|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether medical students with a first degree from a UK institution will be permitted to defer payment of up-front tuition fees. 
Graduates with an honours degree undertaking a second undergraduate degree in medicine, or other subjects, will not be entitled to a government tuition fee loan when introduced in 2006/07. The Department of Health does pay the fees of undergraduate medical students, including those with a previous graduate qualification, in years 5 and 6. Medical students on four year fast track courses do not pay tuition fee contributions, except in their first year, because the Department of Health pays the fees in years 2 to 4. However, graduate medical students during their early years of study are eligible for subsidised maintenance loans, and in the latter years of study are
17 Jan 2006 : Column 1233W
additionally eligible for bursaries and reduced rate maintenance loans when they access Department of Health support.
Beverley Hughes: We do not anticipate that the National Parenting Academy will have a single national base. We envisage that it will take the form of a network of educators who will be attached to existing educational organisations and institutions. The network of educators will be accessible country-wide.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what criteria will be used by the National Parenting Academy when it decides which parents its trained professionals should assist. 
Beverley Hughes: Local authorities and children's trusts, together with their partners and local professionals who work with children and parents, will identify parents in their local area who are most likely to benefit from support.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what methods will be used by the National Parenting Academy to assist professionals to help parents to bring up their children. 
Beverley Hughes: The National Parenting Academy will use evidence-based parenting interventions which have a proven track record of success. The most effective parent support programmes have a clear theoretical underpinning, follow a programme manual and usually last 812 weeks.
Beverley Hughes: Local authorities and children's trusts, together with their partners and local practitioners, will identify training needs within their area and decide which professionals are best placed to receive training in delivering evidence-based parenting interventions.
Authorities have considerable freedom in their funding of schools to construct factors in their local funding formulae, which take account of small schools by way of having lump sum curriculum or salary protection factors which can assist schools with a low number on roll (NOR).
Phil Hope: My Department is committed to helping people, including lone parents, gain the skills to help them into employment. Lone parents are identified as a priority disadvantaged group for the LSC, and FE colleges also provide financial assistance towards childcare costs from ring-fenced Learner Support Funds. The Government's Skills Strategy is focused on improving the employability of all adults with low skills, including lone parents. Many lone parents lack qualifications at or above level 2, are therefore a priority for support; including Information, Advice and Guidance and free tuition from 200607 for a first full Level 2 qualification.
DfES also has specific strategies to help teenage parents into learning. For example, through the Care to Learn programme, £22 million is being made available in 200506 to provide help with childcare costs for an estimated 4,700 young parents; and those aged 16 and 17 and caring for their child and in learning also receive the education maintenance allowance maximum of £30 per week, plus attendance and completion bonuses.
In addition, my Department works with Jobcentre Plus to support the new deal for lone parents which provides a package of advice and support to help and encourage lone parents not in work to improve their employment opportunities.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many and what percentage of part-time undergraduate students would be eligible for the financial support package announced in October 2005 if the threshold of access was (a) 50 credits, (b) 40 credits and (c) 30 credits; and what estimate her Department has made of the additional costs of extending eligibility in each case; 
(2) how many and what percentage of part-time undergraduate students are likely to study at less then 60 credits per annum in the first three years of the operation of the financial support package announced in October 2005; 
(3) how many and what percentage of part-time undergraduate students will be eligible for the financial support package announced in October 2005; and what the estimated cost is of this package for each of the first three years of its operation. 
Bill Rammell [holding answer 12 January 2006]: From 2006/07 statutory fee support for part-time students with the lowest incomes will increase by more than a quarter, with 85,000 expected to receive fee support (approximately a third of eligible part-time undergraduate students).
The estimated cost of the new statutory part-time fee support package for 200607 and 200708 is approximately £40 million per year. Part-time students may also be eligible for a grant towards travel, books and other course costs; that is expected to cost approximately £20 million per year.
In addition, the discretionary funds available to institutions to help part-time students will quadruple: funds allocated for part-time students under the Access to Learning Fund will rise in 2006 from £3 million to £12 million, although the Fund may be used flexibly across full-time and part-time students. Institutions will be able to use this resource as an additional fee support on top of the grant or to increase help to students facing financial hardship.
In 2003/04, 239,000 English-domiciled, part-time undergraduate students 1 studied at less than 50 per cent. of a full-time equivalent course at an English Higher Education Institution (HEI), representing 55 per cent. of all part-time undergraduate students at English HEIs. We have not made projections for students studying at less than 50 per cent. and have not made estimates of extending eligibility for statutory fee support below 50 per cent.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate she has made of the number of undergraduate students who declared themselves bankrupt in London in each year since 1997. 
Bill Rammell: The table shows student loan borrowers who have informed the Student Loans Company of their bankruptcy and whose awarding local authority is in London, by calendar year of bankruptcy, since 1997.
There are several possible reasons for the rise in bankruptcy figures. Media coverage of the issue of student loan borrowers declaring themselves bankrupt during the passage of the Enterprise Act 2002 may have contributed to the rise in bankruptcies in 2003 and 2004. In addition, one of the effects of the Enterprise Act itself was to reduce the period of discharge from bankruptcy from three years to one. As a result provisions were included in the Higher Education Act 2004 to prevent student loans being written off on discharge from bankruptcy.
Bankrupt student loan borrowers, though, continue to benefit from the same non-commercial terms as other borrowers, including income thresholds and repayment in line with income. Income-contingent loan borrowers are not required to repay if their annual income is below £15,000.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|