Skip to main content

Further Education

Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students failed to complete their courses in further education in England in each of the past five years. [125922]

The in year retention/withdrawal status of students enrolled on council funded further education provision in further education sector colleges and external institutions in the five years from 1996/97 to 2000/01 is shown in the following table. The numbers are based on incomplete returns from institutions.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what action he is taking to ensure that engineering equipment available to students at further education colleges matches that used by employers;[126230](2) what action he is taking to ensure that capital investment is being used to purchase up to date engineering equipment by further education colleges. [126231]

The Government recognised the need for increased levels of capital investment in the further education sector in its 'Success for AH' strategy to reform and improve standards in further education. Capital funding will increase by over 60 per cent. in real terms to over £400 million by 2005–06, compared with 2002–03. The Learning and Skills Council administers the capital programme for the post-16 sector. I have asked John Harwood, the Council's Chief Executive, to write to the hon. Gentleman with the information requested and to place a copy of his reply in the Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills over how many financial years he will phase in the new national framework for setting fees in further education. [126792]

We intend to phase in the new arrangements for fees in further education from the 2004/05 academic year, with a view to full implementation from the 2005/06 academic year. However, we and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) will consult sector representatives and others on the new arrangements and will take into account views expressed on the timing of implementation before finalising our plans.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which further education colleges will be able to claim compensation for losses due to the withdrawal of individual learning accounts; and if he will make a statement. [125915]

As a result of a report by the Parliamentary Ombudsman on a complaint from a learning provider, the Department has decided, in line with Government Accounting guidance, to offer reimbursement to registered Individual Learning Account (ILA) learning providers, including further education colleges, in respect of those learners who properly applied to open accounts before 24 October 2001; were committed to purchase ILA eligible learning with a specific learning provider; and who had not been issued with account numbers by the time the system closed down at 6.30 pm on 23 November 2001, subject to the provision of appropriate evidence.All learning providers who were active in the period leading up to the closure of the programme have been invited to claim against these criteria.These learning providers have also been invited to make claims for payment in respect of learners, who had received their ILAs and had received learning, but that learning had not been recorded on the ILA Centre system before the scheme was closed.