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Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the progress her Department has made in appointing basic skills specialists to local learning and skills councils. 
Margaret Hodge [holding answer 28 February 2002]: The Learning and Skills Act 2000 does not specify the detailed composition of either the national or the local councils. This was set out in "The Learning and Skills Council Prospectus" and included an expectation that LSC members would have experience of a wide range of issues.
The Secretary of State's grant letter to the LSC for 200203 set out the key priorities for the LSC in 200203, including taking responsibility for tackling the woeful legacy of poor basic skills. It asked the LSC to implement a strategy for raising the literacy and numeracy skills of 750,000 young people and adults by 2004.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) whether the group she identifies as young people at risk of becoming lost to the system includes children educated otherwise than at school; and whether she expects Pupil Level Annual Schools Census and the Connexions Service to capture all young people; 
Mr. Timms [holding answer 11 March 2002]: We do not consider all young people educated otherwise than at school to be at risk of dropping out of learning, although some may be vulnerablefor example those who have been excluded from school and are receiving home tuition.
The Learning and Skills Act 2000 enables LEAs to supply information to Connexions partnerships. Currently LEAs are the channel of communication between Connexions partnerships and those in home education. Information other than contact information is processed with the informed consent of the young person or parent where appropriate.
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The Pupil Level Annual Schools Census currently covers pupils in maintained primary, secondary and special schools and city technology colleges only. It does not therefore cover all young people, and not children educated otherwise than at school.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether (a) maintained and (b) independent schools are required to collect information for the Pupil Level Annual Schools Census; and if she will list the information required. 
Mr. Timms [holding answer 11 March 2002]: The Pupil Level Annual Schools Census (PLASC) became a statutory requirement for all maintained primary, secondary and special schools and city technology colleges from January 2002. Maintained and direct grant nursery schools, non-maintained special schools, general hospital schools, Pupil Referral Units and independent schools are required to submit a School Level Annual Schools Census (SLASC) return containing pupil information in the form of school totals only.
Date of birth
Date of entry to this school
National curriculum year group
Nursery class/other class indicator
Free school meals eligibility
Special educational needs (i.e. stage on SEN Code of Practice scale)
Courses of study (for post-16 pupils only).
Date of birth
Date of exclusion
Stage on SEN Code of Practice scale (at the time of exclusion).
Mr. Timms [holding answer 11 March 2002]: The schools scheduled to pilot the Pupil Level Annual School Census (PLASC) under SI 1999 No. 989 were listed in schedule 1 to those regulations. A list of those schools has been placed in the Library.
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Mr. Timms: Access to Pupil Level Annual Schools Census (PLASC) data including pupil names and unique pupil numbers (UPNs) is strictly limited to those technical staff for whom access is necessary in order to collate PLASC with data from other sources, as set out in my answer to the hon. Member on 5 March 2002, Official Report, column 237W.
Stringent safeguards are in place to prevent unauthorised access to pupil names or UPNs, which, once data collation is complete, will be held securely and separately from the data themselves. These safeguards will be kept continually under review in the light of guidance from the Information Commissioner.
Information about pupils remains of statistical value after they have left schoolfor example to analyse young people's progression from school into further education and training, higher education and the labour market. Pupil names will need to be retained in order to render such analyses possible. The Department will be using information on past pupils for statistical and research purposes only, and any disclosures will be for those purposes only. On this basis section 33 of the Data Protection Act allows personal data to be retained indefinitely.
Margaret Hodge: The purposes of higher education are: to provide high quality teaching to a widening body of students; to undertake research and scholarship which competes with the best in the world; to transfer knowledge and understanding to the economy and the wider community for the benefit of all; and to sustain a culture which underpins our democracy and encourages critical thinking.
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fathers are coal miners or former coal miners in the last 10 years; and what the average proportion is for the general population. 
Margaret Hodge: The available information, showing participation by young people in higher education for each of the standard social class categories, is shown in the following table. Participation rates for individual occupations within these categories are not held centrally.
The Government are committed to raising the participation rates for people from less affluent family backgrounds, and has introduced Excellence Challenge, including the Aim Higher campaign, which is targeted at raising attainment and aspirations among young people who traditionally would not consider going to university.
|Social class||Percentage entering HE|
|IIIN Skilled non manual||33|
|IIIM Skilled manual||19|
|IV Partly skilled||19|
|All social classes||33|
(12) The API is defined as the number of GB domiciled initial entrants to full-time and sandwich undergraduate HE aged under 21, expressed as a percentage of the average number of 18 and 19-year-olds in the population.
Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what planned expenditure on higher education was in 1997 for the subsequent five financial years; and what the total outturn spending on higher education was in each of those years, including proceeds of tuition fees. 
Margaret Hodge [holding answer 8 March 2002]: Publicly planned expenditure for higher education in England is set out in the annual grant letter issued to the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
|Publicly planned expenditure(13)||Outturn|
(13) Figures reflect grant letter announcements and include public and student contributions to tuition fees, ear-marked capital, allocations for access and widening participation paid via institutions, HE expenditure for the British Academy and directly funded DfES small programmes. They exclude funds paid to students for their maintenance support.
(15) Figures not yet available.
Mr. Rendel: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will state the proportion of those aged 18 to 30 participating in higher education (a) as calculated using the initial entry rate and (b) broken down to show the age participation rate for each year group. 
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Margaret Hodge: The initial entry rate (IER) for English domiciled 18 to 30-year-olds was 40 per cent. for 19992000, the latest year for which final student data are available. This is estimated to rise to 41.5 per cent. for 200102.
|Age(16)||Initial entry rate(17) Per cent.|
(16) Age as at 31 August 1999.
(17) HE entrants in 19992000 as a percentage of separate age population; excludes entrants with previous HE experience and excludes courses of less than one year duration. Note that the individual rates are shown rounded to the nearest 0.5 per cent. and so do not add up to exactly 40 per cent. in the table.
(18) Includes a small number of entrants aged 17.
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