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Tuition Fees

Mr. Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the total income was from student tuition fees in (a) 1996–97 and (b) each of the subsequent five financial years. [50981]

Margaret Hodge: The available information is shown in the following table. Data for 2001–02 will be available in April 2003.

Total income from student tuition fees(4): UK higher education institutions
£ million

Financial YearTuition Fee Income

(4) Covers tuition fee income from all students (home, EU and other overseas) on full-time and part-time undergraduate and postgraduate courses, and students on non-credit-bearing courses.

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Individual Learning Accounts

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of claims made by learning providers, following the closure of the Individual Learning Account scheme, have been paid; when the rest will be paid; and what factors underlie the delay in completing payments. [55981]

John Healey: At the end of April, 93 per cent. of claims made by registered learning providers following the closure of the Individual Learning Account programme on 23 November 2001 had been paid.

Payments are only withheld pending follow up and investigation where serious complaints from trainees have been received by the Department or where there are serious concerns about the provider's operation of the programme.

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether she has been notified of closures of small firms providing learning or training following the closure of the Individual Learning Account Scheme; and if she will make a statement. [55982]

John Healey: The Department has been notified of the closure of four small firms providing learning or training following the closure of the Individual Learning Account (ILA) programme. We have no information to suggest that these were directly related to the closure of the Individual Learning Account (ILA) programme.

Sick Leave

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many days of sick leave were taken in her Department last year; how many related to employees suffering (a) stress and (b) other mental health problems; and what the cost was to her Department. [56485]

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 14 May 2002]: An average of 7.7 days sick leave were taken by employees in the former Department for Education and Employment in 2000, the latest year for which this information is available. Information is not held for the other questions and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However, no compensation has been paid to employees specifically for work related stress.

My Department is committed to meeting targets for reducing the number of working days lost due to sickness absence generally and due to work related injuries and illness arising from the Government's revitalising health and safety initiative.

Committee Mandates

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the mandate of the Socrates Committee (and Erasmus and Comenius Subcommittees) is; how many times it has met over the last 12 months; what the UK representation on it is; what the annual cost of its work is to public funds; if she will list the items currently under its consideration; if she will take steps to increase its accountability and transparency to Parliament; and if she will make a statement. [56717]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The purpose of the Socrates Committee is set out in the Council Decision 253/2000/EC of 24 January 2000, which established the

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second phase of the Socrates programme. The Socrates Committee has met formally three times over the last 12 months, with an additional informal meeting in May 2002. The sub-committees for schools and higher education have met twice each. Two officials from the UK attend the Socrates Committee meetings, and one official usually attends the sub-committee meetings. Travel expenses were met from Commission resources. The subsistence and travelling costs incurred by this Department was about £8,485.00, for the committee and sub-committee meetings over the past twelve months, of which about £4,860 was reimbursed by the Commission.

The next Socrates Committee meeting will consider approval of the selection of projects for 2002–03, a discussion of the programme budget, the monitoring and evaluation of the programme, and EC and general educational initiatives impacting on the programme. The Schools sub-committee will consider the allocation of funds to the Comenius action for schools. The next meeting of the higher education sub-committee is expected to be in the autumn. An agenda will not be available until nearer the time, but it is likely to cover various aspects of Erasmus, the higher education part of the Socrates programme, and EC and general initiatives impacting on higher education.

Together with member states, the Commission is currently conducting a review to bring existing legislation on the conduct of comitology committees into line with Council Decision 1999/468/EC, to "simplify the requirements for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission". As an obligation to this Decision, the Commission undertook to publish an annual report on the working of committees. The first report was deposited in the Libraries of both Houses on 26 February 2002 (Com (2001) 783 Final). As part of the review process, the UK Government have encouraged the Commission to produce and maintain an electronic database of every comitology committee, its agendas and recent actions, to be accessible through its website.

Applied Science and Technology

Mr. Chidgey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the percentage increase in funding per year per student studying applied science and technology subjects was, using 1997 as a base of 100, in each year since 1997, awarded to (a) further education colleges, (b) sixth form colleges and (c) schools with a sixth form in each year since 1997. [56168]

John Healey [holding answer 15 May 2002]: The specific information requested is not available. The table shows the overall unit of funding each year in general further education colleges and sixth form colleges as a percentage of the 1997–98 overall funding rate for general further education colleges. The year on year changes are the same for all subject areas. Information on a similar basis is not available for schools.

General further education colleges Sixth form colleges

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Law Enforcement Agencies

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what law enforcement agencies and prosecuting authorities designated with legislation there are within the responsibility of her Department; and what complaints procedure is available for each. [57127]

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 16 May 2002]: None.

Juvenile Sex Abusers

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what measures her Department takes to address the needs of children and young people who sexually abuse; and if she will make a statement. [57195]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Dealing with children and young people who sexually abuse requires contributions from different agencies—covering youth justice, child welfare, education and health, including child and adolescent mental health services. The response to these children and young people should take place within the framework of guidance set out in "Working Together to Safeguard Children", issued in December 1999 by the Department of Health, the Home Office and the Department for Education and Employment.

The Department for Education and Skills has made available to schools on request a guidance pack entitled "Bullying: don't suffer in silence" which is intended to help Headteachers in fulfilling their duty to draw up measures to prevent all forms of bullying among pupils. The pack refers to bullying which is sexual in nature and it sets out some suggested strategies to deal with such behaviour. It also mentions that a proven sexual assault is likely to lead to the exclusion from the school of the perpetrator. However, we recognise that excluded pupils often need further help in managing their behaviour from personnel such as Education Welfare Officers or Educational Psychologists.

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what mechanisms are in place for information- sharing between social services and schools regarding children and young people who sexually abuse. [58039]

Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 22 May 2002]: The guidance "Working Together to Safeguard Children", issued jointly by the Home Office, the Department for Education and Skills and the Department of Health in December 1999, sets out the role of statutory agencies in responding to young abusers.

In addition to collaborative working at the individual case level, there is also ongoing contact between schools, social services and criminal justice agencies at the strategic level, through local Area Child Protection Committees.

All schools should be aware of local child protection policies, (as required by DfEE Circular 10–95) and should designate a member of staff to be responsible for child protection issues—including children who sexually abuse other young people. In cases of suspected abuse, the designated staff member should inform social services.

To ensure that all information sharing arrangements between schools and social services complies with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998, the Circular includes a checklist provided by the then Data Protection Registrar (now the Information Commissioner).

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