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23 Jan 2006 : Column 1902W—continued


Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when she will reply to the letter dated 30 November 2005 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton, with regard to Mr.A. Diamond. [41837]

Jacqui Smith: I replied to the right hon. Member's letter on 9 January.

Dedicated Schools Grant

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the purpose is of the Dedicated Schools Grant; how much will be spent on this in each of the next three years; how much will be received by each local authority; and if she will make a statement. [41297]

Jacqui Smith: The data I placed in the Library to accompany my written statement of 7 December 2005 on the School Funding Settlement for 2006–07 and 2007–08, set out how much Dedicated Schools Grant each authority will receive for those years. Allocations of DSG for 2008–09 will be announced after the comprehensive spending review has been completed, expected to be in summer 2007.

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans she has to improve the consistency of the allocation of the Dedicated Schools Grant across all local education authorities. [43022]

Jacqui Smith: My statement to the House on 7 December said that Dedicated Schools Grant for 2006–07 and 2007–08 would be distributed according to the modified method, in which each authority receives a guaranteed increase in funding per pupil of 5 per cent. with further funding to reflect Government priorities on top of that. The decision to use the modified method was taken after a consultation over the summer, and will provide stability of funding for the next two years, as the new school funding arrangements are introduced. This method of distribution for DSG will also provide substantial real terms increases for all authorities for 2006–07 and 2007–08. We also propose to review the operation of the methodology for allocating DSG for 2006–07 and 2007–08, consider what lessons can be learnt and work up proposals for the distribution of the DSG in the longer term, in time for the announcement of the first three year allocations of DSG in late 2007 following the Comprehensive Spending Review.

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the direct schools grant per pupil is in (a) Shropshire and (b) England; and what assessment she has made of the adequacy of Shropshire local education authority's direct schools grant. [43023]

Jacqui Smith: The following table sets out the guaranteed level of Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) per pupil for Shropshire and England for 2006–07 and 2007–08.
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Dedicated Schools Grant per pupil


The levels in the table represent increases of 6.6 per cent. and 6.4 per cent. per pupil for 2006–07 and 2007–08 respectively. Those increases will allow Shropshire authority to meet the minimum funding guarantee for all its schools, while also allowing it to put substantial resources into the Government priorities of greater personalisation of learning at Key Stage 2 and 3, more practical learning options for 14 to 16-year-old pupils, work force reform in the primary sector and the increased entitlement to early years provision from 33 to 38 weeks. The increases will also provide the authority with headroom to target on local priorities, and will ensure that it has scope to begin to respond to the conclusions of the review of deprivation funding, ensuring that schools in our most deprived communities and areas benefit from sufficient resource to meet the pressures and challenges they face.

Departmental Forms

Mr. Wills: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what estimate she has made of the change in the number of forms issued by her Department to teachers since 2002; [41929]

(2) what assessment she has made of the changes in the attitude of the teaching profession to the amount of forms issued to teachers since 2002. [41931]

Jacqui Smith: Reducing bureaucracy is a key element of the New Relationship with Schools which aims to streamline planning and accountability requirements and rationalise communications with schools. The Department does not separately track the number of forms which are sent to schools, but we do monitor the number of paper-based documents sent directly to schools. The figures are set out in the following table.
Primary schoolsSecondary schools

This year no paper-based documents have been sent to schools due to the national roll-out of the Department's online ordering system, and fortnightly email service which draws head teachers attention to key publications. These developments make it easier for schools to access the documents they need at a time and in a format which is right for them.

The Department's Stakeholder Tracking Study which took place from 2002–04 includes an assessment of attitudes of the teaching profession to levels of bureaucracy. This shows that our approach is beginning to pay dividends. In November 2004 10 per cent. of teachers thought that bureaucracy had reduced, compared to just 4 per cent. in November 2002. The percentage who thought bureaucracy had increased dropped from 71 per cent. to 56 per cent. over the same time period. The study has been published on the
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Departments website and is available at: type=5&x=47&y=14

Drinking Water

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 14 December 2005, Official Report, column 2074W, on drinking water, whether she plans to issue guidance to schools on drinking water provision in relation to the aims of her healthy schools policy. [43896]

Jacqui Smith: In order to keep properly hydrated throughout the day, children need access to water at school. The promotion of good hydration is included within the Government's Food in Schools programme ( SocialCareTopics/FoodInSchools), which supports the National Healthy Schools Standard ( It advises that good quality drinking water should be available to pupils throughout the day and not from taps or drinking fountains located in toilet areas (

Drop-out Rates

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which 10 (a) further and (b) higher education institutions had the (i) highest and (ii) lowest drop-out rate in the last period for which figures are available. [39920]

Bill Rammell: For higher education institutions, the latest available information on projected non-completion rates for students starting full-time first degree courses in 2002/03 is shown in the following table. The overall non-completion rate for all English HE institutions was 13.9 per cent., compared to 15.7 per cent. in 1996/97.
Percentage of UK domiciled full-time first degree students expected neither to obtain an award nor transfer 2002/03

Highest non-completion rates:
Bolton Institute of Higher Education31.9
The University of Derby27.0
The University of Sunderland26.8
The University of East London26.0
London South Bank University25.6
Middlesex University25.1
Thames Valley University25.0
The University of Greenwich25.0
London Metropolitan University24.7
Liverpool Hope University College23.6
Lowest non-completion rates:
Birmingham College of Food, Tourism and
Creative Studies
University of London (institutes and activities)0.0
The Royal Veterinary College0.0
The University of Cambridge1.0
Courtauld Institute of Art1.3
The University of Oxford2.3
Royal College of Music2.7
University of Durham3.7
Imperial College of Science, Technology and
The University of Bath3.9

Performance Indicators in Higher Education", published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (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 published 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).

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The Learning and Skills Council does not collect data on drop out rates from FE colleges. Instead they collect data on learner retention rates. The learner retention rate is the proportion of qualification aims for which all learning activities were completed. Retention rates for individual colleges can be downloaded from the LSC website (

The overall learner retention rate for all FE colleges combined was 85 per cent. in 20003/04, the latest year for which final data are available. For the middle 80 per cent. of colleges the retention rate lay in the range 78 per cent. to 91 per cent.

The 10 colleges with the highest retention rates were:
Northern College for Residential Adult Education99
Plater College97
Fircroft College of Adult Education97
Ruskin College97
King Edward VI College, Stourbridge96
Hills Road Sixth Form College96
Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College96
St Dominic's Sixth Form College96
The Sixth Form College, Farnborough95
Pershore Group of Colleges95

The 10 colleges with the lowest retention rates were:
Salisbury College61
Otley College of Agriculture and Horticulture62
North East Surrey College of Technology67
Widnes and Runcorn Sixth Form College69
Newark and Sherwood College70
Milton Keynes College72
Leeds College of Music72
Isle College FE Corporation72
Thames Valley University72
Joseph Priestley College73

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Retention rates are highly dependent on the mix of qualifications done at a college. A college that does few short courses and many full courses is likely to get a relatively low retention rate, simply because the national retention rate for short courses is relatively high and the national retention rate for full courses is relatively low.

FE College retention rates and HE institution non-completion rates are collected in different ways and are not comparable.

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