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1 Sep 2008 : Column 1512Wcontinued
Subject rankings for non-continuation rates change over the years. However, medicine, dentistry and veterinary science consistently have the lowest non-continuation rates over the time series.
Student retention rates in this country compare very well internationally. The UK rank 5(th) 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.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills pursuant to the answer of 20 June 2008, Official Report, columns 1217-8W, on the Olympic games, what estimate he has made of the cost of sending Ministers and officials from his Department to the Beijing Olympic Games. 
Mr. Lammy: There are no plans for any of the Ministers or officials from the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills to attend the Beijing Olympic games in an official capacity. Therefore, there will be no cost to the Department.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the Government's policy is on variable university tuition fees. 
Bill Rammell: The Government's policy is that it is right that students should bear a fair share of the costs of higher education. The variable fees regime that we introduced in 2006 will provide an additional £1.6 billion for higher education by 2010-11. At the same time we have ensured that there is strong support to meet students' personal financial needs. This has enabled us to make further progress in widening access to higher education, with the proportion of accepted applicants from England who are from the bottom four socio-economic groups has increased from 31.7 per cent. in 2006 to 32.1 per cent. in 2007.
The maximum fee that can be charged each year is capped at £3,000 (at 2006 prices) and no increase can be made to this until Parliament has considered an independent review of the first three years of the new system.
Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many students resident in the London Borough of Bexley received an (a) education maintenance allowance and (b) special support grant in 2007-08. 
Bill Rammell: The part of the question on education maintenance allowance (EMA) is a matter for the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), who have operational responsibility for the EMA for the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and hold information about payments made under the scheme. Mark Haysom, the LSC's chief executive, will write to the hon. Member for Bexleyheath and Crayford with the information requested and a copy of his reply will be placed in the House Library.
30 students from the London borough of Bexley received a special support grant (SSG) in academic year 2006/07. Complete figures are not yet available for academic year 2007/08.
Letter from Mark Haysom to David Evennett, dated 25 July 2008:
I am writing in response to your Parliamentary Question that asked; "How many students resident in the London Borough of Bexley received an (a) education maintenance allowance and (b) special support grant in 2007-08. As responsibility for the operation of the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) scheme lies with the Learning and Skills Council, your question has been forwarded for my attention.
Part (b) of your question was answered in Bill Rammell's written reply of Monday 30 June 2008.
Information on the number of young people who have applied, enrolled and received Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is available at Local Authority Level. EMA take-up is defined as young people who have received one or more EMA payments in the academic year.
In the first year of national roll out EMA was available to all 16 year olds across England and to 17 and 18 year olds in former pilot areas (young people who are 19 are entitled to receive EMA in certain circumstances). In 2005/06 EMA roll out continued and EMA was available to all 16 and 17 year olds nationally. In 2006/07 EMA was available to all 16, 17 and 18 year olds nationally.
EMA take-up for Bexley Local Authority area in the academic year 2007/08, up to 30 June 08, is 2,039.
EMA take-up data showing the number of young people who have received one or more EMA payments during 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07 and to date in 2007/08 is now also available on the LSC website, at the following address:
Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much funding was distributed by the Thames Gateway initiative to the London Borough of Bexley in each of the last five years; and to what uses the sums distributed to Bexley have been put. 
Mr. Lammy: The Department has no record of funds distributed by the Thames Gateway initiative to the London borough of Bexley.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in what circumstances criminal records checks are carried out on (a) EU and (b) non-EU foreign nationals entering Northern Ireland. 
Mr. Byrne: I have been asked to reply.
I refer the hon. Member to my answer to his question, Immigration: Criminal Records of 8 July 2008, Official Report, column 1445W.
In relation to the circumstances in which criminal records checks are carried out, as my earlier answer stated, our policy is that the documents of all foreign nationals at ports of entry are checked against the Home Office Warnings Index.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) how many checks have been carried out on Northern Ireland residents by the Criminal Records Bureau in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) on how many occasions information provided by the Criminal Records Bureau in respect of Northern Ireland residents has proved to be erroneous in each of the last five years; by what means the errors were discovered in each case; and if he will make a statement. 
Meg Hillier: I have been asked to reply.
The information sought by the hon. Member is not available. The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) is unable to provide information on Disclosure applications based on geographical areas.
The CRB would need to perform a manual trawl, at disproportionate cost, of each application to ascertain whether the postcode falls within Northern Ireland, in order to identify how many checks have been carried out on Northern Ireland residents by the CRB and on how many occasions the information provided by the CRB has proved to be in error in each of the last five years.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice of the children aged 10 to 17 years prosecuted for breaching an antisocial behaviour order (ASBO) in the period January 2004 to December 2007, how many (a) received a custodial sentence solely for the breach of the ASBO, where no other matters were dealt with by the court at the same time, (b) received a custodial sentence for breach of an ASBO, where other matters were dealt with at the same time but where these matters did not warrant a custodial sentence and (c) received a custodial sentence for breach of an ASBO, where other matters were dealt with at the same time and where the other matters did warrant a custodial sentence. 
Mr. Coaker: I have been asked to reply.
Information on breach of an antisocial behaviour order (ASBO) is not routinely collected in the format requested. However, in 2005, a one-off analysis was undertaken when numbers of ASBOs were low.
A table showing figures for the period 1 June 2000 to 31 December 2003 is as follows.
The table covers all persons issued ASBOs, as reported to the Home Office, who breached their ASBO by the end of 2003. Age is determined by age at the date of appearance in court, on which the severest penalty for breach of an ASBO was received.
|Number of persons receiving a custodial sentence for breaching an ASBO by age group and category|
|Age group||Number of persons breaching their ASBOs by the end of 2003||Number of persons receiving a custodial sentence for breach of an ASBO||Category A: where a person received a custodial sentence for at least one other offence at the same court appearance (excludes persons in group B)||Category B: where a person received a consecutive sentence of custody for breach of an ASBO when being dealt with for other offences at the same court appearance (excludes persons in group A)||Category AB: persons both in category A and B||Category C: where the person was dealt with for a breach of an ASBO alone|
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions she has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the effects of the changes to alcohol duty announced in the 2008 budget on (a) binge drinking, (b) general levels of alcohol consumption and (c) underage drinking. 
Mr. Coaker: The Home Secretary has regular discussions with ministerial colleagues about all aspects of policy. However, taxation is a matter for the Treasury.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many (a) individuals and (b) establishments have been prosecuted for selling alcohol to under-age people in Hampshire in each of the last five years; 
(2) how many people were prosecuted for selling alcohol to children in Hampshire in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Coaker: The number of people and the number of others proceeded against at magistrates courts for offences relating to selling alcohol to under age persons in Hampshire police force area, for the years 2002 to 2006 can be viewed in the following table.
A Penalty Notice for Disorder (PND) can also be applied for the offence; the number of PNDs issued in Hampshire police force area was two in 2004, 67 in 2005, and 109 in 2006.
|N umber of persons and the number of others proceeded against at magistrates' courts for offences relating to selling alcohol to under age persons in Hampshire police force area, 2002 to 2006( 1,2,3,4,5)|
|(1) These data are on the principal offence basis.|
(2) Data include the following offence descriptions and corresponding statutes:
Holder of occasional permission or his agent knowingly selling to, knowingly allow consumption by or allowing any person to sell, intoxicating liquor to a person under 18. Selling etc. intoxicating liquor to person under 18 for consumption on the premises.
Licensing (Occasional Permissions) Act 1983 Schedule (Sec 3) para 4(1). Licensing Act 1964 Sec 169(1).
Sale of alcohol to a person under 18
Licensing Act 2003 S.146(1)
Wholesaler selling intoxicating liquor to a person under 18.
Licensing Act 1964 Sec 181A(1) as added by Licensing Act 1988 Sec 17.
Allow sale of alcohol to an individual under 18.
Licensing Act 2003 Sec 147(1) & (5)
(3) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete.
However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts, other agencies, and police forces.
As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their Inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
(4) The Licensing Act 2003 came into force on 24 November 2005.
(5) Figures for Other includes: Public bodies, companies, organisations
Court proceedings data held by RDSOffice for Criminal Justice ReformMinistry of Justice
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) businesses and (b) individuals were prosecuted for supplying alcohol to those under the age of 18 years in (i) England, (ii) Staffordshire and (iii) Tamworth constituency in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Coaker: The number of persons and the number of other defendants namely businesses, companies, and organisations proceeded against at magistrates' courts for offences relating to selling alcohol to under age persons, in Staffordshire Police Force Area, and England, 2004 to 2006 can be viewed in the attached table.
From the court proceedings database held by the Ministry of Justice, it is not possible to identify those defendants prosecuted in the Tamworth constituency, as the data are not collected at this level of detail.
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