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Learning and Skills Council

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many meetings of the Learning and Skills Council's management group were attended by representatives of other organisations for the purpose of sharing ideas on learning and skills policy and delivery in the last year for which figures are available; and what the names were of the organisations. [60264]

Bill Rammell [holding answer 21 March 2006]: The Learning and Skills Council's (LSC) management group is part of its internal management structure and responsible for the day-to-day operation of the LSC. The management group consists of the LSC's nine regional directors and four national group directors, and is chaired by the Chief Executive, Mark Haysom.

The LSC National Council is responsible for leading the LSC and setting its overarching strategy for post-16 learning and skills. It consists of a chair and 15 members drawn from a wide range of backgrounds, including employers, local government and community organisations. Representatives from other organisations are also regularly invited to meetings of the National Council, to share their knowledge and expertise on a range of topics. Minutes of Council meetings are published on the LSC website (

Mark Haysom the LSC's Chief Executive has written to my hon. Friend with the information requested and a copy of his reply has been placed in the House Library.

Letter from Mark Haysom:

Meeting dateNameOrganisation
20 January 2005Ruth SpellmanInvestors in People
7 April 2005Sir Andrew Fostern/a (re: FE Review)
9 June 2005Sarah JonesUniversity for Industry
12 July 2005Sir Andrew FosterChair—FE Review
20 January 2006Caroline Mager/
Andrew Thompson
Quality Improvement Agency

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Post-16 Education

Ed Balls: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many employers in (a) the Wakefield District and (b) Normanton constituency are providing post-16 education; what the national average is for the number of such employers in a (i) district and (ii)constituency area; and what steps are being taken to encourage more employers to offer such education in each area. [48389]

Phil Hope: To encourage employers to participate in training, we have established an employer-led training infrastructure that puts their needs centre stage. This is reflected in the design and delivery arrangements of, for example, the new national employer training programme Train To Gain. In Further Education we will be looking at the recommendations of the Foster Report on FE Colleges' responsiveness to local and regional employer needs and will be announcing our plans for the next stage of reform in the spring. Responsibility for the planning and funding of post-16 learning outside Higher Education, however, is the responsibility of the Learning and Skills Council and Mark Haysom, the council's chief executive has written to my hon. Friend with further detailed information and a copy of his letter has been placed in the House Library.

Letter from Mark Haysom, dated 8 March 2006:

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Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many 16 to 19 year olds were unfunded as a consequence of further education colleges exceeding their recruitment targets agreed with the relevant local Learning and Skills Council in (a) 2004–05 and (b) 2005–06 in (i) each local learning and skills council area and (ii) each college. [55297]

Bill Rammell [holding answer 2 March 2006]: The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) agrees plans with most further education (FE) colleges which they guarantee to fund. The guarantee that college plans will be fully funded has been widely welcomed by the sector as ensuring stability and providing confidence for colleges to make commitments for the year based on assured levels of funding. The guarantee means that colleges recruiting above agreed plans cannot expect to receive additional funding above the level agreed with the LSC. However, there is an expectation that where colleges have delivered higher volumes in priority areas then this should be reflected in their planning for the following year.

It is only possible to determine the amount of learning delivered above agreed planned levels following detailed analysis of the actual level of delivery in the academic year compared to the agreed planned levels. It is not possible to complete this analysis for 2005/06 until we have full academic year data on delivery, which will not be available until later this year. For 2004/05 the LSC estimate that colleges delivered 9,624 16 to19 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) learner numbers above the planned levels agreed with the 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.

Religious Services

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 9 January 2006, Official Report, column 428W, on religious services, what discussions have taken place in her Department about whether a daily act of collective worship should continue to be held in accordance with her Department's circular 1/94. [61648]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 27 March 2006]: The current policy regarding collective worship is set out in the Department for Education and Skills circular 1/94. All registered pupils attending a maintained school,
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primary or secondary, should take part in a daily act of collective worship. This act of collective worship should be wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character.

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