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28 Apr 2003 : Column 233Wcontinued
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many cases concerning schools in the Buckingham constituency were heard by the Special Education Needs Tribunal in 200102; and in how many cases the Tribunal ruled that additional support should be provided for children with special needs. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Tribunal does not collate statistics based on the location of schools named in appeals or attended by children who are the subject of appeals. Of 28 appeals against Buckinghamshire LEA in 200102, seven concerned the school to be named in the child's placement. Parents requested a special school placement in two of these appeals and a mainstream placement in three. In the other two the parents requested home tuition.
Parents withdrew 17 of the 28 appeals and the LEA conceded a further five. The remaining six all concerned the detailed provision to be made for children, and in four of these the Tribunal ordered amendments to the provision specified in the statements.
Margaret Hodge: The information requested is not available centrally in respect of student loans. Data on debts for which there is no public subsidy, such as overdrafts, credit cards, and informal debts to family and friends, are not collected centrally.
Margaret Hodge: We estimate the steady state cost of the new Higher Education Grant to be almost £300 million. The grant will be targeted at those students from the households with the lowest income. We aim to provide the full £1,000 grant to approximately 30 per cent. of students.
Jonathan Shaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the estimated cost is of paying the tuition fees of students from poorer backgrounds as detailed in the Higher Education White Paper. 
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Margaret Hodge: The cost to the Government of the public contribution to existing tuition fee remission arrangements for home and ED undergraduate students from low-income families at institutions in England is estimated at:
Paul Farrelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills based on latest admissions, whether he estimates that the universities of (a) Oxford, (b) Cambridge, (c) The London School of Economics, (d) Bristol and (e) The Royal Veterinary College would be allowed to charge top-up fees from the start if his proposals for higher education were implemented. 
Margaret Hodge: That would be a matter for the Office for Fair Access, and would depend on its consideration of their access agreements. Individual universities' admission policies will be a matter for universities themselves to decide.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many British university students participated in international exchange programmes, where at least one term of a full academic year was spent at an institution abroad, in (a) 1995, (b) 1997, (c) 1999, (d) 2001 and (e) 2002; 
Margaret Hodge: The latest available information, showing the number of students who are on exchange programmes for the year as a whole, is given in the table. The data for 2001/02 show that the University of Lancaster had the highest proportion of full-time UK domiciled first degree students studying abroad as part of these programmes.
A number of measures have been taken recently to encourage more students on UK higher education courses to study abroad as part of their course. These include giving access to higher loans for all students who study abroad; simplifying the student support arrangements; offering funding incentives to higher education institutions with mobile students; and wider and better publicity for the Socrates-Erasmus and other programmes.
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Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Modern Apprenticeships (MA) provide young people in England with quality work-based learning in craft, supervisory and technician skills. We and the Learning and Skills Council are implementing Modern Apprenticeship Advisory Committee recommendations to ensure the highest standards and to encourage take-up by employers and young people. We have adopted a challenging Public Service Agreement (PSA) target for MA entrants by 200428 per cent. of young people to begin an MA by the age of 22. A new Modern Apprenticeship Task Force is now taking a key role in promoting MA to employers and thereby contributing to increased take-up.
From August this year, the Government is introducing Entry to Employment (E2E), a work-based programme for those young people not yet ready or able to enter a Modern Apprenticeship. It will enable young people to progress on to Foundation Modern Apprenticeships, sustained employment or further vocational learning opportunities.
The Government continues to encourage community-based learning. For example, in my speech at NIACE's Autumn Annual Conference on 10 December I reaffirmed my commitment to the breadth of purpose of adult and community learning, from fostering social inclusion to learning for leisure.
Mr. Michael Foster: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what evidence he has collated on the difference in the cost of employing accountants in (a) Worcestershire County Council, (b) Warwickshire, (c) Gloucestershire County Council and (d) Birmingham, (e) Coventry, (f) Dudley, (g) Sandwell, (h) Solihull, (i) Walsall and (j) Wolverhampton Metropolitan District Councils; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. Raynsford: The New Earning Survey (NES) contains information on the occupation and workplace of participants. Management accountants and chartered or certified accountants are two of the occupations into which NES participants are categorised. At a more aggregate level, information on the occupation of NES participants is one variable that the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister analyses in calculating each area cost factor. Full details of the ACA calculation are available on the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister website at http://www.local.odpm.gov.uk/finance/0304/acatechs.pdf
Helen Southworth: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps he will take to ensure that the definition of affordable housing used by his Department and local authorities reflects local pay levels rather than local housing market values. 
Mr. McNulty: For the purposes of securing affordable housing through the planning system, affordable housing encompasses low-cost market and subsidised housing (irrespective of tenure, ownershipwhether exclusive or sharedor financial arrangements) that will be available to people who cannot afford to rent or buy houses generally available on the open market. Local authorities are expected to define through their local plans what they consider to be affordable. Circular 6/98, "Planning and Affordable Housing", advises that definitions should be framed through references to the level of local incomes and their relationship to house prices or rents, rather than to a particular price or rent.
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