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Nick Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the likely effects of the proposed national scholarship programme on (a) universities which recruit higher than average numbers of disadvantaged students and (b) the propensity of universities to recruit disadvantaged students. 
Mr Willetts: The National Scholarship Programme (NSP) will form part of a coherent package of help targeted on potential students from disadvantaged backgrounds. All universities that want to charge a higher graduate contribution than the £6,000 threshold will be obliged to participate in the NSP.
We have made it clear that those universities that charge the most should make the most significant contribution towards assisting students from disadvantaged backgrounds to access and succeed at university.
Details of the NSP are still being finalised. Criteria for the NSP are currently being developed through advice from an expert panel, which includes the National Union of Students, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Universities UK, Sutton Trust and others.
Amber Rudd: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the number of students who will receive assistance from the proposed National Scholarship Programme in each of the next four years; and what criteria he expects to apply to assess eligibility for the fund. 
Mr Willetts: The National Scholarship Programme (NSP) will form part of a coherent package of help targeted on bright potential students from disadvantaged backgrounds. All universities that want to charge a higher graduate contribution than the £6,000 threshold will be obliged to participate in the NSP.
Details of the National Scholarship Programme are still being finalised. Criteria for the NSP are currently being developed through advice from an expert panel, which includes the National Union of Students, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Universities UK, Sutton Trust and others. My right hon. Friend the Member for Bermondsey and Old Southwark (Simon Hughes), the Government's Advocate for Access to Higher Education, has been invited to join the group.
We want a wide range of people to have the opportunity to benefit from the programme. Likely groups to be supported include disabled students, part-time students, mature-aged students, those who have been eligible for the pupil premium at school, or have received free school meals or whose family income means that they will be eligible to receive student maintenance grants.
Government investment in the programme will reach £150 million a year by 2014/15. Options could include a first free year for disadvantaged students who were on free school meals or a foundation year to attract young talented people into the professions. Such measures could potentially help around 18,000 students in 2014/15. The number of students who can benefit from the new programme will depend on the final design which is currently being developed with advice from the expert panel.
Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of microfinance projects in supporting (a) small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and (b) SMEs led by women. 
Mr Prisk: In June 2010 the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills published an action-orientated summary of the national evaluation of Community Development Finance Institutions (which includes microfinance) for the sector. This set out information on the effectiveness of microfinance projects in supporting SMEs. The report did not break down the outcomes for the projects by gender but support for women is mainstreamed within the CDFI sector.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills which regional development agencies have funded (a) wholly and (b) partially postgraduate courses in the last five years; what subject matter such courses have covered; what the duration of study was for each such course; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Prisk: The following tables give the details, where available, of the postgraduate courses undertaken by members of RDA staff that have been funded, either wholly or partly, by the regional development agencies over the last five years.
|RDA||Wholly funded||Partially funded||Courses||Duration||Wholly funded||Partially funded||Courses||Duration|
|RDA||Wholly funded||Partially funded||Courses||Duration||Wholly funded||Partially funded||Courses||Duration|
|RDA||Wholly Funded||Partially Funded||Courses||Duration|
|(1) The figures for SEEDA do not include full- or part- sponsorship by SEEDA of professional qualifications such as RICS, CIPD, CIPR, for which a first degree may not be essential. Such figures are not in any case readily available.|
(2) It has not been possible to provide details of the duration of study as these courses are completed by staff in their own time, using distance and flexible learning arrangements.
(3) It has not been possible to identify % of costs (wholly/partially funded) in the time limit of the PQ.
Postgraduate courses pre-April 2007 are not recorded on our current HR management system, so data for these years may be incomplete. It would incur disproportionate cost to check records in our archives.
Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the number of payments taken in error by the Student Loans Company in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Willetts: Statistics on the number of people being refunded repayments-regardless of whether these repayments came before or after borrowers have repaid their loans in full-are published in table 2(iii) of the Statistical First Release "Student Loans for Higher Education in England, Financial Year 2009-10". It is accessible on the Student Loans Company website at
In financial year 2009-10, 27,800 borrowers were refunded such repayments. This figure includes a number of over-repayments taken after borrowers repaid their loans in full which the Student Loans Company (SLC) is in the process of estimating. I propose to write to the hon. Member with this information once the statistics are ready for publication.
It is possible for borrowers to over-repay their student loans because of the loan collection process. After the end of each tax year, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) notifies the Student Loans Company (SLC) of loan deductions made by employers in the previous tax year. Due to this time lag, it is possible for people to over-repay. However, all overpayments are refunded with interest.
Since December 2009, in order to reduce the number of those who over-repay, borrowers nearing the end of their loan repayment term are notified by the SLC that they may opt out of the PAYE system, and complete their loan repayments by direct debit. Additionally, borrowers are advised to monitor their own repayments so they can calculate when they are likely to repay their loan in full.
Mr Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) how many students normally resident in England were enrolled on full-time (a) undergraduate degrees, (b) vocational sub-degrees and (c) foundation degrees on the most recent date for which figures are available; 
(2) how many students aged between 18 and 24 were enrolled on full-time (a) undergraduate degrees, (b) vocational sub-degrees and (c) foundation degrees on the most recent date for which figures are available. 
The numbers of English-domiciled full-time undergraduate enrolments at UK higher education institutions are shown by age group and level of study in Table 1. Figures are taken from the Higher Education
Statistics Agency (HESA) Student Record and are provided for the 2009/10 academic year. Figures for the 2010/11 academic year will become available from HESA in January 2012.
The numbers of English-domiciled full-time undergraduate enrolments at English further education colleges are shown by age group and level of study in Table 2. Figures are taken from the Skills Funding Agency Individualised Learning Record and are provided for the 2008/09 academic year. Figures for the 2009/10 academic year will become available later this year.
|Table 1: Full-time English-domiciled undergraduate enrolments by age group and level of study UK higher education institutions, academic year 2009/10|
|Level of study||Under 18||18-24||25 and over||Total|
|(1) Includes students enrolled on Higher National Diplomas (HNDs), Higher National Certificates (HNCs), Diplomas and Certificates of higher education, National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) at undergraduate level and other sub-degree courses.|
Figures are based on a HESA standard registration population and have been rounded up or down to the nearest five, so components may not sum to totals.
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) Student Record
|Table 2: Full-time English-domiciled undergraduate enrolments by age group and level of study English further education colleges, academic year 2008/09|
|Level of study||Under 18||18-24||25 and over||Total|
|(1) Includes students enrolled on Higher National Diplomas (HNDs), Higher National Certificates (HNCs), Diplomas and Certificates of higher education and other sub-degree courses.|
Figures have been rounded up or down to the nearest five, so components may not sum to totals.
Skills Funding Agency Individualised Learning Record (L05)
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will bring forward proposals to improve career progression for agency workers; and if he will make a statement. 
The Government recognise the importance of the agency sector in the UK labour market and will continue to work with employers to raise awareness of the public skills system and to invest in training agency workers. Agency workers are currently eligible for Government funding for skills training if they have a contract of employment with the employment agency and are working for an employer client of that employment agency. The Government do not propose to alter this
approach to training agency workers when the new workplace training provision is introduced in the next academic year.
As part of the UK's implementation of the agency workers directive, the Government will continue to look for opportunities to improve agency workers access to training to enhance their career development and employability.
Mr Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much has been spent on improvements to each court identified for closure under his recent proposals in respect of the (a) building, (b) interior and (c) facilities in the last 10 years. 
Mr Djanogly: HMCS was created in April 2005 and prior to this date, magistrates courts were the responsibility of independent Magistrates Courts Committees and the relevant local authorities were responsible for works, receiving an 80% capital grant from the former Department for Constitutional Affairs. Information on improvement works before 2005 is therefore not available to the Ministry of Justice.
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what single tender contracts his Department has awarded since his appointment; and what the monetary value is of each contract above the EU public procurement threshold. 
Mr Djanogly: The Ministry of Justice has issued a total of 51 single tender contracts from May 2010 to the present date. Of these 51 single tender contracts two have been above the EU public procurement threshold. These are as follows:
A contract with Tribal to provide guidance on the transfer of staff from the Scottish Government to the Ministry of Justice with a value of £139,500.
A contract with TNS UK for the provision of data base access with a value of £116,769.
|Number of persons found guilty at all courts for firearms offences( 1) , England and Wales, 2008 and 2009( 2,3)|
|(1) Includes the following: possession of firearms, firearm certificate related offences, and miscellaneous firearms offences.|
(2) The figures given in the table relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.
(3) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
(4) Excludes data for Cardiff magistrates court for April, July, and August 2008.
Justice Statistics Analytical Services in the Ministry of Justice
Mr Kenneth Clarke: The Judicial Diversity Taskforce, which is overseeing the delivery of the recommendations arising from the report of the Advisory Panel on Judicial Diversity, will be meeting in early spring to discuss and review progress on improving the diversity of the judiciary.
Mr Kenneth Clarke: My noble Friend, Lord McNally, who represents the Ministry of Justice on the Judicial Diversity Taskforce, and I, have met and corresponded with a range of people about judicial diversity including: the former Chair of the Advisory Panel on Judicial Diversity, Baroness Neuberger; the Lord Chief Justice and other members of the senior judiciary; the former Chair of the Judicial Appointments Commission; representatives of the legal profession; and academics.
Ministry of Justice officials have also met with representatives from both Stonewall and Interlaw to discuss the report and its implementation. Representatives
from Interlaw and Stonewall have presented to the Judicial Diversity Forum, led by the Judicial Appointments Commission, on which the Ministry of Justice is represented.
Mr Buckland: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much funding the Legal Services Commission provided from the Legal Aid budget for advice and representation in private family law cases involving (a) ancillary relief disputes and (b) children and family disputes where domestic violence (i) was and (ii) was not present in 2008-09; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Djanogly: It is not possible for the legal Services Commission to extract the information requested in the time available. I will write to the hon. Member when this is available and place a copy of the letter in the Libraries of the House.
Mr Buckland: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much funding the Legal Services Commission provided from the Legal Aid budget for legal help and representation in debt cases where the client's home (a) was and (b) was not at immediate risk in 2008-09; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Djanogly: The following table shows the net cash expenditure on debt cases in 2008-09 for Legal Help and representation. The Legal Services Commission is unable to provide a breakdown of expenditure on debt cases for legal help into categories where the client's home is at risk and where it is not.
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will publish each item of (a) guidance and (b) correspondence from (i) his Department and (ii) the National Offender Management Service to (A) prison governors and (B) others on the release of prisoners under home detention curfew since January 2010. 
Mr Blunt: Guidance to prison governors on the operation of the home detention curfew (HDC) scheme is published on the Prison Service website and is contained in Prison Service Order (PSO) 6700. This PSO was issued in 2000 and has since been amended by a number of prison service instructions (PSIs), also published on the website. The PSO and PSIs may be accessed via:
Since January 2010 three PSIs have been published that deal with HDC: numbers 34, 39 and 55. There has been no general correspondence with governors about
HDC during this period and neither this Department nor the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) routinely publishes correspondence relating to private individuals.
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will publish each item of (a) guidance and (b) correspondence from (i) his Department and (ii) the National Offender Management Service to (A) magistrates' courts and (B) Crown courts on the sentencing of convicted criminals since January 2010. 
Mr Blunt: There has been no such guidance or correspondence issuing from the Department to the courts on sentencing. Sentencing guidelines are issued by the Sentencing Council and the Court of Appeal.
Mr Blunt: The operational capacity and certified normal accommodation of (a) the prison estate and (b) each prison in the prison estate is set out in the following table. This information is published monthly on the HMPS website via the following website.
Information held centrally on prison occupancy covers all but 1,900 prisoners therefore it is not possible to provide the number of prisoners accommodated in multiple-occupancy cells for each prison. It is however possible from the data available to determine the approximate number of prisoners in the prison estate who are sharing accommodation. As at 31 December 2010 around 33,000 prisoners (39% of the prison population) were sharing accommodation with other prisoners, be it crowded (e.g. two prisoners held in a cell designed for one) or not (e.g. two prisoners held in a cell designed for two).
|Monthly Bulletin-December 2010 (report date 31 December 2010)|
|Prison Name||Baseline CNA||In Use CNA||Operational Capacity||Population( 1)||% Pop to In Use CNA||% Accommodation Available|
|Total baseline CNA = 80,183|
Total In Use CNA = 77,466
Total Useable Operational Capacity(2) = 87,983
Total Population = 83,055
% Population to In Use CNA = 107%
Total % Accommodation Available = 97%
Total Out of Use Accommodation = 2,717
(1) The prison unlock figure may be lower than the 'Population', as the 'Population' includes prisoners on authorised absence.
(2) No places are currently activated under Operation Safeguard.
(3) The sites at Albany, Camp Hill and Parkhurst constitute HM Prison Isle of Wight.
Definitions of Accommodation Terms:
Certified Normal Accommodation (CNA): Certified Normal Accommodation (CNA), or uncrowded capacity, is the Prison Service's own measure of accommodation. CNA represents the good, decent standard of accommodation that the service aspires to provide all prisoners.
Baseline CNA: Baseline CNA is the sum total of all certified accommodation in an establishment except, normally:
Cells in punishment or segregation units.
Healthcare cells or rooms in training prisons and YOIs that are not routinely used to accommodate long stay patients.
In-Use CNA: In-use CNA is baseline CNA less those places not available for immediate use, for example: damaged cells, cells affected by building works.
Operational Capacity: The operational capacity of a prison is the total number of prisoners that an establishment can hold taking into account control, security and the proper operation of the planned regime. It is determined by Directors of Offender Management on the basis of operational judgement and experience.
Useable Operational Capacity: Useable Operational Capacity of the estate is the sum of all establishments' operational capacity less 2000 places. This is known as the operating margin and reflects the constraints imposed by the need to provide separate accommodation for different classes of prisoner i.e. by sex, age, security category, conviction status, single cell risk assessment and also due to geographical distribution.
Establishments Exceeding their Operational Capacity: Governing governors and Controllers and Directors of contracted out prisons must ensure that the approved operational capacity is not normally exceeded other than on an exceptional basis to accommodate pressing operational need.
Report produced by Population Strategy
The CNA and Operational Capacity figures are taken from the latest signed cell certificates held by PS.
The report is compiled from data on the last working Friday in December.
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