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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. 
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 200304, £1.6 billion in 200405 and £1.7 billion in 200506. 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 200506, £566 million in 200607 and £597 million in 200708.
In December 2005 the Department and the LSC launched a dedicated 1619 capital fund aimed at increasing choice and diversity in 1619 provision, including in school sixth forms. The 1619 capital fund includes £120 million in 200607 and £180 million in 200708.
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. 
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.
Skills training is at the heart of the LSC's priorities and has featured significantly in both the first national Skills Strategy published in July 2003 and the more recent White Paper published in March 2005.
If you require any further detail regarding Lancashire please do not hesitate to contact Steve Palmer, Executive Director, at our Lancashire office who I know would be delighted to meet with you and share current and future plans that impact on skills training.
|Skelmersdale College||LSC Lancashire|
|30 to 39|
|Level 1 and entry||916||1,190||1,264||975||799||8,817||10,034||10,377||8,666|
|Level 4, 5 or higher||53||25||63||12||10||711||726||668||570|
|40 to 49|
|Level 1 and entry||1,084||1,159||1,260||861||756||7,999||9,052||8,841||7,215|
|Level 4, 5 or higher||34||19||42||18||8||615||515||459||460|
|50 to 59|
|Level 1 and entry||743||873||1,106||759||684||5,474||6,776||6,928||5,532|
|Level 4, 5 or higher||20||2||23||4||3||268||216||164||149|
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 200607.
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 200608. Deprivation levels will be a factor in distributing funding.
The 1419 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.
18 Apr 2006 : Column 184W
The Government has earmarked just over £1.3 billion funding over the 200608 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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