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Departmental Publications

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will list in date order (a) Green and (b) White Papers produced by his Department since October 2005. [81290]

Bill Rammell: The Department has produced one Green Paper and one White Paper since October 2005. These were:

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what his practice is regarding meeting, discussing and taking into account the views and opinions of (a) private individuals and (b) representatives of organisations when drawing up and framing legislation to be introduced by his Department; and if he will make a statement. [81292]

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Mr. Dhanda: The Department always seeks a full range of views when drawing up and framing legislation. Consultation is a key part of the policy-making process; both informal and formal. The Department holds regular meetings with representatives of the principal stakeholder groups for our policy areas and with relevant experts. Organisations and individuals can also contribute to the Department's formal consultations which abide by the Code of Conduct on Consultation. Known stakeholders are alerted to the fact that a formal consultation is taking place. As required by the Code, the Department then gives feedback on the responses received and on how the consultation process influenced the policy decision.

Four Government Bills have been introduced to Parliament by the Department in the current parliamentary session, the Children and Adoption Bill, the Childcare Bill, the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Bill and the Education and Inspections Bill.

The Children and Adoption Bill was published in draft for pre-legislative scrutiny by a joint committee of both Houses, and the Government published their response to the report of that committee before the Bill was introduced to Parliament. Prior to that, the policy proposals on which the Bill was based were subject to full consultation through the Green Paper “Parental Separation: Children's Needs and Parents' Responsibilities”. Discussions were held with key stakeholders throughout the preparation of the Bill.

Full consultation was carried out on the Childcare Bill, including discussions with stakeholders and a formal consultation from 15 July to 7 October 2005. The Department published a response to this consultation, “Report on Responses to Consultation on Legislative Proposals for the Future of Childcare and Early Years Provision in England”, in late October 2005, copies of which can be found in the House of Commons Library. Regular meetings were held throughout the framing and drafting of the Bill with key stakeholders including provider organisations, children's charities and local authority representatives.

The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups (SVG) Bill was subject to extensive consultation prior to introduction. A range of consultations have informed the development of the centralised vetting and barring scheme for which the SVG Bill will provide the statutory framework. In April 2005 a consultation was carried out on proposals for the vetting and barring scheme (VBS). Further engagement with stakeholders on the policy detail was carried out in December 2005, and January, March and April 2006 on the Independent Barring Board (IBB). The Department continues to consult with stakeholders as the VBS systems and processes are developed in more detail.

Proposals for the Education and Inspections Bill were set out in the Schools White Paper “Higher Standards, Better Schools for All—More Choice for Parents and Pupils” published on 25 October 2005. This followed on from the DfES Five Year Strategy published in July 2004 which was extensively consulted upon. In addition, it enacts the policies that were set out in the 2005 Labour party manifesto. The Department discussed the White Paper with a very wide range of stakeholders over recent months.

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Electronic Children's Database

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which public sector bodies will have access to the new electronic children’s database. [83014]

Beverley Hughes: Practitioners from health, education, social care, and youth justice will be granted access to the information sharing index. Access will be granted according to the role of the practitioner. For example, in a school a small number of named designated staff, such as teachers of children with special educational needs or who have pastoral or child protection responsibilities, would have access.

We will be consulting over the autumn on draft regulations that will bring the information sharing index into operation. Among other issues, the regulations will specify the types of practitioners in the Children’s Workforce whose role would make it appropriate for them to have access to the index. All practitioners with access will have appropriate Criminal Records Bureau checks and have undergone relevant training.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will list the (a) personal attributes and (b) fields which the electronic children’s database will have the capability to hold. [83060]

Beverley Hughes: The information sharing index will contain only limited and basic information about children in England and contact details for other services working with the child or young person. It will enable practitioners to identify and contact one another easily and quickly, so that they can share relevant information about children who need services or about whose welfare they are concerned.

It will not record information on personal attributes such as children’s diet, church attendance or school attainment. The Children’s Act 2004 specifically prohibits the inclusion of any case information on the index. There will be no subjective opinions or observations about a child or parent, no details of assessments such as the Common Assessment Framework and no automatic triggers for action or investigation.

Information fields on the index will hold for each child or young person:

We will consult over the autumn on draft regulations that will bring the index into operation. The draft
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regulations will be laid before both Houses for debate under affirmative resolution procedures. Subject to the will of Parliament, the index is expected to be available in all local areas in England by the end of 2008.

Higher Education Funding Council

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans there are for the Higher Education Funding Council to administer (a) Sussex university and (b) the University of Brighton; and if he will make a statement. [83034]

Bill Rammell: There are currently no plans for the Higher Education Funding Council for England to administer or otherwise intervene in the affairs of either university.

Holiday Play Schemes

Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what qualifications are required for volunteers helping to run holiday play schemes; and if he will make a statement. [82693]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 5 July 2006]: The national standards for holiday play schemes, and other day care providers looking after children aged under eight, require that the manager of a scheme holds at least a level 3 qualification appropriate to the post; and that at least half of all staff hold a level 2 qualification appropriate to the care and development of children. Volunteers would not need to hold such qualifications if they are counted in the 50 per cent. for whom qualifications are not required.

A wide range of qualifications is acceptable for meeting the requirements of the national standards, and those at levels 2 to 4 are listed on the database of acceptable qualifications now maintained by the Children’s Workforce Development Council (CWDC). Higher level qualifications, such as in teaching or social work, would normally be acceptable for managers.

Learning and Skills Council

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of further education Learning and Skills Council funding was spent on 19 to 25-year-olds in 2005-06; and what proportion is planned to be spent in the next two financial years. [81802]

Bill Rammell: For the most recently completed academic year, 2004/05, 27 per cent. of the adult further education budget was spent on young adults aged 19 to 25. Figures for 2005/06 are not yet available. We have not set out specific plans for the proportion of the adult FE budget to be spent on this cohort for 2006/07 or 2007/08. However, we have announced a new free entitlement to a first full level 3 for 19 to 25-year-olds from 2007/08 and an additional £25 million will be available to support this entitlement.

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Modern Languages

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students (a) aged 14 years and over and (b) at university level studied modern languages in each of the last 10 years. [82352]

Bill Rammell: The available information is given in the tables.

15-year-old pupils( 1) entered for a GCSE foreign language, England
Academic year Number





















(1) Pupils aged 15 at the start of the academic year, i.e. 31 August.
(2) 2004/05 GCSE examinations saw the first pupils for whom modern foreign languages were not compulsory.

Pupils entered for an A-Level foreign language, England
Academic year Number





















FE level enrolments

In 2004/05, 120,000 aims funded by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) could be classified as ‘Other (i.e. non-British) languages, literature and culture’. Figures for foreign languages can not be identified separately in earlier years.

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UK domiciled enrolments to modern language HE courses at English HE institutions( 1)
Academic year Postgraduate Undergraduate Total









































(1) Figures exclude the Open university as subject of study cannot be consistently identified across the 10 years.
(2) Figures up to and including 2001/02 include those students studying on balanced combinations within languages.
(3) Figures for 2002/03 onwards are not comparable to earlier years due to changes in recording subject of study. For 2001/02 and earlier, figures are on a major subject of study basis. For 2002/03 onwards students are apportioned between all subjects of study.
Figures are on a snapshot basis as at 1 December (excluding those writing up, on sabbatical or dormant) and are rounded to the nearest 5.
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) student record.

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