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6 Nov 2006 : Column 962Wcontinued
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which public bodies for which he is responsible are involved in the (a) regulation, (b) funding and (c) administration of higher education institutions; and what the (i) annual budget and (ii) total staff numbers are of each. 
Bill Rammell: There are five different bodies involved. The budgets allocated to each body cover all of their activities, including both programme funds, which consumes the overwhelming proportion and their administrative running costs.
The principal funding body for higher education institutions is the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). HEFCE funding for HE institutions includes resources for the management and administration by the institutions themselves. The budget HEFCE was allocated for 2006-07 was £6,564 million and the current staffing complement is 245 full-time equivalent.
The Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) provides funding to higher education institutions for a number of activities to support the agencys objectives, in particular for initial teacher training. The budget allocated for the agency for 2006-07 was £717.1 million and the current staffing complement is 322 full-time equivalent.
Only a very small proportion of the budget or staff of the remaining three bodies, Ofsted, the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) and the Adult Learning Inspectorate (ALI), either funds HE institutions or funds activity to regulate them.
The total budget allocated for Ofsted for 2006-07 was £204 million and it has 2,100 staff. The budget allocated to the LSC for 2006-07 was £10,458 million for 4,085 staff. The LSC is currently undertaking a radical restructuring exercise designed to streamline the existing organisation at both national and local level, which is expected to lead to significant savings in running costs.
ALIs inspection remit, including that which affects the regulation and administration of HE institutions, will be taken over by new Office for Standards in Education, Childrens Services and Skills from April 2007, but the total budget they were allocated for 2006-07 was £24 million, with 221 staff.
We closely monitor all of these bodies to ensure their running costs are kept to the minimum consistent with cost effective operationand require them to minimise the regulatory burden they impose on HE institutions.
In addition, the Higher Education Regulation Review Group (HERRG) has recently been reappointed for a further two year period; HERRG is the independent gatekeeper group for higher education. It comprises senior managers and administrators from HE institutions, with an independent chair, and works with Government Departments and their agencies to review all the bureaucratic demands they make on HE institutions, to help ensure these are the minimum consistent with effective accountability.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when he expects to publish the consultation document on the availability of the International GCSE in the maintained sector. 
Jim Knight: The QCA working paper on the comparability study between the GCSE and the International GCSE will be published on the QCA and DfES websites in November. At the same time, a consultation questionnaire will be published on the DfES website on the issues for the iGCSE in the maintained sector.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many pupils have leased computers for home use since 16 March 2005; and what the average price of such a lease was in (a) 2005 and (b) 2006. 
Jim Knight: The Department for Education and Skills does not hold information or collect data on leasing schemes for computers for home use.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what his most recent estimate is of the under-reporting of learner-related accidents to the Learning and Skills Council in England; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: The Learning and Skills Council has in place reporting and monitoring arrangements for learner-related accidents. However, we are aware that under-reporting is generally a problem. The LSC is already taking steps to reduce the level of under-reporting of such accidents.
Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which 10 local education authorities have the poorest levels of literacy for those aged (a) five, (b) 11 and (c) 16 years. 
Jim Knight: The information requested is set out as follows:
The available information for the Communication, Language and Literacy area of learning is shown in the following table. Local authority figures for 2005 were published as an annex (Table B) to the final
Statistical First Release Foundation Stage Profile: 2005 National Results (SFR 03/2006) in February 2006.
|The lowest 10 attaining local authorities by percentage of children working securely( 1,2) within the Early Learning Goals in the communication, language and literacy area of learning2005|
|(1 )Care should be taken when comparing the relative attainment levels between local authorities because of the unequal impact of moderation and assessment on the figures. (2 )A scale score of six or more indicates that a child is working securely within the Early Learning Goals.|
The provisional national figures for 2006 recently published on 26 October 2006 in Statistical First Release Foundation Stage Profile 2006: National Results 2006 (Provisional) (SFR42/2006) suggest that
improvements in assessments and moderation may still be impacting widely on the results across the country. Final local authority data are expected to be published in January.
National Curriculum assessments at key stage 2 were published on 24 August 2006 (SFR31/2006). The following table shows the percentage of pupils achieving the target level 4 in English in the 10 lowest ranking local authorities.
|Provisional key stage 2 National Curriculum test results2006|
|LA name||Percentage of pupils achieving Level 4+ English|
The following table shows provisional figures for the percentage of 16 year old pupils achieving a grade A*- C in GCSE English in 2006.
|Provisional GCSE results2006|
|LA name||Percentage of 16 year olds achieving grades A* to C in GCSE English|
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of educational institutions have had written materials available in a format accessible to those with reading disabilities in each year since 1997. 
[holding answer 2 November 2006]: The Government do not collect this information centrally. Under part 4 of the Disability Discrimination Act, schools, colleges and universities have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled pupils and students are not put at a substantial disadvantage in comparison to those who are not disabled. With the exception of schools this could include the provision of written materials in alternative formats. For schools the reasonable adjustments duty does not include the provision of auxiliary aids or services as they have a duty to plan strategically to increase access, over time,
to schools. This duty includes planning to provide written material in alternative formats to ensure accessibility.
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