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To ask Her Majesty's Government why the administration of the disabled students' allowance was transferred from local authorities to the Student
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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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Student Loans Company has met its corporate objective 3 "to provide a high quality service" in respect of the administration of the disabled students' allowance. [HL469]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Student Loans Company has met its corporate objective 5 to deliver services "to budget, time and agreed quality standards" in respect of the administration of the disabled students' allowance. [HL470]
(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.
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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To ask Her Majesty's Government how many candidates the Prime Minister's ecclesiastical adviser considered for the appointment of Bishop of Peterborough before two names were presented to the Prime Minister. [HL522]
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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people are employed by each institution of higher education overseen by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills for the purposes of countering extremism, violent extremism and terrorism. [HL642]
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.
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.
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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what forecast they have made of the number of 16 and 17 year-olds who are not in education, employment or training who are expected to take up the offer of a guaranteed place in learning when the new scheme commences in 2010. [HL435]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what incentives they will make available to 16 and 17 year-olds not in education, employment, or training to encourage them to take up the offer of a guaranteed place in learning when the new scheme starts in 2010. [HL436]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the guaranteed place in learning offered to 16 and 17 year-olds who are not in education, employment, or training which starts in 2010 will be available throughout the United Kingdom. [HL437]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the planned cost of the new scheme to guarantee places in learning for 16 and 17 year-olds not in education, employment, or training starting in 2010; and for how many years the scheme will be maintained. [HL438]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consultations they undertook before announcing the new scheme starting in 2010 to offer a guaranteed place in learning to 16 and 17 year-olds not in education, employment or training. [HL440]
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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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.
To ask Her Majesty's Government for each local authority for which they have data, (a) how many home-educated children are considered not to be receiving a suitable education, (b) what is the total number of home-educated children, and (c) how many of the home-educated children considered not to be receiving a suitable education (1) are from traveller families, (2) are children who first became home-educated in years 10 or 11 with a previous history of irregular attendance, (3) are children whose parents have not provided the local authority with the data
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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.
|Local Authority||Total Elective Home Educated (EHE) population|
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