HC Deb 06 March 2002 vol 381 c384W
Mr. Rendel

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many focus groups her Department has convened since June 2001; and if she will list the topics discussed; [36579]

(2) if she will place a copy of the discussions held with focus groups convened by her Department since June 2001 in the Library. [36580]

Mr. Ivan Lewis

The Department commissions research involving focus groups for two main purposes: to help develop and evaluate publicity campaigns; and to understand the attitudes to education and skills issues of key groups, like teachers, parents, students and others affected by the Department's policies.

Research projects involving focus groups convened since June 2001 covered: adult basic skills; higher education; modern apprenticeships; science year; Connexions; young persons' communications; information, advice and guidance branding; matriculation diploma; dads and sons booklet; child care recruitment; foundation degrees; and the money to learn booklet.

I have placed a copy of the report of research into attitudes of key groups to modern apprenticeships in the House of Commons Library. I will place in the Library the report of research into attitudes to various higher education issues in due course when the research and report are completed. All those other research projects which have been completed and which involve focus groups are commercial in confidence as they tested creative work commissioned from advertising agencies as part of the development of advertising campaigns.

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