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16 Oct 2002 : Column 873W—continued


Education Maintenance Allowance

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many educational maintenance allowances are available; and at what annual cost. [74631]

Margaret Hodge [holding answer 15 October 2002]: Education Maintenance Allowances are available to all those young people who are resident in a pilot area, who meet the relevant eligibility criteria for that particular pilot and who meet the conditions of their Learning

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Agreement. The actual amount the young person receives also depends on the particular variant being piloted in their area. Take-up of EMA varies from one LEA area to another depending on the variant being tested and on the level of marketing carried out by the LEA and other local partners. In the last academic year over 120,000 young people benefited from EMA across all pilot areas. This figure will increase again this year when the pilot scheme reaches steady state with two cohorts of young people in all 56 areas. The cost of the scheme, including evaluation and other related pilot activity, was slightly over #99 million for the last financial year.

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she has completed evaluation of the pilot education maintenance allowances. [74630]

Margaret Hodge [holding answer 15 October 2002]: The evaluation of the EMA pilots began in Spring 1999 and is scheduled for completion next year. The evaluation was designed with two purposes. The first was to determine how effective an EMA approach was in increasing participation, retention and achievement amongst young people from low-income families. The second was to provide evidence on the most effective aspects of the various models being tested.

Evidence from the first two years of the pilots shows that EMAs increased participation in full-time education in Year 12 by 5.9 percentage points among eligible young people. The participation gain was further increased to 7.3 percentage points in Year 13. On this basis we decided to extend EMAs nationally from September 2004. We are now looking to further evidence to inform the development of the most effective model for national implementation.

Full-time Education

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the definition which she uses of full-time education. [74788]

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Mr. Miliband: There is no legal definition of full-time education for state maintained schools. In providing full-time education to pupils, LEAs should look to DfES Circulars 7/90 and 11/99 as to the number of hours recommended for pupils at each key stage. Neither circular imposes a statutory requirement on LEAs, but provides guidance only. Circular 7/90 establishes a general guide to good practice on lesson time, which OFSTED echo in their guidance. The suggested weekly lesson times are as follows:


Information on Circulars 7/90 and 11/99 can be accessed at

For further education purposes, students classified for statistical purposes as full-time are defined as those enrolled on programmes of at least 450 guided learning hours per year, or for at least 150 guided learning hours per tri-annual period or more than 16 guided learning hours per week for shorter courses.

For higher education, the Higher Education Statistics Agency's definition is:

''The Funding Councils have agreed that a common definition of full-time is that the years of programme of study must involve a minimum of 24 weeks study.''

Student Loans

Jonathan Shaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will provide monthly loans payments to higher education students. [73971]

Margaret Hodge: We have no plans to do so for 2003/04. Nevertheless, we are looking at what flexibility on payments might be introduced later as part of our programme to modernise student support.


Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of full-time students stayed in education in the Huntingdon constituency after the age of (a) 16 and (b) 18 years in (i) 1997 and (ii) 2001. [74224]

Margaret Hodge: Data on the percentage of students staying on in full-time education are not calculated for areas smaller than LEAs as reliable estimates cannot be made. Participation rates at sub-national level are only available for 16 and 17 year olds. The latest available data are for end 1999 and are published in the annual statistical bulletin, ''Participation in Education and Training by Young People Aged 16 and 17 in Each Local Area and Region, England''.

Huntingdon constituency is part of Cambridgeshire LEA. Prior to 1998/99 Cambridgeshire LEA was included in the aggregated Cambridgeshire and Peterborough LEA, therefore two sets of figures are given below. The first columns set out the participation rates for 16 and 17 year olds in full-time education for

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Cambridgeshire and Peterborough LEA at end 1997 and end 1999; the second group for Cambridgeshire LEA at end 1998 and end 1999:

16 and 17 year olds in full-time education

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough LEA Cambridgeshire LEA
Ageend 1997end 1999end 1998end 1999

Local Initiative Fund Scheme

Mrs. Fitzsimons: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what allocations of funding were made by the Greater Manchester Learning Skills Council to each of the boroughs under the Local Initiative Fund Scheme for 2001–02. [74190]

Margaret Hodge: This is a matter for the Learning and Skills Council. John Harwood the Council's Chief Executive will write to the hon. Member with the information requested and a copy of his reply will be placed in the Library.

British Educational Communications and

Technology Agency

Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what progress has been made on the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency Quinquennial Review. [75392]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: In line with Cabinet Office guidance, the review is being carried out in two stages. I am now in a position to make an announcement about the outcome of Stage 1 and the basis on which work will be taken forward on Stage 2

The Government has today published the report ''Quinquennial Review of the British Educational and Communications Technology Agency (Becta)—Stage 1 October 2002'', copies of which have been placed in the Library.

The report underlines Becta's key role in working with the Department for Education and Skills to ensure that schools and colleges take full advantage of every opportunity to exploit the transformational impact of ICT. The work they do is vital in ensuring that schools and colleges are provided with the best possible advice on a range of ICT issues from procuring value for money equipment to managing websites and, most importantly, ensuring that ICT is embedded in every aspect of teaching and learning.

Many of the recommendations made in the report have already been acted upon by both Becta and the DfES and have been reflected in Becta's Corporate Plan, 2002–05. It provides valuable pointers on the direction in which Becta should be moving. Stage two of the Review will take forward the issues in this report. It will concentrate on the future of Becta, providing greater emphasis on looking at how services and functions could be provided more effectively.

I am looking forward to continuing to work with Becta on our challenging objectives on ICT in schools and ensure that pupils leave education with the ICT skills necessary for the modern workplace.

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Disability Rights

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on actions taken by (a) her Department, (b) other Government departments and (c) education providers in connection with the introduction of disability rights to post-16 education. [74667]

Margaret Hodge [holding answer 15 October 2002]: The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) exempted educational institutions from its provisions. Through the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001, my Department has plugged an unacceptable gap in the DDA to include all bodies responsible for Further and Higher Education and LEA-secured adult and community education, within its provisions.

We are implementing the new duties in three stages:

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My Department is working with the Disability Rights Commission, the Learning and Skills Council, the Higher Education Funding Council and other partners in the post-16 sector, to support providers in implementing the new duties with additional funding and guidance. #172m has been allocated over the years 2002–04.

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