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Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps she is taking to increase the skills levels of disabled people in Hartlepool; and if she will make a statement. 
Phil Hope: More people than ever before with self-declared learning difficulties and/or disabilities are now engaged in LSC-funded education and training with 579,000 learners across the post-16 sector in 200304 at a total cost of around £1.3 billion. We want to work closely with the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) to continue to break down the barriers that people with disabilities face in accessing quality training. The Learning and Skills Act 2000 places a statutory duty on the LSC to promote equality of opportunity between persons of different racial groups, men and women, and between disabled and non-disabled. To support that work, the LSC has introduced equality and diversity impact measures as a planning tool to promote greater equality of opportunity in both fair access to and outcomes from publicly-funded training.
Earlier this year, in our White Paper Skills Getting on in business, getting on at work" we outlined how the LSC is providing capital funding to support colleges and training providers in making the necessary changes to their accommodation, in order to improve access for disabled learners.
However, responsibility for the planning and funding of skills training in Hartlepool, including skills for people with disabilities, is the responsibility of the LSC. Mark Haysom, the council's chief executive, has written to my hon. Friend with further information and a copy of his letter has been placed in the House Library.
The main providers of post-16 learning in Hartlepool are Hartlepool College of Further Education and Hartlepool Sixth Form College. Both have been supported recently with funding in relation to improving access for learners with disabilities. All providers of Apprenticeships, Work Based Learning and Entry to Employment in Hartlepool have had an Access Audit to ensure that their facilities and premises are accessible to people with disabilities.
In excess of 1,900 people taking part in learning in Hartlepool are supported with Additional Learning Support Funding. This funding provides specific individual support in respect of learning difficulties and/or disabilities.
73 young people from Hartlepool who consider themselves to have a learning difficulty and/or disability are currently on Apprenticeship programmes and improving their skills and employment opportunities at levels 2 and 3. 42 young people from Hartlepool who consider themselves to have a learning difficulty and/or disability are currently on entry to employment programmes and are improving their skills and employment opportunities leading to level 2 qualifications.
Hartlepool College of Further Education is working with Catcote Special School in Hartlepool to increase provision for learners aged 19+ with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. This project is increasing personal, social and skills for working life for 14 adults.
Hartlepool Sixth Form College is running a Pathways project1 which supports 26 learners with multiple learning difficulties aged 26 to 63. Learners follow the Certificate in Personal, Social and Health Education.
We have recently approved funding for the Shaw Trust to deliver support to unemployed 1924 year olds with learning difficulties and/or disabilities that I have previously had specialist support in a local provider, or have returned from a residential college. The project will support them in community and work based settings. Participants will benefit from improved social skills to encourage independent living and progression, making aspirations and employment goals attainable. 50 learners will be supported across the Tees Valley.
Budgets for investment in services for learners with learning needs and disabilities for 200607 will shortly be allocated to regions and local LSC's enabling them to plan support for next year. This will be in the context of our plans for significant budget increases for these learners over the next few years. We have increased the overall budget for learners with learning needs and disabilities from £138 million to £157 million for 20062007 and this will increase again to £181 million in 20072008, rises of 14% and 15% year on year from 2005. These rises are significantly greater than the overall increase in our budget over the same period, which increases by 3% and 5%.
We are making this additional investment in response to the national review of support for learners with disabilities carried out for us by Peter Little. While the review is still out for consultation and we will need to agree nationally how the LSC's expenditure on learning is matched by what other agencies pay for by way of social and domestic support, we acknowledge that our own contribution must rise. This is because the overall number of learners with disabilities is rising as the effect of medical advances continues.
At a time when numbers of young people are falling and 80% of the workforce of 2010 is already in the labour market we regard it as essential that the aspirations and abilities of all learners are supported and developed.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the requirement for extended schools referred to on page 10 of the White Paper, Higher Standards, Better Schools for All". 
Beverley Hughes: By 2010 we expect all schools to offer access to a core offer of extended services, with half of all primaries and a third of all secondaries doing so by 2008. The core offer includes 8 am-6 pm wraparound child care; a varied menu of study support activities such as sport and arts clubs; swift and easy referral to specialist health and social care services such as speech therapy; parenting support; and wider community use of school facilities. How this develops in each community will vary depending on the needs of that community. Some will have greater need for more child care, others will be able to rely on working with existing providers. A survey of 4,000 schools has shown that many are already delivering parts of this offer, with the vast majority already providing some activities or care before or after school. There has been enthusiasm from local authorities and schools to engage with the extended schools support programme, with over 5,000 schools joining this year.
Beverley Hughes: The QCA Foundation Stage Profile scales booklet covers 13 areas of development related to the early learning goals. For each area, the booklet offers a series of statements, numbered 1 to 9, describing aspects of development within that area (117 statements in all). For each individual child, teachers decide which of the nine statements in each area best describe the child's stage of development. Schools report to the local authority, as the child's score", 13 numbers ranging from 1 to 9.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate she has made of how many adults lacked basic (a) literacy and (b) numeracy skills in (i) 1997 and (ii) 2005 in (A) Hampshire, (B) Portsmouth, (C) Southampton, (D) the Isle of Wight and (E) each (1) borough and (2) district council in Hampshire. 
Phil Hope [holding answer 31 January 2006]: The Department does not collect annual data on adult literacy and numeracy skills and it is therefore not possible to provide estimates for 1997 and 2005. However, in 2002/03, the Department for Education and Skills conducted the 'Skills for Life Survey'. This is a national needs and impact survey of literacy and numeracy, which provides estimates of the level of basic skills within England among adults aged 1665 years old.
The assessment levels correspond to the literacy and numeracy National Standards: these were introduced in 2002 to provide a framework for all adult screening tests, diagnostic tools, programmes of study and
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qualifications. Learners are assessed for levels of literacy and numeracy from Entry Level 1 to Level 2. Level 2 is broadly equivalent to a higher grade GCSE (A*-C).
The survey provides estimates for Learning and Skills Council areas and districts. Within the Learning and Skills Council area of Hampshire and The Isle of Wight, the Skills for Life Survey estimates that around 7 per cent. of adults had literacy levels below Level 1 (equivalent to a GCSE D-G) and around 43 per cent. had numeracy levels below Level 1 (Table 1 and 2).
|Entry Level 1 Skills and below||6,025||1|
|Entry Level 2 Skills||5,430||0|
|Entry Level 3 Skills||61,295||6|
|Total Entry Level Skills||72,750||7|
|Level 1 Skills||464,400||42|
|Level 2 Skills and above||572,100||52|
|Entry Level 1 Skills and below||23,400||2|
|Entry Level 2 Skills||116,730||11|
|Entry Level 3 Skills||335,470||30|
|Total Entry Level Skills||475,600||43|
|Level 1 Skills||339,000||31|
|Level 2 Skills and above||294,900||27|
At a district level, the Skills for Life Survey estimates around 10 per cent. of adults have literacy levels below Level 1 (equivalent to a GCSE D-G) within Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight and around 50 per cent. have numeracy levels below level 1 (Table 3 and 4).
|Total Entry Level||Level 1 Skills||Level 2 Skills|
|Isle of Wight||7,820||10||35,970||47||32,950||43|
|Total Entry Level||Level 1 Skills||Level 2 Skills|
|Isle of Wight||39,010||51||23,910||31||13,810||18|
A copy of the full report of this survey has been placed in the House of Commons Library and all geographical estimates are on the Skills for Life website [http://www.dfes.gov.uk/readwriteplus_skillsforlifesurvey/].
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