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13 Jun 2007 : Column 1150W—continued

Departments: Telephone Services

Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many telephone helplines are sponsored by his Department with the prefix (a) 0870 and (b) 0845; and whether alternative geographic numbers are available in each case. [138487]

Mr. Dhanda: The information as requested is not readily available centrally within the Department for Education and Skills (DFES). To respond fully would involve an extensive information collection exercise which would exceed the recommended disproportionate cost threshold. However, to be helpful, using a variety of information and data sources relating solely to DFES headquarters, the following information can be provided.

DFES currently sponsor seven telephone numbers with the prefix (a) 0870, and ten telephone numbers with the prefix (b) 0845. Alternative geographic telephone numbers are available in each case.

Employment Schemes: Finance

Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much funding was allocated to (a) adult learner support, (b) career development loans and (c) wage compensation under Train to Gain in (i) 2005-06 and (ii) 2006-07; and how much is likely to be allocated in 2007-08. [131578]

Phil Hope: The table shows the Department of Education and Skills’ expenditure on (a) adult learner support; (b) career development loans; (c) Train to Gain wage compensation between 2005-06 and 2007-08 (actual and planned). All amounts are rounded to the nearest £1 million.

Adult learner support includes the Learner Support Fund and Adult Learning Grant. These provide financial support to help meet the costs of learning to disadvantaged and low income adults undertaking further education.

Train to Gain commenced operations in April 2006. Funds have been allocated for wage compensation for small employers of up to 50 employees to compensate them for the time employees spend in training.

£ million
Outturn Budget
Actual Provisional Planned
2005-06 2006-07 2007-08

Adult learner support

89

98

121

Career development loans

19

22

20

Train to Gain—wage compensation

17

38


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Extended Schools

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what research his Department is undertaking to assess the range of services and activities being offered by secondary schools as part of the extended school programme; [142427]

(2) what research his Department is undertaking to assess the take-up of extended school services by (a) social class, (b) ethnic composition and (c) children with disabilities; [142428]

(3) how many secondary schools provide the childcare element of the full extended schools offer; [142430]

(4) what research his Department has undertaken into demand for formalised access to and registered attendance at extended schools amongst children aged 11 years and older; and what research has been carried out into the scope and impact of charging for extended school services. [142432]

Beverley Hughes: We will be publishing a detailed report of the three year evaluation of the full service extended schools programme at the end of June. This report will show that full service extended schools have a positive impact on the attainment of pupils and their engagement with learning, family stability and enhanced life chances, and are generating positive outcomes for families and local people. Further evaluation of impact and activities of extended schools is planned, covering the increasing number of schools which will be offering extended services by 2010. This will include the extent to which different groups of pupils and families such as social class, ethnic composition and children with disabilities are taking up extended services. This information is not currently collected by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES).

The DfES has a range of strategies to assess and monitor the extent to which schools are providing extended services. The Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) monitor the extent to which the schools they are working with are providing access to services and activities. To date 1,175 secondary schools are providing all aspects of the core offer of extended services. In addition to these, 958 secondary schools are providing a varied menu of study support activities beyond the normal school day; 208 are providing parenting support programmes; 929 have in place swift and easy referral arrangements to targeted and specialist services; and 579 are providing community access to their facilities, including adult learning. In 2005 the DfES commissioned its own independent survey of activities in primary and secondary schools. Undertaken by BMRB Social Research, it is available on the DfES's website at:

In addition to this, questions about what services schools are offering have been included in the 2007 school census which is completed by all schools and which is due to be available in September 2007. Finally, the DfES monitors extended school related research and surveys carried out by other organisations.

Secondary schools are not required to provide childcare as part of their extended schools offer.
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However, we know that from the 2005 BMRB social research survey 61 per cent. of secondary schools provided before school activities and or child care, 95 per cent. provided after school activities and or childcare and 65 per cent. provided holiday activities and or child care.

The TDA has undertaken research to examine demand for formal childcare for the 11 to 14 age range. This involved a small year long pilot to test demand as well as a bigger sample survey of schools to investigate what is already happening in schools for this age range. The research concluded that that there was insufficient parental demand for formal child care at secondary schools. It also showed that parents saw the varied menu of activities element of the extended schools core offer as providing a safe place for children to be both before and after school, 8 am to 6 pm and during school holidays.

The forthcoming report on the evaluation of full service extended schools will contain a section on cost benefit which will include some analysis of charging. It will show that there is considerable variability in the method of charging. It will also show that schools tend to charge for regular child care but after that charging is often ad hoc and relatively low level. The Government have issued guidance to schools on charging through the ‘Planning and Funding Guidance: a guide for schools, local authorities and their partner organisations’.

Foundation Degrees

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what research he has commissioned on the way in which granting further education colleges the power to award foundation degrees will be perceived by (a) students and prospective students and (b) employers; and if he will place a copy of this research in the Library. [140734]

Bill Rammell [holding answer 6 June 2007]: The purpose of the proposal is to enable the Privy Council to grant Foundation Degree awarding powers to those Further Education Colleges who are capable of delivering the highest quality provision. In doing so it further liberalises the market and allows those Colleges who have established an impressive track record of delivering high quality HE provision, to perform to their full potential. For these Colleges this proposal will empower them further by allowing them to award Foundation Degrees.

The proposal has been developed in dialogue with key stakeholders, including student and employer representative bodies, who have expressed broad support for the proposal.

General Teaching Council for England: Finance

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much funding the Government provided to meet the start-up and running costs of the General Teaching Council for England (GTC) in each year since its creation; and what proportion of the GTC’s budget this represented. [142472]


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Jim Knight: Grant provided by this Department to contribute to the operational costs of the GTC is as follows:


13 Jun 2007 : Column 1154W
£000
2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07

Grant in aid

(1)3,950

8,974

3,457

(2)784

Grant

50

50

278

796

740

609

599

Total DFES grant

4,000

9,024

3,735

1,580

740

609

599

Proportion of total income (percentage)

100

100

26

10

4

3

3

(1) Grant in aid payments began in September 2000. Funding in 2000-01 therefore covered the part year period September 2000 to March 2001 inclusive.
(2) The Department stopped paying grant in aid payments to the GTC at the end of 2003-2004 when the full registration fee became payable.

Government Auctions

Mr. Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills where his Department publishes information about Government auctions which it arranges or to which it contributes in (a) Blackpool, (b) Lancashire and (c) the North West; and when the next such auction will take place in each area. [117419]

Mr. Dhanda: The Department does not arrange auctions, however, we do use an organisation called Northern Realisations of Bolton to dispose of IT equipment that is no longer required. Auctions are held in Bolton. All markers and identifiers are removed from the equipment prior to the auction therefore it cannot be identified as DfES equipment and the auctioneers do not disclose supplier clients to purchasers.

Northern Realisation advertise using Google Adwords, Manchester Evening News, Bolton Evening News, Loot (North West edition) and Lancashire Evening Telegraph. They also subscribe to the National Schools Procurement Directory.

There is currently no DfES equipment being held by Northern Realisations for auction.

Higher Education: Midwives

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many university academic staff specialising in midwifery there were in each of the last five years for which figures are available. [141186]

Bill Rammell: The available information is given in the table. The figures cover staff whose primary academic discipline is midwifery. Due to significant changes to the staff record, comparable figures are not available for earlier years.

Academic staff at English Higher Education Institutions
Academic year Academic staff whose primary academic discipline is midwifery

2003/04

85

2004/05

105

2005/06

120

Notes:
1. Does not cover staff whose secondary academic discipline is midwifery.
2. Figures are rounded to the nearest five.
Source:
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) staff record data.

Languages: Schools

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what support is being given by his Department to local education authorities to fund language instruction for the children of migrants from EU entrant countries from eastern Europe. [115520]

Jim Knight: Departmental funding is available via the Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant (EMAG). This is a ring-fenced grant which provides a contribution towards support for underachieving ethnic minority pupils and support for those pupils for whom English is an Additional Language. The total grant for 2007-08 is £179 million.

In addition, £435 million of the £24.6 billion Schools Formula Spending Share for 2005-06 was distributed on the basis of numbers of children from underachieving ethnic minority groups and for those pupils for whom English is an Additional Language. The Dedicated Schools Grant allocations for 2007-08 will depend on January 2007 school census data.

In October 2006, we announced that the Department would allocate £400,000 for an English as an Additional Language Excellence Programme. The funding will be spent in 2006-07 and 2007-08 to provide advice, guidance and training for local authorities and schools to provide good quality provision for new arrivals and teaching English as an Additional Language.

Loans: Students

Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the projected total cost is to the public purse of the interest subsidy paid to the debt sale owners over the lifetime of the student loans which the Government proposes to sell. [142073]

Bill Rammell: We are at the early stages of implementing the Budget announcement to sell income-contingent student loans. Further details about the sale will be announced in due course. We are confident that the Government will obtain good value for money, as it is obliged to do by rules of Government accounting.


13 Jun 2007 : Column 1155W

Missing Persons

Helen Southworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) if he will take steps to set a programme of regular scheduled meetings of the Missing Persons Strategic Oversight Group over the next 12 months; [138767]

(2) what the next scheduled date is for a meeting of the Missing Persons Strategic Oversight Group; how his Department will be represented at that meeting; and what the report-back process will be to Ministers in his Department. [138764]

Mr. Dhanda [holding answer 22 May 2007]:The Missing Persons Strategic Oversight Group is chaired by the Association of Chief Police Officers, supported by the Home Office. The next meeting is scheduled for the early part of July. Any forward programme of meetings for the Group will be considered in consultation with all Group members. Officials from my Department sit on the Group, and will report back to Ministers through the usual management channels.

Music: Bexley

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what funding his Department provided for music tuition in the London borough of Bexley in each of the last five years. [142212]

Jim Knight: The funding of music services is the responsibility of local authorities and not central
13 Jun 2007 : Column 1156W
Government. Funding made available by Bexley local authority is contained within the following table:

Budgeted net expenditure on music services (not standards fund supported)( 1)
Amount (£)

2003-04

0

2004-05

0

2005-06

0

2006-07

176,000

2007-08

182,000

(1) The data are drawn from local authorities Section 52 Budget Statements (Tables 1) submitted to the Department for Education and Skills.
Note:
The Department is currently validating the 2007-08 data. It is subject to change by the local authority.

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