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Press Officers

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many staff in her Department's press office have received (a) termination and (b) redundancy payments in each of the last four years. [41087]

Clare Short: No such payments have been made to press office staff in the last four years.


Student Finance

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate she has made of the percentage of graduates who will receive lifetime earnings of (a) less then 75 per cent., (b) 75 to 90 per cent., (c) 90 to 110 per cent., (d) 110 to 125 per cent., (e) 125 to 175 per cent. and (f) more than 175 per cent. of the average of those not participating in higher education. [32733]

Margaret Hodge [holding answer 1 February 2002]: We estimate lifetime earnings profiles for individuals "who have participated in an undergraduate higher education course" (whether they graduated or not) using statistical simulation models and current employment and earnings data. The table shows the estimated distribution of undergraduate participant lifetime earnings, relative to the average of those "who do not hold a higher education qualification". Lifetime earnings are based on earnings between the ages of 18 and 59 years.

Data limitations mean that the figures in the table provide only a broad estimate of the distribution of lifetime earnings, and weight cannot be placed on the precise percentages in each band. The two comparison groups are not mutually exclusive, and both potentially include individuals who may have participated in higher education but did not subsequently obtain a qualification.

Estimated percentage of UG HE participant lifetime earnings above and below the average for those who do not hold an HE qualification

Less than 75 per cent. of the non-HE average6
75 per cent. to less than 90 per cent.5
90 per cent. to less than 110 per cent.9
110 per cent. to less than 125 per cent.7
125 per cent. to less than 175 per cent.20
175 per cent. or more than the non-HE average53


1. The Department has previously used two statements to support HE, and in particular its AimHigher campaign: that on average, graduates earn around 35 per cent. more than the national average; and, on average, earn around £400,000 more over their working lives than the national average.

2. The figures presented in the table do not invalidate these statements. They are based on different comparison groups and cannot be compared.


Labour Force Survey, British Household Panel Survey, Student Income and Expenditure Survey 1998, Student Loan Company.

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Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what has been the student loan (a) repayment threshold and (b) interest rate in each year since 1996; and what each will be in academic year 2002–03. [40557]

Margaret Hodge: The information requested is shown in the table.

Academic yearsInterest rate(8) (Percentage)Mortgage style(9) loans deferment threshold (£)Income contingent loans repayment threshold (£)

(8) Interest is linked to inflation, so that the amount repaid will be worth, in real terms, what was borrowed.

(9) Mortgage style loans are not income contingent. They are paid back in a fixed number of monthly instalments. Most borrowers pay back 60 instalments over five years. If five or more loans are taken out they pay 84 instalments over seven years.

(10) To be set.

The interest rate and deferment threshold for mortgage style loans for the academic year 2002–03 are calculated at a later stage. The interest rate will be the retail prices index increase for the year to March 2002. The deferment threshold will be 85 per cent. of national average earnings for April 2002.

Children's Rights

Mr. Dawson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what the role of the Minister for Children will be in relation to (a) reporting to the UN Special Session on Children in May and (b) reporting to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in September; [35233]

Mr. Denham [holding answers 12 February and 4 March 2000): The UN Special Session on Children in May will be an important opportunity for Governments across the world to re-affirm their commitment to improving the life chances of children and to review progress towards meeting that commitment. I plan to attend, subject to any parliamentary or other Government commitments.

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Arrangements have not yet been finalised for the UN Committee's examination in September.

Nursery Places

Mr. Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many and what percentage of three-year-olds have been in nursery places in maintained schools in each year since 1997. [38800]

Margaret Hodge: The available information on three-year-old provision in maintained nursery and primary schools is shown in the table.

Number(11),(12) and percentage of three year olds in maintained nursery and primary schools, England, 1997 to 2001, position in January each year


(11) Headcount of children aged three at 31 December in the previous calendar year, rounded to the nearest 100.

(12) May include some two-year-olds.

(13) Number of three-year-olds expressed as a percentage of the three-year-old population.

The number of three-year-olds taking up places at private and voluntary providers increased from 268,800 or 44 per cent. of the population of three-year-olds in January 2000, to 285,100 or 47 per cent. in January 2001, an increase of 16,000.

The figures for three-years-olds in schools and private and voluntary providers were published in Statistical Bulletin 11–01 "Provision for children under five years of age in England—January 2001" which is available at and from the Library.

Press and Public Relations

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people were employed in a press or public relations function in her Department on 1 January in (a) 1997, (b) 1998, (c) 1999, (d) 2000, (e) 2001 and (f) 2002. [39937]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The following table shows the average staff numbers within DfEE/DfES press office and publicity division over the period in question:


YearPress office totalPublicity division total

(14) The staffing figure for 2001–02 excludes five members of staff transferred to the Department for Work and Pensions from both the press office and publicity division, as part of the Machinery of Government changes following the general election.

Decade for Human Rights Education

Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when she last reported to the UN

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High Commissioner for Human Rights on UK activities in the framework of the Decade for Human Rights Education. [40526]

Margaret Hodge: My officials contributed to a report compiled by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in July 2000. This specifically mentions the contribution citizenship education will make from September 2002 and, in particular, that pupils will be taught about human rights as part of the national curriculum.

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