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Ian Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what his Department's budget for scientific advice and research is in 2008-09; for what purposes the equivalent budget for 2007-08 was used; and how many people employed in his Department have a science or engineering degree. 
Mr. Lammy: The Department does not have a single dedicated budget for scientific advice and research. A range of research and analysis is commissioned from external providers in support of different policy and delivery objectives and funded from relevant budgets, making a precise evaluation of the size of the total spend difficult. However, in 2007-08 the Department estimates up to £10 million was spent in these areas, and anticipates that the spend for 2008-09 will be of a similar size.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills pursuant to the Answer of 5 March 2009, Official Report, column 1734W, on departmental surveys, if he will place in the Library a copy of the results of the most recent staff survey undertaken by his Department. 
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many learner places were funded by the Offender Learning and Skills Service in (a) basic literacy, (b) basic numeracy and (c) other courses in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much funding the Offender Learning and Skills Service has provided for (a) basic literacy, (b) basic numeracy and (c) other courses for offenders in each year for which figures are available; and how much it expects to spend in each of the next three years. 
The Learning and Skills Council is working with National Offender Management Service's Directors of Offender Management in the regions to determine the learning provision to be jointly commissioned in the 2009-10 academic year.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much money was spent by the Offender Learning and Skills Service on training for offenders in each year for which figures are available, broken down by type of course funded. 
Mr. Simon: In the 2006-07 academic year, the first full year in which the Offender Learning and Skills Service operated across the whole of England, the Learning and Skills Council invested a total of £106.4 million which funded 240,045 enrolments. The investment by skills area can be broken down as in the following table:
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many learner places were funded by the Offender Learning and Skills Service in each year for which figures are available, broken down by category of learner. 
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills pursuant to the Answer of 12 January 2009, Official Report, columns 55-56W, on English language: education, which private providers received funding to deliver courses on English for speakers of other languages in 2008-09; on what basis those providers were chosen; how the courses were delivered; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Simon: The Learning and Skills Council provides funding for English for Speakers of Other languages (ESOL) courses to private providers as part of their overall allocation of funding for adult learning. Individualised Learner Record (ILR) data show that around 50 private providers received funding to deliver ESOL courses in 2008-09. It is not possible to list individual providers and these figures do not include Train to Gain as these data are not available at the present time.
Private providers funded by the LSC to deliver ESOL courses are selected by the same process as other providers. The process for choosing providers begins with the LSCs annual Statement of Priorities document which sets out the key policy and investment priorities for the further education sector. Each LSC region produces a Regional Commissioning Statement which sets out the
totality of provision to be secured in each region for the next academic year and which sets national priorities in a regional context. Private providers receiving LSC funding to deliver ESOL will be liable to meet the same quality criteria as FE colleges.
On the basis of the priorities and investment set out in these documents, the LSC then enters a commissioning process with its current provider base (which includes private providers) to secure provision for the next academic year.
In some regions, where there has been a strategic need to meet gaps in provision or to improve quality, ESOL provision has been tendered. The LSC commissions providers in light of their performance, the quality of their delivery, their capacity and capability, including their financial health. Allocations and contracts are then agreed with providers based on a planning assumption of the volumes the provider will deliver. Contracts are monitored regularly and robustly for all provision and increases or decreases applied to delivery volumes where appropriate.
ESOL courses are delivered using a variety of methods by accredited ESOL teachers. ESOL Skills for Life qualifications have been designed to meet the needs of the broad range of learners who want to live and work in this country and if, appropriate, intend to become citizens of the UK and are based on the National Standards for Adult Literacy. At levels 1 and 2, the ESOL Skills for Life assess reading through the same national tests as are used for Key Skills Communication qualifications and the level 1 and 2 Certificate in Adult Literacy.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills with reference to the written ministerial statement of 4 March 2009, Official Report, column 55WS, on capital investment (further education colleges), which 79 colleges have been given the first stage of approval in principle by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC); and which 65 colleges have submitted bids to the LSC for approval in principle. 
Mr. Simon: Capital funding for further education colleges is administrated by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). As the information requested pertains to decisions and records held by the Council, I have asked Mark Haysom, the LSC Chief Executive, to write to my hon. Friend with the further information requested. A copy of his letter will be placed in the House Libraries.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills which universities have been classified by the Higher Education Funding Council for England as at risk in each of the last 10 years, broken down by level of risk. 
The Higher Education Funding Council is under a legal duty to consider the financial health of those institutions it funds. The Council's board periodically receives papers on the small number of institutions which are considered to be 'at risk'. Following discussion with the Information Commissioner those papers are published after a suitable interval, to both protect the
financial integrity of that institution and ensure the public interest is maintained. This is set as a minimum period of three years. Data on those institutions at risk extracted from the board's papers are now publicly available and the tables have been placed in the House Libraries.
Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many and what proportion of young people from each local authority began an undergraduate course at a higher education institution in (a) 1997-98 and (b) 2007-08. 
It is not possible to calculate what proportion of young people from each local authority began an undergraduate course at a UK higher education institution in 2007-08. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) published Young participation in higher education in January 2005, which is available from the HEFCE website at:
At national level, the Higher Education Initial Participation Rate (HEIPR) covers English-domiciled 17 to 30-year-old first-time entrants to higher education courses, at UK higher education institutions and English, Scottish and Welsh further education colleges, who remain on their course for at least six months. The latest available figure is 39.8 per cent. in 2006-07. For young people (aged 17-20), the figure is 31.6 per cent.
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