|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 31 October 2005, Official Report, columns 81517W, on education maintenance allowance, what representations she has received regarding the 45 per cent. of post-16 students who are not eligible to receive education maintenance allowance. 
Maria Eagle [holding answer 7 November 2005]: From 1 April 2005, the Secretary of State delegated responsibility for Education maintenance allowance (EMA) operational policy to the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). LSC took over responsibility for responding to EMA related correspondence in July. The total amount of correspondence received by the LSC specifically mentioning EMA in the period July to September totals 757 cases. This includes correspondence sent to Ministers and cases sent directly by members of the public to the LSC.
A number of issues are encompassed within that figure of 757 which do not always relate to an individual's eligibility. The broad categories and breakdown of inquiries are listed in the following table (including additional figures for telephone contacts which cannot be classified).
9 Nov 2005 : Column 593W
|Pilot Area issues||7||3||1||2||0||13|
|General EMA Complaints||11||12||24||18||4||69|
3,762 pieces of correspondence have been dealt with by the DfES Central Correspondence Unit relating to students who are not eligible for EMA during the period September 2004 to the end of October 20053,535 of these were from members of the public and 227 from Members of Parliament. The following table shows the types of correspondence as classified by my Department:
At A-level we will introduce a new section in papers covering Advanced Extension Award type material and an Extended Project requiring a high degree of planning, preparation, research and autonomous working.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the reasons for school failure; and what steps her Department is taking to tackle school failure. 
Jacqui Smith: Her Majesty's chief inspector of schools has a duty to keep the Secretary of State informed about school failures and the reasons for failure. Inspectors look at the overall effectiveness of a school, teaching, standards and attainment, leadership and management, governance, value for money, improvement since the last inspection and the school's capacity to improve.
The Government have introduced new legislation and a number of successful initiatives, including the Fresh Start programme and Academies, to address failure since 1997. The recent Schools White Paper sets out proposals for further measures to ensure local authorities take rapid and decisive action.
9 Nov 2005 : Column 594W
Jacqui Smith: This is a fundamental responsibility of local authorities, and we have challenged them to use their powers of intervention to tackle failure quickly and effectively. When a school fails an Ofsted inspection, authorities may appoint additional governors, or replace an entire governing body with an interim executive board. The authority may also suspend the school's right to a delegated budget. In addition we have encouraged federation and collaboration with other schools, and emphasised that there may be a need to change the head teacher or other senior staff. In cases of severe failure, schools may be closed and replaced under the Fresh Start initiative, or as Academies.
The recent Schools White Paper announced the Government's intention to require local authorities to consider taking radical options as soon as schools are placed in special measures and to re-consider their use after 12 months if schools are making inadequate progress.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many proposals by faith organisations to open new faith schools were made in each year since 1997; and how many were successful. 
Jacqui Smith: The following table shows the number of proposals made by faith organisations to open new faith schools in each year since 1997, and the number of those proposals that were subsequently approved (whether or not this was in the same year they were published).
|Proposals published||Of which approved|
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of (a) faith schools and (b) non-faith schools have been awarded a (i) grade 1 and (ii) grade 2 rating by Ofsted inspectors. 
Dr Ashok Kumar (Middlesbrough South & East Cleveland): To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, what percentage of (a) faith schools and (b) non-faith schools have been awarded a (i) grade 1 and (ii) grade 2 rating by Ofsted Inspectors.
|Highly effective (grade 1)||Very effective (grade 2)|
|Highly effective (grade 1)||Very effective (grade 2)|
Bill Rammell: Information on how many colleges have offered courses tailored to their local area in each of the last five years is not collected. As the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) funds further education provision on the basis of three year development plans which are agreed between colleges and their local LSCs then all courses should reflect local needs.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many courses in further education institutions in (a) Cheshire and (b) Warrington have had their fees (i) increased and (ii) reduced in the current academic year. 
Bill Rammell: The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) increased its learner fee assumption from 25 per cent. to 27.5 per cent. of the basic course cost for 2005/06 in respect of all adults liable to pay fees.
Further education colleges have the discretion and responsibility to decide their own fee strategies and will continue to be free to set fee levels for courses and for individuals. My Department expects colleges to collect more of the fees they presently voluntarily forgo and the LSC is implementing a policy of setting fee income targets for all colleges. We do not monitor fees at course level although after the end of the year, detailed information is provided by colleges to the LSC about fees paid by individual learners.
My Department will continue to waive fees for all young people; those taking literacy and numeracy; and learners receiving income based benefits, the pension (guarantee) credit and those on higher levels of the working tax credit.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|