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Train to Gain Programme

Ed Balls: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many extra places the Train to Gain programme is forecast to create over the next three years in (a) West Yorkshire, (b) Wakefield District and (c) Normanton constituency. [54802]

Phil Hope: Train to Gain, which will be available in all Learning and Skills regions from August 2006, is intended to be a service that responds to the skills needs of employers.
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Planning assumptions about the potential learner volumes for first Level 2 and Skills for Life that might be supported within each LSC region are a matter for the LSC. Mark Haysom, the chief executive has written to the hon. Member and a copy of his letter has been placed in the House Library.

Letter from Mark Haysom, dated 15 March 2006:

University E-courses

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the total cost has been of online university e-courses; and how many students have graduated through such courses. [59806]

Bill Rammell: It is not possible to identify these specific costs from universities' expenditure returns. We are providing record levels of funding which rise to £9.5 billion a year by 2007/08 to enable higher education providers to offer more flexible, innovative ways of delivering courses, including on-line courses. We are already producing over 300,000 graduates a year and, in 2004/05 over 180,000 students (mainly at the Open University) were already accessing on-line courses.

Vending Machines

Mr. Simon: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate she has made of the revenue to secondary schools in England from vending machines in 2004–05. [59951]

Jacqui Smith: The School Food Trust has provided advice to Ministers on standards that should apply to food and drink provided at times other than lunch. This
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includes what is sold from vending machines in schools. We are now seeking views on that advice from a limited number of key stakeholders in education, health and the food industry.
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We will publish the full regulatory impact assessment alongside the final standards. This will consider any financial impact that proposals will have on the revenue to schools from vending sales.