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9 Jan 2006 : Column 391W—continued

EDUCATION AND SKILLS

0870 Numbers

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 8 November 2005, Official Report, column 443W, on 0870 numbers, what contractual arrangements her Department has for the provision of the non-profit making 0870 lines. [37640]

Bill Rammell: The Department for Education and Skills normally obtains non profit making 0870 lines from its current telephone service provider as a published service offering within that contract. The exception to that policy is where advanced notification has been provided of an impending Machinery of Government change and, in these cases, non profit making 0870 numbers are obtained outside of the normal contractual arrangements in order to ease transition to the new Department.

Ability Grouping

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many schools found to be inadequate by Ofsted in 2004–05 were found not to be making appropriate use of ability grouping. [39514]

Jacqui Smith: This information is not available.

Access Arrangements

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what account is taken by the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service of Child Support Agency decisions on payment when advising the courts on access arrangements to the non-resident parent in any particular case. [38886]

Maria Eagle: This is a matter for the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS). Anthony Douglas, the CAFCASS chief executive, will write to the hon. Member with this information and a copy of his reply will be placed in the House Library.

Letter from Anthony Douglas, dated 21 December 2005:

Adult Education (Kent)

Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what funds have been made available in 2005–06 for adult education courses in Kent; and what percentage change this represents over the previous year. [28594]


 
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Bill Rammell: The Government's Skills Strategy, reaffirmed in the White Paper published on the 22 March 2005, sets clear priorities for public funding to support the drive to ensure that employers have the skills they need to be successful, and individuals have the skills they need to be employable and personally fulfilled. Funding for further education (FE) increased by 4.4 per cent. in 2005/06. Funding for non-vocational learning opportunities for adults, delivered mainly through local authority adult education services, has also increased. In 2004/05 we provided over £207 million to the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) in support of this learning. This has risen to £210 million in 2005/06.

This funding will enable colleges and other providers to deliver a wide range of learning opportunities to meet the needs of adults in local communities but those who are able to do so will need to pay higher fees in the future. I set out the Government's priorities for the learning and skills sector and the impact on funding in 2006–07 and 2007–08 on the 21 October 2005 and full details can be found in 'Priorities for Success' on the LSC's website.

Total further education funding allocated by the LSC to colleges and other providers in Kent is £107.67 million in 2005/06-up 5 per cent. on 2004/05. Allocations for individual colleges and providers are available on the LSC's website: www.lsc.gov.uk The 2005/06 funding allocations for Personal & Community Development Learning (formerly Adult & Community Learning) have been made to providers but have not yet been published by the LSC.

My Department does not hold funding figures for college and other providers in Kent. As the level of funding allocations in local areas relates to the LSC's operational responsibilities, Mark Haysom, the LSC's chief executive, has written to the hon. Member with further details about Kent's 2005/06 funding. A copy of his reply has been placed in the House Library.

Letter from Mark Haysom, dated 20 December 2005:

Adult Guidance Provision

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many adult guidance providers are running at a loss. [25086]

Phil Hope: Information, advice and guidance services on learning and work for adults are delivered by the Learning and Skills Council through an integrated
 
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information and advice service comprising the national learn direct telephone and on-line advice service, and 47 local next step information and advice providers.

Operational matters relating to the performance of these providers are a matter for the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). Mark Haysom the LSC's chief executive has written to the hon. Member and a copy of his reply has been placed in the House Library.

Letter from Mark Haysom, dated 16 November 2005:

Adult Learning Inspectorate

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what representations she received from business groups on the decision to merge the adult learning inspectorate with Ofsted. [40431]

Jacqui Smith: A number of business organisations, including the Confederation of British Industry, the Institute of Directors and the British Chambers of Commerce, responded to the consultation A Single Inspectorate for Children and Learners". As part of the consultation Tri-Energy Consulting facilitated for the Department [five] focus group discussions on the consultation questions relating to the adult learning inspectorate. They concluded that


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