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Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much her Department has spent to date to promote academies; and how many people are employed (a) in her Department and (b) as consultants for that purpose. 
Jacqui Smith: The information requested in this question relating to costs of promotion is not held in a form that could be retrieved except at disproportionate costthe term 'promotion' could be interpreted to mean any activity in relation to the Academies programme and the scope of the question covers the six years the programme has been operating.
Within the Academies Group in the DfES there are as at today's date 81 staff and 19 consultants, these staff carry out a range of functions including policy, delivery, communications and educational support.
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Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what is the cost of Bookstart since the programme began; and how many books have been purchased so far under the scheme; 
Since 1999, the Bookstart programme has purchased 13.1 million books and given more than 11.6 million books to parents. The difference in these two figures represents a rolling level of stock across the UK. We cannot further break down these figures. Pre-1999 figures are not available.
Each local authority conducts an end of year stocktake to estimate how much stock remains to be carried over to the next year. At the end of 200506, the estimated carry over figure was 130,000 or approximately 600 books per scheme.
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 24 April 2006]: Ministers have had no meetings or correspondence with the British Edutrust Foundation. Lord Adonis has met with Lord Bhatia, who is the recently appointed chair of the foundation, on a number of occasions as listed as follows:
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when the decision was taken that Rhodesway school in Bradford would become an academy sponsored by the British Edutrust Foundation. 
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 24 April 2006]: Ministerial clearance was given on 16 March for the release of funding for the feasibility phase to enable the British Edutrust Foundation to develop plans to establish a new academy to meet the local learning needs in Rhodesway in Bradford.
Ruth Kelly: My Department received correspondence from Norfolk county council dated 21 December.2005 and acknowledged receipt, as requested, on 22 December 2005. My officials responded in full to Norfolk county council on 7 February 2006.
When the business needs of the Department require an external recruitment campaign each case is considered separately. External recruitment agencies, drawn from the Cabinet Office Central Framework Agreement, support delivery of all campaigns based on a set of agreed criteria.
Maria Eagle: This is a matter for the Learning and Skills Council, who operate Education Maintenance Allowances for the DfES and hold the information about take-up of the scheme. Mark Haysom, the council's chief executive has written to the hon. Gentleman with the information requested and a copy of his reply will be placed in the Library.
Information on the number of young people who have applied, enrolled and received EMA is available at local education authority (LEA) level, but not at constituency level. By the end of February 2006, 3,294 young people in the Wirral LEA area had received one or more EMA payments in the academic year 2005/06.
Bill Rammell [holding answer 27 April 2006]: The following table shows the number of 1925 year olds who were studying for a full NVQ level 3 or equivalent qualification 1 in Further Education and work based learning in the academic year 2004/05, by region.
|Region||Full Level 3 learners|
|Yorkshire and Humberside||15,205|
|East of England||12,556|
We estimate that of the 147 thousand 1925 year olds in England who were studying for a full level 3 in 2004/05, 70,000 were studying for a first full level 3 qualification. We do not have estimates for 'firstness' at a regional level.
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of secondary school pupils went on to further or higher education in (a) Taunton constituency and (b) England in each year since 1997. 
Figures on participation in further education by young people are not available for parliamentary constituencies, but are available for local
3 May 2006 : Column 1592W
authoritiesincluding Somerset, 2004 is the latest available year. The figures are shown in the following table.
The latest available figures on participation in higher education by constituency were published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England in January 2005 in Young Participation in England", which is available from their website at: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/hefce/2005/05_03/ This report shows participation rates for young people who enter higher education aged 18 or 19, disaggregated by constituency, for the years 1997 to 2000. The figures for Taunton, and the comparable figure for England, are shown in the following table. HEFCE have not produced participation figures beyond 2000.
|Year cohort aged 18 in Taunton||1,230||1,290||1,270||1,190|
|Participation rate for Taunton(3)(percentage||36||35||29||35|
|Participation rate for England (percentage)||29.2||28.8||29.2||29.9|
|Aged over 19||540||535||585||610|
The Department uses the Higher Education Initial Participation Rate (HEIPR) to assess progress on increasing first-time participation of English students aged 1830 in higher education towards 50 per cent.: the latest provisional figure for 2004/05 is 42 per cent. The HEIPR is not calculated at constituency level.
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