§ Mr. Plaskitt
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on the future of the competition to sell a third portfolio of student loan debt. 
§ Mr. Mudie
We have successfully completed two sales of student loan debt in the financial years 1997–98 and 1998–99.
A decision on the future timing of the third sale will be taken following the implementation of the new student support arrangements later this year, the 2000 Review and the outcome of the Review of Administration of Student Support, which is also due to report in 2000.183W
The postponement of the third sale will have no impact on borrowers. Sold loans will remain in the hands of the private sector owners and the remainder will stay in public ownership. The Student Loans Company continues to administer all loans as before.
§ Mr. Boswell
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what representations he has received over the past 12 months from(a) vice-chancellors and (b) others concerning top-up fees. 
§ Mr. Boswell
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what evidence he has of delays among local authorities in the assessment process of means for student loans and tuition fees. 
§ Mr. Sayeed
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) how many LEAs he estimates will meet his Department's timetable for having the student grant assessments completed; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the reasons for delays in processing applications for student grants; 
(3) for what reasons a greater amount of information is required by the Student Loans Company in respect of grant applications than was formerly required by LEAs; 
(4) what the average period of time taken to assess grant applications and make payment (a) was under LEAs and (b) is currently under the Student Loans Company; and what reasons underlie any differences; 
(5) how many LEAs have carried out grant assessments and passed information to the Student Loans Company; and how many of these were using their own computer systems; 
§ Mr. Mudie
Under the new arrangements LEAs, and not the Student Loans Company (SLC), are responsible for assessing eligibility for, and financial entitlement to, student support. The SLC is responsible for making payments to students based on these assessments. The information applicants are required to provide to LEAs is set out in the Education (Student Support) Regulations 1999.
The Department is monitoring closely and regularly the progress being made by LEAs. This monitoring shows that they are currently at different stages in assessing applications. We expect virtually all applicants to be notified of their eligibility for support within the next fortnight. Also, a number of LEAs, including some with their own in-house software provision, are passing notifications of applicants' financial entitlement to support to the Student Loans Company. The position is changing daily and a significant number of other LEAs are expected to begin issuing financial notifications within the next couple of weeks. We expect that all LEAs will complete processing applications from students who 184W submitted their forms by the required timetable, and that cheques will be issued to those students at the start of their courses.