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18 Apr 2006 : Column 180W—continued

Sixth-form Schools

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much her Department has allocated to raising the number of A-level students in small sixth-form schools in the last three years. [62970]

Jacqui Smith: The Department has allocated a total of £4.8 billion via the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) for school sixth forms in the last three years. £1.5 billion in 2003–04, £1.6 billion in 2004–05 and £1.7 billion in 2005–06. But information is not held centrally about allocations to sixth forms of different sizes. We have also introduced educational maintenance allowances (EMA) to boost participation across all post 16 routes. The EMA budget is £432 million in 2005–06, £566 million in 2006–07 and £597 million in 2007–08.

In December 2005 the Department and the LSC launched a dedicated 16–19 capital fund aimed at increasing choice and diversity in 16–19 provision, including in school sixth forms. The 16–19 capital fund includes £120 million in 2006–07 and £180 million in 2007–08.

Skills Training

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people aged (a) 30 to 39 years, (b) 40 to 49 years and (c) 50 years and over received skills training in (i) Lancashire and (ii) West Lancashire constituency in each year since 1997. [58486]

Phil Hope: This is a matter for the Learning and Skills Council. Mark Haysom, the Council's Chief Executive, has written to my hon. Friend with this information and a copy of his reply will be placed in the Library.

The Governments Skills Strategy, outlined in the two White Papers, 21st Century Skills: Realising Our Potential" (July 2003) and Skills: Getting on in Business, Getting on at Work" (March 2005), sets out our plans for ensuring that individuals have the skills
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needed to be both employable and personally fulfilled. The Government remain committed to ensuring that training serves the needs of the whole community, regardless of age or background. Everyone studying literacy and numeracy skills or a first full level 2 qualification, and all those on jobseeker's allowance or income related benefits and their dependents will continue to receive free tuition in further education. As well as this, the main vehicle we are creating for supporting training in the workplace, Train to Gain, will cater to the needs of a diverse range of employees, including older people.

The Government's PSA target on adult attainment challenges us to reduce by at least 40 per cent. the number of adults in the workforce who lack NVQ Level 2 (equivalent to 5 A-C GCSEs) by 2010. Previous
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progress has been good: the proportion of adults in the workplace qualified to Level 2 and above rose from 65 per cent. in 1997 to 72 per cent. in 2004.

Letter from Mark Haysom, dated 5 April 2006:

Adult Learners in Further Education by Notional Level of Study

Skelmersdale College
LSC Lancashire
Age/Notional Level2004/052003/042002/032001/022000/012004/052003/042002/032001/02
30 to 39
Level 1 and entry9161,1901,2649757998,81710,03410,3778,666
Level 25155595048877858,4778,0648,17410,402
Level 32333433083934434,4614,4774,6885,615
Level 4, 5 or higher5325631210711726668570
Sub total2,1902,5172,3122,3382,37524,96825,77326,64828,947
40 to 49
Level 1 and entry1,0841,1591,2608617567,9999,0528,8417,215
Level 24775144727996336,9416,3636,2428,206
Level 32202861942492993,4833,2993,3663,883
Level 4, 5 or higher341942188615515459460
Sub total2,2122,3142,1121,9791,96321,31421,41321,11622,487
50 to 59
Level 1 and entry7438731,1067596845,4746,7766,9285,532
Level 23293503595264293,9833,8063,8225,362
Level 3871141041351361,5251,5621,7131,975
Level 4, 5 or higher2022343268216164149
Sub total1,4021,5901,6851,4731,47612,71313,88214,15314,923

Skills Training (MOD Personnel)

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the role of her Department in providing skills training to Ministry of Defence personnel. [59828]

Maria Eagle: The Department does not provide any skills training for personnel in the Ministry of Defence.

Social Exclusion

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what funding streams her Department plans to finance in 2006–07 to tackle social exclusion. [56083]

Maria Eagle: Social exclusion is a multi-faceted problem, but tackling it is well embedded in the Department for Education and Skills policies. Through our Five Year Strategy for Children and Learners" (July 2004), we are committed to giving children and families the best possible start in life, reducing the numbers of young people who leave school with low qualifications and poor literacy and numeracy skills and providing opportunities through widening participation for the numbers of young adults with low and poor skills.

DfES policies place particular emphasis on child poverty and investing in high quality early years services because we know that this improves outcomes for children and that those benefits are greatest for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Many Sure Start programmes, for example, are targeted on the most disadvantaged areas or groups, or targeted in their initial stages on the most disadvantaged communities, as are our new Children's Centres, which will be rolled out nationally by 2010. The General Sure Start Grant (GSSG) to local authorities funds Sure Start Children's Centres; inclusion, work force development and child
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care affordability and sustainability initiatives; and supports LAs in gearing up to meet the new duties in the Childcare Bill currently before Parliament. The GSSG will total around £1.5 billion in 2006–07.

Well-organised, safe and stimulating activities before and after school and other extended services also make a real difference to children's chances at school. We have committed additional funding to support the development of extended services in schools by making approximately £160 million of funding available to local authorities since 2003 and we will be making a further £680 million available from 2006–08. Deprivation levels will be a factor in distributing funding.

The 14–19 White Paper set out our priorities for those aged 14 to 19, including new opportunities for young people to enjoy new styles of learning, in different settings and with more opportunities for practical and applied learning. Those at most risk of dropping out will get extra support. We are extending financial support such as Education Maintenance Allowance and a number of learner support funds will be available for those who need it. It also sets out our plans for ensuring that all young people develop functional skills (English, Maths and ICT) as these skills will enable individuals to operate confidently, effectively and independently in life and at work.
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The Government has earmarked just over £1.3 billion funding over the 2006–08 period for schools to support personalised learning during and beyond the school day, which will support access to extended services, especially for children from disadvantaged areas. This includes funding routed through the Dedicated Schools Grant", and the additional School Standards Grant" money for personalised learning announced by the Chancellor in the Budget last week.

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