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23 Nov 2005 : Column 2087W—continued

Higher Education

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what percentage of people aged 18 to 30 years entered higher education in (a) 2001, (b) 2002, (c) 2003, (d) 2004 and (e) 2005; [26786]

(2) if she will make a statement on the non-completion rate in higher education in (a) 2001, (b) 2002, (c) 2003, (d) 2004 and (e) 2005. [26787]

Bill Rammell: The latest available figures are shown in the tables. The percentage of people aged 17 to 30 years entering higher education in 2004 will be published in April 2006; projected non-completion rates for students starting courses in 2003 will be published in July 2006. The figures in the tables show that, since 1999/2000,
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participation rates have risen and non-completion rates have fallen. Figures published in 2005 by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) showed that in 2003 the UK had one of the lowest non-completion rates among OECD countries.
Higher Education Initial Participation Rate (HEIPR) for English domiciled first degree entrants (full-time and part-time) to higher education courses from 1999/2000 to 2003/04

Students starting courses in:Percentage of 17 to 30-year-olds entering HE

DfES National Statistics Statistical First Release 14/2005, Participation Rates in Higher Education: Academic Years 1999/2000—2003/2004 (Provisional)". Calculations are based on data provided by HESA and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC).

Percentage of UK domiciled full-time first degree starters expected neither to obtain an award nor transfer, UK higher education institutions 1999/2000 to 2002/03

Students starting courses in:Projected non-completion rate

n/a—not available.
Performance Indicators in Higher Education", published by HESA. For 2002/03, the projected outcomes summarise the pattern of movements of students at institutions between 2002/03 and 2003/04 and give the outcomes that would have been expected from starters in 2002/03 if progression patterns for the years after 2003/04 were to remain unchanged. The HESA data show the proportion of entrants who are projected to: obtain a qualification (either a first degree or another undergraduate award); transfer to another HEI; neither obtain a qualification nor transfer (i.e. fail to complete the course).

Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many staff are employed in universities in England. [29281]

Bill Rammell: The latest available information is given in the following table:
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All staff in higher education institutions in England 2003/04

Academic staff86,01538,125
Non academic staff96,93556,450

Figures are rounded to the nearest 5.
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of those studying science in higher education took (a) dual award science GCSE and (b) separate sciences at GCSE in the last period for which figures are available. [28582]

Bill Rammell: The information is not held centrally. The Higher Education Statistics Agency collects data on the entry qualifications held by entrants to Higher Education Institutions, which records the highest level of qualification held (e.g. A level, GCSE) but does not specify the specific subjects obtained by the student at these levels.

IT Projects

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many of the IT projects costing over £1 million in use in her Department and introduced since 1997 have been scrutinised by the Public Accounts Committee; and if she will list them. [26593]

Maria Eagle: One only—the Individual Learning Account (ILA) Programme 1 .

Key Stage 3

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what research her Department has undertaken into the merits of (a) reducing the period of teaching at Key Stage 3 from three years to two years and (b) reducing the number of teachers pupils see at (i) Key Stage 3 on (ii) attainment at Key Stage 3 and (iii) Key Stage 4. [31188]

Jacqui Smith: The Department is currently running a pilot exploring the condensed Key Stage 3 curriculum, which began in 2003. The Department has commissioned an independent evaluation of the pilot which is due to report at the end of 2006. The pilot is also being evaluated by Ofsted; due to report in December 2005.

The Department is also running a pilot aimed at raising the achievement of low attaining pupils and a small part of this pilot explores teaching approaches at Key Stage 3. A report on the first year is currently available for the schools and local authorities involved.

Labour Force Survey

Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) for what reasons she has decided to use Labour Force Survey data for the purpose of assessing need for youth services; [29992]
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(2) if she will reverse her decision to use Labour Force Survey data in place of Connexions Service data for the purpose of assessing need for youth services. [29993]

Maria Eagle: The Labour Force Survey is not used to assess need for youth services. Through our Every Child Matters reforms we are giving local authorities and their partners through children's trusts increasing freedom to make local assessments of the need for particular services and allocate resources accordingly. Data collected by Connexions Services is a powerful tool for partners to use in planning and commissioning services for young people, and this local data is used in assessing local performance.

The national public service agreement target for reducing the proportion of 16–18-year-olds not in education, employment and training is measured using the DfES annual participation estimates, which use the Labour Force Survey as one component. These statistics are a measurement of the overall impact of policies—not of the need for youth services.

Learning and Skills Council

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what mechanism is used for providing funds to the Learning and Skills Council additional to those set out in the grant letter, with particular reference to funds for administrative costs. [30815]

Bill Rammell: Each autumn the Department sets out its priorities and funding for the LSC in an annual grant letter. Where the need for additional resources for the LSC is identified the Department and the LSC agree the level of funding, including any additional administration costs. Funding to cover administrative costs is based on the clear demonstration of need. When agreement is reached the additional resources are formally notified, in writing, to the LSC as additions to the grant letter. The LSC's core administration costs have fallen steadily from 3.4 per cent. of total funding in 2001–02 to 2.5 per cent. of its planned total budget in 2005–06. Using the figures in LSC annual accounts for 2001–02, which include the set up costs occurred in the last seven months of 2000–01, gives the administration budget as 4.6 per cent. of total funding.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the impact of the restructuring of the Learning and Skills Council on 16 to 19 education. [31616]

Bill Rammell: The LSC's proposed restructuring is designed to achieve better focus and more consistent delivery at a local level through the creation of 148 local partnership teams. These partnership teams will lead and support the 14–19 agenda which is the LSC's number one priority. The LSC has a duty to provide quality provision for 16 to 19-year-olds and the grant letter, issued earlier this month, reiterated the aim of boosting participation rates, raising the quality of vocational provision and extending choice to learners.

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