The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Mr. Quentin Davies) to my hon. Friend the Member for Jarrow (Mr. Hepburn) on Monday 23
Mr. Simon [holding reply 27 January 2009 ]: The following table shows the number of learners in further education undertaking GCSE Mathematics in each academic year since 2003-04 by age group, the earliest year for which we have comparable information.
|Learners in further education undertaking GCSE Mathematics by age|
1. Age is based on age as at 31 August (academic age).
2. This information does not include learners studying GCSE Mathematics in Schools or Higher Education Institutions.
3. If a learner is studying GCSE Mathematics over more than one year, they will be counted in each year for which they are studying.
Awarding body data on GCSE examination entries is analysed by the Department for Children, Schools and Families as part of the School and College Achievement and Attainment Tables publication. However, this work only covers qualifications entered for by 16-18 year olds. Therefore, we do not have information readily available on adults being entered for GCSE Mathematics examinations.
Due to the increased number of pupils taking and successfully passing a Maths GCSE at school, we would expect the volume of learners studying this qualification at a Further Education College to fall. In 1997, there
were 534,700 15 year olds (academic age) attempting GCSE Mathematics and 250,300 achieving a C grade or higher (around 50 per cent. of those attempting the subject). In 2004, 606,000 pupils attempted GCSE Mathematics at the end of Key Stage 4 with 318,900 achieving a grade A*-C (around 53 per cent. of those attempting the subject). In 2008, 609,700 pupils attempted GCSE Mathematics at the end of Key Stage 4, with 361,100 achieving a grade A*-C (59 per cent. of those attempting the subject).
Over the last few years the Government have prioritised funding towards longer and fuller programmes such as full level 2 qualifications (equivalent of 5 A*-C GCSEs or vocational equivalent) away from a higher number of shorter courses. This has increased the number of adults achieving the broad platform of skills for entering and progressing into employment, but has necessarily resulted in an overall reduction in the number of LSC funded adult learners over this period.
A GCSE may not necessarily be the most appropriate learning outcome for many learners and colleges have been encouraged to advise learners to study the most relevant qualification to them. In 2007-08, learners on apprenticeship programmes (all ages) undertook over 156,000 Key Skills qualifications in Application of Number.
they have failed to provide their home address or name changes within six weeks (£50);
they have failed to comply with an Information Notice which has been served on them (£100);
the borrower has been liable to pay a penalty in respect of an Information Notice and has not paid by the specified date, an additional penalty may be charged (£100).
Rob Marris: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what research his Department has funded on (a) ethical, (b) environmental and (c) social issues relating to the (i) use and (ii) safety of (A) nanotechnology and (B) nanoproducts; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Lammy: The Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills' delivery partners, the Research Councils and the Technology Strategy Board, funded through the science and research, and innovation budgets respectively, support a portfolio of research and related activities on a wide range of aspects of nanotechnology. I have arranged for a document with details to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses. It is not possible to divide the research into the categories requested, but, where possible, an indication has been given as to whether the research is addressing environmental, social, use or safety issues. The Government placed a statement about nanotechnologies in the Libraries on 28 February 2008 (House of Lords Hansard, column WS86 refers).
The Government regard nanotechnologies as an important issue, and has established a ministerial group chaired by the Minister for Science and Innovation to support their development in a responsible way.
Adam Afriyie: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what progress has been made on the commitment in the Innovation Nation White Paper to extend the revised Small Business Research Initiative to all participating departments by April 2009. 
Mr. Lammy: As stated in Innovation Nation, the revised format for SBRI has been prototyped with pilot competitions by the Ministry of Defence and the Department of Health. Each Department ran two competitions in 2008, and each competition elicited a number of innovative responses from industry, demonstrating that the programme, in its revised form, has considerable potential to benefit departments as well as innovative companies. Experience from these pilots is being used to define the standard process, documentation, and support infrastructure needed for broader deployment, and to demonstrate the value of SBRI as a powerful innovation mechanism.
The Technology Strategy Board, which manages the SBRI programme, is engaging with Departments to identify and define further opportunities for the use of SBRI over the next three years. A £10 million competition with the Department for Communities and Local Government will be launched in March. The competition will encourage companies to demonstrate ways of improving the environmental sustainability of existing buildings. The Ministry of Defence, the Department of Health, and the Department for Transport also have advanced plans for SBRI competitions in 2009.
Mr. Lammy: The UKs strategy for science and society is being developed in partnership with a range of stakeholders, following an extensive consultation process in 2008, and we plan to publish in late spring 2009.
Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills which universities providing social work degrees have stated their intention to cease providing them; and when they did so. 
Mr. Lammy: Reading university has recently announced that it plans to cease providing social work degrees in order to strengthen other areas, from September 2011. However, Reading is only one of about 100 institutions providing social work courses for about 60,000 students nationally. We will be working across Government and in partnership with all those institutions which provide such courses to help them produce a social care workforce which is well trained for the extremely demanding jobs undertaken by social workers.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills if he will make it his policy to suspend student loan repayments for graduates earning less than £30,000 per annum. 
Mr. Lammy: There are no plans to suspend repayments for graduates earning less than £30,000. Repayment terms are already generous, and heavily subsidised by the taxpayer. Borrowers with income-contingent student loans repay at a rate of 9 per cent. of earnings above the repayment threshold of £15,000. This means that, for example, student loan borrower earning £18,000 a year would repay £5.19 per week.
Adam Afriyie: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the cost of establishing the Whitehall Innovation Hub was; and what funding his Department plans to allocate to it in (a) 2008-09 and (b) subsequent years. 
Mr. Lammy: DIUS has provided £300,000 during 2008-09 for the Sunningdale Institute to establish the Whitehall Innovation Hub. This funding has included launching and setting up the Hub in 2008, running costs and activities in the financial year 2008-09.
In these challenging economic times, the Government are aiming to help new graduates in a number of ways. Amongst other measures, we are working with key stakeholders in the private, public and charitable sectors to increase provision of graduate internships for 2009. We expect these internships to offer graduates the
opportunity to spend time with an employer, applying their learning in a working situation and building the work ready skills they will need for permanent employment. It is still early days, so we are not yet in a position to confirm the number of additional places involved.
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the housing management and maintenance allocations were in (a) real and (b) cash terms for each English region in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Iain Wright: I have placed tables in the Library of the House showing allocations for management and maintenance allowances shown in 2007-08 prices, and in cash terms, for each local authority in each English region in each year since 1997.
In general local authorities allowances increase year on year in line with inflation. Fluctuations in allowances between years reflect the response of the system to changes in underlying data arising, for example, from changes in stock numbers, crime data, and the index of deprivation.
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the allocations for major repair allowance were in (a) real and (b) cash terms for each (i) English region and (ii) London local authority in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Iain Wright: I have placed tables in the Library of the House showing allocations for major repairs allowances shown in 2007-08 prices, and in cash terms, for each local authority in each English region, and in each London local authority in each year since 1997.
In general local authorities allowances increase year on year in line with inflation. Fluctuations in allowances between years reflect the response of the system to changes in underlying data arising, for example, from changes in stock numbers, and building or other cost adjustments.
Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many people are on local authority housing waiting lists in (a) St Albans and (b) Hertfordshire; and what the equivalent figures were (i) five and (ii) 10 years ago. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Information is available on numbers of households rather than people. The number of households registered on local authority housing waiting lists in each local authority, as at 1 April each year, is published on the Communities and Local Government website in Table 600. The latest available data are at April 2008. The link for this table is as follows:
Local authorities in England report the numbers of households on their housing waiting list as at 1 April in their annual Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix returns. The number of households on local authorities' waiting lists in St. Albans and Hertfordshire is given in the following table.
|Number of households on the council house waiting list (excludes households looking for transfers)|
|April 1998||April 2003||April 2008|
Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA)
Further information on the number of households on the local authority housing waiting lists for England, can be found in the statistical release Local Authority Housing Statistics England: 2007-08: Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix (HSSA) and Business Plan Statistical Appendix (BPSA) This was published on 22 January 2009 on the Communities and Local Government website at:
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