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The repayment system is still relatively young. The table shows an increasing proportion repaying each year as older cohorts earn more and pass the threshold. However, full cohorts did not enter repayment until 2002-03 onwards. These larger, new cohorts have a negative impact on the percentage repaying compared to the positive impact of the older, but smaller, cohorts. This drag effect will become less evident as more cohorts move into repayment and the system reaches a steady state.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimates he has made of the average time graduates in each year since 1990 will take to pay off (a) mortgage-style student loans and (b) income-contingent student loans; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: The currently estimated average times for loans to be fully repaid are (a) around eight years for mortgage-style loans and (b) around 13 years for income-contingent loans. There is no evidence available to suggest that there is any difference in time taken to repay between particular borrower cohort years.
There are three Sure Start childrens centres up and running in Swindon offering services, including 56 child care places, to 2,739(1 )children under five and their families. These build on the earlier Sure Start Local Programme set up in 2001 to offer services to 804 children under four. Information on numbers using childrens centres services is not available yet, however information for the month of March, 2005 (the latest available) shows 28 per cent.(2) of children in Swindon had significant
contact (that is, a home visit or attendance at a centre-based activity) with the Penhill and Pinehurst Sure Start programme.
(1) 2,739 children include 804 children previously served by the 1 SSLP in Swindon that has become a childrens centre.
(2 ) Source:
Sure Start Local Programme data returns March 2005.
Beverley Hughes: The information requested by constituency is not collected centrally. Between 1999 and 2003, 524 Sure Start local programmes were approved to deliver services to 400,000 children aged under 4 and their families in disadvantaged areas. The latest information available (for March 2005) shows an average of 23 per cent. of children had significant contact (that is a home visit or at a centre-based activity) with their local Sure Start programme. We expect all of these to become childrens centres providing services to children aged under 5 and their families. The first childrens centres were approved in 2003. By the end of September 2006 we expect childrens centre services to be offering services to 893,977 children. By March 2008 we expect this to rise to 2,132,279 children across England, including all those living in the 30 per cent. most deprived areas.
Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what interpretation and translation service provision his Department makes for people (a) visiting his Department, (b) telephoning his Department and (c) visiting his Department's website. 
Mr. Dhanda: The procedure for visitors and telephone calls is to use the DfES internal network services. The network provides information on officers who are native or fluent in a language and can be called upon when required.
The Department provides official languages for its website in association with official language bodies. It does not provide translation in any other language at present. It should be noted however that our website is being moved in 2007 to a new technical infrastructure that will allow multiple language capability.
DfES operates a Welsh Language scheme in accordance with section 21(3) of the Welsh Language Act 1993. Although the Department has limited responsibilities in Wales, any telephone helplines, or similar facility we set up to give information, services or support in Wales, to the public, we would provide a Welsh language service.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what his most recent estimate is of the levels of truancy in secondary schools in (a) rural and (b) non-rural areas in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: The Department does not hold data on pupils recorded as truant. However, the figures for the proportion of half days missed due to unauthorised absence (of which truancy forms a part) in maintained mainstream secondary schools in (a) rural and (b) non-rural areas in each year since 1997 are given in the table as follows:
|Percentage of half days missed in maintained mainstream secondary schools( 1 ) due to unauthorised absence( 2)|
|Rural areas||Non-rural areas|
|(1) Includes middle schools as deemed.|
(2) Figures are only available to 1 decimal place prior to 2001/02.
Unauthorised absence is absence without leave from a teacher or other authorised representative of the school. This includes all unexplained or unjustified absences, such as lateness, holidays during term time not authorised by the school, absence where reason is not yet established and truancy.
Students on full-time undergraduate courses and their families are expected to make a contribution towards the cost of their tuition based on household income. Students from lower income backgrounds are wholly or partially exempt from paying tuition fees.
From 2006/07 upfront fees are abolished and full-time students will be eligible for tuition fee loans of up to £3,000. In addition, we expect around 30 per cent. of students to receive a maximum maintenance grant of £2,700 and an HE institution bursary of at least £300. Overall, we expect around half of all eligible students to receive at least some maintenance grant.
(1) Numbers rounded to the nearest 10 students.
Mr. Pope: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people under the age of 25 years were not in education, employment or training in (a) Hyndburn and (b) England in (i) the last year for which figures are available and (ii) 1997. 
Mr. Dhanda: The following table shows the percentage of 16 to 24-year-olds not in education, employment or training for Hyndburn constituency, Lancashire LEA and England. Figures are for 2004 and are the latest available; figures for 1997 are not available.
|Geographic area||Percentage of 16 to 24-year-olds not in education, employment or training, 2004( 1)|
|(1) To reduce the margin of error, figures have been produced by combining information from the Local Labour Force Survey for 2002, 2003 and 2004. However, sample sizes for Hyndburn and Lancashire are still small and are subject to sampling variability. Care should be taken when interpreting the figures.|
Mr. Greg Knight:
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what representations he has received from university admissions tutors on the relative value of A-levels and the International
Baccalaureate in admission assessments; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell [holding answer 18 July 2006]: I am not aware of any such representations. Higher education institutions are autonomous organisations and are entirely responsible for their own admission assessments, entry requirements, and decisions.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the staffing costs were of each (a) university and (b) former polytechnic in (i) 1976-77, (ii) 1979-80, (iii) 1985-86, (iv) 1996-97, (v) 1997-98, (vi) 2001-02 and (vii) 2004-05; and how many full-time equivalent students there were at each university in each year. 
Bill Rammell: The latest available information is given in the following tables. Information for the former polytechnics for the years prior to 1996-97 is not held centrally. Figures for 1979-80 were not published; figures for 1978-79 are given instead.
|Expenditure on total staff costs and student full-time equivalent numbers Universities in England|
|Institution name||Staffing costs (£000)||Full-time equivalent student load||Staffing costs (£000)||Full-time equivalent student load||Staffing costs (£000)||Full-time equivalent student load|
University Grants Committee.
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