§ Mr. Sayeed
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many asylum seekers sought education in Bedfordshire in each of the last five years. 
§ Mr. Stephen Twigg
It is not possible to provide figures for each of the last five years because there is no requirement on local education authorities or the Learning and Skills Council to provide information on the number of asylum seekers in education.
Information from the local Learning and Skills Council suggests that, at the end of July 2000, 60 asylum seekers were known to have sought education within Bedfordshire. These figures include both children of compulsory school age and young people and adults aged over 16. In Luton over the past two years (2000–01 and 2001–02), an average of 130 pupils under 16 from both asylum seeking and refugee backgrounds were in education. The number of asylum seekers participating 533W in further education institutions within Bedfordshire and Luton was 318 during 1999–15 during 2000–01.
However, the high mobility of some asylum seekers and refugees makes any data collected unreliable.