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27 Feb 2008 : Column 1654W—continued

Sign Language: Education

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many sign language courses are funded by the Learning and Skills Council; and what the average annual cost is of providing a sign language course place. [175750]

Bill Rammell: There are 25 sign language related courses recorded on the Learning and Skills Council's (LSG) learning aims database.

Based on the LSG individual learner records the following table shows the most popular sign language qualifications with LSG funded learners in 2006-07. Of the nearly 16,000 learners on funded places, the vast majority enrolled on the certificate in British Sign Language.

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Notional NVQ level of the learning aim
Learning aim title Level 1and entry Level 2 Level 3 Level 4, 5 or higher Total

Certificate in British Sign Language





Certificate in British Sign language (Stage 2)



Certificate in Irish Sign Language



Certificate in Lipspeaking



Certificate in The History of British Sign Language



NVQ in British Sign Language










LSC individual learner records (ILR) for 2006-07 academic year (FE ILR F05 2006-07)

The fee charged for a sign language course will vary between colleges and providers, and information on individual courses offered by providers is not held centrally. The fees charged to a learner for a sign language course will be based on the level of funding the college or provider receives from the LSC for that learner, for example whether they are a priority learner. It is therefore not possible to provide an average cost of a sign language course,

The Government continue to provide full fee remission to learners that fall within the national entitlement categories, i.e. where the learner is in receipt of an income-related benefit and studying on an LSC funded course. Learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities are also a priority for Government funding. The national fee assumption for adult learners who are required to contribute to their learning is 32.5 per cent. for 2006-07 with the public purse meeting the remainder of the costs of the course.

Skilled Workers

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps he has taken to improve the skills base in his Department in the last 12 months. [180354]

Mr. Lammy: DIUS was created in June 2007 by the amalgamation of elements from BERR (formerly DTI) and DCSF (formerly DfES). As a consequence it has not existed for the 12 months specified.

Both DTI and DfES; prior to the creation of DIUS had established processes and policies for the development of skills. These involved a range of training, education and coaching activities which were aimed at individual employees and team.

During the period June 2007 to January 2008 any previously planned and commenced activities have continued to take place, providing a continuity of support for individuals and teams who transferred from both prior departments. The Department is currently undertaking skills audits to ascertain development needs going forward.

Students: Loans

Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what discussions he has had with the Student Loans Company on the comprehensibility of the bursary consent statement on the PN1 student finance application form. [188040]

Bill Rammell: The Student Loans Company (SLC) is responsible for producing the student loans application forms and guidance. In previous years, the application form has proactively sought the student's consent to share financial information with their HE institution. The SLC share this information with HE Institutions registered with the Higher Education Bursary Scholarship System, so that entitlement to a bursary can be assessed. The Office for Fair Access monitoring shows 12,000 students on full state support have declined to give consent so failing to collect their bursaries, DIUS ministers and officials have therefore worked closely with the SLC to improve the bursary consent arrangements on the 2008-09 student finance application form The introduction of an opt-out clause, giving both the student and their sponsor an opportunity to opt out of consenting for their personal information to be shared with universities for bursary purposes, should increase the numbers of students assessed for and receiving bursaries. Clear guidance states that a decision to opt out of sharing data with universities does not affect entitlement to other forms of student support.

Vocational Education

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many students studied in work-based learning in each of the last 10 years. [172270]

Bill Rammell: Figures for those participating in work based learning (WBL) funded by the learning and Skills Council (LSC) can be derived from the individualised learner record (ILR).

The following table shows the number of learners participating in WBL since 2001/02, the first time that a figure for the total number of learners in WBL during the academic year was published by the LSG. Train to Gain (TTG), a national service to support employers to improve the skills of their employees, was launched in April 2006.

Figures are included in the table for the last two years.

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Number of learners in



















(1) Prior to the launch of TTG, the Employer Trainee Pilots (ETP) programme operated but data from ETP are not available on a comparable basis.

Home Department

101 Calls

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the reasons were for not continuing with the 101 non-emergency phone pilot. [186431]

Mr. McNulty: The Government recognises the benefits that have been demonstrated by the 101 single-non emergency number service in the initial live areas, but it is vital that we target our resources to those areas which will have the greatest impact and which will contribute most to the protection of the public and security of the country. It is on this basis and in the context of significant pressures on resources and competing policing and security priorities, that it was decided not to continue to fund centrally the ongoing operation and roll out of the 101 service.

However, the Home Office will continue to provide funding for the national 101 infrastructure and will be making the learning and good practice from 101 available, to help enable and encourage local areas to embed the benefits in local services and to develop locally funded 101 services where possible. I welcome the work currently being taken forward to this effect by the Greater London Assembly together with London Councils, individual boroughs and the Metropolitan police in their plans to pilot the 101 service locally.

Alcoholic Drinks: Staffordshire

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were arrested for offences related to alcohol consumption in (a) Tamworth constituency and (b) Staffordshire in each of the last four years. [187859]

Mr. Coaker: The data requested are not available centrally. The arrests collection undertaken by the Ministry of Justice provides data on persons arrested for recorded crime (notifiable offences), by age group, gender, ethnicity, and main offence group, i.e. violence against the person, sexual offences, robbery, burglary, etc. More detailed data about specific offences do not form part of this collection.

Crimes of Violence: Jews

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many violent attacks on Jewish people have taken place in each of the last five years. [187445]

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Mr. Coaker: The information requested is not available centrally.

The Home Office collects statistics on the number of racially or religiously aggravated offences recorded and detected by the police. It is not possible to separately identify those offences of a specific religious nature from those of a specific racial nature.

Departmental Accountancy

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which budget lines in her Department are subject to regular in-year reporting to HM Treasury; and with what frequency such reporting takes place. [189335]

Mr. Byrne: Along with all Government Departments the Home Office reports its year to date spend and full year forecast spend, against the departmental budget as detailed in the supply estimates, to HM Treasury on a monthly basis.

Departmental Legislation

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which Acts for which her Department is responsible passed before 2002 contain provisions which have not been brought into force. [188314]

Mr. McNulty: The information requested could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

However, as regards legislation passed between 1 May 1997 and 1 January 2002 for which the Home Office is currently responsible, the following provisions have not yet been brought into force:

Departmental Ministerial Policy Advisers

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether any of her Department’s special advisers also work for organisations outside her Department. [178488]

Mr. Byrne: Special advisers are appointed under terms and conditions set out in the “Model Contract” and “Conduct for Special Advisers”, copies of which are in the Library of the House.

Departmental Official Residences

Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Ministerial residences were available to her Department’s Ministers in each of the last 10 years. [183182]

Mr. Byrne: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office (Mr. Watson) on 19 February 2008, Official Report, column 688W.

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Departmental Security

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will list the (a) special advisers and (b) Ministerial appointees in possession of a security pass enabling access to her Department’s main building in the month prior to the prorogation of Parliament for the 2005 general election. [182195]

Mr. Byrne: It is established practice not to provide details on pass access to government buildings for security reasons.

Domestic Violence

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average waiting time is for admission to an integrated domestic abuse perpetrator programme in each police authority area. [188954]

Maria Eagle: I have been asked to reply.

I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 26 February 2008, Official Report, columns 1492-94W.

The integrated domestic abuse programme is delivered by 34 probation areas in England and Wales. The remaining eight probation areas (Cheshire, Cumbria, Durham, Lancashire, Merseyside, Northumbria, Teesside and Thames Valley) deliver the community domestic violence programme.

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