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18 Apr 2006 : Column 168W—continued

Modern Apprenticeships

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people (a) entered,
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(b) completed and (c) were participating in modern apprenticeships in each quarter in the past three years, broken down by level. [62729]

Jacqui Smith: Figures relating to new starts on apprenticeship courses and numbers participating quarterly are published biannually, and most recently in the Statistical First Release (SFR): Further Education. Work-based Learning for Young People and Adult and Community Learning—Learner Numbers in England on 1 October 2005

The following table is based on table 6 in the SFR and shows numbers starting both advanced apprenticeships (equivalent to NVQ level 3) and apprenticeships (equivalent to NVQ level 2) in thousands:
Quarter endingAdvanced apprenticeshipApprenticeship
2003/04October 200326.054.4
January 200411.126.6
April 200410.127.8
July 20049.727.9
2004/05October 200424.656.9
January 200510.025.6
April 20058.421.4
July 200510.930.6
2005/06October 200522.251.0

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The following table is based on table 5 from the SFR and shows the average number of people participating on advanced apprenticeships and apprenticeships in thousands:
Quarter endingAdvanced apprenticeshipApprenticeship
2003/04October 2003109.5146.5
January 2004106.7146.2
April 2004103.1144.1
July 2004100.3144.4
Year average104.8143.1
2004/05October 2004105.5160.0
January 2005104.0158.5
April 2005100.3152.1
July 200599.1153.2
Year average101.8154.0
2005/06October 2005103.5164.1

Figures for those completing apprenticeships are published in terms of success rates for the cohort of people leaving apprenticeship courses, for whatever reason, in that year (as such figures do not include those who remain on their course from one year to the next). Figures are published annually, most recently in the SFR: Further Education and Work Based Learning for Young People—Learner Outcomes in England: 2003/04

However, more timely information, including provisional success rate estimates for 2004/05, have been published less formally on the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) website: Partners—WBL Success Rates. The following table brings together figures from the LSC web-site for 2002/03, 2003/04 and 2004/05:

Advanced apprenticeshipApprenticeshipAll apprenticeship
NVQ Onlyy141112
Framework or NVQx + y525151
Total leavers50,200119,200169,400
NVQ onlyy141213
Framework or NVQx + y464344
Total leavers51,400106,800158,200
NVQ onlyy111313
Framework or NVQx + y443739
Total leavers60,600104,900165,600

Figures for 2004/05 will be updated in the following SFR to be published on 11 April 2006: Further Education and Work Based Learning for Young People—Learner Outcomes in England: 2004/05

Nursery Education

Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) private, (b) voluntary and (c) independent providers of nursery education have been removed by Ofsted from its approved directory of providers in each year for which figures are available. [60891]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 23 March 2006]: This information is not collected centrally. Local authorities are responsible for maintaining a local directory of providers eligible to deliver the free early education entitlement in their area. It is for local authorities to determine whether a provider of free early education should be removed from the directory. This may be as a result of an unsatisfactory Ofsted report or because of failure to meet agreed local conditions.

NVQ (Level 2)

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what progress the Government
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have made in increasing the number of people holding NVQ Level 2 qualifications since the publication of the Welfare to Workforce Development paper in February 2004. [62481]

Phil Hope: The Labour Force Survey (LFS) shows that the number of people of working age 1 in England who hold an NVQ Level 2 or equivalent qualification or higher has increased by 677,000 between winter 2003 and autumn 2005.

Parliamentary Contacts

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent discussions have taken place between Ministers and (a) the Learning and Skills Council, (b) the Sector Skills Development Agency, (c) Investors in People and (d) the Learning and Skills Development Agency on improving contacts with parliamentarians. [62726]

Bill Rammell: All four of these organisations undertake activities to ensure that they are effectively engaged with Parliament and parliamentarians. Ministers maintain regular contact with all of these bodies on a wide range of issues, and will, where necessary, have discussions on how they can improve their contact with parliamentarians.

For example, the Learning and Skills Council's (LSC) Chief Executive, Mark Haysom, has sought meetings with every English MP to discuss the LSC's work in transforming further education and its work in schools and colleges in Members' constituencies. Local LSCs are encouraged to have an open dialogue with constituency MPs of all parties in order swiftly to answer any concerns or issues that may arise. As part of its restructuring the LSC will ensure, as one of its key priorities, that local and regional staff further develop their relationships with stakeholders, including with MPs.

Both the LSC and the Sector Skills Development Agency (SSDA) are engaged in a number of All-Party Groups and Associate Parliamentary Groups, ensuring that MPs of all parties have the opportunity to question them and raise issues of concern. Representatives from both organisations also appeared before the Education and Skills Select Committee during their inquiry into Further Education in January.

The annual report and accounts for all four organisations are also placed in the Libraries of the House each year.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many questions to her Department which have not yet been answered have been unanswered for over two weeks. [59825]

Bill Rammell: Since May 2005 the Department have received 4,805 written parliamentary questions. There
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are 72 parliamentary questions awaiting reply which have been unanswered for over two weeks.

Pathfinder Schools

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many schools are in a Pathfinder programme, broken down by local authority. [50254]

Jacqui Smith: The Department engages with specific schools on a number of projects and programmes; sometimes to pilot how we deliver new proposals. Some of our larger programmes are trialled as Pathfinders" before being rolled out nationally to ensure the most effective approach is adopted.

Some Pathfinders, such as 14 to 19 Pathfinders and Enterprise Pathfinders, have now concluded their Pathfinder phase. The following Pathfinder programmes are currently operational. Other targeted programmes, for which we use different terminology, are not included here.

Building Schools for the Future Pathfinders

We began working with the four BSF Pathfinder projects (Greenwich, Lewisham and Southwark was a joint project) in March 2003. Since then three further waves' have been announced, including projects in an additional 33 local authorities.

In addition 13 local authorities have been allocated capital funding from 2006–07 for a BSF one-school pathfinder project. The LAs involved in the first tranche of these projects are: Bexley, Barnet, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Kingston-upon-Thames, Leicestershire, North Yorkshire, Richmond-upon-Thames, Torbay, Warrington, and Wiltshire. The Department also intends piloting projects by parent promoter groups to establish a new school, in support of the choice, diversity and access agenda. We expect the first of these to be in Barnet.

Numbers of schools in currently in BSF Pathfinders are as follows:
Local AuthorityNumber of Schools

(38)Originally seven schools but one subsequently dropped out when it was identified to become an Academy
(39)Originally four schools, but two subsequently dropped out when they were identified to become Academies

Behaviour and attendance pathfinder partnerships

We set out an expectation that all secondary schools be working in partnership groups to improve outcomes in behaviour and persistent truancy by September 2007. From January 2006, 278 secondary schools will be working together in 37 pathfinder" partnerships, across 19 local authorities.
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Names of pathfinder" partnership within each LA area are as follows

Local Authority Pathfinder nameNumber of secondary schools
LeedsFive groups (no names)39
Lincolnshirefour groups (no names)8
Norfolkfive partnerships (no names)16
North LinesNorth Lincs14
North TynesideNorth Tyneside11
North Yorksthree Eastern area partnerships (no names)13
West SussexArea Improvement Partnership A'10
Windsor and MaidenheadMaidenhead5
WorcestershireFour partnerships (no names)24

Trust school pathfinder programme

We are engaged in discussions with a range of schools and partners as part of the process of setting up trust pathfinders. We do not currently have a definitive list of these pathfinders. This information will become available as each project is confirmed.

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