§ Mr. Chaytor
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what representations he has received concerning the current range of engineering qualifications in further and higher education; and what work he has commissioned to review these qualifications. 
§ Mr. Mudie
The Department has received a number of letters on these issues. The results of a Department-commissioned study of national occupational standards for engineering were published in 1996. National Vocational Qualifications at levels 2 and 3 were subsequently revised to take account of those standards. Draft Higher Level National Occupational Standards for Engineering were published recently and once those have been approved NVQs at level 4 will be revised. As part of its creation of a national framework of qualifications, the Qualifications
Full-time equivalent number of education support staff in maintained1 schools in England January 1998 Other education support staff Nursery assistants Special needs support staff Minority ethnic pupil support staff Total Of which medical staff, librarians and technicians 3 Total Nursery 1,828 209 62 38 5— 2,138 Primary 24,852 16,645 1,230 15,329 5— 58,055 Secondary 5— 8,823 151 17,576 16,042 26,549 Special2 5— 5— 59 416,531 620 16,590 Pupil Referral Units 5— 365 1 63 5— 429 Total 26,680 26,042 1,502 49,536 16,662 103,760 1 Includes grant maintained schools and middle schools as deemed 2 Includes non-maintained special schools and special and general hospital schools 3 Includes laboratory assistants/technicians, design technology assistants/technicians (including home economics assistants, craft technicians), IT technicians 4 Includes teaching assistants and childcare staff employed to meet the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs. 5 Not applicable.
and Curriculum Authority is working with the awarding bodies to ensure that other vocational qualifications in engineering meet the criteria for approval.