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Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the operating costs were of (a) the Further Education and Funding Council and (b) the training and enterprise councils in relation to their functions in administering the funding of further education in (i) 19992000 and (ii) 19981999. 
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Margaret Hodge [holding answer 22 November 2001]: The total Further Education Funding Council (FEFC) cost of administration taken from its published accounts was £23.3 million in 199899 and £25.5 million in 19992000.
The Learning and Skills Council has taken over the functions previously carried out by the FEFC, much of what was done by TECs, as well as various activities carried out by the Department for Education and Employment and Government offices. It has also taken on additional activities such as greater involvement and intervention at local level to raise basic skills, and managing a 9 per cent. real terms increase in the overall programme budget allocated to post-16 education and training compared to plans for 200001. In spite of this, its overall operating costs (its administration budget this year is £188 million) are significantly lower than the £270 million£280 million which was estimated to have been spent by its predecessors.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many, and what percentage of, pupils entered higher education at age 18 from the Isle of Wight in (a) 1996, (b) 1997, (c) 1998, (d) 1999 and (e) 2000. 
|Academic year||Entrants||As proportion of 18-year-old population (%)|
(23) Full-time and part-time undergraduate courses, as at December 1.
(24) Data on the home LEA of students who enter HE courses at FE institutions is not available centrally, so these students have been excluded from the answer.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, pursuant to her answer of 8 November 2001, Official Report, column 511W, on higher education, if she will break down the data given to (a) teaching staff, (b) research staff and (c) combined teaching and research staff. 
|Teaching staff||Research staff||Combined teaching and research|
Higher Education Statistics Agency's Staff Record. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10.
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Mr. Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what duty is placed on (a) schools and (b) local education authorities to undertake a risk assessment when organising school visits by bus; 
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if the results of individual primary schools in national curriculum tests for (a) reading and (b) mathematics at age seven years are available centrally to her Department. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Yes. For pupils aged seven (key stage 1), my Department collects individual pupil level data, by school and local education authority, for task and test results in English and mathematics and teacher assessment results in English, mathematics and science. In English, the task and test results are split into reading task, reading test, writing task and spelling. These results are aggregated at national level and published together with the key stage 2 and 3 results in a statistical release.
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Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what recent assessment she has made of the continental European system of advancement from year to year based on academic performance rather than age; 
Mr. Timms: The Government support a flexible approach to pupil grouping, including setting by ability where appropriate. The White Paper "Schoolsachieving success" emphasises the need to increase opportunities for all pupils to progress in line with their abilities. There will be more flexibility in future for younger gifted pupils to learn alongside older pupils.
Mr. Timms: I refer my hon. Friend to the replies I gave on 26 October 2001, Official Report, column 459W and 22 November 2001, Official Report, column 451W respectively. The number of school sport co-ordinators has now increased to 372.
Mr. Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what level of funding has been made available to Leicestershire to provide free nursery places to three-year-olds; and what assessment she has made of the total cost of providing free nursery places for all three-year-olds in Leicestershire by 2004. 
Margaret Hodge: In 200102 £3.1 million has been made available to provide 2,638 free nursery education places for three-year-olds in Leicestershire. This level of funding could increase before the end of 200102 if Leicestershire receives additional funding in the spring term as a result of its recent bid for additional places.
No assessment has yet been made of the total cost of providing free nursery education places for all three-year-olds in Leicestershire by September 2004. This will be dependent on the demand for places and also the level of provision that the local education authority decides to make available for three-year-olds from its own resources.
Mr. Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what guidance her Department gives to local education authorities on their relationship with early year development partnerships. 
Margaret Hodge: Strategic guidance is issued to local education authorities and early years development and child care partnerships every two years. This includes guidance on the relationship between the two.
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The strategic guidance is supported by implementation guidance issued annually which sets out the operational framework in which the local education authority and early years development and child care partnership should work over the coming year.
Mr. Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what guidance her Department gives to local education authorities about providing additional funding to early year development partnerships to provide free nursery places for all three-year-olds. 
Margaret Hodge: The Department for Education and Skills does not provide guidance to local education authorities on providing additional funding to their early years development and child care partnerships for free nursery education places for three-year-olds. Such spending priorities are determined locally and are at the discretion of the local authority.
In 200102 £3.1 million has been made available to provide 2,638 free nursery education places for three- year-olds in Leicestershire. This level of funding could increase before the end of 200102, if Leicestershire receives additional funding in the spring term as a result of its recent bid for additional places.
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