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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the impact of a reduction in further education provisions for work-related causes as a result of changing the Department of Work and Pensions' priorities on Learning and Skills Council provision. 
Bill Rammell: We are still in the process of agreeing the detail of the transfer with the Department for Work and Pensions and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). The underpinning rationale in making this change is to get better value for money in the commissioning and delivery of publicly funded basic skills and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) training and to target these resources more closely to meet the specific needs of people seeking employment or looking to progress their learning once they have found a job. It is too soon to assess what the impact of this change might be on the level of provision with different providers but Mark Haysom, the LSC's chief executive will write to you once such an assessment has been made.
At the time of writing the transfer has not yet been confirmed so we are unable to provide a full assessment of what the level of provision will be with different providers. Discussions are still taking place between DfES and DWP to agree the level of funding that will transfer.
In the meantime the LSC has undertaken some analysis to ascertain the degree to which providers are shared between both organisations. This is based on data provided to the LSC in August 2005 and shows that approximately 63% of JCP providers who hold a contract to provide JCP basic skills and ESOL programmes also have LSC contracts. There are regional variations. In the South West for example 73% of JCP providers also have a contract with the LSC.
There will be no overall negative financial impact upon further education provision as a consequence of the transfer of funding responsibility from the DWP to the LSC. The LSC will ensure that the full resource transferring to the LSC from DfES/DWP is utilised to procure Skills for Life provision.
Indeed, once fully embedded into the LSC's planning cycle, it is envisaged that existing LSC providers will be able to realise administrative savings because they will only need to talk to the LSC about planning and performance.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what funding has been provided for the establishment of lip reading classes to assist those with hearing difficulties in North Yorkshire in each of the last three years; 
Bill Rammell: In 2004/05 the LSC funded 641,000 learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities at a cost of around £1.5 billion. Continuing investment in this provision remains a priority, which was confirmed in our 2006/07 Grant Letter to the LSC and the LSC has in turn made clear in their strategic planning guidance the priority it attaches to this provision.
Funding is not allocated for specific courses. Colleges as independent bodies decide their provision within plans agreed with the LSC. Information about lip-reading courses is only available for further education colleges and providers from the Individualised Learner Record (ILR). The most recent academic year for which this data are available is 2004/05. From these data we know that the funding associated with lip-reading courses was £110,779 in 2002/03, £175,803 in 2003/04 and £140,190 in 2004/05. The Department does not hold local funding figures for lip-reading classes. I am therefore copying this reply to Mark Haysom, the council's Chief Executive, so that he can respond in more detail to your request. A copy of his reply will be placed in the Library
In his response the Minister provided national figures for the funding associated with lip reading courses over the last three years. Information on local funding figures for North Yorkshire indicates that the only college in North Yorkshire where there has been funding associated with lip-reading courses is Leeds Metropolitan University with funding of £3,386 in 2003/04. Other colleges in the area offer British Sign Language and Signed Communication Skills.
The LSC has made clear in its planning guidance to providers the priority it places on funding for learners with learning difficulties and disabilities. In addition to provision specifically for these learners the guidance also states that programmes for those that work with this group are a priority and gives sign language, lip-reading and Braille courses as examples. However, colleges as independent bodies make their own decisions on the provision they offer, taking into account LSC priorities, with the LSC agreeing the overall plan.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will include lip-reading courses in the list of courses for which full fee remission can be claimed by education providers. 
Continuing investment in provision for deaf and hard of hearing learners and more generally for all learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities remains a priority. In 200405 the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) supported more than 641,000 learners
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with learning difficulties and/or disabilities at a cost of nearly £1.5 billion. In our 200607 grant letter to the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) we confirmed that this provision continues to be a priority and the LSC has in turn made clear in their strategic planning guidance the priority it attaches to this provision.
Full fee remission continues to be available to learners, and their dependants, receiving a means tested benefit, pensioners receiving the Pension (Guarantee) Credit; and unemployed people on Jobseekers Allowance.
For adult learners facing barriers to learning, learner support funds (LSF) provide additional financial support to people undertaking learning. Providers set their own criteria for allocating these funds to learners taking into account local needs and based on guidance from the LSC. The LSC guidance makes clear that learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities must be given priority to these funds, especially where they are at risk of not taking up or continuing in further education.
Where learners are not receiving a means tested benefit the provider may waive fees at their discretion and may make use of LSF in order to provide support. While the majority of those undertaking lip-reading courses do have a hearing impairment around 25 per cent. do not, and are therefore undertaking the course for a variety of other reasons. In 200405 less than 20 per cent. of learners undertaking lip-reading courses paid fees with the rest qualifying for full fee remission either as a result of being on means tested benefits or due to the discretion of the provider. We are continuing to monitor this position with the LSC to ensure that the provisions we have in place to support these learners are sufficient.
Mr. Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) whether she plans to introduce an information campaign for schools on safety measures for drivers of mini-motorcycles; 
Safety is included in the non-statutory framework for personal, social and health education (PSHE) at key stages 1 and 2, and at key stage 3 pupils should be taught to recognise and manage risk and make safer choices about healthy lifestyles, different environments and travel".
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