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Mr. Dhanda: Support for children with special educational needs (SEN) accounts for a high proportion of all school expenditure. We do not hold information centrally about expenditure on dyspraxia, but information collected from local authorities (LAs) shows planned expenditure on the education of school-age children with SEN of £4.5 billion in 2006-07. This is about 13 per cent. of all education spending.
Schools and LAs provide support to children with SEN, including those with dyspraxia, by taking account of guidance set out in the SEN Code of Practice (2001). The code recommends school based interventions at two levelsSchool Action and School Action Plus. If a child does not make adequate progress or cannot access the curriculum at School Action Plus, and it is considered the child may need support over and above what the school can provide, the LA may carry out a statutory assessment of the childs SEN, with the view to the issue of a statement. A statement sets out the childs needs, the provision to meet those needs, and the school the child attends.
The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) is responsible for funding further education provision for post-16 learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, including those people with dyspraxia. We do not hold information on the specific expenditure on dyspraxia. However, overall investment in provision for these learners has increased significantly over recent years, and in 2004/05 the LSC helped support more
than 640,000 learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities accounting for nearly £1.5 billion.
Continuing investment in this provision remains a priority and the LSC has made clear in their Annual Statement of Priorities for 2007-08 that they expect the proportion of learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities to be maintained.
For young people in higher education, disabled students allowances can help meet the additional costs of undertaking the course which arise from their disability, mental health condition or specific learning disability, including dyspraxia.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the decision of the University and College Union to consider a boycott of Israeli academic institutions; and if he will make a statement. 
The UK Government fully support academic freedom and are firmly against any academic boycotts of Israel or Israeli academics. While I appreciate the independence of the UCU, I am very disappointed that the union has decided to pass a motion which encourages its members to consider boycotting Israeli academics and education
institutions. I profoundly believe this does nothing to promote the Middle East peace process, in fact the reverse.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many and what proportion of foundation degrees he estimates will be validated by (a) further education colleges and (b) universities in each region in each year from 2009 to 2020, broken down by age group of students and taking into account the anticipated changes in demography in each region if the proposals currently before the House relating to franchise rights are enacted. 
A report published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in January 2007 (Foundation Degrees: Key Statistics 2001-02 to 2006-07) shows that in the academic year 2004-05, a total of 83 higher education institutions (HEIs) and 255 further education colleges were involved with foundation degree provision. The following table shows the number of students registered and taught at each type of institution, and whether these students were studying on a full-time or part-time basis:
|Home foundation degree entrants in 2004-05 at HEIs and FEIs in England|
|R eg.||T aught||Number||Percentage||Number||Percentage||Number||Percentage||Percentage full-time|
It should not, however, be inferred from this data that any particular proportion of foundation degree students will in future be undertaking programmes at a college with powers to award its own foundation degrees.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what discussions he has had with (a) universities, (b) businesses and (c) further education colleges prior to taking the decision to bring forward legislation to permit further education colleges to apply for the right to award foundation degrees. 
Bill Rammell [holding answer 4 June 2007]: The proposals in Clause 17 of the Further Education and Training Bill, to allow Further Education institutions in England to apply for the power to award Foundation Degrees, emerged after informal discussions with a number of interested parties in the further and higher education sectors. These followed up Sir Andrew Fosters recommendation that
consideration should be given to allowing some colleges, that meet quality criteria, the ability to award their own qualifications, rather than working through awarding bodies".
Officials discussed with the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) how these proposals might be taken forward prior to the publication of the Further Education and Training Bill. The views of the Association of Colleges and other representative bodies from the Further Education sector were also sought.
Since publication of the Bill, the Department has undertaken extensive and extremely constructive discussions with a wide range of representatives from the Higher and Further Education sectors, as well as other interested stakeholder bodies. Over thirty written submissions were received in response to a circular letter inviting comment on the proposals; these included responses from a number of Sector Skills Councils and the Council for Industry and Higher Education. Ministers and officials have also maintained frequent contact with sector bodies such as Universities UK and the Association of Colleges, and have also corresponded with representatives from individual institutions in both sectors.
Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the completion rates were for students undertaking (a) higher national diplomas and (b) foundation degrees in each of the last 10 years. 
The available information on the qualification rates of students on foundation degrees was published in January 2007 in Foundation degrees: key statistics 2001-02 to 2006-07 by the Higher Education Funding Council for England. The information, covering students registered at higher education institutions, looked at the qualification rates of students on courses with expected course lengths of two and three years who qualified within these time frames.
The key findings were that, overall, around 77 to 86 per cent. of students had either qualified within the expected course length or were still studying either on a foundation degree course or on another higher education programme. The exact proportion varied depending on the length and mode of study of the course.
The report also contained comparable figures for students on HNDs. These showed a slightly wider variation in the proportion of students who had either qualified within the expected course length or were still studying either on a HND course or on another higher education programme of between 74 to 86 per cent. Again, the exact proportion depended on the length and mode of study.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate he has made of the costs of any redundancies which will arise from the proposed restructuring of learning and skills councils including the costs of payments to individuals and the costs of payments into the pension scheme. 
Bill Rammell [holding answer 4 June 2007]: The LSC has been undertaking a major restructuring exercise under theme 7 of its 'Agenda for Change' reform programme. This exercise is expected to be completed later this summer, and will result in some 1,100 fewer staff posts across the whole of the organisation.
The LSC set aside provision of £55.7 million in its 2005-06 accounts to cover the one-off costs associated with these staff changes. Of this, £30.4 million is for redundancy and severance costs, £2.1 million for pension costs and £2.29 million for outplacement costs. The remainder is for property and HR related activities. Final outturn figures for 2006-07 are not yet available but will be published in the LSCs annual report and accounts in July.
We expect the LSC to achieve year-on-year savings of £40 million as a result of these changes. This is in
addition to the £50 million savings it is already making year-on-year compared to predecessor bodies.
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the (a) average number of A*s at GCSE and (b) average UKCAT score attained by successful (i) pre A-level and (ii) post A-level applicants to medical schools was in the academic year 2006-07. 
Bill Rammell: Information on the average number of A*s at GCSE and average UKCAT scores is not held centrally. In 2006, there were 18,949 applicants to pre-clinical medicine courses, of whom 8,011 were accepted.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many vocational course places were available for 16 to 19 year olds in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell [holding answer 8 May 2007]: The following table shows numbers in full-time education, WBL and other forms of education and training by highest qualification aim over the last five years. It is not possible to split student numbers clearly between vocational and other routes, particularly as substantial numbers of young people will follow a mixed programme involving both vocational and general subjects.
|End of calendar year||2001||2002||2003||2004||2005|
(2. )Includes all courses below level 1 and those of unknown or unspecified level (also includes PRUs; and special schools, for which no qualification breakdown is available).
(3 )Includes part-time education not funded by employers or through WBL; also full or part-time education in independent FE and HE institutions.
(4) Total of all full-time and part-time education and WBL (less WBL in full-time education), equivalent to local level estimates for education and training.
(5 )Total of all full-time education and WBL (less WBL in full-time education) plus EFT and OET.
(6 )The remainder of the age group.
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