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Phil Hope: The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) leads on the delivery of the Young Apprenticeship Programme and has put in place a comprehensive national evaluation strategy, supported by the sector skills councils involved. Ofsted is also monitoring the programme. The LSC plans to issue a formal report by early 2007. Interim feedback is positive, and Ofsted has confirmed that the programme has made a positive start and is popular with pupils.
Phil Hope: The Department and its key partners such as the LSC and Connexions are very active in promoting apprenticeships to young people. The evidence is compelling, with a quarter of a million young people currently participating, the highest number ever. We pay particular attention to ensuring equal opportunities for all young people. We are also strongly committed to promoting the quality of the Apprenticeship Programme which is celebrated at the annual Apprenticeship Awards.
We have allocated £210 million of taxpayers money in 200607 to support learning for personal and community development. This includes help for family learning, for example, to improve people's literacy and numeracy and for learning in deprived communities.
27 Apr 2006 : Column 1256W
Jacqui Smith: The first release of school workforce statistical information published this morning indicates that in January 2006, there were 180 head teacher vacancies in local authority maintained schools in Englanda vacancy rate of 0.8 per cent. This confirms the current trend for low and stable vacancy rates since 1997.
Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when the Secretary of State expects to answer the letter of 21 February from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton, about Mr. J. Horluck, transferred from the Department for Constitutional Affairs. 
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when she will provide substantive replies to the letters of (a) 9 December, (b) 12 January and (c) 21 February on an NSPCC campaign from the hon. Member for Isle of Wight. 
Since April 2004 all three and four year olds have been entitled to a free, good quality, part-time early education place. The free entitlement consists of a minimum of 12. 5 hours per week for 38 weeks of the year and will be extended to 15 hours a week by 2010. By that time, parents who wish to do so will also be able to access the free entitlement flexibly across a minimum of three days.
Figures for January 2005 show that all four year old children receive some form of free entitlement. The figure for three year olds is 96 per cent. This covers all maintained, private, voluntary and independent providers and represents 535,100 three year olds and 568,300 four year olds. Provisional figures for January 2006 will be published in Statistical First Release 17/2006 "Provision for children under five years of age in
27 Apr 2006 : Column 1257W
EnglandJanuary 2005 (provisional)" at 9:30 am on 27 April 2006, which will be made available on my Department's website www.dfes.gov.uk/rsgateway/.
The available information on the number of free nursery education places taken up by three and four year olds in Nottinghamshire local authority area is shown in the table. Sub-national figures for 2006 will be published in a Statistical First Release in August 2006.
27 Apr 2006 : Column 1258W
The latest figures on early education places for three and four year olds in England were published in Statistical First Release 43/2005 "Provision for children under five years of age in EnglandJanuary 2005 (final)" in September, which is available on my Department's website www.dfes.gov.uk/rsgateway/.
|Three year olds||Four year olds|
|Position in January||Maintained nursery and primary schools(12)||Other maintained and private, voluntary and independent providers||Total three year olds||maintained nursery and primary schools(13)||other maintained and private, voluntary and independent providers||Total four year olds|
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what recent estimate she has made of the average cost of special needs tribunal hearings to (a) parents and (b) local education authorities; 
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many students from Iran have enrolled at universities in the UK in each year since 1997; and which subjects they have studied; 
(2) pursuant to the answer of 17 January 2006, Official Report, column 1232W, on foreign students, what subjects were being studied by the 1,750 Iranian students attending universities in 200405; and how many were studying each subject. 
Bill Rammell [holding answer 24 April 2006]: The latest information is given in the following tables. In respect of subjects relevant to weapons of mass destruction counter proliferation concern, the student voluntary vetting scheme has been in operation since 1994. Its guiding principle is to prevent academic contact and access to postgraduate studies that might be of significant value to countries of WMD proliferation concern.
|Subject of study:||1997/98||1998/99||1999/2000||2000/01||2001/02|
|Medicine and Dentistry||45||60||65||50||55|
|Subjects allied to Medicine||30||25||35||45||60|
|Agriculture and related subjects||40||30||30||25||20|
|Engineering and Technology||185||165||170||175||185|
|Architecture, Building and Planning||20||20||20||20||20|
|Social, Economic and Political Studies||35||40||35||30||35|
|Business and Administrative Studies||50||30||30||35||75|
|Librarianship and Information Science||5||0||||5||5|
|Creative arts and design||10||10||10||25||20|
|Subject of study:||2002/03||2003/04||2004/05||2004/05(16)|
|Medicine and dentistry||55||60||65||85|
|Subjects allied to medicine||70||80||75||95|
|Agriculture and related subjects||15||10||15||20|
|Engineering and technology||225||310||350||445|
|Architecture, building and planning||30||50||80||90|
|Business and administrative studies||65||95||165||200|
|Mass communications and documentation||5||10||15||15|
|Historical and philosophical studies||10||20||25||30|
|Creative arts and design||30||35||50||60|
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