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Mr. Ivan Lewis: The banks presently involved in administering career development loans (CDLs) are, Barclays Bank plc, the Co-operative Bank plc and the Royal Bank of Scotland plc. Clydesdale Bank plc also administered CDLs until 15 October 2002.
The CDL must be for vocational learning or education that lasts no longer that two years, or three years if it includes one year's practical experience.
Applicants must be aged 18 or over and live or intend to learn in Great Britain (i.e. England, Scotland or Wales).
Applicants who are not EU nationals or who are not permanent UK residents do not qualify for a CDL if there are any restrictions on their stay in the UK.
Applicants must intend to work in the United Kingdom (UK), the European Union (EU) or in Iceland, Norway or Liechtenstein, which are part of the European Economic Area (EEA), on completion of their course.
An employee of a CDL registered learning provider is not eligible for a CDL to support a course with that learning provider.
Applicants must satisfy the normal checks carried out by the banks as part of their lending decision process. This includes identity checks to prevent money laundering, and credit rating checks.
Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people have applied for career development loans in each year since their introduction; and how many of those applications were successful. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis:
My Department carries out periodic checks to monitor the rejection rates of Career Development Loan (CDL) applications by the banks. However, the banks do not retain a historic record of the number of applications. The latest figures from the checks by DfES show that the rejection rate is 30.6 per
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cent. The attached table shows the number of people whose CDL applications were successful.
|Number of loans given||Comments|
|1988||1,503||From start of programme in July 1988|
|2004||4,870||As at 13 May 2004|
|Calendar year||Average loan value (£)|
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when he will announce the findings of his Department's end-to-end review of careers guidance; and if he will present these findings in person to the House. 
I expect the review to conclude at the end of June, Guidance from the Office of Public Sector Service Reform and the Treasury on such reviews does not require reports to be laid before Parliament; and I do not expect to do so in this case.
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Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps he will take during 2004 in respect of schools, colleges and universities (a) to increase awareness of the dangers of global climate change and (b) to promote education about ways to reach the Government's target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions. 
Mr. Miliband: The Department will continue to fund the Met Office's educational programme which provides information to schools about the science of climate change and is this year developing a Climate Change Module for key stages 3 and 4.
The Department is funding the Association for Science Education and the Development Education Association to develop "Global Dimension in Science" modules for our new national network of Science Learning Centres, which will train science teachers to teach about climate change from this Autumn.
In the post-16 sector, the Learning and Skills Council produced a toolkit for education for sustainable development in November last year, and is planning to produce a strategy for sustainable development this summer.
Margaret Hodge: Specific roles and responsibilities for non-executive members are determined by the board of each Connexions partnership. In general, the role of non executive board members is to represent their sectors (for example local authorities). They are responsible for monitoring Connexions Services as it affects their locality, and they contribute towards the development of the strategy for the partnership.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills for what reasons his Department did not inform Parliament of its decision to launch an end-to-end review of the provision of careers services within Connexions. 
Margaret Hodge: The end to end review of careers education and guidance is one of a series of reviews commissioned by the Department for Education and Skills. They form part of the regular business of the Department and as such would not routinely be reported to Parliament.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much has been spent by Connexions partnerships on seeking legal advice since the Department opted to reduce the amount it would offset against partnerships' VAT costs. 
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what conclusions his Department drew from the Connexions VAT guidance workshop held on 20 April; and if he will make a statement. 
Margaret Hodge: The workshop confirmed that many Connexions partnerships are considering their current structures and would find further guidance on the VAT implications of different delivery models helpful. This is being produced jointly with HM Customs and Excise and will be issued to partnerships shortly.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps his Department is taking to ensure best value reviews are carried out by Connexions partnerships before implementing structural changes. 
Margaret Hodge: All partnerships, are required to apply Best Value principles to inform judgments on the effectiveness, efficiency and economy of when employing contractors or when taking decisions on structural changes. Comprehensive guidance on the application of Best Value to Connexions services was issued to partnerships in the autumn of 2003. The guidance was supported by as a series of regional training seminars. More recently, the Director of the Supporting Children and Young People Group has written to Chief Executives underlining the importance of transparent and robust decisions on cost-effectiveness informing any decisions to make structural changes.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the implications of a Connexions partnership adopting a dual lead body model for private providers of the service. 
Margaret Hodge [holding answer 12 May 2004]: The adoption of lead body arrangements is one option for Connexions Partnerships in looking to become more tax efficient. While we do not envisage any legal/structural problems with a dual or multiple lead body structure, we have advised Partnerships considering this option that there would need to be clear agreements about roles and responsibilities. We would also wish to be reassured that this would not result in greater overall spend on core administration costs and/or possible duplication of head office functions. We have advised Government Offices to assess individual Partnership plans on their own local merits. Guidance on the different delivery models is being produced jointly with HM Customs and Excise and will be issued to Partnerships shortly.
[holding answer 12 May 2004]: Officials have provided both verbal and written advice to the Senior Management and Board of Kent and Medway Connexions partnership on the various options they might consider for becoming more tax efficient. In addition, the Director of the Supporting Children and Young People Group has recently written to the Chief Executive, copied to the Chair of the Board,
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underlining the importance of transparent and robust decisions on cost-effectiveness informing any decisions on structural changes.
Margaret Hodge [holding answer 12 May 2004]: Guidance on the different delivery models, including consortia, is being produced jointly with HM Customs and Excise and will be issued to Partnerships shortly.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills for what reasons his Department decided to reduce the amount it would offset against Connexions partnerships' VAT costs; and where the money saved will be spent. 
Margaret Hodge: The additional funding that had been set aside to help partnerships meet their transitional VAT costs was reduced in order to provide a vital contribution to the successful implementation of "Every Child Matters". The funding will help to fund improved services for children and young people, including through the creation of a Children's Commissioner and establishing a Safeguarding Children's Board in each local authority.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether his Department undertook research into the possible effects upon private providers before making the decision to reduce the amount it would offset against Connexions' VAT costs; and if he will make a statement. 
Margaret Hodge [holding answer 11 May 2004]: The Department sought advice from Her Majesty's Customs and Excise (HMCE). We are not directing Connexions partnerships to choose one delivery model over another. The decision about what tax efficiency means for each partnership, is the responsibility of individual boards. Establishing a tax efficient delivery model will not of itself affect the relationship with private sector companies. The Department remains in discussion with representatives from Connexions service providers and HMCE and will continue to consider any issues that they bring forward.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what action his Department intends to take to safeguard the future of the private sector in the provision of Connexions services to young people. 
Connexions partnerships are private companies with obligations to their individual boards. As such the Department is unable to become directly involved in individual decisions. However, as partnerships consider their future structures we are providing guidance and support about the most tax
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efficient model and highlighting a need to carry out cost-effectiveness reviews for changed structures. A change in structure need have no impact on the use of private providers as sub- contractors. An increasing number of partnerships are moving to a 'lead body' model leaving private sector careers contracts in place.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what impact his Department's decision to reduce the amount it will offset against Connexions partnership's VAT costs has had on preparations for the setting up of children's trusts; and if he will make a statement. 
Margaret Hodge: The £25 million reduction in subsidy for VAT support of Connexions partnerships will be used to implement aspects of the Green Paper 'Every Child Matters'. The funding will support, among other services, the establishment of a Children's Commissioner and the development of Local Safeguarding Children Boards. These are significant elements in the strategy for providing better outcomes for children, young people and their families. They will work with Childrens Trust as they emerge.
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many of the Connexions partnerships which have opted to move to direct delivery since the commencement of the financial year 200405 undertook best value assessments of alternative operational models before reaching their decision. 
Margaret Hodge [holding answer 13 May 2004]: All Connexions partnerships are accountable to the Secretary of State for Education and Skills. Performance is monitored and supported through Ofsted inspections, Government Office reviews and Management information provided to Supporting Children and Young People's Group in the DfES.
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