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28 Nov 2005 : Column 192W—continued


John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the impact of the home literacy environment upon underachievement (a) nationally and (b) by children from low socio-economic backgrounds. [26091]

Jacqui Smith: There is strong evidence on the importance of the home literacy environment for the achievement of children from all social backgrounds. Family learning schemes set up by the Adult Literacy and Basic Skills Agency in the mid 1990's, which focusedon families with parents with poor literacy skills, resulted in sustained, statistically significant improvements in writing for both parents and children, and associated increases in their levels of confidence 1 .
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More generally, parental involvement in the form of at-home good parenting, which includes encouragement and participation in learning, has a significant positive effect on children's achievement. This is true even after all other factors shaping attainment have been taken into account. The impact is evident across all social classes and all ethnic groups. Good parenting helps shape the child's self concept as a learner and encourages high aspirations 2 .

The Effective Provision of Pre-School Education Study found that the children whose parents actively engaged them in educational activities did better at the end of key stage 1 3 . Seventy per cent. of parents read to their children and almost three quarters think their role in their children's education is important 4 . However, the Skills for Life Survey showed that parents with lower literacy levels are much less likely to help and less likely to be confident in helping their children with reading 5

In the light of such evidence the Department is actively supporting the development of literacy provision for adults, including family learning, within its Skills for Life programme. Other steps being taken to improve the home literacy environment for parents and their children from low socio-economic backgrounds in particular are outlined in my response to PQ no. 26092.

University Grants

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of students from (a) Tamworth, (b) Staffordshire and (c) England beginning university in the 2005/06 academic year are in receipt of a grant from their local education authority. [31793]

Bill Rammell: The numbers of new entrants to higher education in 2004/05 domiciled in Staffordshire, and England, in receipt of a statutory grant are shown in the table.

1.Grants included are the Higher Education Grant, Adult Dependent Grant, Care Leavers Grant, Childcare Grant, Disabled Students Allowance (equipment, non-medical helpers, general, or travel), Lone Parents Grant, and Parental Learning Allowance.
2.Numbers have been rounded to the nearest hundred.
Student Loans Company.

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Data are not available at a constituency level. Data for 2005/06 will be available in summer 2006.

The percentage of students receiving a grant is not calculable as the corresponding underlying population data for 2004/05 will not be available until early 2006.

University League Tables

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the effect of published university league tables on the recruitment by universities of (a) home and EU students and (b) international students. [32423]

Bill Rammell: None. The Government neither produce nor endorse any university league tables. But demand from all groups of students has risen to record levels with an extra 400,000 students accepted in 2005 to enter UK higher education institutions. We believe demand is helped by publicly available information about the performance of higher education institutions.

Victoria Centre, Gravesham

Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much has been allocated to the Victoria Centre in Gravesham for adult education in 2006–07. [31200]

Bill Rammell: The Department has allocated more than £2.5 billion for adult education in 2006–07. This includes some £1,933 million for adult further education, £230 million for NETP/ETP, £210 million for personal and community development learning and £202.7 million for adult work based learning.

On the 21 October, I wrote to all MPs setting out the Government's strategic direction for the learning and skills sector for the coming period. The purpose of the announcement 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.

While total funding going into the learning and skills sector will increase over the next two years there is a need to rebalance spending toward priority areas which include helping disadvantaged adults gain basic and level 2 skills for employability and progression to level 3.

As the allocations process for 2006/07 has only just begun we do not know how much funding will be allocated locally. However, allocations for FE and personal and community development learning to Kent county council, which the Victoria Centre is part of, will reflect our priorities.


Abuse (Insurance Premiums)

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much has been paid in insurance premiums by local authorities in relation to complaints of (a) sexual and (b) physical abuse arising out of residence in (i) care and (ii) residential schools in each year since 1992. [28791]

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Maria Eagle: I have been asked to reply.

My Department does not hold this information.

Affordable Housing Units

Margaret Moran: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many affordable housing units expected to be built or procured through the Housing Corporation Approved Development Programme and Challenge Fund in the East of England Region will be (a) mixed funded social rented housing, (b) temporary social rented housing, (c) homebuy general market purchase, (d) homebuy general new build, (e) mixed funded low cost home ownership for sale, (f) miscellaneous works to registered social landlord stock, (g) reimprovements to rented RSL stock, (h) works only rehabilitation of rented RSL stock, (i) works only rehabilitation of RSL stock for sale, (j) intermediate rent for key workers, (k) homebuy market purchase for key workers, (l) homebuy new build for key workers, (m) mixed funded sale for key workers, (n) right to acquire, (o) voluntary purchase grant, (p) starter home initiative, (q) do-it-yourself shared ownership and (r) temporary intermediate and market rent housing in (i) 2005–06, (ii) 2006–07 and (iii) 2007–08; and how much he expects to be spent on each category in each year. [30633]

Yvette Cooper: The following tables show the latest estimated completions and expenditure in the East of England region for 2005–06 through the Housing Corporation Approved Development Programme, including Challenge Fund, for categories from (a) to (r). Funding and completions are not directly comparable, as funding will relate to projects running, not necessarily units completed, in any one year.
Estimated completions for East of England region in 2005–06

(a)Mixed funded social rent2,415
(b)Temporary social rent5
(c)Homebuy market purchase189
(d)Homebuy new build3
(e)Mixed funded for sale592
(f)Miscellaneous works to RSL stock8
(g)Reimprovements to RSL rented stock12
(h)Works only rehabilitation of RSL rented stock2
(i)Works only rehabilitation of RSL stock for sale0
(j)Intermediate rent for key workers73
(k)Homebuy market purchase for key workers676
(1)Homebuy new build for key workers0
(m)Mixed funded for sale for key workers139
(n)Right to acquire6
(o)Voluntary purchase grant0
(p)Starter home initiative0
(q)Do-it-yourself shared ownership0
(r)Temporary intermediate and market rent housing0

Estimated expenditure in East of England region for 2005–06

£ million
(a)Mixed funded social rent67.216
(b)Temporary social rent0.049
(c)Homebuy market purchase5.708
(d)Homebuy new build0.004
(e)Mixed funded for sale6.005
(f)Miscellaneous works to RSL stock0.154
(g)Reimprovements to RSL rented stock0.207
(h)Works only rehabilitation of RSL rented stock0.002
(i)Works only rehabilitation of RSL stock for sale0.000
(j)Intermediate rent for key workers3.838
(k)Homebuy market purchase for key workers27.495
(1)Homebuy new build for key workers0.235
(m)Mixed funded for sale for key workers3.610
(n)Right to acquire0.072
(o)Voluntary purchase grant0.000
(p)Starter home initiative0.000
(q)Do-it-yourself shared ownership0.000
(r)Temporary intermediate and market rent housing0.000

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For 2006–07 and 2007–08 Regional Housing Boards have made recommendations to Ministers for the allocation of Regional Housing Pots funds. The Eastern Regional Housing Board has recommended that from their allocation of £432 million for the two years a total of £356 million should be allocated to the provision of affordable housing. However, the exact distribution of funding between programmes for 2006–08 will not be known until the completion of the Housing Corporation's bidding process.

In August 2005 the Housing Corporation launched the bidding round for the 2006–08 Affordable Housing Programme (AHP). This invited both registered social landlords and non-registered bodies to apply for funds to develop affordable housing based on priorities set by the Regional Housing Boards. The outcome of this bidding round will not be known until early in 2006.

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