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Queen's Counsel

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what account she is taking of the Office of Fair Trading recommendations on the appointment of Queen's Counsel in the current year's round; and if she will make a statement. [31642]

Ms Rosie Winterton: None. There were no OFT recommendations on the appointment of Queen's Counsel, which is beyond the scope of OFT powers. The report did raise questions for my noble and learned Friend the Lord Chancellor to consider, which he will do. The criteria for appointment of Queen's Counsel in the current year's round are set out in the Guide for Applicants, and

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in the Guide for Consultees. The current Guides have been available by post and on the Department's website since 28 August 2001.

Magistrates

Mr. Vaz: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many magistrates have been appointed since 7 June 2001; and how many are (a) women, (b) black and (c) Asian. [31865]

Mr. Wills: The figures are as follows:

988 magistrates have been appointed since 7 June 2001, of which




Juvenile Offenders

Mr. Blunt: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many 17-year-old defendants were dealt with by the courts in Northern Ireland in 1998. [31398]

Ms Rosie Winterton: In 1998, there were 1,008 17-year-old defendants dealt with by the courts in Northern Ireland.

Court Service

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department, when the Court Service issued a notice concerning its policy on the declaration of "God Save the Queen"; and if she will place a copy of the notice in the Library. [29950]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Northern Ireland Court Service is the ministerial responsibility of the Lord Chancellor. The declaration of "God Save the Queen" on entry to and exit from the courts by the judiciary in Northern Ireland has been discontinued for some years. Court Service staff were reminded that there should be no declaration of "God Save the Queen" when the Criminal Justice Review Implementation Plan was published. A formal notice to that effect dated 25 January 2002 has now been issued and a copy has been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

EDUCATION AND SKILLS

Individual Learning Accounts

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list the registered providers of individual learning accounts. [28852]

John Healey [holding answer 21 January 2002]: A list of registered learning providers has been placed in the House of Commons Library.

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills for what reason information concerning the availability of a disc containing personal details and identification numbers of individual learning account holders, given to Ministers on 21 November 2001, was not disclosed to hon. Members in the

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Westminster Hall debate on 11 December 2001; and for what reason this information was released to the Financial Times for publication on Wednesday 16 January. [29228]

John Healey: At the time of the debate on 11 December we believed it would adversely affect the conduct of the investigations to release this more detailed information. However, after a further five weeks we felt that it was possible to release this information without adversely affecting the investigations and the Minister did so in writing to the chair of the Select Committee in advance of the hearing on 16 January.

Tony Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when an alternative scheme to the individual learning accounts will be put in place. [30359]

John Healey [holding answer 25 January 2002]: We are determined to review thoroughly all aspects of the operation of the ILA scheme. During January and February we are conducting a consultation with providers, learners and other stakeholders to take their views. The results will be an important element in developing a successor scheme.

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will announce a successor to the individual learning accounts scheme; and if she will make a statement. [26478]

John Healey [holding answer 11 January 2002]: We are determined to review thoroughly all aspects of the operation of the ILA scheme. During January and February we are undertaking a survey to gather the views of a wide range of ILA learning providers, a sample of learning account holders and key stakeholders. The results will be an important element in developing a successor scheme.

Pre-school and After-school Provision

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) day nurseries, (b) playgroups, (c) child minders, (d) out of schools clubs and (e) holiday schemes have been provided in the constituency of Buckingham in each year since 1997. [27769]

Margaret Hodge: The information is not available in the form requested. The Department collects information on day nurseries and playgroups and pre-schools defined in terms of the full day or sessional care that they provide. It does not collect information on pre-schools separately from playgroups. The Department collects information in terms of local authorities and not constituencies.

As a result of the local government reorganisation of Buckinghamshire in April 1997, information for 1997 is not comparable with that for later years.

The available information for Buckinghamshire local authority is shown in the following table.

Numbers of day care providers(17) by type of provider: Buckinghamshire local authority area, 1998–2001

Position at 31 March each year 1998199920002001
Day nurseries209090
Playgroups and pre-schools70200200
Child minders1,3004501,1001,100
Out of school clubs202020
Holiday schemes10(18)8070


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Numbers of day care places(17) by type of provider: Buckinghamshire local authority area, 1998–2001

Position at 31 March each year1998199920002001
Day nurseries1,0502,4301,397
Playgroups and pre-schools4,9261,8201,3504,644
Child minders1,7926,8226,174
Out of school clubs546210417
Holiday schemes614(18)1,6304,156

(17) Figures have been rounded

(18) Includes those schemes exempt from registration

Source:

The local authority provided the data

Figures for March 2001 for England and Government Office regions were in Statistical Bulletin 08/01 "Children's Day Care Facilities as at 31 March 2001" which is available at www.dfes.gov.uk/statistics/ and from the Library.


Higher Education

Dr. Stoate: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of higher education entrants in 2000–01 and 2001–02 (a) from Dartford and Gravesham and (b) in England were from social classes III, IV and V. [28241]

Margaret Hodge: The available information on the social class of higher education students in the UK, covering only those who apply to full-time and sandwich undergraduate courses via the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) are given in the table; data on the family background of students on postgraduate or part-time courses are not held centrally. Comparable figures on the social class of HE students from each constituency are not held centrally.

The Government are committed to raising the participation rates for people from less affluent family backgrounds, and have introduced Excellence Challenge, including the AimHigher campaign, which is targeted at raising attainment and aspirations among young people who traditionally would not consider going to university.

UK domiciled accepted applicants to full-time and sandwich undergraduate courses in the UK

Year of entry
2000–01 2001–02
Social classNumberPercentageNumberPercentage
I Professional38,8001439,70014
II Intermediate117,70044120,80044
IIIN Skilled non-manual37,8001438,80014
IIIM Skilled manual44,4001748,40018
IV Partly skilled24,200923,1008
V Unskilled5,50025,6002
Total known268,400100276,500100
Unknown40,30049,000
Total308,700325,500

Source:

Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS)


Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of students from socio-economic classes IIIm, IV and V she estimates higher education institutions will accept by (a) 2005 and (b) 2010; whether each higher education institution will be expected to accept the same proportion; what deviation from a standard proportion will be accepted; and if she will make a statement. [31979]

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Margaret Hodge: We are committed to widening participation in higher education, and we are raising the attainment and aspirations of young people from these social classes through our work in schools and colleges and the Excellence Challenge. As we progress towards our target to increase participation to 50 per cent. of those aged 18–30 by the end of the decade, we expect the proportion from these social classes to increase. The Higher Education Funding Council for England will be setting targets to support this objective.

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what her definition is of higher education. [31373]

Margaret Hodge [holding answer 29 January 2002]: The Act of Parliament which defines courses of higher education is the Education Reform Act 1988. Schedule 6 of the Act describes courses of higher education as:









Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what criteria the Government use for determining which higher education courses qualify for meeting the university participation target of 50 per cent. of people under the age of 30 years. [31269]

Margaret Hodge [holding answer 29 January 2002]: The target relates to good quality HE experiences. We are therefore including all courses of one year or more, above A level and its equivalents, that lead to a qualification awarded by higher education institutions or widely recognised national awarding bodies (eg the Institute of Management).

We are also considering including a small number of professional qualifications of less than one year's duration, for example in nursing, law, business and management. We are currently seeking advice from the QCA as to whether the nature and content of these qualifications could appropriately be classified as being of a higher education standard.


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