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1 Sep 2008 : Column 1504Wcontinued
The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority /Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many people (a) at a maintained school, (b) at a sixth form college, (c) at a further education college, (d) at an independent school, (e) at another educational institution and (f) studying on their own gained an A level at grades A to E in (i) accounting, (ii) art and design, (iii) business studies, (iv) communication studies, (v) dance, (vi) design and technology, (vii) drama/theatre studies, (viii) film studies, (ix) health and social care, (x) home economics, (xi) information and communication technology, (xii) leisure studies, (xiii) media studies, (xiv) music technology, (xv) performance studies, (xvi) performing arts, (xvii) photography, (xviii) physical education, (xix) sports studies and (xx) travel and tourism in 2006-07. 
Jim Knight: I have been asked to reply.
The information for parts (a) to (e) has been placed in the House of Commons Library. The Department does not hold information required to answer part (f).
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many staff in (a) his Department and (b) its agencies (i) are classified as Government communicators and (ii) have access to the Government Communication Network. 
Mr. Lammy: The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills has 36 permanent members of staff who work in the central communication directorate. Other civil servants may have communication as a core part of their role as good communication is integral to helping implement government policy.
The Department is responsible for two agencies, National Weights and Measures Laboratory and the UK Intellectual Property Office.
The UK Intellectual Property Office has four members of staff in the communication team who are classified as Government communicators.
National Weights and Measures Laboratory has approximately 2.5 members of staff in the communications team who are classified as Government communicators.
All civil servants who work in a communication role can access the GCN and the resources that it provides.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many people have been routed to higher education institutions by Train to Gain skills brokers. 
Bill Rammell: Since it was rolled out nationally from April 2006, Train to Gain has grown quickly. It has now engaged 97,000 employers, supported 488,480 employees to begin learning programmes, and delivered 203,370 full level 2 and 26,720 Skills for Life achievements. Recent evaluations of the service show that both employer and employee satisfaction with their experience of Train to Gain is high.
Train to Gain helps employers identify and address their skills needs at all levelsincluding higher level skills, working with the HE sector.
To date, 492 employers have been referred to Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) by Train to Gain skills brokerage organisations; information on the number of learners engaged as a result of those referrals is not held centrally.
Three High Level Skills Pathfinders funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in North West, North East and South West are helping to identify barriers to the HE sector engaging with employers and build Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) capacity to extend their work with employers, working alongside and through Train to Gain. The Pathfinders are now starting to fund truly demand-led proposals from HEIs and Further Education Colleges to develop HE-level provision attuned to workforce development needs.
This week we launched The Training Gateway, a national clearing house service that will help Train to Gain skills brokers to connect employers with the Higher Education Institutions that can best deliver the higher level skills training that will meet their business need.
To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills when a decision will be taken on the funding rules for students studying for
equivalent or lower qualifications in the years after 2010-11. 
Bill Rammell [holding answer 21 July 2008] : Our ELQ policy is a balanced one. We are reinvesting resources to benefit those who have not already obtained a higher education qualification. Yet over two thirds of the current level of HEFCE grant for ELQ students will continue to be invested in supporting them in 2010-11. All we have asked HEFCE to do is to redistribute about £100 million a year by 2010-11 in order to fund over 20,000 extra new entrants to higher education. We have made no decisions to redirect further funding beyond 2010-11.
Future decisions will be taken as part of the next Spending Review, whose timetable has not yet been announced.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many people in each London borough (a) enrolled on and (b) did not complete a higher education course in each year since 1997. 
Bill Rammell: Student retention rates at higher education institutions in this country compare very well internationally. The UK ranks fifth in the OECD for first degree completion rates, out of 23 countries who report data in this area. A university education is now open to more students than ever before and the Government are totally committed to providing opportunities for all people to achieve their potential and to maximise their talent.
While there has been a slight increase in non-completion for the 2005/06 academic year, the proportion is lower than for most years for which data are available and is much lower than in the late 1990s.
This has been achieved and maintained during a period when the student population has increased and its diversity widened.
(a) The latest available information on entrants to higher education courses is shown in Table 1. Comparable figures for the 2007/08 academic year will be available in January 2009.
|Table 1: Full-time and part-time entrants( 1) to UK higher education institutions( 2) by London local authority( 3) academic years 1997/98 to 2006/07|
|(1) Figures are on a snapshot basis as at 1 December to maintain a consistent time series across all years and are rounded to the nearest five. Figures include the Open University but exclude those on writing up, sabbatical or dormant mode of study.|
(2) Covers entrants to postgraduate and undergraduate HE level courses in UK higher education institutions.
(3) London boroughs have been taken to be local authority areas. Students are allocated to local authority area by postcode; figures exclude students with missing or invalid postcodes.
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).
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