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22 May 2006 : Column 1367W—continued

Drug Abuse

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what action he has taken to reduce drug abuse in schools since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [71986]

Mr. Dhanda: Since 1997 the Department has introduced a number of measures to reduce drug abuse in schools. This has included: funding of £70 million for Local Authority School Drug Advisers and improvements in the quality of drug education; training for teachers through the drug, alcohol and tobacco training package and the PSHE certification programme; the National Healthy School programme which includes standards for drug education; and the production of guidance on all matters relating to drugs within schools and materials for classroom teachers. Additionally, in partnership with the Home Office and Department of Health, the Department has supported a major research programme to evaluate the effectiveness of a drug prevention initiative in schools and the FRANK drug awareness campaign.

The Department is committed to reducing Class A drug use and the frequent use of any illicit drug among the under 25s. Ensuring all young people, including the most vulnerable, have access to credible drug education and information is key to this. The responsibility of schools in relation to educating and supporting young people on drug issues and ensuring schools are drug-free was made clear in “Drugs: Guidance for Schools (2004)”.

Education Maintenance Allowance

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the budget was for education maintenance allowance payments in West Lancashire in 2005-06; and what proportion of post-16 students are in receipt of the allowance. [64120]

Bill Rammell: This is a matter for the Learning and Skills Council, who operate education maintenance
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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. Lady with the information requested and a copy of his reply will be placed in the Library.

Letter from Mark Haysom, dated 25 April 2006:

Home Working

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people in his Department have been enabled to work from home in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. [68000]

Mr. Dhanda: The information requested is not collected centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

I can however confirm that home working is available to all staff in the Department for Education and Skills and currently 1,814 people can access the Department’s IT infrastructure from home.

Indian Students

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students from India his Department expects to study at educational institutions in England in the next five years. [67194]

Bill Rammell: Latest data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) shows that there were 16,685 Indian domiciles enrolled at UK HE institutions (13,555 at English HE institutions) in 2004/05. The Department does not make projections of future numbers of students from individual countries.

The Government wish to encourage Indian students and those from other countries to study in the United Kingdom. On 18 April, the Prime Minister announced the second phase of his international education initiative, which aims to attract an additional 100,000 international students to the UK and encourage partnerships between universities and colleges here and their counterparts overseas.

22 May 2006 : Column 1369W

Learning and Skills Council

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of Statefor Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of27 April 2006, Official Report, column 1259W, on the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), how the estimates of redundancy costs arising from the restructuring of the LSC were calculated (a) when the estimate was given by the LSC in evidence to the Public Accounts Committee in October 2005 and (b) for the purposes of the figure given in the answer. [70325]

Bill Rammell [holding answer 12 May 2006]: Atthe Public Accounts Committee in October 2005my right hon. Friend the Member for Swansea, West (Mr. Williams) asked about

Mark Haysom replied as per the following table:

Statutory redundancy Reshaping and redundancy Total























Please note that the data only includes redundancy or voluntary severance payments to employees and excludes the cost of early retirement. This data excludes other associated redundancy costs such as outplacement consultants or tribunal costs as well as costs associated with the current re-structuring exercise.

The LSC’s estimated cost of £32 million for redundancy associated with restructuring is based on the maximum numbers of possible redundancies at each band level multiplied by the estimated average redundancy cost. The average redundancy was calculated by taking the greater cost for each individual of the Civil Service Compensation Scheme or four weeks salary for every year of service (actual sample of size of over 3,500 current staff), totalling these for each band and dividing by the number of cases in the sample.

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Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many members there are of learning and skills councils; and what political affiliation each has declared. [70498]

Bill Rammell: On 31 March 2006 there were 710 members of the Learning and Skills Council: this includes the LSC National Council and its 47 local Councils. Information on political affiliation is not collected. However, 107 (15 per cent.) of these declared a political activity on their application for Council membership.

Appointments to the LSC are made through fair and open competition, in accordance with guidance issued by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. Members are appointed on the basis of a wide range of appropriate experience, regardless of any declared political activity.

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether a decision has been made to transfer the powers of the learning and skills councils in London to the Mayor of London. [70501]

Bill Rammell: The Government are considering the results of the consultation on the powers and responsibilities of the Mayor of London and the London Assembly. Its response to the consultation will be issued in due course.

Middlesbrough Academies

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what (a) revenue and (b) capital support has been provided to (i) the King’s Academy, (ii) the Unity City Academy and (iii) the Macmillan Academy in Middlesbrough since their formation. [67186]

Jim Knight: The following table shows the capital support for King’s, Unity City and Macmillan Academies since their formation until 31 March 2006. Capital covers the costs of construction and any further capital work.

2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06

King’s Academy (opened September 2003)





Unity City Academy (opened September 2002)





Macmillan Academy (opened September 2005)



The following table shows the revenue costs for the same period. Revenue covers the costs of establishing the Academies and then their day-to-day running costs. Running costs are comparable to other local schools as they are based on the local authority funding formula.

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2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06

King’s Academy (opened September 2003)






Unity City Academy (opened September 2002)







Macmillan Academy (opened September 2005)




Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when the results of the pilot programme using MOSAIC in local learning and skills councils will be available. [65432]

Bill Rammell: A wide range of methodologies, including MOSAIC, are used to help planners and providers develop an accurate profile of their learners. The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has been piloting MOSAIC and is evaluating its effectiveness. Mark Haysom, the LSC’s Chief Executive has written to my hon. Friend with more information and a copy of his reply will be placed in the Library.

Letter from Mark Haysom, dated 16 May 2006:

Online Child Protection Task Force

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many meetings of the online child protection taskforce have been attended by representatives from his Department since its inception. [72504]

Mr. Dhanda: Officials do not keep formal records of attendance at taskforce meetings but my Department has been represented at most meetings of the taskforce either by officials and/or by staff from the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (Becta). Becta is the Department's strategic partner on technology in education.

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