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13 July 2006 : Column 1983W—continued

Children's Centres

Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children's centres have been set up in each year since the 2003 pre-Budget report. [84796]


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Beverley Hughes: The following table provides a breakdown of the number of designated Sure Start children's centres at the end of each financial year from 31 March 2004 to 31 March 2006:

Date (by 31 March each year) New Sure Start children's centres

2004

66

2005

161

2006

609

Total

836


The children's centre programme has now entered its second phase with a target to create a total of 2,500 children's centres by March 2008.

City Academies

Mr. Betts: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether city academies are required to comply with the Freedom of Information Act 2000. [84228]

Jim Knight: Academies are not currently required to comply with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs may, under section 5 of the FOIA, extend the Act through regulations to other bodies not currently covered. However, I understand that the DCA is currently looking at the lessons learnt from the current implementation of the Act before looking to extend it further.

Further Education Colleges

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many courses were offered at further education colleges in (a) tarot card reading, (b) stand-up comedy and (c) Australian cake decorating in the past three years. [81713]

Bill Rammell [holding answer 3 July 2006]: The nature of these courses means that many are not readily identifiable through the national qualifications framework or other formal qualification bodies. This means we are unable to accurately estimate the number of these courses. However, we are aware from providers’ prospectuses of these type of courses being offered by some providers.

We would expect courses that are valued by learners to continue, but those who can, should contribute more to the cost of that learning. Public funding for courses for personal and community development has been ‘protected’/ringfenced at £210 million per year for 2006/07 and 2007/08.

Foreign Language Courses

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many sixth form institutions in England offer two or more modern foreign language courses. [82754]


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Jim Knight: Information is not collected on the subjects offered by sixth form institutions, however it is possible to provide figures on the number of institutions where at least one pupil has been entered for a particular subject.

2,329 sixth form institutions in England had entrants in two or more modern foreign language courses at GCE AS Level and GCE A Level in the academic year 2004/05.

This answer covers the following modern foreign languages: Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Modern Greek, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Gujarati, Hindi, Japanese, Modern Hebrew, Panjabi, Polish, Russian, Turkish, Urdu, and Persian.

Internet and Mobile Phones

Dr. Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what discussions he has had with (a) Microsoft and (b) other IT companies on improving safe internet and mobile phone use in schools. [84644]

Phil Hope: The Department for Education and Skills supported the launch of the Microsoft led ‘Getting To Know IT All’ campaign. This focussed on internet and mobile safety and as part of the campaign produced an educational resource pack for secondary schools. The Department had no direct links with the campaign but discussions between officials and Microsoft would have taken place in the run up to its launch which included a ministerial presence.

Our agency (Becta) established an accreditation of Internet Services to Education as part of our wider strategy to address internet safety in education. This is open to commercial internet service providers (ISPs).

The Department and Becta, through membership on the Home Office Taskforce for Child Protection on the Internet, which includes representatives of the internet and mobile industry, meets regularly to discuss relevant and key issues related to internet and mobile safety and have together developed key codes of practice.

Learning and Skills Council

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps he is taking in conjunction with the Learning and Skills Council to retrain and develop its staff to fulfil the Agenda for Change. [79890]

Bill Rammell: The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) is undertaking a range of activity at national and local level to help staff prepare for their new roles both in and outside the LSC. Mark Haysom, the Chief Executive of the Learning and Skills Council, has written to the hon. Member explaining more detailed arrangements for staff development and a copy of his reply has been placed in the House Library.

Letter from Mark Haysom, dated 13 July 2006:


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Mandarin

Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students graduated with Mandarin as their first degree in each year between 1997 and 2005. [84531]

Bill Rammell: The available information shows the number of students who have graduated with a degree in Chinese, and is shown in the table. Separate figures for those who have obtained a qualification in Mandarin are not held centrally. The latest information from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) shows that the number of students applying to study Chinese at undergraduate level in 2006/07 has increased by nearly 60 per cent. to 788.

Number of students qualifying with a degree in Chinese—UK higher education institutions
Academic year Graduates

1996/97

65

1997/98

55

1998/99

85

1999/2000

70

2000/01

100

2001/02

100

2002/03

165

2003/04

190

2004/05

200

Notes: 1. In 2002/03 the methodology used to allocate students to subjects was changed, which means that the figures for 2002/03 and later years are not directly comparable with those for earlier years. 2. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 5. Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

Modern Apprenticeships

Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many young people aged between 16 and 22 years have participated in a modern apprenticeship in each year since 2002; and at what cost. [84797]


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Phil Hope: The apprenticeship programme continues to go from strength to strength with record numbers of young people participating and completion rates continuing to improve. Numbers of young people (aged 16-24) who have taken up an apprenticeship in England since 2002/03 are as follows:

Apprenticeship Advanced apprenticeship Total

2002-03

24,336

18,618

42,954

2003-04

43,110

9,174

52,284

2004-05

45,125

8,912

54,037

2005-06 (to period 10)

47,531

18,979

66,510

Note: Figures cannot be broken down into specific age groups but are for the whole of the apprenticeship cohort, from age 16 to 24

Apprenticeships in England are funded through the ‘work based learning for young people’ budget of the Learning and Skills Council. This budget covers apprenticeships, advanced apprenticeships, NVQ Learning and Entry to Employment. The following table details figures for work based learning for each year since 2002. All amounts are rounded to the nearest £1 million.

£ million
Work based learning (youth, 16-18) Work based learning (adult, 19+) Total

2002-03

478

191

669

2003-04

565

213

778

2004-05

615

243

858

2005-06

606

269

875


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Music Qualifications

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many pupils took examinations in music technology at (a) GCSE and (b) A level in each of the last five years; [85068]

(2) how many (a) schools and (b) colleges teach music technology at (i) GCSE and (ii) A level; [85069]

(3) which examination boards set curricula and examinations in music technology. [85070]

Jim Knight: 65 further education colleges and 231 schools entered students in A Level music technology in the academic year 2004/05. Figures for the number of students entered for A Level music technology in each of the last five years are shown in the table as follows.

Pupils entered in A Level music technology
Number

2000/01

1,033

2001/02

1,320

2002/03

1,754

2003/04

2,220

2004/05

2,367


There were no schools or further education colleges with entrants in GCSE music technology in any of the last five years.

The examination boards which offer music technology qualifications currently on the National Qualifications Framework are:

Music technology qualifications

ABC

Level 3

Diploma in Sound Design and Music Technology

EDEXCEL

Advanced

GCE in Music Technology

EDEXCEL

Advanced subsidiary GCE in music technology

EDEXCEL

Level 3

BTEC National Award in Music Technology

EDEXCEL

Level 3

BTEC National Certificate in Music Technology

EDEXCEL

Level 3

BTEC National Diploma in Music Technology

EDEXCEL

Level 5

BTEC Professional Diploma in Creative Music Technology

NCFE

Level 2

Certificate in Music Technology

NCFE

Intermediate

Certificate in Music Technology (Mix DJ Skills)


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