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EDUCATION AND SKILLS

Student Drop-out Rates

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students have dropped out of university at the end of the first year for each university; and of those how many were subsequently re-admitted or started a new course at another university in each of the past three years. [36624]

Margaret Hodge [holding answer 25 February 2002]: The available information on the non-continuation of students beyond the first year in each university, and the proportion who resume after a year out, is contained in "Performance Indicators in Higher Education in the UK" published by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, a copy of which is available from the House Library.

Secondments

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list the names of staff who have been seconded to her Department from the private sector since May 1997, indicating (a) the names of the organisation from which each has come, (b) their responsibilities and civil service grades within her Department, (c) the organisation responsible for paying their salary and (d) the start and end dates of their secondment. [35839]

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 12 February 2002]: Since May 1997 23 staff have been seconded to this Department from the private sector. The following table sets out (a) the names of the relevant private sector organisations, (b) the secondees' responsibilities and their grades, (c) the organisation responsible for paying salary and (d) the start and end date of the secondment.

Inward secondees from private sector from May 1997 to date

Name of parent organisationResponsibilitiesGradeFunding arrangementsStart/end date
Ernst and Young School Leadership Division, Policy adviserConsultantDfES9/10/2000 to 31/3/2001
International Computers Ltd.UfI Transition Team, Assisted in establishment of UfI organisation as a public private partnershipG7Parent Organisation2/6/1998 to 30/11/1998
Aqumen Services Private Finance Division, Advising Department on public/private finance.AdviserDfES10/4/1998 to 1/11/1998
Ernst and YoungTeachers Pay and Pensions, Policy AdviserConsultantDfES1/1/2000 to 31/12/2000
Pannell, Kerr, Foster Private Finance Division, Finance AdviserG7DfES30/7/1997 to 31/3/1998
The Link Group Workplace Learning Division, Head of Learning ProjectsG6Parent Organisation2/4/2001 to 31/3/2002
XANSA New Deal Task Force, Co-ordination of Ambition IT ProjectG7Parent Organisation1/1/2001 to 30/9/2001
Ernst and Young National College for School Leadership, ConsultantConsultantParent Organisation15/5/2000 to 14/11/2000
Next Employment Agency Member of the Secretariat for the National Disability CouncilSEOParent Organisation1/9/1998 to 31/8/2000
Ernst and Young Transforming Secondary Education, Policy adviserConsultantDfES3/10/2000 to 22/12/2000
Enigma Productions Financial and Analytical Services, Financial adviserConsultantDfES13/3/2000 to 12/3/2001
National Westminster Bank Financial and Analytical Services, Adviser on CommunicationsG6Shared6/3/2000 to 5/3/2001
Ernst and YoungTransforming Secondary Education Delivery, Unit Policy AdviserConsultantDFES10/1/2000 to 22/12/2000
Nationwide Anglia Building SocietyPeople Skills Division, Assistant Director developing the Work-Life Balance Campaign.G7DfES5/9/2001 to 4/9/2002
Ernst and Young Teachers Pay and Pensions, Policy adviserConsultantDfES27/9/2000 to 31/1/2001
Glaxo Wellcome Schools Directorate, Adviser on best practice in ScienceAdviserEmploying Organisation3/11/1998 to 31/1/2000
National Westminster Bank Business ManagerAdviserShared funding13/3/2000 to 12/3/2001
Centre for British Teachers Schools Impact and Feedback Division, Policy AdviserG6DfES1/4/2001 to 31/3/2004
Price Waterhouse Cooper Surestart Unit, Providing financial and audit adviceG7DfES1/10/2000 to 30/9/2001
National Westminster Bank Performance and Innovation Unit, Project ManagerG7DfES6/3/2000 to 23/6/2000
Centre for School StandardsPupil Standards Division, Support on delivery and operational matters.EODfES14/1/2002 to 12/7/2002
International Communications Ltd.Lifelong Learning and Technologies Division, Assist with the operation of Learning Direct and the UfI launch 2000G6DfES1/2/2000 to 31/3/2001
Centre for Regional Economic and Social ResearchResearch for Analytical ServicesSRODfES6/1/1997 to 21/10/1997

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Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many staff in her Department have been seconded to jobs in the (a) private and (b) public sector in each of the last four years. [31768]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office on 7 February 2002, Official Report, columns 1129–30W.

Departmental Retirement Ages

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list the retirement ages that apply to the employees of her Department and its agencies, including how many and which categories of employees are affected by each; and if she will make a statement on her Department's policy on flexible retirement. [32832]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Within my Department, all staff outside the senior civil service can choose to retire between 60 up to a maximum retirement age of 65. This is subject to satisfying fitness and efficiency requirements. Staff in the senior civil service grades retire at age 60. Out of a total of 4,258 staff, 109 are in the senior civil service grades.

My Department's policy on flexible retirement is intended to improve opportunities and choice for people aged 50 to 65 in the Department and to support the Department's equality strategy.

Asylum Seekers

Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether her duty under section 10 of the Education Act 1996 extends to the promotion of education for asylum seekers in detention and reception centres. [37278]

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 28 February 2002]: No individual or class of persons is owed a specific duty under section 10 of the 1996 Act. The Secretary of State does not have a specific duty to promote education for asylum seekers in detention and reception centres. The duty is very wide and general and applies to "the people of England and Wales". However, one of the Secretary of

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State's roles when exercising this duty is to work with all bodies and institutions with education responsibilities and to assist them to provide effective education. The Department has been in contact with the Home Office and local education authorities and encouraged them to work together to provide facilities and services that are appropriate to meet the educational needs of the residents of these centres.

Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether education provided to asylum-seeking children in accommodation centres will deliver the national curriculum. [42408]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Under the current legislation the national curriculum applies to schools maintained by local education authorities. This Department is working closely with the Home Office on issues relating to the education of children of asylum seekers in accommodation centres. A final decision has yet to be made about the detail of the education provision that will be made available in accommodation centres.

Human Rights

Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list the activities undertaken by the UK in the framework of the Decade for Human Rights Education. [40527]

Margaret Hodge: There are a number of activities undertaken by the UK which promote human rights education relevant to the UN Decade for Human Rights. These include:


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