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Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of people are eligible to use registered childcare paid for by pre-tax salary under the nursery/childcare vouchers scheme. 
If an employer offers employer supported childcare or childcare vouchers, an employee is entitled to the first £50 a week tax and NIC free, so long as all the conditions are met. Employers can provide this help to their employees either on top or instead of salary.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what financial support her Department provides for (a) the University for Industry, (b) learndirect centres and (c) learndirect hubs; what role her Department (i) has and (ii) had in the governance and establishment of each; and what policy her Department has adopted in relation to the legal status of each. 
Phil Hope: The latest year for which the figures are available is 2004/05. Of the £218 million provided to Ufi in 2004/05, £107.2 million went to learndirect centres and £27.8 million went to hubs. Since August 2004, the Department has given the Learning and Skills Council responsibility for funding Ufi's infrastructure and learndirect provision in England. Each year the LSC and Ufi reach agreement on the targets to be achieved, the funding to be paid, the methodology for use of the funds and the values which Ufi will use for the funding it passes to hub operators and learndirect centres.
On governance, in 1999, the Department established a company structure which Ufi then cleared with the Charity Commissioners. This led to the setting up of Ufi Charitable Trust (a company limited by guarantee registered as a charity) and Ufi Ltd. (a trading subsidiary, limited by shares wholly owned by the parent company). The Department and Ufi agreed the hub and centre structure for the delivery of learndirect learning as this was considered the appropriate structure at that time for ensuring that learndirect provision was responsive to local and regional skills need. The hubs and learning centres are a mix of private companies and other organisations.
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Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when she proposes to create the capital fund referred to in paragraph 2.35 of the Education White Paper, Higher Standards, Better Schools for all. 
|Age in 2004||Number(35)||Proportion (percentage)|
For the English and maths indicators, to demonstrate achievement in GCSE maths, any maths GCSE qualification will be recognised. To demonstrate achievement in GCSE English, any English GCSE qualification will be recognised, except English Literature.
|Number of 15-year-old pupils(37) achieving||Percentage of 15-year-old pupils(37) achieving||Number of 16 to 19-year-olds(38) achieving|
|GCSE English A* to C or level 2 functional English(39)||359,323||55.8||9,257|
|Level 2 English GCSE||359,250||55.8||9,039|
|Level 2 functional English||73||0.0||218|
|GCSE maths A* to C or Level 2 functional mathematics(40)||318,908||49.6||10,705|
|Level 2 mathematics GCSE||318,874||49.5||10,623|
|Level 2 functional mathematics||34||0.0||82|
Jacqui Smith: The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) is the body with statutory responsibility for ensuring that the standards of GCSE and A level qualifications are maintained over time. QCA has a rolling programme of standards reviews, which began in 1997. The reports are available on the QCA website. This includes the report of the Independent Committee on Examination Standards chaired by Barry McGaw, Dec04, which found that no examination system at the school or other level is so tightly or carefully managed.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what new powers will be required by local education authorities to enable them to intervene in failing schools in the manner envisaged in the Schools White Paper. 
Jacqui Smith: Local authorities already have a range of powers to enable them to intervene when a school is judged by Ofsted to be failing. These include appointing additional governors, appointing an interim executive board and removing the school's delegated budget. We intend to create an addition power to enable local authorities to force a weak school to join a federation with a stronger school. We also intend to strengthen local authorities' existing powers to issue warning notices to schools that are badly under-performing, but which have not yet failed an inspectionwe want local authorities to intervene early to ensure a school's weaknesses are addressed at an earlier stage to prevent formal school failure. If a school failed satisfactorily to comply with the warning notice, the local authority would be able to use the powers of intervention described above.
We are also proposing a new duty on local authorities to consider radical options to secure school improvement at an early stage; and to reconsider action if the school fails to make adequate progress. We have already reduced the numbers of schools in special measures by over half since 1998, and significantly reduced the average time a school spends in special measures. We now need to ensure local authorities take swifter and more decisive action to address school failure so that all children can achieve their full potential.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment the Department has made of the effects of falling school rolls in (a) England and (b) Cheltenham constituency; and if she will make a statement. 
The Department's national forecasts indicate that primary school rolls will fall by 129,000 between 2004/05 and 2007/08 with secondary rolls falling by 133,000 between 2004/05 and 2007/08.
1 Dec 2005 : Column 772W
Local authority forecast data is at authority level and we do not have forecasts for the Cheltenham constituency. Gloucestershire local authority's 2004 forecasts indicate that primary rolls will increase by 964 between 2004/05 and 2007/08 and secondary rolls will increase by 2,212 between 2004/05 and 2010/11.
We have developed a toolkit offering practical advice to help local authorities manage the challenges and opportunities presented by falling primary rolls. The toolkit is available at www.teachernet.gov.uk/falling rolls.
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