§ Mr. Flook
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what representations he has received from(a) schools, (b) parents and (c) pupils about the intentions of Year 12 or lower 6th students expecting to complete 'A' levels in summer 2005 and considering whether to take a gap year in 2005–06. 
§ Mr. Ivan Lewis
[holding answer 5 November 2003]The Department for Education and Skills has not received any direct representations from schools, parents or pupils about young people's gap year intentions for 2005/06 although we are aware of some concerns from education and voluntary organisations about the possible impact of changes to tuition fees in 2006 on gap year take-up. We have no plans to introduce any special arrangements for those young people deferring entry to higher education in 2005 in order to take a gap year since students will have had three years' notice of the funding changes. We will abolish upfront payment of fees and introduce loans for fees which students repay after graduation only when they are earning a reasonable salary. We will introduce a £1,000 Higher Education Grant from 2004, to be paid to the poorest 30 per cent. of students. We will also continue to pay the standard fee (currently £1,125) for students from poorer backgrounds.