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Mr. Wicks: Data from the Department's Student Income and Expenditure Survey show that about half of full-time higher education students had term-time jobs in 1995-96 and in 1998-99. Data for the intervening and more recent years are not available from the survey.
A Further Education Funding Council survey of students in further education colleges undertaken in the summer of 1998 found that 73 per cent. of young full-time students (aged 16 to 18) and 41 per cent. of older full-time students worked during term-time.
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on his Department's decision to exclude positions occupied by supply teachers on a 12-month contract from the definition of teacher vacancies for the purposes of form 618G. 
Ms Estelle Morris [holding answer 9 February 2001]: The definition is exactly the same as that used by the previous Administration. It allows sensible comparisons to be made over time--and gives an accurate picture of where schools have vacancies that are either unfilled or covered by short-term supply staff.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many of the additional 20,000 full-time equivalent classroom assistants which the Government have funded were recruited in 1999-2000; what his projection is for recruitment levels in 2000-01; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Estelle Morris: An additional 24,000 education support staff have been recruited in schools since 1997, 11,000 in the last year. Against the target of 20,000 full-time equivalent teaching assistants between 1999 and 2000, between January 1999 and January 2000 over 9,000 full-time equivalent teaching assistants had been recruited. Schools have the funding to recruit more assistants and figures for January 2001 will be available later this year.
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 8 February 2001]: The Department for Education and Employment funds both the Aiding Communication in Education (ACE) Centre (North) and the Aiding Communication in Education (ACE) Centre Advisory Trust through the British Education Communications and Technology Agency.
We are currently working with the ACE Centre (North) to support its transition to charitable status. We will continue to support the valuable work of these centres in providing services for children and young people who use communication aids.
Mr. Allan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what take-up there has been of the entitlement to paid educational leave for 16 to 17-year-olds since it was introduced; what the estimated cost has been to (a) state and (b) private employers; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Wicks: This information is not collected centrally. The right to time off for study or training is employment legislation which protects and encourages 16 and 17-year-old employees who have not already achieved level 2 qualifications as defined by the regulations. At the end of 1999, there were an estimated 100,000 16 and 17-year-olds in England in employment but not qualified to level 2, and not working towards a level 2 qualification.
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Evidence from our initial evaluation (DfEE Research Report RR221 "Time Off for Study or Training: Preliminary Evaluation of the Implementation of the Employment Right") suggests that the right has stimulated activity to promote training to young people, and has had a positive effect on recruitment into modern apprenticeships, but this remains difficult to quantify.
Mr. Wicks: The Quality Assurance Agency assesses the quality of teaching in higher education institutions; and the research assessment exercises of the Higher Education Funding Council for England look at both the volume and quality of research. However, there is no direct measure of the productivity of higher education teaching staff.
Dr. Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what information (a) he and (b) Ministers in his Department received on the contents of the Education and Employment Select Committee's report on access to higher education, and the proceedings of the Committee prior to the publication of the report. 
Mr. Wicks [holding answer 12 February 2001]: In accordance with usual practice, Departments had access to the report from 11.00 am on 6 February 2001, under embargo until 00.01 on 8 February, when it was published. We received no prior information on the contents of the report.
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what the proposed levels are of (a) core funding for education business consortiums in 2001-02, (b) funding for work experience and (c) funding for teacher placements; and what the level of funding of education business partnerships through TECs was in 2000-01. 
Mr. Wicks: Core funding of £23 million has been allocated for education business link (EBL) activity in 2001-02. The funding will go via the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), which will contract with consortiums in each of the local LSC areas for delivery of education business links. Of this £23 million, £9.8 million is for work experience placements for Key Stage 4 pupils; and £1.8 million is for professional development placements for teachers. In addition, the LSC will be able to make allocations from its discretionary local initiatives fund (£90.3 million in total) to support EBL activity.
It is estimated that in 2000-01 training and enterprise councils (TECs) provided discretionary support of £17 million in total to EBL organisations. In addition, DfEE provided core funding through TECs for Key Stage 4 work experience (£9.8 million) and teachers' professional development placements (£1.8 million).
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Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how he plans to encourage and develop a sectoral response to issues in further education raised by the Further Education National Training Organisation's recent Skills Foresight report. 
We have already announced extra funding of £50 million in 2001-02 and £100 million in 2002-03 for further education teachers' pay. Proposals for using the money are expected to include improved pay and career structures for high calibre teaching staff. We have also announced our plans to require all new entrants to the FE teaching profession to gain an appropriate qualification, to boost continuing professional development for all staff, and to support increased training for prospective and serving college principals. This will be supported by up to £80 million from the FE standards fund for 2001-02.
Mr. Derek Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many students in further education colleges in (a) Halton, (b) Cheshire and (c) England and Wales failed to complete their courses in (i) 1997-98, (ii) 1998-99 and (iii) 1999-2000. 
|Withdrawn students(4)||Total students||Withdrawn students||Total students|
(4) Those students who do not continue to attend at the end of the qualification or the end of the teaching year (31 July), whichever is sooner (includes all programmes of at least 12 weeks in length).
(5) Halton District includes Widnes Sixth Form College and Halton College.
(6) Cheshire includes West Cheshire College, Warrington Collegiate Institute, Macclesfield College, Mid Cheshire College of FE, Priestley College, Reaseheath College, Sir John Deane's College, South Cheshire College.
Individualised student record (ISR) 31 December 1998 (1997-98, ISR13); 31 December 1999 (1998-99, ISR16).
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