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Disabled People: Student Allowance

Question

Asked by Lord Addington

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Lord Young of Norwood Green): In 2005, a review of student finance delivery arrangements in England was carried out which took on board views from a wide range of stakeholders and customers. This was followed by independent appraisal and consultation with key stakeholders on the review recommendations. A key finding of the review was that, while some bad authorities were performing well, the level of service was variable. It was concluded that a step change could only be achieved by making a single organisation responsible for both the assessment and payment of HE students' grants and loans coupled with other process and technological improvements. That decision was announced in a Written Ministerial Statement on 3 July 2006.

The Student Loans Company (SLC) consulted a Targeted Support Stakeholder Panel about the design of processes for students with disabilities on 24 June 2008, 23 October 2008 and 8 June 2009, to scrutinise the SLC's plans, proposals and offer guidance and advice. Discussions at these meetings included an overview of the new student finance service and a summary of planned changes for 2009-10 academic cycle in addition to workshops focusing on key support requirements of targeted support applicants.

Asked by Lord Addington

(Lord Young of Norwood Green: The corporate objectives referred to relate to performance measures set for the financial year 2008-09. Performance outturn is recorded in the Student Loans Company's (SLC) 2008-09 annual report, a copy of which is in the Libraries of both Houses and on SLC's website. Performance relating specifically to the administration of applications for disabled students' allowances cannot be separately identified.

Dublin: British Embassy

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is pursuing a range of efficiency programmes in order to make our network

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of overseas representation more cost effective and efficient. By the end of the current three-year comprehensive spending round period the Europe network of posts, including the British embassy in Dublin, will have made efficiency savings of over £12.5 million.

Ecclesiastical Appointments

Question

Asked by Lord Mawhinney

Baroness Crawley: Under the new procedures adopted in 2008, the Crown Nominations Commission submitted one name to the Prime Minister with a second name should there be any reason why the first candidate is unable to take up the appointment. The number of names considered by the Crown Nominations Commission is a matter for the Commission itself.

Education: Extremist Groups

Question

Asked by Baroness Neville-Jones

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Lord Young of Norwood Green): Universities are autonomous institutions and make their own decisions about the allocation of resources, therefore, this information is not held centrally by the department.

Asked by Baroness Neville-Jones

Lord Young of Norwood Green: The assessment is that there is a risk of extremist and violent extremist activity on some university campuses. Where it occurs the issue is serious and measures are in place to help universities manage this risk. The issue is not widespread.

For operational security reasons, we cannot release any further detailed information on the level of threat by institution.

Asked by Baroness Neville-Jones



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Lord Young of Norwood Green: For operational and security reasons, we cannot release information on individual campuses.

Asked by Baroness Neville-Jones

Lord Young of Norwood Green: Each higher education institution in England has a named police point of contact with whom the university management will discuss issues or concerns arising from any extremist groups on campus. This information is recorded locally by police forces.

Education: Guaranteed Places

Question

Asked by Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): We are determined to ensure that every young person who is not in education, employment or training (NEET) is given an opportunity to engage in learning so that they can develop the skills they will need for the upturn. We will be publishing shortly our strategy to increase the proportion of 16 to 24 year-olds in education, employment or training. Investing in

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Potential
sets out the decisive action we have already taken to strengthen existing provision and new support to help young people engage in learning and work.

The January Guarantee is one element of this, and will ensure that all 16 and 17 year-olds who are NEET in January 2010 have the offer of an Entry to Employment place. The Department for Children, Schools and Families will lead this initiative for young people in England. Education and training matters in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have been devolved to the relevant administrations.

The September Guarantee, of an offer of a suitable place in education or training, was implemented for 16 year-old school leavers in 2007 and extended to 17 year-olds in 2008. This has helped to support record levels of participation by both age groups. But, young people may become NEET throughout the year, with January a month when seasonal employment and short courses come to an end, and when young people realise that their initial choice was not right for them. Ongoing consultation with local authorities, Connexions providers and the Learning and Skills Council has highlighted the difficulty that young people can have in re-engaging in learning at this time and the department has already asked the Learning and Skills Council to make more courses available for young people becoming NEET in January.

That is why we are extending the September Guarantee approach to 16 and 17 year-olds who are NEET in January to allow these young people to re-engage quickly in positive and productive learning, remaining motivated and engaged and reducing the risk of long-term disengagement.

Information provided by Connexions shows that there were around 60,000 16 and 17 year-olds NEET in January 2009. Many of these young people will already have a job or a place in learning to start in January, but we have estimated that the guarantee will draw an additional 10,000 16 and 17 year-olds into learning. Young people who are otherwise eligible will be offered education maintenance allowance to incentivise participation.

A funding package of £40 million is being made available to provide the additional 10,000 places, support for young people from Connexions Services, and education maintenance allowance. We will continue to monitor the economic and employment situation to ensure that we respond constructively to the needs of young people in the current economic climate.

Education: Home Schooling

Question

Asked by Lord Lucas

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): I attach a table showing the number of electively home-educated children in each local authority that responded to the questionnaire on home education distributed in September. The department's policy is not to release any information that might lead to individual children being identified where data released could be combined with other data. As 69 local authorities identified a total of 609 home-educated children that they assessed as receiving education but not full-time or suitable education, we are not able to release a breakdown of this data by local authority, as the numbers for each individual authority would be very small and individual children might be identified.

We did not collect information on the ethnic or cultural background of home-educated children receiving no education, nor their age, so we are unable to provide information on the number from a traveller background, or the number that are in years 10 or 11. In respect of the children in his categories 3 and 4, local authorities were asked separately for information about children where there was a lack of cooperation with monitoring.

The document published at http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/everychildmatters/publications/documents/laeelective homeeducation/) includes the questionnaire that was sent to local authorities which set out the different categories of information that were sought.



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Local AuthorityTotal Elective Home Educated (EHE) population

Bath and North East Somerset

50

Bedfordshire

70

Bolton

81

Bradford

132

Brighton and Hove

157

Buckinghamshire

185

Calderdale

38

Cambridgeshire

200

Cheshire East

127

City of London

*

Cornwall

311

Coventry

60

Cumbria

261

Darlington

97

Derby

79

Devon

674

Dorset

157

Dudley

156

Durham

110

East Riding of Yorkshire

139

Essex

733

Gateshead

29

Gloucestershire

224

Greenwich

96

Halton

28

Hampshire

372

Isle of Wight

141

Isles of Scilly

0

Kent

673

Kingston upon Hull

84

Kingston upon Thames

44

Kirklees

67

Lancashire

465

Leeds

140

Lewisham

123

Lincolnshire

411

Liverpool

57

Manchester

91

Medway

195

Milton Keynes

96

Newcastle upon Tyne

52

Norfolk

375

North East Lincolnshire

49

North Somerset

121

Northamptonshire

183

Northumberland

46

Nottingham City

96

Nottinghamshire

238

Oxfordshire

329

Plymouth

135

Reading

50

Redbridge

55

Redcar and Cleveland

27

Rotherham

70

Sefton

58

Somerset

249

South Gloucestershire

108

Southampton

82

St Helens

33

Staffordshire

244

Stockton on Tees

31

Sunderland

66

Surrey

695

Torbay

91

Trafford

35

Wandsworth

47

Warrington

39

Warwickshire

123

West Sussex

407

Wigan

72

Wiltshire

148

Windsor and Maidenhead

*

Wirral

35

Wolverhampton

141

Total

11,6**

Asked by Lord Lucas


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