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Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the administrative handling of the case of Mr. Aril Tuysug of north-east Bedfordshire, with particular reference to the loss of his papers by his Department; and when he will reply to the letter dated 12 September from the hon. Member for North-East Bedfordshire. 
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Angela Eagle: Mr. Tuysug's outstanding application was not considered, as unfortunately his Home Office file could not be located despite an exhaustive search. In this regard, the Immigration and Nationality Directorate wrote to Mrs. Tuysug on 12 September asking her husband to make a fresh application that would be considered as a matter of priority.
Angela Eagle: In the light of evidence that some asylum applicants are falsely posing as nationals from countries with high grants rates of asylum or exceptional leave, we have decided to undertake a language analysis pilot at the start of November 2001.
The purpose of language analysis is to provide expert evidence which helps to identify the place of origin of asylum seekers. Language analysis is used in a number of European countries and the results are generally successful. We will be piloting the scheme to see how well language analysis works in the United Kingdom, and for the purposes of the pilot we will be covering asylum seekers of three nationalities where we believe the problem of false nationality claims to be most pronounced. Those nationalities are Afghanistan, Somalia and Sri Lanka.
The authorisation made by my right hon. and noble Friend Lord Rooker will enable staff in the Immigration and Nationality Directorate, where there are objective reasons for doubting the nationality of a person claiming to be from one of these three countries, to request them to undertake a further interview which will be taped and sent to a language expert for analysis. Individuals may refuse to consent to this further interview, but this refusal can be taken into account when determining whether the applicant has established the facts of their case. This may lead to their claim being refused.
We will review the need for this authorisation once the pilot has been completed. In addition, the race monitor to be appointed under section 19E of the Race Relations Act 1976 (as amended) will report to Parliament via the Secretary of State on the likely effect of authorisations made by Ministers and on how they are operated in practice by officials.
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|Year||Teachers on routes to QTS(22)||Instructors and other teachers without QTS(23)||Total|
(22) Those on the Graduate Teacher Programme, Registered Teacher Programme, Licensed Teacher Scheme and Overseas Trained Teacher Scheme
(23) On contracts of at least one month
Totals may not sum due to rounding; all figures have been rounded to the nearest 10
Mr. Timms [holding answer 15 October 2001]: In March 2000, 5.9 per cent. of full-time regular teachers in the maintained schools sector in England were aged 5559, and will reach the retirement age of 60 during the next five years. 23.5 per cent. were aged 50 to 59, and will reach age 60 during the next 10 years. 44.5 per cent. were aged 4559, and will reach age 60 over the next 15 years.
Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate she has of the cost of the abuse of the operation of the Individual Learning Account scheme; and if she will make a statement. 
John Healey: It is not possible at this stage to determine costs in relation to the abuse of the Individual Learning Account programme. It will only become clear once we have concluded the investigations we are currently undertaking into providers about whom we have received complaints.
Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many complaints had been received in relation to the operation of Individual Learning Accounts (a) before 31 July and (b) at the latest available date; and when the first complaint was received. 
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John Healey: The national framework for ILAs first became operational on 4 September, and in that month the Individual Learning Account (ILA) Centre received five complaints out of a total of over 100,000 learners.
Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what allegations of criminal conduct have been received by her Department in relation to the operation of individual learning accounts. 
John Healey: The Department has received a number of complaints from individuals alleging that providers have claimed their ILA incentives without their knowledge. A number of these allegations are currently under investigation by both the Department and the police. Until these investigations have been completed the Department will be unable to confirm if any criminal activity has taken place.
John Healey: To date, the police have undertaken suspected fraud investigations into three providers resulting in a total of 29 arrests. They are also investigating one other provider's ILA activities following their arrest in connection with a suspected fraud on an unrelated matter. In addition, the Department's Special Investigations Unit (SIU) continues to investigate a further 29 providers. Police are in the early stages of investigating suspected fraud by two of these and have expressed an initial interest in another nine providers. SIU is undertaking investigations work on these nine cases prior to a possible formal police investigation.
As a result of these and other investigations by officials, three learning providers have so far been permanently removed from the list of registered providers and another 37 providers have been removed pending the outcome of investigations into the complaints received.
Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what controls her Department put in place at the commencement of operation of the Individual Learning Account scheme; how the scheme was monitored while it was in operation; and if she will make a statement. 
John Healey: ILAs were an innovative initiative that put learning power in the hands of the individual. The system was designed to make the learning process as simple and straightforward as possible, cutting down on bureaucracy, in order that the individual could access learning opportunities in an easy, user-friendly way.
We have undertaken audits and inspections in cases where we received complaints that learning providers were misusing ILAs or provided poor value for money. We introduced a revised learner provider agreement that made it harder for providers to act against the ethos of the programme. We also made changes to the applications
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process, for the same purpose. It is our careful monitoring of the scheme that has enabled us to take prompt action to safeguard public funds.
Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans she has to order an inquiry into alleged abuse of the operation of the individual learning accounts scheme; and if she will make a statement. 
John Healey: Our policy is that all complaints that we receive alleging misuse of ILAs should be investigated. In cases where we believe criminal activity is involved, they will be referred to the police for investigation.
Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what evidence she has that the Individual Learning Account scheme was being abused by offering low value, poor quality learning; and if she will make a statement. 
John Healey: Our investigations into the practices of some learning providers have revealed low-quality learning provision and poor value for money as well as a number of marketing practices which are unacceptable. Individual Learning Account holders have reported many of these instances to us and to Trading Standards Officers, as have other learning providers who did not want to see an innovative, progressive and successful initiative being exploited.
Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps she is taking to discover the extent of the abuse of the operation of the Individual Learning Account scheme; and if she will make a statement. 
John Healey: We are working closely with individuals, learning providers, local Trading standards Officers, the Individual Learning Account (ILA) Centre and the police to identify and fully investigate all potential abuses of the ILA scheme. We are also writing to all 2.5 million individual learning account holders to inform them of the withdrawal of the scheme, and any additional allegations of abuse we receive as a result will be investigated.
Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills on what date she was first informed of complaints concerning the operation of the individual learning account; and what action she took at that time. 
John Healey: In July of this year, the Department started to receive increasing numbers of complaints from individuals and local Trading Standards Officers. In response the Department took action to tighten up the ILA system to address these problems. We re-registered all learning providers, withdrew blank application forms, suspended all new provider registrations, introduced a revised learning provider agreement that made it harder for providers to act against the ethos of the programme, and made changes to the applications process, for the same purpose. Everyone who opened an ILA received a copy of 'Choosing Your Learning', explaining the full range of options in using their ILA. However, it became clear that these changes were not sufficient by themselves to prevent the mis-selling of ILAs. At that point we decided we had no option other than to withdraw the programme.
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