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Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people in (a) the North East and (b) Middlesbrough, South and East Cleveland are eligible for financial support for child care. 
Beverley Hughes: All three and four-year-olds can benefit from 12.5 hours a week free early years provision, irrespective of the employment status of their parents. This will rise to 15 hours a week by 2010.
The Office for National Statistics shows the North East region having a population of 52,100(1) three and four-year-olds, and the 2006 Early Years and Schools Censuses show the number of part time early education places funded by the free entitlement for three and four-year-olds in the North East region as 50,900(2). The number of part time early education places funded by the free entitlement for three and four year olds in Middlesbrough, South and East Cleveland parliamentary constituency
A pilot scheme for disadvantaged two-year-olds offering 7.5 hours per week free early years provision is also available in Middlesbrough, Sunderland, Durham and South Tyneside until March 2008. This will benefit a total of 1,200 children in the North East.
The child care element of working tax credit (WTC) is available for meeting up to 80 per cent. of the cost of registered or approved childcare to a maximum cost of £175 a week for one child and £300 a week for two children or more. The average number of families in each constituency benefiting from the child care element of working tax credit in 2004-05 is available in the HMRC statistical publication Child and Working Tax Credit Statistics. Finalised Awards 2004-05. Geographical analyses, which is available on the HMRC website at: www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/personal-tax-credits/cwtc-geog-stats.htm. Estimates for 2005-06 are due to be published in May.
In addition to the child care element of working tax credits, child care used by parents can be subsidised in a variety of ways including local authority subsidies, Jobcentre Plus new deals, care to learn, learner support funds and NHS child care allowances. Wider data on eligibility for financial support for child care are not however available centrally.
(1) As at December 2005. ONS population estimates are aggregated to age groupings of at least five years. Figures based on a single year of age at the sub-national level are therefore of limited reliability.
(2) The number of children benefiting from some form of free early education can exceed the number of free part-time early education places taken up by children as a place may be taken up by more than one child.
The Department's rules on hospitality adhere to the principles set out in Government Accounting and the Treasury handbook on Regularity and Propriety. Approval must be sought in advance
from the appropriate director or Board member for all hospitality expenses. The Department's provisional outturn for such expenditure in 2006-07 was £4,372.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which schools in the London borough of Havering have been selected as pilot schools for the introduction of the new diplomas for England. 
Jim Knight: On 28 March I announced the first 145 consortia (groups of schools, colleges and training providers) across 97 local authorities that have been given approval to offer one or more of the first five 14 to 19 diplomas from September 2008. We have always been clear that the bar was set high so that although there were a lot of assessments submitted with good elements, only those consortia who demonstrated they were able to provide high quality delivery across all the criteria from September 2008 were included in the first group. Consortia from the London borough of Havering were not approved for delivery from September 2008, but we have provided a support package to help them prepare for a future gateway.
Mr. Dhanda: Educational psychologists (EPs) play an important role in assessing special educational needs and in helping to formulate support arrangements for children with a wide range of needs, including those with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties. The value of their contribution was confirmed by a recent independent study, conducted by the School of Education, University of Manchester, published by the DfES on 31 August 2006. A copy of the report, A Review of the Functions and Contribution of Educational Psychologists in England and Wales in light of Every Child Matters: Changes for Children, Research Report No 792, was placed in the House of Commons Library, and can also be accessed via the Departments research website:
Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many educational psychologists qualified in each of the last 10 years for which data are available; and how many he expects to qualify in (a) 2007 and (b) 2008; 
(2) how many training places for educational psychologists were funded in each year between 2000 and 2006; how many he expects to be funded in 2007; and if he will make a statement on the level and allocation of funding by the Local Government Association. 
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will place in the Library a copy of the agenda of the last meeting of the EU-Canada Joint Committee on Higher Education, Training and Youth. 
Bill Rammell: The agendas of meetings of the EU-Canada Joint Committee on Higher Education, Training and Youth are internal documents of the European Commission and are not held by my Department. An application can be made with the European Commission to release the requested document.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what funding was available for further education colleges to support (a) NVQ Level 2, (b) NVQ Level 3 and (c) NVQ Level 4 in upholstery and soft furnishing in each year between 1996 and 2006; 
(2) what funding was provided to further education colleges to enable students to undertake qualifications in upholstery and soft furnishing in each year between 1996 and 2006; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: We have increased public investment in further education by 48 per cent. in real terms between 1997-98 and 2005-06. Adult education funding will increase by 7 per cent. between 2005-06 and 2007-08, with funding for young people increasing by 13 per cent. over the same period. This means that overall in 2007-08, through the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) we will invest £11.2 billion, an increase of £716 million compared with 2006-07.
Information on course subjects that learners are undertaking is only available from the LSC at the broad sector level. This does not allow for discrete subjects such as upholstery and soft furnishings to be identified, therefore it is not possible to provide details on the level of funding for these courses.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the availability of traditional upholstery skills courses in further education colleges in each year between 1996 and 2006. 
Bill Rammell: Colleges have benefited from our 48 per cent. real terms increase in further education funding between 1997-98 and 2005-06. We have realigned funding to support our priorities and as announced on 15 March we have met our interim adult Level 2 target with a million more adults in the workforce with essential employability skills. Also more than 1.6 million learners have achieved Skills for Life qualifications in literacy, language and numeracy.
The structure and delivery of courses is the responsibility of the individual providers which means that we do not hold information on this centrally. It is therefore not possible to report on the number of traditional upholstery skills courses delivered by colleges in any given year.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many notices to improve were issued to further education colleges in each of the last three years; how many of these have been made public; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: Nine Notices to Improve (Notices) have been issued to further education colleges in the last three years. Four were as a result of an Ofsted inspection judgement of overall inadequate. The remaining five were issued as a result of the colleges failing to meet the minimum levels of performance.
Notices were introduced in 2006 following the commitment to eliminate failure set out in the White Paper, Further Education: Raising Skills, Improving Life Chances. Notices are a process for setting additional conditions of funding to address underperformance within a specified time frame.
Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students entering English universities for the first time in 2006 did not have two grade E A levels or better A level qualifications. 
Bill Rammell: In 2005/06, there were 2,620 entrants (2 per cent.) with one or more A levels who had fewer than 80 tariff points from these qualifications. The figures relate to 18-year-old English domiciled entrants to full time first degree courses at English higher education institutions who have obtained one or more A levels. A grade E at A level is worth 40 tariff points.
Tariff points are not to be the only factor universities consider in assessing potential to succeed in HE. In 2004, Professor Steven Schwartz conducted an independent review of admissions to HE. The report makes clear that while prior educational attainment data (e.g. A levels) remain the best indicator of success at undergraduate level, equal exams results may not represent equal potential to succeed in HE, and that universities can usefully consider other factors. The Schwartz Group recommended an holistic assessment of applicants which included consideration of contextual factors, given the variation of learners opportunities and circumstances.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many and what proportion of university graduates qualified in (a) physics, (b) engineering and (c) mathematics in each of the last 15 years. 
Bill Rammell: The latest figures are shown in the tables. Data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency are only available from 1994/95 onwards; figures for the previous years are taken from published sources which do not separately identify Physics and Mathematics.
|Number and proportion of students obtaining first degree qualifications by subject area , UK higher and further education institutions , y ears( 1 ) 1991 to 1993|
|Physical Sciences( 2)||Engineering and Technology||Mathematical and Computing Sciences( 3)||All Subjects|
|(1) Figures are given on a calendar year basis and not an academic year; therefore they are not comparable to the figures in the table.|
(2) Including Physics.
(3) Including Mathematics.
The figures are compiled from data collected by the Universities Statistical Record (USR), covering students at formerUFC funded universities, and the education departments of the four home countries, covering students at non-university HE and FE institutions.
Education Statistics for the United Kingdom 1993,1994 and 1995 editions.
|Number of students obtaining first degree qualifications by subject area( 1) , UK h igher e ducation i nstitutions , a cademic years 1994/95 to 2005/06|
|Academic year||Physical Sciences||Of which: Physics||Engineering and Technology||Mathematical Sciences||Of which: Mathematics||All Subjects|
|(1) In 2002/03 the coding frame and the method of recording subject of study was changed. The Joint Academic Classification Scheme (JACS) was introduced which although similar to the previous coding frame, is not directly comparable. Additionally, figures are on a full person equivalent basis whereby a student is apportioned between each of their subjects of study.|
(2) From 2000/01 students qualifying from a dormant mode of study are included in the figures; they are excluded in all previous years. Incoming exchange students are excluded from the figures from 2000/01 onwards; they were included in all previous years.
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) student record
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