§ Mr. Sanders
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) what representations he has received about the quality of service experienced by clients of the Student Loans Company; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the performances of the Student Loans Company in relation to the (a) processing of applications and (b) answering of telephone inquiries. 
§ Mr. Wicks
The Student Loans Company (SLC) has played a major part in the successful introduction of the new student support arrangements. To date in academic year 1999–2000, it has made 494,000 student loans. This is around 150,000 more than at the same time in 1998–99. 325,000 telephone inquiries have been answered on the SLC's student support helpline since the start of academic year 1999–2000.
The Department has received 90 complaints from students about the service provided by the SLC on loans for academic year 1999–2000. These represent a very small proportion—some 0.02 per cent.—of the 494,000 loans made. While there have been a very small number of concerns, students have benefited this year from our commitment to get loans to students at the start of term.