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7 May 2008 : Column 960Wcontinued
Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps the Government is taking to provide training in dealing with bereaved children to teachers. 
Kevin Brennan: The Qualified Teacher Status standards require that all trainees know how to identify and support children and young people whose progress, development or well being is affected by changes or difficulties in their personal circumstances and when to refer them to colleagues for specialist support.
James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent estimate he has made of the cost of implementing the recommendations of the Byron review. 
Kevin Brennan: The Government accepted all the recommendations made in the Byron Review report Safer Children in a Digital World, published on 27 March 2008. In a written ministerial statement on the same date, we committed to producing a comprehensive action plan in response to the recommendations. In developing that plan, the cost of implementation, as well as lead responsibilities and key delivery milestones, will be given more detailed consideration. The action plan will be published in due course. Taking forward the Reviews recommendations will not always involve new or discreet action. In many areas Dr. Byron recommended building e-safety into planned activities and services for which funding has already been agreed, for example, that existing information services for parents should include advice on e-safety.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families when he will reply to question 200315 on trust schools, tabled on 22 April 2008 by the hon. Member for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton. 
Jim Knight: I responded to parliamentary question 200315 on 30 April, Official Report, column 537W.
James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps he is taking to engage young people and members of the public in the preparation of the Youth Crime Action Plan. 
Mr. Coaker: I have been asked to reply.
The views of the public and young people are central to the development of the Youth Crime Action Plan. Young people are often the group most concerned about crime and are frequently victims.
In May we are planning a series of seminars with young people to engage with them and ask for views on the work being done on the Youth Crime Action Plan.
The Home Office and Design Alliance are also consulting young people about staying safe as part of their joint work on the Technology and Design Alliance. The alliance is working with Government to raise the profile of the role that design can play in combating crime and antisocial behaviour.
We have also been taking into account views of both young people and members of the public through qualitative research being undertaken by the Department for Children, Schools and Families exploring how best to tackle negative perceptions of young people. The results are being used to ensure the Youth Crime Action Plan tackles issues of importance to members of the public and young people and helps to address concerns regarding young peoples behaviour.
Mr. Curry: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many people were serving on the boards of the non-departmental public bodies which his Department sponsors at the latest date for which figures are available. 
Mr. Lammy: The Cabinet Office publication Public Bodies 2007 lists the number of people serving on the boards of public bodies as at 31 March 2007. These figures are broken down by individual Departments. As my Department was created by machinery of government changes in June 2007, its non-departmental public bodies are listed within those of its predecessor Departments, namely the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department for Education and Science.
For ease of reference, the relevant non-departmental public bodies are as follows:
British Hallmarking Council
Commission for Employment and Skills (Executive Non-Departmental Public Body and Company Limited by Guarantee)
Higher Education Funding Council for England
Learning and Skills Council
National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts
Office for Fair Access
Student Loans Company
Technology Strategy Board
Council for Science and Technology
Public Bodies 2007 can be downloaded from www.civilservice.gov.uk/about/public/bodies.asp. Copies are also available in the Library of the House.
Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many people aged (a) over 25 and (b) over 30 years enrolled on a first degree course in a higher education institution in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: The latest available information is given in the table. Comparable figures for the 2007-08 academic year will be available in January 2009.
|UK domiciled entrants( 1) to first degree courses by age English higher education institutions, academic years 1997-98 to 2006-07|
|Academic year||25 and under||26 to 30||Over 25( 2)||Over 30( 2)||All entrants|
|(1) Includes entrants to both full-time and part-time courses.|
(2) These columns contain double counting as entrants aged over 30 are shown in both.
(3) For years earlier than 2003-04, figures for the Open University have been excluded as they are not available separately for first degree entrants, only for all undergraduates. From 2003-04 onwards, figures for first degree entrants are available and have been included. Therefore, figures before 2003-04, and figures from 2003-04 onwards, cannot be directly compared.
Figures are on a snapshot basis as at 1 December excluding those writing up, on sabbatical or dormant and are rounded to the nearest five.
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).
Latest figures from UCAS, covering applicants to full-time undergraduate courses only, show that, after the small downturn in 2006, applicants who were accepted for entry in 2007 increased. For accepted applicants from the UK, figures show a rise of 5.5 per cent. to 364,500, with those from England showing a 6.1 per cent. rise to 307,000, the highest ever.
Latest figures for students applying for entry in 2008, show as at the end of March, applicants to full-time undergraduate courses show a year-on-year rise of 5.5 per cent., with those from England up by 6.2 per cent.
Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) if he will estimate the cost of raising the student loan repayment income threshold to £20,000 and introducing thresholds and rates of student loan repayments of (a) five per cent. on incomes of £20,000 to £29,999 and (b) 7.5 per cent. on incomes over £30,000; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) if he will estimate the cost of raising the student loan repayment income threshold to £25,000 and introducing thresholds and rates of student loan repayments of (a) five per cent. on incomes of £25,000 to £29,999 and (b) 7.5 per cent. on incomes over £30,000; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: Introducing repayment thresholds of £20,000 and £30,000 with corresponding repayment rates of 5 per cent. and 7.5 per cent. would have an estimated one-off resource cost of £2 billion (for existing loans) and an ongoing resource cost of £700 million per year (for new loans).
Introducing repayment thresholds of £25,000 and £30,000 with corresponding repayment rates of 5 per cent. and 7.5 per cent. would have an estimated one-off resource cost of £3.2 billion (for existing loans) and an ongoing resource cost of £1.1 billion per year (for new loans).
The income threshold is one of the main features of the income contingent loan scheme. This protects borrowers when they need it as they only pay their loan back once they earn over the threshold. Borrowers currently repay nothing until they earn over £15,000. This strikes the right balance, making payments affordable to the individual and student loans affordable to the public purse. We are committed to maintaining the repayment threshold at £15,000 until 2010 when we will review it.
David Simpson: To ask the Minister for the Olympics on how many occasions she visited (a) Scotland, (b) Wales and (c) Northern Ireland in an official capacity in the last 12 months. 
Tessa Jowell: Since my appointment in June 2007,1 have visited Scotland once and will be visiting Northern Ireland next month. I plan to visit Wales in the near future.
Mrs. May: To ask the Minister for the Olympics what proportion of staff working for the Olympic delivery authority are (a) women and (b) men. 
Tessa Jowell: As of March 2008 the percentage of women directly employed by the Olympic delivery authority was 47.8 per cent. and the percentage of men was 52.2 per cent.
Greg Clark: To ask the Minister for the Olympics whether she has invited the Red Arrows to perform at the 2012 Olympics. 
Tessa Jowell: It is not the job of the Government to make decisions about which organisations should perform at the 2012 Olympics. The London Organising Committee of the Olympic games and Paralympic games has the responsibility for deciding what to include in celebrations during the 2012 games. With four years to go, decisions are yet to be made on who will participate in the celebrations, but we want to make sure that they will be a spectacular showcase of Britain's best. I have made it clear many times that reports that the Government have banned the Red Arrows from being part of celebrations in 2012 are wholly without foundation.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what consultancy contracts his Department issued in each year since 2005; what the (a) value, (b) purpose and (c) contractor was in each case; and whether the consultant's report is publicly available in each case. 
Mr. Timms: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given on 13 December 2007, Official Report, columns 792-96W. New contracts entered into since that date are as shown in the following table.
Information on contracts entered into since 2005 but which were no longer current in December 2007 could be provided only at disproportionate costs.
Reports are not necessarily produced for all consultancy commissions. The Department does not generally publish reports prepared by consultants that it has engaged.
Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the performance has been of the City Strategy pilot programmes in improving employment and skills outcomes. 
Mr. Timms: The evaluation of the City Strategy will consider the performance of the Pathfinders in improving employment and skills outcomes. The report is due in the autumn of 2009.
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