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Mr. Timms: We have recently introduced a series of incentives to encourage qualified teachers to return to the profession. We have introduced a scheme to pay bonuses of up to £4,000 to those returning to teaching in maintained schools and non-maintained special schools between April and December this year. We have increased funding to provide a total of 1,800 places a year on refresher courses for returners to teaching, including £150 a week grants and help towards child care costs. And we have also made changes to the Teachers' Pension
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15. Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans she has to alter the franchise for ballots on the future of grammar schools to include those parents whose children attend the school. 
Mr. Timms: In selective areas the electorate already includes parents whose children attend grammar schools. We have no plans to amend the criteria of eligibility for parents voting in feeder school ballots.
Mr. Timms: PricewaterhouseCoopers produced their interim report in August. Copies are available on the Department's website: www.dfes.gov.uk/teachers/ workloadstudy. The final report is expected at the end of November.
29. Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what arrangements her Department has made to monitor and evaluate the impact of funding changes on access to higher education. 
Margaret Hodge: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Skills announced on 3 October 2001 that she is leading a review of student funding, working together with representatives from HM Treasury and No. 10. We need to ensure that we have an appropriate balance between the contribution made by students, their families and the state to support our ambitions to widen access and participation in higher education. A range of policy options is being considered. No decisions have been taken.
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Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) which bodies she will invite to submit representations to the cross-departmental review she has announced on student finance; 
Margaret Hodge: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Skills has written to Prof. Roderick Floud, President of Universities UK, to inform him that a review is under way. We plan to consult on any proposals for change and would expect Universities UK to contribute.
Margaret Hodge: I met Owain James, President of the National Union of Students, in the summer to discuss student finance. We are currently reviewing student finance policy. We plan to consult and would expect the National Union of Students to contribute.
Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what options are under consideration in the review of student finance which she has announced; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: The advanced level results published by the Joint Council for General Qualifications on 16 August 2001 are provisional. A copy of these provisional results has been placed in the Library. Final figures for this year's results will be published in November.
Margaret Hodge: The Learning and Skills Council and its 47 local arms became fully operational from April 2001. Significant progress has been made by the LSC to develop its strategic framework for the period to 2004, with the publication of its first corporate plan at the end of July. The plan includes key objectives and targets for 2004. This is providing the foundation for local strategic plans and business plans, which are now being developed by the local councils in consultation with key local and regional partners.
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John Healey: We are fully committed to raising standards in further education colleges and will reward high quality and take firm action where our standards are not being met. We are supporting teaching staff to continue their professional development, requiring that new staff have the necessary qualifications, and helping colleges to update their computer equipment and develop centres of excellence.
Mr. Miliband: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on her plans for the development of further education provision for (a) 16 to 19-years-old and (b) adults. 
22. Mr. Gordon Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans she has to review with the Higher Education Funding Council the operation of the 2001 research assessment exercise. 
Margaret Hodge: The operation of the 2001 research assessment exercise will be reviewed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the other UK funding bodies after the exercise has been completed.
Mr. Timms: The Specialist Schools Programme is popular and successful. Since May 1997, 504 schools have joined the growing network of specialist schools. There are now 685 operational specialist schools across the country and we are on course to achieve the proposals set out in the White Paper "Schools achieving success" to extend the programme to eight specialisms and expand the number of specialist schools to 1,500 schools by 2005.
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