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Lorely Burt: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many people were employed in the Corporate Finance Practice of the Shareholder Executive in each of the last four years. 
Lorely Burt: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many times representatives of the Shareholder Executive have met the Executive's Advisory Group since May 2008. 
Lorely Burt: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent assessment he has made of progress towards achieving the Government's target for asset sales from the Shareholder Executive in each of the last four years. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government have announced a target of securing £16 billion from asset and property disposals for the period to end-March 2014. Of this, £3 billion is expected to come from asset sales. Shareholder Executive is working with HM Treasury and other asset-owning Departments to progress this work. An update on progress against this target will be included in the autumn pre-Budget report.
Paul Rowen: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) what his most recent estimate is of the amount owing to the Student Loans Company in repayments and loans; 
Mr. Lammy: Provisional information shows that at the end of financial year 2008-09 the total student loan balance for England was £25.97 billion. This includes loans not yet due for repayment and covers fee loans and maintenance loans, including the older mortgage style loans. At the same point in time there were 962,300 borrowers with tuition fee loans. There were 2,866,000 borrowers with maintenance loans, of whom 298,200 had the older mortgage style loans.
Paul Rowen: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the likely effect of the proposed sale of the student loans book on (a) the interest rate on student loans and (b) students who are borrowing or repaying loans; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Lammy: Regardless of whether a loan is sold or retained, there will be no change in the regulations, terms and conditions for existing loans. Purchasers of sold loans will not be able to charge a different rate of interest; they will not be able to change the income threshold for repayments; and they will not be able to use a borrower's personal details for any purpose beyond that which is required for management of the loans.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what data his Department and its predecessor holds on the level of diversity in its recruitment of employees in each of the last three years. 
Joan Ruddock: No data are available centrally from either BIS or DEFRA (predecessor Departments). As DECC have also used BIS on an outsourced basis for all recruitment since its inception, similarly no data are available for this period. The data could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much (a) his Department and (b) its agencies spent on (i) electricity, (ii) heat, (iii) water and sewerage services and (iv) disposal of waste on the latest date for which figures are available; what proportion of such (A) electricity and (B) heat was from renewable sources; what the weight was of such waste; what proportion of such waste was recycled; at what cost such waste was recycled; and what area of office floor space (1) his Department and (2) its agencies own or lease. 
Joan Ruddock: Since its inception, DECC has made use of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (formerly BERR) and DEFRA's central facilities management systems. As a consequence the information you have requested is not held centrally by the Department.
For the latest available figures from BIS and DEFRA I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Department
of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on 16 October 2009, Official Report, column reference 1156W. This response includes Whitehall Place, which is now occupied by DECC, but covers 2007-08 which is prior to the formation of DECC. No later information is currently available.
We do however have information on one of our buildings, Atholl House in Aberdeen, which is based on a DECC occupancy of 30 per cent (1,567 square metres) covering the period 1 April 09 to 31 August 2009.
Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 12 October 2009, on Dartford Creek cable bridge, whether his Department received a letter dated 3 August 2009 from the hon. Member for Bexleyheath and Crayford on the subject. 
Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when he expects to provide a substantive reply to question 290928 tabled on 9 September 2009 on the power cut at Dartford Creek on 20 July 2009. 
Mr. Kidney: The hon. Member for Bexley and Crayford was given an incorrect answer to his question on 12 October 2009, Official Report, column 486W. I refer the hon. Member to the written ministerial statement I made today correcting this answer.
Mr. Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will review the criteria for educational maintenance allowance (EMA) with a view to granting greater discretion in allowing reassessment of eligibility for EMA in circumstances where a household's income changes substantially within a financial year. 
Mr. Iain Wright: We have no current plans to change the criteria for EMA eligibility. For most young people, eligibility for education maintenance allowance (EMA) is subject to an assessment of their household income based on the financial year prior to the academic year in which they start their course. A successful assessment provides a young person with a guaranteed entitlement of up to three years of EMA on the same rate regardless of whether their income increases. If there is a drop in income from one year to the next then a young person may apply to be reassessed for the subsequent academic year. They could be assessed as eligible for EMA where they were not previously, or an increased rate of it. They would receive the EMA guarantee based on the rate awarded following the most recent assessment.
(i) someone whose income was taken into account in determining financial eligibility has died;
(ii) a person whose income was taken into account in determining financial eligibility has experienced a reduction in income due to their own disability, or the disability of any other person for whom he or she has responsibility as primary carer (disability means as defined in the Disability Discrimination Act 1995);
(iii) Since the assessment of income was made, the young person has become estranged from their parents, guardians or someone else whose income was taken into account in determining financial eligibility;
(iv) The young person has become a parent with responsibility for their own child.
The financial needs of young people can be affected by a range of circumstances, including reductions in household income due to redundancy, or reduced working hours. Other mechanisms exist to help with the costs of supporting young people aged 16 to 19 in learning. Child benefit provides support for parents regardless of income, and tax credits are designed to tailor support to current circumstances and to be responsive to changing needs.
In addition to the support provided to families, discretionary learner support funds are made available via the Learning and Skills Council to colleges and local authorities. This funding is provided to enable schools and colleges, using their discretion, to help individual learners who may otherwise experience financial hardship or barriers to continuing in learning.
This year we have strengthened the guidance to providers to emphasise that these funds must be targeted to young people who have most need of them, including those who may face financial hardship following in year changes to their household income.
Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will estimate the cost of extending education maintenance allowance to all school leavers entering further education; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Iain Wright: EMA was introduced as an incentive to encourage more young people from lower income households to stay on in post compulsory learning, and to address the issue that the UK had one of the lowest post-16 participation rates in OECD countries. The scheme was piloted from 1999 and rolled out nationally, to consecutive cohorts of learners in full-time education, from September 2004. It was extended to trainees in unwaged training provision in 2006.
We have previously estimated that, to have made the lowest level of EMA (the £10 per week payment) available to all learners not already receiving it would have increased expenditure by around £300 million in the 2007/08 academic year. We have not estimated the cost for 2009/10 and do not plan to do so. We believe that, to be effective, state support needs to be targeted where there is most need.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent estimate he has made of the average annual cost to schools of delivering (a) Key Stage 1 and 2 national tests, (b) GCSEs and (c) A-levels and AS-levels; and if he will make a statement. 
For GCSEs, A-Levels and AS-Levels the Department began collecting information in 2002-03 in sufficient detail to answer this question. No comparable data is available for previous years. The information in the table below covers the combined costs of all relevant examination entry fees, including GCSEs, A/AS levels and GNVQs, and any accreditation costs related to pupils. We do not collect separate data on each type of qualification.
|(E21)( 1) (£)( 2)|
|(1). Includes expenditure by local authority maintained schools in England on the costs of examination entry fees, and costs of accreditation related to pupils (the payments centres make to awarding bodies to register with them to take their qualification). This includes GCSEs, A/AS levels and GNVQs; it excludes the cost of exam resources like test papers, or administration costs in schools.|
(2). Figures are rounded to the nearest thousand pounds.
(3). 2007-08 data remains provisional and subject to change.
Source: http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/localauthorities/section52/subPage.cfm? action=section52.default&ID=58
(Budget Data Archive)
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps he is taking to encourage the development and modernisation of the network of European schools in respect of their (a) governance, (b) finance and (c) pedagogy, with reference both to (i) actions within the UK and (ii) by seeking international agreement. 
(a) giving the 14 European Schools greater autonomy and control of their budgets;
(b) establishing a method to achieve a fairer distribution among member states of the cost of seconding teachers; and
(c) an evaluation of the European Baccalaureate.
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