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17 Jan 2007 : Column 1164W—continued


Student Finance: HE Sector

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make further provision for alleviating financial hardship amongst higher education students through help with (a) tuition costs, (b) transport costs and (c) accommodation costs. [115871]

Bill Rammell: A new package of student support was introduced for the academic year 2006-07 and we have no plans to make any further provision for tuition, transport or accommodation costs.

A tuition fee loan is available to cover the maximum amount a student could be asked to pay in tuition fees. The new student support package offers more targeted support for students with low incomes with the re-introduction of maintenance grants up to £2,700. Around 50 per cent. of new entrants are expected to receive a full or partial grant. In 2006-07 the maintenance loan was increased to meet students’ median basic expenditure as measured by the Student Income and Expenditure survey (SIES).

Additional help is available for students facing financial hardship from the Access to Learning Fund which is administered by individual higher education institutions and has a budget of over £64 million for 2006/07.

Teachers

Mr. Walter: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many teachers qualified in 2005-06; and how many of those who qualified in that year have not secured teaching jobs. [113716]

Jim Knight: In the academic year 2004/05, the latest year for which data are available, 27,150 mainstream initial teacher training (ITT) trainees gained qualified
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teacher status (QTS). Of these 2,140 were known not to be employed in teaching posts six months after gaining QTS. Mainstream trainees include trainees from universities and other higher education (HE) institutions, school centred initial teacher training (SCITT) and Open universities (OU), but exclude employment-based routes.

Third Sector Forum for Children and Young People's Services

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the reason is for the delay in the publication of the notes of the meeting of the Third Sector Forum for Children and Young People’s Services on 17 July; how the forum plans to communicate the decisions made at its meetings; when the minutes of the meeting of 23 October will be available; and if he will make a statement. [109144]

Mr. Dhanda: The notes from the meetings of the DfES Third Sector Forum for Children and Young People’s Services held on 17 July and 23 October 2006 were made public on 1 December 2006. They can be found on the Every Child Matters website through the strategy and governance section on the Third Sector Forum page. Decisions made at the meetings will be communicated through the publication of the minutes on the ECM website.

University of Cumbria

Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what progress has been made on the formation of the University of Cumbria; and how many students he expects to enrol in the first year. [114649]

Bill Rammell: The University of Cumbria project board’s business plan for the development of higher education in Cumbria was sent in October 2006 to the prospective funding agencies, principally the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the North West Development Agency (NWDA), for consideration. Following comments received, a further version of the business plan will be submitted in January 2007. The ‘University of Cumbria Funders’ Forum’ (comprising HEFCE, NWDA and other key stakeholders with financial interests) will next meet in late February 2007 and representatives of the project board are likely to attend this.

Estimates of student recruitment numbers are being considered as part of these ongoing discussions.

University Students: Essex

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of (a) 18 and (b) 19-year-olds from Essex joined university courses in each of the last five years. [115902]

Bill Rammell: The latest available figures on participation in higher education by local authority were published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in January 2005 in
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“Young Participation in England”, which is available from their website at http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/hefce/2005/05_03/

This report shows participation rates for young people who enter higher education aged 18 or 19, disaggregated by local authority, for the years 1997 to 2000. The figures for Essex local authority, and the comparable figure for England, are shown in the table. HEFCE have not produced participation rates beyond 2000.

Young participation rate (YPR (A)) in higher education( 1) for year cohort aged 18
1997 1998 1999 2000

Cohort for Essex(2)

15,620

15,950

15,980

15,130

Young Participation Rate (A) for Essex(3 )(percentage)

27

26

27

28

Young Participation Rate (A) for England (percentage)

29.2

28.8

29.2

29.9

(1) Covers all students studying higher education courses at UK higher education institutions and other UK institutions, for example further education colleges.
(2) Cohorts are reported to the nearest 10.
(3) Young participation rates for constituencies are reported to the nearest percentage.
Source:
Higher Education Funding Council for England.

The total number of undergraduate entrants to UK higher education institutions from Essex local authority for each year since 2001/02 are given in the table.

Entrants to undergraduate courses( 1) from Essex local authority
2001/02 2002/03 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06

Aged 18

3,245

3,385

3,375

3,480

3,755

Aged 19

1,560

1,615

1,555

1,595

1,650

Other Ages(2)

8,825

8,340

8,415

9,600

7,700

Total Entrants

13,630

13,340

13,340

14,675

13,105

(1) Covers all students studying higher education courses at UK higher education institutions only. Students studying higher education courses elsewhere such as further education colleges are excluded.
(2) Includes a very small number of students with unknown ages or ages under 18.
Note:
Figures are based on the HESA standard registration population for entrants and have been rounded to the nearest 5, so components may not sum to totals.
Source:
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

The Department uses the higher education initial participation rate (HEIPR) to assess progress on increasing first-time participation of English students aged 18 to 30 in higher education towards 50 per cent.: the latest provisional figure for 2004/05 is 42 per cent. The HEIPR is not calculated at local authority level.

Visually Impaired Children

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many visually impaired children are in education in (a) Milton Keynes and (b) England. [112775]


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Mr. Dhanda: The information requested is shown in the following table:


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Maintained primary and secondary schools and special schools: number of pupils with statements of SEN or at School Action Plus whose type of need is visual impairment( 1, 2) , January 2006, England and Milton Keynes local authority
Pupils with statements of SEN or at School Action Plus by their primary type of need
Primary schools( 3) Secondary schools( 3) Special schools( 4)
Number Percentage Number Percentage Number Percentage

England(5)

3,750

1.3

3,070

1.4

940

1.1

Milton Keynes

16

1.1

12

1.1

0

0.0

(1) Pupils at School Action Plus and those pupils with a statement of SEN provided information on their primary need and, if appropriate, their secondary need. Information on primary need only is given here. Information is not collected on pupils with different types of need who are supported in school at School Action.
(2) Excludes dually registered pupils.
(3) Includes middle schools as deemed.
(4) Includes maintained and non-maintained special schools. Excludes general hospital schools.
(5) National totals have been rounded to the nearest 10.
Source:
Schools’ Census.

Prime Minister

Downing Street Staff

Mr. Heald: To ask the Prime Minister (1) what the cost was of the Downing street strategic communications unit in (a) 2002-03, (b) 2003-04, (c) 2004-05 and (d) 2005-06; [113963]

(2) what the cost was of the No. 10 Press Office in (a) 2002-03, (b) 2003-04 and (c) 2004-05. [113964]

The Prime Minister: For the cost of the No. 10 Press Office for the financial year 2002-03, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Laws) on 22 March 2004, Official Report, columns 559-60W.

The cost of the No. 10 Press Office for subsequent years was as follows:

£

2003-04

1,393,089

2004-05

1,499,659


The total cost of running the strategic communications unit was as follows:

£

2002-03

594,213

2003-04

537,407

2004-05

321,517

2005-06

487,464


The figures reflect ever-increasing media demands with the advent of more media outlets, 24-hour news and the growth of the internet, for example.

Mr. Heald: To ask the Prime Minister what the total staff cost of the Prime Minister’s Office was in (a) 2002-03, (b) 2003-04 and (c) 2004-05. [113965]

The Prime Minister: The total staff cost for No. 10 Downing street was as follows:

£

2002-03

9,013,468

2003-04

9,794,666

2004-05

9,997,729


Interception of Communications Commissioner

Lynne Jones: To ask the Prime Minister whether he has received the report of the Interception of Communications Commissioner for 2005; and when he expects the report to be placed before the House. [116261]

The Prime Minister: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for North-East Hertfordshire (Mr. Heald) on 15 January 2007, Official Report, column 787W.

Lord Levy

Mr. Francois: To ask the Prime Minister what role Lord Levy played on his recent visit to the Middle East; and what funds he claimed from the public purse in connection with the visit. [115394]

The Prime Minister: Lord Levy accompanied me to various meetings during my recent visit to the Middle East, acting in his role as my special envoy. Lord Levy receives no remuneration and travels at his own expense.

Ministerial Responsibilities

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Prime Minister what mechanisms are in place to ensure that Ministers uphold the principle of collective responsibility. [114991]

The Prime Minister: The principle of collective responsibility is set out in the Ministerial Code.


17 Jan 2007 : Column 1169W

Northern Ireland

Old Vehicle Events

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he expects a decision to be made as to whether old vehicle events in Northern Ireland will be exempt from applying to the Parades Commission for their events. [114868]

Paul Goggins: On 24 October, the Parades Commission recommended that consideration should be given

The recommendation is under consideration and an announcement will be made shortly.


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