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Ms Angela C. Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many accidents have been recorded as occurring to Learning and Skills Council funded learners in each year since 2001 broken down by (a) fatal, (b) major and (c) those requiring over three days' absence; and how many of those learners were (i) under and (ii) over 16 years of age at the time of the accident. 
Bill Rammell: The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) is accountable for ensuring that organisations with whom it contracts have effective arrangements in place for ensuring the health and safety of learners. Learner health and safety is a fundamental value of the LSC. The information requested is included in the following table. An age split under and over 16 is not available. The figures in the final row are for six months only, rather than for the whole year.
|Number of accidents|
|(a) Fatal||(b) Major||(c) Over three days||Total|
|1 April 2001 to 31 March 2002||2||217||873||1092|
|1 April 2002 to 31 March 2003||5||198||858||1061|
|1 April 2003 to 31 March 2004||5||262||615||882|
|1 April 2004 to 31 March 2005(13)||3||187||627||817|
|1 April 2005 to 30 September 2005(13)||1||95||210||306|
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much her Department has spent on literacy and numeracy teaching for departmental staff in each of the last five years for which figures are available. 
Maria Eagle: Within my Department, the prime responsibility for developing and coaching staff lies with line managers who are best placed to assess individual needs. Most learning takes place on the job and is supplemented by centrally provided basic skills development through the Department's internal learning and development unit.
The Department has spent no money on literacy and numeracy teaching for departmental staff in the last five years as adult basic skills tuition is delivered at no charge to learners who are eligible for Learning and Skills Council funding.
Since 2002, £7000 has been spent supporting the development of adult basic skills in the Department:
2005: £5,500 on tailoring a basic skills programme to reflect the work of facilities management staff and evaluating the programme.
We have no record of expenditure before 2002.
In addition activities take place across the Department which incorporate elements of basic skills within them. It is not possible to separate these out or quantify costs.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate she has made of the average debt of a medical student upon qualification in each year since 199798. 
Bill Rammell: Statistics on average student debt are available from the Department's periodic Student Income and Expenditure Surveys but these are not conducted annually and have to date not given medical student debt figures separately. However the forthcoming SIES, to be published early in the new year, will have figures for borrowings, savings and estimated debt for final year medical students for academic year 2004/05.
Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether graduate medical students will be permitted to pay their tuition fees following qualification. 
Graduates with an honours degree undertaking a second undergraduate degree in medicine, or other subjects, will not be entitled to fee loans or deferred fees when introduced in 2006/07. However, graduate medical students on four year fast track courses, who now comprise the majority of graduate medical students, do not pay tuition fee contributions except in their first year because the Department of Health pays the fees in years two to four. The Department of Health also pays the fees of undergraduate medical students, including those with a previous graduate qualification, in years five and six. Graduate medical students are in addition eligible for subsidised maintenance loans and Department of Health bursaries.
16 Nov 2005 : Column 1289W
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children have gone missing in each of the last five years. 
Beverley Hughes: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given on 24 October 2005, Official Report, column 146W, to the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam (Mr. Burstow).
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps her Department is taking to ensure the public service agreement target to reduce the under-18 conception rate by 2010 is met. 
Maria Eagle: The Government's 10-year Teenage Pregnancy Strategy continues to make progress in meeting its target of a 50 per cent. reduction in under-18 conception rates by 2010. There has been a 9.8 per cent. decline in under-18 conceptions between 1998 (the baseline year for the strategy) and 2003 (the latest year for which data are available). There has been a 9.9 per cent. reduction in under-16 conceptions over the same period.
The strategy includes a range of actions designed to reduce teenage conceptions and support teenage parents so that they achieve better health and education outcomes for them and their child(ren), including:
Encouragement to delay sexual activity, including support to resist pressure to become sexually active;
Improving access to and usage of condoms among sexually active young people, to reduce the risk of unintended pregnancies and STIs; and
Support to help teenage mothers to: access pre- and post-natal services; engage in education, employment and training; and avoid social exclusion.
In order to accelerate the current rate of reduction to meet the 50 per cent. reduction target by 2010, we have asked all areas to intensify delivery of their strategies to reach high rate neighbourhoods and young people at greatest risk of early pregnancy.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when she will assess progress on the public service agreement target to reduce the proportion of young people not in education, employment or training by two percentage points by 2010. 
Maria Eagle: The statistics used to measure the target to reduce the proportion of young people not in education, employment and training (NEET) are published annually by the Department for Education and Skills. Provisional data for the end of 2004 was published in June 2005 when it was estimated that 194,000 16 to 18-year-olds were NEET, 10 per cent. of the 16 to 18-year-old population. The first opportunity to assess the progress made since then will be when statistics for the end of 2005 are available. These are due to be published in June 2006.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what research has been conducted by her Department into possible links between the marking of school work and child self-esteem. 
Jacqui Smith: My Department has not commissioned any research on the link between the marking of school work and child self-esteem.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) for what reason she has decided not to allocate the funding of £22 million for protecting strategic subjects to centres of excellence; 
(2) for what reason she has decided to allocate the funding of £22 million for protecting strategic subjects to collaborative projects. 
Bill Rammell: The legal responsibility for the distribution of grant between institutions rests with the relevant Funding Councils. The joint guidance they have issued in relation to the £22 million to be allocated to support vulnerable area and language studies of strategic importance indicates that they expect one or two centres to be supported in each area of study. Therefore only those institutions which can demonstrate excellence in meeting the criteria for the scheme are likely to receive support.
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