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28 Jun 2007 : Column 832W—continued

Treaties: USA

Mr. Wallace: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if she will place in the Library a copy of the recently announced UK-US Defence Trade Co-operation Treaty. [146080]

Hilary Armstrong: In accordance with the usual procedures, a copy of the Treaty will be published as a Command Paper and laid with an accompanying Explanatory Memorandum before both Houses of Parliament. Copies of the Command Paper will be laid in the Votes and Proceedings Office, the Vote Office and with the Clerk of the Parliaments at the House of Lords.

Education and Skills

Free Nursery Places

10. Martin Linton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans he has to increase the entitlement of three and four-year-olds to free nursery provision. [146028]

Beverley Hughes: We remain committed to extending the free early education entitlement for three and four-year-olds. It will increase from 12 and a half to 15
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hours per week for 38 weeks of the year by 2010. This increase will further improve the life chances of all children and will help parents to balance work and family life more easily. We recognise that there will be transitional issues for some providers. This is why we are rolling out the extended entitlement gradually. 20 pathfinder local authorities began delivering the extended entitlement in April 2007.

Higher Education Admissions

12. Mr. Mackay: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent assessment he has made of trends in higher education admissions; and if he will make a statement. [146030]

Bill Rammell: The latest figures published by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) show that students from England applying for entry in 2007 are up by 6 per cent. compared to last year. They have also exceeded the large increase in 2005, meaning we are now seeing the largest ever numbers applying for higher education at this point in the application cycle. The small downturn we saw last year, which we always anticipated, has been strongly reversed this year. I am also pleased to see that there has been a slight increase in the proportion of applicants from the lower socio-economic groups. These highest-ever figures show that tuition fees are not putting students off applying to university as many predicted. The critics of the new system are being proved emphatically wrong.

Educational Achievement

13. David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent representations he has received on the influence of ethnicity and social class on educational achievement; and if he will make a statement. [146031]

Jim Knight: While no specific representations have been made to the Department, we are aware of a number of recent publications, including the report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Sutton Trust’s publication, which have highlighted social class influences on educational achievement.

To improve the chances of children from disadvantaged backgrounds we are investing over £1 billion to support personalised learning, trialling one-to-one tuition for pupils in maths and English and building academies in areas of real disadvantage.

Trade Union Learning

14. Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the role of trade union learning representatives in promoting lifelong learning. [146032]

Phil Hope: More than 18,000 union learning representatives have been trained over the last few years. Evaluations have shown that they are very effective at promoting and encouraging training and development in the workplace, particularly among low skilled workers and those with literacy and numeracy difficulties. Union learning representatives have
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encouraged over 400,000 employees—150,000 employees in the last year alone—to get back into learning.

Looked-after Children

15. Mr. Borrow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what measures the Government plan to take to improve the outcomes for children in care. [146033]

Alan Johnson: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave earlier today.

PFI Programme

16. Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether he has made an evaluation of the private finance initiative programme for school buildings. [146034]

Jim Knight: In 2005, we commissioned Partnerships UK to review operational schools private finance initiative contracts. Overall, this review was positive with, on balance, contracts operating successfully across most of their provision.

The review highlighted some difficulties and made recommendations, all of which were accepted and most of which had already been addressed. We continue to work with Partnerships UK and HM Treasury to ensure that private finance initiative contracts provide good service and value for money.

Building Schools for the Future

17. Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the effects of the Building Schools for the Future programme. [146035]

Jim Knight: Following procurement through the Official Journal of the European Union, in 2006 we placed a contract with PricewaterhouseCoopers to evaluate the impact of Building Schools for the Future investment on educational achievement and to learn early lessons to inform the development of the programme. The contract is for three years, and may be extended to support a longitudinal evaluation of the longer term impact. We aim to publish periodic reports from this evaluation.

Adult Education

18. Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on adult education. [146036]

Phil Hope: We are spending more on adult learning than ever before, with over £3 billion in 2007-08 invested through the LSC.

Our priority is to help low skilled adults, with 1 million more adults now with essential employability skills and more than 1.6 million having gained Skills for Life qualifications. Lord Leitch’s Review recommended an ambition that the UK becomes world class in skills by 2020. We accept that ambition and will publish our response shortly.

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Overseas Trained Teachers

19. Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate he has made of the number of overseas trained teachers who will not have gained qualified teacher status in England before September. [146037]

Jim Knight: This information is not collected centrally.

Child Employment

20. Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of legislation on child employment and child performances. [146038]

Beverley Hughes: We have not carried out a recent assessment of legislation on the employment of children. The Government continue to focus at all times on how to deliver the outcomes we want to see for all our children, as expressed in our ‘Every Child Matters’ programme. Up-to-date Government guidance on child employment will be issued within the next year.

Adult Education: Liverpool

Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the adequacy of provision of adult education in Liverpool. [146063]

Phil Hope: We have increased investment in further education by 48 per cent. in real terms between 1997-98 and 2005-06. Spending on adult learning will continue to increase with over £3 billion in 2007-08, up 7 per cent. on 2005-06.

Our funding priorities have been clearly set out in the Learning and Skills Council’s (LSC) ‘Annual Statement of Priorities—Raising our Game’ for 2007-08

In Liverpool, as elsewhere in England, we are focusing public funding on helping those who need it most. This prioritises those without the basic and Level 2 skills for employment and further progression in learning while
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protecting provision for those with learning difficulties and disabilities as well as community learning. We will also develop new progression pathways that focus explicitly on the skills and learning needed for progression from Entry levels and Level 1 to a full Level 2 qualification. These local circumstances as well as the national priorities will be taken into account by the LSC when planning provision in consultation with local partners.

The Department does not hold information at local or regional levels. Mark Haysom, the Learning and Skills Council’s chief executive, will write to my hon. Friend with the information about adult education in Liverpool and a copy of his reply will be placed in the Library.

City Academies

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many academy schools he expects to be opened in the next 12 months. [146065]

Jim Knight: There are currently 47 open academies. We anticipate that a further 36 academies will open in the next 12 months.


Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many and what percentage of the additional student numbers (a) applied for and (b) awarded were for (i) foundation degrees and (ii) honours degrees, broken down by institution in each of the last five years. [146129]

Bill Rammell: The following table shows how additional student numbers were allocated by the Higher Education Funding Council for England for the period in question, analysed by type of degree studied for. The figures are in aggregate for the sector as a whole: allocations to each institution can only be provided at disproportionate cost. Figures showing applications for ASNs could also only be provided at disproportionate cost.

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ASN FTE and headcount taken from final ASN datasets (includes mainstream and non-mainstream ASNs)
2007-08 FTE07 HEAD07 2006-07 FTE06 HEAD06 2005-06 FTE05 HEAD05 2004-05 FTE04 HEAD04 2003-04 FTE03 HEAD03













































FD(1)( )proportion (percentage)











UGX(2)( )proportion (percentage) for July 2007











(1 )FD Foundation degree
(2 )UGX Other undergraduate (excluding foundation degree). This includes, but is not limited to, honours degrees.
(3 )PGT Postgraduate taught
Data shows FTEs and headcount student numbers awarded for (rather than in) the years in question through HEFCE’s main additional student number exercises. They exclude numbers awarded separately for increases in intakes to undergraduate medicine and dentistry courses.

Education: Children In Care

Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps he is taking to improve the educational attainment by children in care. [146108]

Beverley Hughes: Our White Paper “Care Matters: Time for Change” sets out how we will improve the education of children in care. We are increasing support for children and young people in care across all children's services. Specific education proposals include: a £500 educational allowance for children in care at risk of falling behind at school; putting the ‘designated teacher’ on a statutory footing to improve the expertise in schools; appointing ‘virtual school heads’ to oversee their education; improving attendance and reducing exclusions; reducing mobility of school placements, particularly in the crucial years before GCSEs; and a bursary of a minimum of £2,000 for all children in care who go on to university.

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