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Connexions Service

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people appointed as advisers and in other capacities under the Connexions scheme, are qualified teachers; and of these how many were teaching immediately before their appointment to Connexions. [5822]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: I will write to the hon. Member and place a copy of my letter in the Library.

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on developments in the Connexions Service. [5676]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The first 12 Partnerships began delivering the Connexions Service on 1 April 2001. A further four Partnerships will start in September 2001, with the remaining 31 Partnerships starting during 2002–03, subject to the production of satisfactory business plans that demonstrate their readiness to deliver the Service effectively.

It is very early days, but information from the first 12 Partnerships is encouraging. For example, reports from Partnerships at the end of May 2001 show that there are almost 1,000 full-time equivalent Personal Advisers in

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post; almost 150,000 young people have been assisted; and over 40 Connexions 'one-stop' shops have been opened.

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will set out the salary levels for personal advisers/mentors under the Connexions Scheme. [5824]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Personal Advisers will be drawn from a range of professional backgrounds, including the Careers Service and Youth Service, as well as those who are newly recruited by Connexions Partnerships. Personal Advisers from Careers and Youth Services will be employed under existing terms and conditions. Salary rates for new Personal Advisers are being determined by local Partnerships, taking account of their local labour market situation.

Education Maintenance Allowance Scheme

Mr. Denis Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the time scale is for the review of the Education Maintenance Allowance scheme; and if she will amend the financial assessment process to ensure that it is based on a household's actual income. [6300]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) pilots are being evaluated extensively over a three-year period and the final report is not likely to be available before early 2003. The first interim reports were published in summer this year and the next is due early in 2002. We are looking at emerging evidence from this evaluation and practical experience from the pilots to inform our thinking about future development of EMAs.

The evaluation will include an assessment of the impact of eligibility criteria, including the income assessment rules. This, and the views of stakeholders, will be carefully considered if designing a model for a national rollout of EMAs.

Further Education

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what studies she has conducted into the implications of phasing out GNVQ Foundation on intermediate qualifications in favour of vocational GCSEs for participation in education post-16, with particular reference to young people with a predominantly vocational aptitude. [5677]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Ministers considered very carefully the advice from the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority on the introduction of vocational GCSEs. The advice was informed by an extensive public consultation exercise. It was agreed to delay the withdrawal of the Foundation and Intermediate GNVQs for two years, to secure learning opportunities particularly for post-16 students, while other work goes ahead on the development of coherence and breadth in publicly funded programmes of vocational study.

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what studies he has conducted into the comparative burden of administration and regulatory compliance by (a) further and (b) higher education; and what action he is taking to alleviate these burdens. [5680]

Margaret Hodge: The Department has conducted no studies of this kind; neither has the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) nor its predecessor the Further Education

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Funding Council. The creation of the LSC has reduced the number of public bodies further education colleges need apply to for funding and the number of audits they need to undergo. The LSC has already reduced the audit burden in further education by appointing the auditors of student numbers and by developing a common audit approach for all colleges. The LSC is also reviewing the funding processes for further education colleges and is working with other public sector funding bodies to reduce further the audit burdens on the sector.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) commissioned, last year, a review from PA Consulting on the accountability burden in the HE sector. The review, published in August 2000, identified four areas of burden—assessments carried out by the Quality Assurance Agency in HE Institutions (HEIs), the bidding process for HEIs, the Research Assessment Exercise and the provision of information. A HE forum, chaired by the HEFCE and composed of the major HE stakeholders, has undertaken five projects to look at these issues.

The HEFCE have already taken the following actions:


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Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what studies she has conducted into fringe imports between (a) areas piloting educational maintenance allowances and (b) those outside into providers of post-16 education. [5683]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: In the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) pilot, eligibility for an EMA is determined on the basis of where a student lives, rather than according to the school or college attended. Students who live in an area where EMA is available qualify for an award whichever school or college they attend—even if it is in a different LEA area. There is a very extensive evaluation under way looking at all aspects of EMA. It has not identified fringe imports as a significant feature.

Diana Organ: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) full-time and (b) part- time students there were in the further education sector in (i) 1993, (ii) 1997, (iii) 2000 and (iv) 2001. [2407]

John Healey: Full and part-time student numbers in the FE sector from 1994–95 to 1999–2000 were as follows:

Student numbers in further education sector colleges in England from 1994–95 to 1999–2000 by mode of attendance

Thousand
Mode of attendance1994–951995–961996–971997–981998–99(91)1999–2000(92)
Full-time750.6777.9799.3746.3738.1745.5
Part-time2,282.92,741.43,130.13,149.33,044.82,975.5
Total3,033.63,519.33,929.53,895.63,782.93,720.9

Notes:

(91) 1998–99 figures are affected by three mergers between FE colleges and higher education institutions.

(92) 1999–2000 figures are affected by the merger of one college with a higher education institution.


The table counts all students who attended FE sector colleges at some time in the year in question. It does not therefore include funded students in external institutions, specialist designated institutions and higher education institutions. Data are not available on a consistent basis for the year 1993–94, when a count was made on a given date. Data for 2000–01 are not yet available on a consistent basis either.

Diana Organ: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what the average level of funding was per full-time equivalent student in the further education sector in England in (a) 2001, (b) 2000, (c) 1997 and (d) 1993; [2402]

John Healey: Funding per full-time equivalent student in the further education sector for Gloucestershire could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Funding to individual colleges is not allocated on a uniform full-time equivalent basis but through a formula taking detailed account of the types of courses and students involved.

The unit of funding for further education based on total funding for the sector is as follows:

YearUnit of funding (£)Real-terms index
1993–94(93)3,210110
1994–95(93)3,170107
1995–96(93)3,040100
1996–97(93)3,05097
1997–98(93)3,07095
1998–99(93)3,13094
1999–2000(94)3,400100
2000–01(95)3,42099

(93) Actual

(94) Provisional

(95) Plans

Note:

Unit of funding is rounded to nearest £10. Figures include assumed additional employer contributions and exclude FEFC administration and student support.

Source:

Further Education Funding Council's individualised student record and DfES estimates and projections.


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Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the unit of funding for full-time equivalent students in further education is in 2001–02; and what it was in the two previous years and is forecast to be in the next two years. [3188]

John Healey [holding answer 11 July 2001]: The unit of funding for the further education based on total funding for the sector is as follows:

£

Unit of funding
1999–2000(96)3,400
2000–01(97)3,420
2001–02(97)3,660
2002–03(97)3,760
2003–04(97)3,910

(96) Provisional

(97) Plans

Note:

Unit of funding is rounded to nearest £10. Figures include assumed additional employer contributions and exclude FEFC administration and student support.

Source:

Further Education Funding Council's individualised student record and DfES estimates and projections.


Mr. Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans she has to reduce the number of sources from which (a) further education colleges and (b) schools have to bid for funds. [4709]

John Healey: The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) took over responsibility for the funding of further education, work based learning for young people and adult and community learning. This has reduced the number of public bodies colleges need apply to for funding. The LSC is reviewing the funding processes for further education colleges and is working with other public sector funding bodies to reduce audit burdens. The reforms introduced from April 2001 to the Schools Standards Fund have done away with almost all forms of bidding for funds, so that nearly all recurrent funding is allocated to schools via transparent formulae.

Mr. Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what has been the percentage increase in the amount of funding per full-time equivalent student in the further education sector since (a) the incorporation of further education colleges and (b) 1997 in (i) England and (ii) Bedfordshire. [4710]

John Healey: Funding per full-time equivalent student in the further education sector for Bedfordshire is not collected centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Funding to individual colleges is not allocated on a uniform full-time equivalent basis but through a formula taking detailed account of the types of courses and students involved.

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The unit of funding for further education based on total funding for the sector is as follows:

Unit of funding (£)Real-terms index
1993–94(98)3,210110
1994–95(98)3,170107
1995–96(98)3,040100
1996–97(98)3,05097
1997–98(98)3,07095
1998–99(98)3,13094
1999–2000(99)3,400100
2000–01(100)3,42099

(98) Actual

(99) Provisional

(100) Plans

Note:

Unit of funding is rounded to nearest £10. Figures include assumed additional employer contributions and exclude FEFC administration and student support.

Source:

Further Education Funding Council's individualised student record and DfES estimates and projections.




Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans she has to encourage improvements in the pay and status of non-lecturer staff in the further education sector. [5686]

Margaret Hodge: I will write to the hon. Member and place a copy of my letter in the Library.

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many further education colleges to date have (a) cleared arrangements for incentive payments under the teaching pay initiative and (b) made such payments to their lecturers. [5685]

Margaret Hodge: I understand that 56 colleges had submitted 'Declarations of Intent' forms to their local Learning and Skills Councils by 18 July 2001. The Learning and Skills Council will make first payments to colleges by the end of July. Detailed arrangements for making payments to individual teachers will be implemented locally by each college.


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