
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programme which is funded through Annually Managed Expenditure by HM Treasury so final provision may be different.

For the academic year 2005/06, we estimate around 55 per cent. of students will be eligible for EMA on income grounds. We estimate this to be some 465,000 young people. This includes unwaged trainees on work-based learning programmes funded by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). From April 2006, unwaged trainees, and their parents/carers, will receive the same
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package of financial support as is currently available to those who stay on in full-time education, i.e. EMA, child benefit, child tax credit and other related benefits.

So far, the national EMA scheme has been rolled out to 16 and 17-year-olds. However, in pilot areas EMA is also available to those aged 18. The national scheme will be rolled out to 18-year-olds in September 2006. Unwaged trainees aged 16–19 will be eligible from April 2006.

Further Education

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans the Department has to change the level of funding allocated to further education in (a) Coventry and (b) England. [19972]

Bill Rammell [holding answer 24 October 2005]: On 21 October, I made an announcement, setting out the Government's strategic direction for the learning and skills sector for the coming period. My main purpose for doing so was to ensure the 2006/07 funding allocations process began with a clear and concise message on the principles that will underpin funding over the next two years.

In addition, the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) published 'Priorities for Success'—a document that sets out the funding strategy for the next two years in more detail. This document is available on the LSC's website.

Although more funding will be going into the sector, we will focus funding even more strongly on key priorities of raising participation and achievement 14–19 and driving down the skills deficit in the adult work force. This will mean that less provision outside these priority areas can be supported at previous levels, and that there has to be a new balance of responsibilities between Government, employers and learners to achieve this.

The Chancellor announced in the 2004 Spending Review settlement for education and skills in April 2004, that there will be over £1 billion of additional investment in the learning and skills sector by 2007–08. We will not know what this will mean for regional and local budgets until allocations are made by the National LSC Office, following receipt of the grant letter from my Department.

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much funding will be allocated to the learner support funds in further education in (a) 2005–06 and (b) 2006–07; and if she will make a statement. [20720]

Bill Rammell: The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) is funded by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) through an annual Grant Letter that sets out the LSC's key priorities. The operational delivery of individual programmes, taking account of these priorities and the funding made available by the Department, is a matter for the LSC.

The table details the LSC's allocations for learner support funding in 2005–06, and the amount the Department will make available to the LSC for learner support funding in 2006–07. All amounts are rounded to the nearest £1 million, and totals exclude expected receipts on the CDL programme.
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£ million

Name of programme2005–062006–07
The Learner Support Fund(35)122125
Care 2 Learn2323
Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)(36)403511
Dance and Drama Awards1414
Adult Learning Grant1419
Career Development Loans (CDLs)(37)2019

(35) The Learner Support Fund provides support with hardship funds (e.g. for books or equipment), transport funds, residential bursaries (to support students who need to live away from home), and support with child care costs for those aged 19 and over.
(36) EMA is an incentive payment that encourages school leavers to stay on in non advanced full-time education. It is not intended to support the living costs of young people and/or their parents or carers. EMA is funded through HM Treasury's Annual Managed Expenditure (AME), whereas the rest of learner support funding is within the DfES Departmental Expenditure Limit (DEL).
(37) Distribution of resources for CDLs reflects planned expenditure on development work signalled in the first Skills Strategy White Paper.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students who attended secondary school in the last 10 years in (a) Romford, (b) Havering, (c) Essex and (d) Greater London (i) completed and (ii) did not complete a university degree. [20756]

Bill Rammell: This information is not held centrally. The Higher Education Funding Council for England have published figures showing the proportion of young people in each local area who go on to higher education, available at but this does not indicate whether or not they obtained a degree. Figures published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency for 2002/03 show that 78.1 per cent. of UK domiciled full-time first degree students at English higher education institutions were expected to gain a degree, 1.7 per cent. to gain a higher education qualification other than a degree, 6.1 per cent. were expected to transfer to another institution, and 13.9 per cent. were expected to neither obtain a qualification nor transfer.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students who attended secondary school in the last 10 years in (a) Romford, (b) Havering, (c) Essex and (d) Greater London (i) sat and (ii) did not sit A-levels. [20757]

Jacqui Smith: The number of 16 to 18-year-old A-Level candidates 1 (1996–2005) in maintained schools and colleges 2 has been provided in the following table.

2 Regional figures are provided for the maintained sector only (LA maintained schools, CTCs and FE sector colleges).
RomfordHaveringEssexGreater London

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The number of 16 to 18-year-old students who did not take A-Levels is not available.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students who attended secondary school in the last 10 years in (a) Romford, (b) Havering, (c) Essex and (d) Greater London (i) completed and (ii) did not complete any form of education higher than GCSE level. [20800]

Jacqui Smith: The information is not available in the exact format requested. In February 2005 a Statistical First Release (SFR) on attainment by age 19 was published. For the first time, that SFR used matched administrative data. So, data are only available for one year, 2004. Local Learning and Skills Council area is the lowest available geography.

The table shows the number of people aged 19 in 2004 who had attained level 3 in the particular location. Of course, they may have been in secondary school in a different location. For that reason, estimating those who do not have a level 3 qualification is difficult. For illustration, the table includes the number of pupils who were aged 14 in 1999–2000—and would therefore be 19 in 2004.

Local LSC

Aged 19 in 2004 attained level 3
Population aged 14 in 1999–2000—therefore 19 in 2004
London North5,90012,400
London West7,20015,800
London Central5,50012,600
London East8,00023,800
London South8,40015,500

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the adequacy of the time remaining for preparation between each further education college in West Yorkshire being informed of its funding allocation for 2005/06 and the beginning of the 2005/06 academic year. [22544]

Bill Rammell: Further Education allocations to colleges are an important part of the Learning and Skills Council's (LSC) business cycle. This process starts with my Department's annual grant letter to the LSC in November which enables the LSC to plan regional priorities and budgets. Local LSCs begin their planning dialogue with colleges and providers in December and in January colleges are provided with indicative (provisional) allocations for the following funding year beginning 1 August. Local, regional and national plans have to be reconciled and the LSC expect to sign off individual college plans in April. Final allocations for colleges are then confirmed in May. This timetable was followed for the 2005/06 funding year.
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My Department has already agreed with the LSC our funding priorities for 2006/07 and colleges have been advised of these through a letter from me and through the LSC's 'Priorities for Success' document which was published on 21 October. This also confirms the allocations timetable for next year. I expect this earlier notification of funding priorities and the dialogue between colleges and the LSC which can now begin will lead to less uncertainty in the period up to confirmation of college allocations for 2006/07 in May 2006.

I am satisfied that the LSC's management of this complex process is a proper balance between their obligation to meet the Government's priorities and ensuring colleges can effectively deploy public resources.

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