asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she will make a statement about grants to pupils aged between 16 and 19 years.
As my right hon. Friend told my hon. Friend in answer to his Question on 17th May—[Vol. 932, c. 123–4]—she is examining the arrangements for the support of young people remaining in full-time education beyond 16. This examination has not yet been completed.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps she is taking to encourage part-time courses in further education.
My right hon. Friend has taken every opportunity of encouraging these valuable courses. She recently issued guidance to local education authorities explaining the entitlement to supplementary benefit for young unemployed people taking certain part-time courses and encouraging the extension of provision of such part-time courses for school leavers, particularly in high unemployment areas. The rate of increase in students taking part-time day courses fluctuates according to the employment situation and the state of the economy, but my right hon. Friend is taking every opportunity to promote the extension of part-time education; for example, by encouraging the provision of part-time courses for young unemployed people receiving supplementary benefit, and of experimental courses of vocational preparation for young employees who receive little or no further education and training at present.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether she is satisfied with her Department's work in the field of education of the 16 to 19 age group.
My right hon. Friend is fully aware of the challenge involved in this priority area of education and is satisfied that the Department is working effectively with its local authority partners and the other agencies involved to develop and improve the educational opportunities available to those in the 16 to 19 age group to the fullest extent possible in the present economic and financial circumstances.
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what degree of control she exercises over terms and qualifications for those undertaking publicly-funded further education courses.
Entry qualifications for particular courses may be prescribed by the various examining and validating bodies or by the colleges themselves. Admission decisions are for individual colleges to take. Provided the colleges exercise their responsibilities in a reasonable manner, my right hon. Friend would not intervene.