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Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students have studied a foreign language at degree level in an English university in the last 10 years after living for over five years in the country where the foreign language is the native tongue. 
Bill Rammell: Information is not held centrally on the number of native foreign language speakers taking degrees in their native language at English universities. The Higher Education Statistics Agency collects data annually on the number of overseas students enrolled at English higher education institutions but they do not collect data on the native language of students. The available information from HESA shows the number of foreign domiciled students studying the language of their country of domicile, but it does not necessarily follow that students from a particular overseas country will be a native speaker of that country.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children in (a) England, (b) Staffordshire and (c) Tamworth receive free transport to (i) primary and (ii) secondary schools. 
Jacqui Smith: A joint survey conducted by DfES, the Confederation of Education and Childrens Service Managers, and the Audit Commission, covering local authority school transport policies, expenditure and pupil numbers carried, was published for the first time in January 2004. It reported that about 700,000 pupils received free and assisted home to school to mainstream schools in England, and that just over 7,500 pupils received free or assisted transport to mainstream schools in Staffordshire in 2001/02. No more detailed information is available.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when (a) the Minister of State for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education, (b) the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Skills and (c) she was informed orally or in writing of the conclusions of the Learning and Skills Development Agency's report entitled The Funding GapFunding in schools and colleges for full-time students aged 16 to 18"; and if she will make available the minutes of discussions on the report. 
The Learning and Skills Development Agency's report was commissioned by the Learning and Skills Council as part of their agenda for change
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proposals. My predecessor and the former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Skills were made aware of the conclusion of the work being undertaken by LSDA to assess the size of the gap in early March 2005 and the Secretary of State was informed shortly after. However, there were no detailed discussions of the conclusions of the report until the end of June 2005, shortly before the report was made public. There are no minutes of discussions on this report. The Minister of State for Schools and 1419 Learning signalled in her statement to the House of Commons on 21 July that we intend to explore the scope for addressing the technical anomalies between the school sixth form and further education funding systems. We aim to announce decisions on the way forward shortly.
Mr. Michael Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what her most recent assessment is of the comparative performance of students studying in (a) sixth-form colleges, (b) further education colleges and (c) sixth-forms in schools; and if she will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: Comparable data for sixth form colleges (SFCs), general further education colleges (GFECs) and sixth-forms in schools are available for people studying for GCE and VCE A/AS-levels and Key Skills at level 3 qualifications.
When data are adjusted for prior attainment (average GCSE grade attained in year 11) there is a small performance advantage for SFCs over schools (about one tenth of a grade in each A-level taken) and for schools over GFECs (about one sixth of a grade in each A-level taken).
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many and what proportion of 15-year-olds achieved five or more grades at (a) A* to C and (b) A* to G at GCSE, excluding equivalents, in each year since 1995. 
|Number of 15-year-old pupils2 (thousands)||Number achieving 5+A*-C (thousands)||Percentage achieving 5+A*-C||Number achieving 5+A*-G (thousands)||Percentage achieving 5+A*-G|
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what research her Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on grandparents who are raising their grandchildren full-time. 
Beverley Hughes [holding answer 20 November 2005]: The Department for Education and Skills has not commissioned research specifically on grandparents who are raising their children full-time. The Department regularly reviews available research evidence on different aspects of parenting, including fostering by relatives, to inform policy development. It recently published a comprehensive review of research on foster care 1 which includes evidence on the role of relatives as foster carers. Nearly half of these relatives are grandparents.
Jacqui Smith: The information requested is not available. Homework clubs may form part of a school's or local authority's study support (out of school hours learning) programme, for which funding is available through their base budgets, and the School Development Grant (SDG). Schools and local authorities may use their SDG for any purposes linked to school improvement, and it is for them to determine the amount to be allocated to study support.
Study support forms an integral part of the Government's extended services agenda, which will require schools to offer a varied menu of activities from 8 am to 6 pm year round, including during school holidays. Additional funding of £680 million is being made available up to 2008 to support the start up of extended services in schools.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Fareham (Mr. Hoban) of 18 October 2005, Official Report, column 961W, on the Learning and Skills Council, what the cost of support per capita was at each level. 
|Level||Cost per learner 2003/04 (£)|
|Below level 2||540|
|Full level 2||1,140|
|Part level 2||520|
|Full level 3||1,540|
|Part level 3||740|
|Level not specified||230|
Mr. Stephen O'Brien : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what role the Learning and Skills Council played in developing the support strategy set up for redundant Rover workers. 
Bill Rammell: The LSC played a central role in developing a support package that reduced the devastating impact on individuals and the West Midlands economy of the closure of MG Rover. Working with a range of partners, including Jobcentre Plus, the LSC put in place a range of measures including:
John Penrose: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate she has made of the savings to be made by the Learning and Skills Council as a result of the changes to running costs announced on 16 September in (a) 200506, (b) 200607 and (c) 200708. 
The LSC's core administration costs have fallen steadily from 4.6 per cent. of total funding in 200102, to 2.5 per cent. of its planned total budget in 200506. The LSC's Administration Budget for 200506 is almost £255 million. The Administration Budget for future years was set out in the Secretary of State's Grant Letter issued on 31 October 2005. This Grant Letter provides the LSC with just over £252 million (2.4 per cent. of planned total budget) for 200607 and just under £240 million (2.2 per cent. of planned total budget) for 200708 to cover its administration costs including the cost of capital and depreciation. This reflects efficiency savings already agreed. It is too early to say what further savings will arise. The overall Administration Budget will be reassessed when the results of the consultation on the LSC's Agenda for Change", particularly its restructuring, are finalised. Further savings could then be released to the sector.
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