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Private Finance Initiative

Mr. Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what PFI school building schemes have been approved by her Department; and, in each case, what (a) the date of approval, (b) the names of the schools covered by the scheme, (c) the actual or planned opening date of each school, (d) the capital cost of each school and (e) the capital cost per pupil place in each school were. [55070]

John Healey: 47 projects have now reached financial and/or commercial close, and a further 24 projects are in procurement, having been approved by the Treasury- chaired Project Review Group (PRG). Details of these projects can be found on the Department's website at www.teachernet.gov.uk/schoolsprivatefinanceinitiative. In addition there are a further 30 schemes which are currently preparing Outline Business Cases for consideration by PRG.

It would incur disproportionate cost to provide the further information.

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Individual Learning Accounts

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when a replacement scheme for individual learning accounts will be launched. [55056]

John Healey: There will be a replacement ILA-type scheme building on the strengths of the ILA and taking in to account findings from the recently published stakeholder consultation and Select Committee reports. We will announce our plans in due course.

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if the new individual learning account scheme will allow individuals to top-up the Government's financial contribution to their education and training. [55055]

John Healey: We are currently considering a wide range of recommendations from a number of different sources for a new ILA- style scheme. The issue of the individual's own contribution to the costs of learning is among those being considered in the work under way to develop a successor programme.

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether it is her policy that small learning providers should continue to supply training under the new individual learning account scheme; and if she will make a statement. [55980]

John Healey: We are currently considering a wide range of recommendations for a new ILA-style scheme from a number of different sources, including the Education and Skills Select Committee report and the findings from our stakeholder consultation exercise. Among those consulted were small learning providers participating in the ILA scheme and the Federation of Small Businesses. We will announce our plans for a successor scheme, including delivery arrangements, in due course.

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if it is her policy that Capita should be the provider of the support infrastructure for the new individual learning account scheme. [55979]

John Healey: We are now moving closer to settling the design for a successor programme which will incorporate the lessons which we have learned following the closure of ILAs last November. We continue to work closely with Capita to wind down the current scheme and to ensure we learn the lessons for its successor scheme. We will announce our plans for a successor scheme, including delivery arrangements, in due course.

Criminal Offences

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many criminal offences have been (a) created and (b) abolished by her Department since 1997. [55436]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: A comprehensive list of new and abolished offences could only be provided at disproportionate cost. We can however provide the following information about the following education measures of the Department for Education and Employment enacted since January 1997 and before June

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2001. No criminal offences have been created or abolished by the Department for Education and Skills since June 2001.

The Education Act 1997 created the offence of obstructing the Chief Inspector of Schools for England in the performance of his duties and a similar offence in relation to the Chief Inspector for Wales.

The School Standards and Framework Act 1998 created two offences: obstructing a member of the Inspectorate or a registered nursery education inspector in the exercise of his duties and a similar offence in the Nursery Education and Grant-Maintained Schools Act 1996 which was repealed when the 1998 Act offence came into force.

The Learning and Skills Act 2000 created six offences, all concerned with the obstruction of persons carrying out school inspections in England or in Wales.

The SEN and Disability Act 2001 inserted section 28J into the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, creating an offence of failing to comply with a requirement to disclose documents.

Three offences not contained in education legislation but relating to teachers are section 3 of the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act 2000 (having sex with a person under 18 where in a position of trust) and section 35 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 (a person disqualified from working with children applying to work in a regulated position, including teaching, and knowingly to offer such a person such work).

The total number of offences created and listed above is 14.

Learning and Skills Council

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, pursuant to the oral answer to the hon. Member for Bolton, South-East (Dr. Iddon) of 25 April 2002, Official Report, column 448, on the Learning and Skills Council, what the cost is of bringing funding for the education of 16 to 19 years olds in further education colleges in line with that of school sixth forms. [55276]

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 9 May 2002]: Given the different ways in which schools and colleges are funded and the very much broader remit of colleges, comparisons on the funding of the education of 16 to 19 year olds are far from straight forward. My Department is currently considering the best basis for making sound comparisons. The Government remains firmly committed to bring up the level of funding of colleges towards that of school sixth forms. However, as we have repeatedly made clear, this will take time and must be done as resources allow.

Ministerial Accommodation

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what publicly owned accommodation is made available to her in her official role; how many nights she has been in residence at each of these properties in the last 12 months; and what the total cost was of maintaining each of these properties in the last 12 months. [55099]

14 May 2002 : Column 534W

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 9 May 2002]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Skills does not have publicly owned accommodation available in her official role.

Business Development Unit

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, pursuant to her answer of 2 May 2002, Official Report, column 906W, on the Business Development Unit, what proportion of the £7.3 million sponsorship was (a) in cash and (b) in kind; and if she will list examples of the latter. [55405]

Mr. Timms: The £7.3 million sponsorship referred to in my answer on 2 May is divided into £2.7 million cash, and £4.6 million in-kind support. Examples of in-kind support include the provision of free or subsidised computers; presentational equipment and other resources for teaching such as books and CD-ROMs; training for teachers; ICT support; and employer and employee time.

Education Maintenance Allowance

Ms Shipley: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans she has to introduce education maintenance allowances nationwide. [55703]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: We will be taking decisions on any future extension of the scheme on the basis of the rigorous evaluation currently being conducted.

Margaret Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many pupils in Luton have benefited from the educational maintenance allowance pilot scheme since its introduction. [55755]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The education maintenance allowance became available in Luton in September 2000. During the academic year 2000–01, 886 students benefited from EMAs. In the current academic year 1,588 students have received weekly payments so far. Some of these students receiving EMA in this academic year will now be benefiting from a second year of support.

Sector Skills Council (Tourism Industry)

Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what her policy is on the creation of a sector skills council to service the tourism industry. [56029]

John Healey: Five Trailblazer Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) were announced in December 2001. The expression of interest from the tourism and hospitality industry was not selected in this instance. However, non-selection as a trailblazer does not preclude a sector from submitting an expression of interest to form a SSC.

A business adviser has been working with the tourism and hospitality sector. A readiness assessment has been carried out to determine what further work needs to be done before proposals from the sector can be considered by the Sector Skills Development Agency. The sector will be advised of the outcome shortly.


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