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Examinations Expenditure

Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) if he will list the number of children sitting (a) CSE exams, (b) O-level exams and (c) A-level exams in each local education authority in Wales as a percentage of the total number in the relevant year groups in each authority for the latest available year in which these examinations were sat ;

(2) if he will list by each local education authority in Wales the total number of children achieving (a) CSE grades 2-5, (b) O-level grades A-C and CSE grade 1, and (c) A-level grades A to E as a percentage of the total


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number of pupils in the relevant year group in each authority, for the latest available year in which these examinations were sat.

Mr. Wyn Roberts [holding answer 13 February 1989] : The information is not available in the form requested. It is impossible to identify a relevant year group for each type of examination. Pupils take CSE and O-level examinations in years 4 to 5 and all years of the 6th form. In 1986-87 the number of pupils attempting such exams exceeded the number of pupils aged 15 at the start of the academic year (5th formers). Similarly pupils take A-levels in the first, second and third years of the 6th form. The following table is based on a survey of 1987 school leavers. It shows the number of pupils attempting and achieving success in examinations as a percentage of all those who left school. The results will be subject to some sampling errors.


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|c|School Leavers 1986-87-Maintained schools only|c|                                                                                                     

                                   Percentages                                                                                                           

                                   Attempting<1>                                      Achieving<2>                                                       

                 |Total Leavers   |CSE             |O' Level        |A' Level        |Lower Grades<3> |Higher Grades<4>|A' Level Pass                    

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Clwyd            |6,260           |88              |84              |16              |87              |56              |15                               

Dyfed            |4,675           |75              |78              |21              |75              |56              |19                               

Gwent            |6,660           |81              |72              |15              |76              |48              |12                               

Gwynedd          |3,725           |82              |80              |16              |82              |56              |14                               

Mid Glamorgan    |8,835           |72              |71              |16              |67              |48              |15                               

Powys            |1,685           |88              |84              |20              |86              |51              |16                               

South Glamorgan  |5,730           |79              |76              |23              |72              |53              |21                               

West Glamorgan   |5,200           |81              |82              |13              |78              |55              |12                               

Wales            |42,770          |80              |77              |17              |76              |52              |15                               

<1>A candidate attempting more than one type of examination is counted under each type.                                                                  

<2>Those leavers who gain results in more than one of the categories shown are counted more than once, under each qualification achieved.                

<3>O' level grades D-E, CSE grades 2-5.                                                                                                                  

<4>O' level grades A-C, CSE grade 1.                                                                                                                     

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Polar Platform Satellite

Mr. Warren : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will make a statement on the negotiations with the European Space Agency concerning United Kingdom industrial participation in the polar platform satellite.

Mr. Atkins : The European Space Agency and its member states are currently reviewing alternative concepts for the polar platform in the light of studies led by British Aerospace and Matra respectively. The United Kingdom will be seeking the most cost-effective solution consistent with our objective of securing the progressive commercialisation of earth observation. British industry can expect to play a leading role in the development of whichever platform is selected to meet this end.

Liquidations

Mr. Michael Brown : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what regulations govern the time limits within which liquidations of companies and businesses must be completed.

Mr. Atkins : There are no statutory time limits within which a liquidation must be completed but the insolvency rules 1986 provide that when the liquidator in an insolvent liquidation has realised such of the company's assets as he can without needlessly protracting the liquidation he shall declare a dividend, if funds are available for that purpose.


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Franchise Businesses

Mr. Speller : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster pursuant to his answer of 15 February to the hon. Member for Devon, North if he will make it his policy to collect statistical and other details on franchise businesses ; if he will establish a franchise unit within his Department ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Forth : I am not persuaded that the Government need such data and I am not clear what would be the objectives of a franchise unit.

British Aerospace (Contract)

Mr. Macdonald : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what efforts were made to ensure that the £10 million worth of contracts arising from the construction of the British Aerospace air combat manoeuvering platform went to British fabrication yards.

Mr. Atkins : I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer given to him by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Corporate Affairs during oral questions on 15 February 1989 Official Report column 299 and reiterate that it is not for Government to interfere in the commercial decisions of companies.

Takeover Bids

Mr. Tim Smith : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in respect of which takeover bids his Department received three deputations of hon. Members in 1988.


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Mr. Atkins : Ministers in this Department met approximately 10 deputations of hon. Members in 1988 about takeover bids which included Nestle's bid for Rowntree, Goodman Fielder Wattie's bid for Ranks Hovis McDougall, and Elders IXL's bid for Scottish & Newcastle Breweries.

Mr. Tim Smith : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) if, pursuant to his answer of 15 February, he will give further details of the consideration given to early-day motions on takeover bids ;

(2) what weight he gives to the number of hon. Members who have signed an early-day motion on a takeover bid.

Mr. Atkins : Due consideration is of course given to all early-day motions. However, the weight attributed to that consideration may vary.

Furniture (Foam Insulation)

Mr. David Porter : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what steps he has taken to inform furniture retailers of the new foam insulation regulations coming into force on 1 March.

Mr. Forth : A total of 1,500 copies of the draft regulations were sent out on 1 March 1988. I then relied upon the usual channels of communication. The final regulations were submitted to Parliament in July, and interested parties were informed. These included the media generally, the trade press, local authority trading standards departments and all relevant trade associations. I am advised that the foam suppliers in particular have been meticulous in advising their customers about how their products comply with the new legal requirements. Guidance notes for the trade, which take account of initial reactions to the regulations, are being prepared and will be widely distributed soon.

I have not written to every furniture retailer in the country. The Department does not have a list of all such retailers' names and addresses.

Disabled People

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) what provisions (a) Royal Mail (Letters), (b) Royal Mail (Parcels) and (c) Post Office (Counters) make to accommodate safely registered disabled persons in workplaces ; and if there are safe areas of work specifically reserved for their disabled employees ; (2) how many people who are profoundly deaf are currently employed by Royal Mail (Letters) within the grade of postman/postwoman ; (3) what is the number of people employed by the Royal Mail (Letters) on permanent sorting duties whose normal mobility is restricted by having to use a wheelchair ;

(4) what is the number of people currently employed by the Post Office within (a) Royal Mail (Letters), (b) Royal Mail (Parcels) and (c) Post Office (Counters) ;

(5) what is the number of people currently employed by the Post office within (a) Royal Mail (Letters), (b) Royal Mail (Parcels) and (c) Post Office (Counters) who are registered as disabled within the terms of the Disabled Persons (Employment) Acts 1944 and 1958 ;

(6) what numbers of people employed by Royal Mail (Letters) within the grade of (a) postmen, postwomen, (b) postmen, postwomen higher grade, (c) postal assistant,


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(d) postal officer, (e) postal executive class D, (f) postal executive class C, (g) postal executive class B, (h) postal executive class A, (i) doorkeepers and (j) cleaners are registered as disabled within the terms of the Disabled Persons (Employment) Acts 1944 and 1958 ;

(7) what are the numbers of people employed by Royal Mail (Letters) in the grades of postal executive class C and above ; and how many of the total are (a) women, (b) of ethnic minority origin and (c) registered as disabled ;

(8) if he will list the number of persons who are currently entered in the register of disabled persons within the terms of the Disabled Persons (Employment) Acts 1944 and 1958 who have applied for employment with (a) Royal Mail (Letters), (b) Royal Mail (Parcels) and (c) Post Office (Counters) during (i) 1984, (ii) 1985, (iii) 1986, (iv) 1987 and (v) 1988 ; and how many of these applicants were subsequently employed.

Mr. Forth : Questions of employment in the letters, parcels and counters businesses of the Post Office, including employment of different categories of people and facilities provided for them, are a matter for the Post Office. I am asking the Post Office to contact the hon. Member about these questions.

Domestic Animals (Pelts and Skins)

Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will take steps to introduce the separate logging of the quantities of exported dog pelts and cat skins.

Mr. Forth : No. There is insufficient trade to justify separate monitoring of such goods.

Clothing Industry

Mr. Latham : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether he will raise in the European Council of Ministers the need for arrangements to be in place before 1992 to prevent knitwear imports from Third world countries entering the Federal Republic of Germany through the German Democratic Republic and purporting to be manufactured in COMECON countries ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Atkins [holding answer 21 February 1989] : Under the terms of inner German trade, goods originating in the German Democratic Republic may enter the Federal Republic of Germany free of import duty. This arrangement does not apply to other member countries of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON). The Federal authorities monitor consignments of textiles to ensure compliance with the origin requirements, and United Kingdom officials will shortly review these and other procedures with the Economics Ministry in Bonn to minimise the risk of abuse of inner German trade in the run-up to 1992 and beyond. If my hon. Friend is aware of any specific cases arousing concern I should be grateful if he would bring them to my attention.

ATTORNEY-GENERAL

Estate Agents

110. Mr. Battle : To ask the Attorney-General if he has any proposals for the reform of the process of house purchase and the practice of estate agents.


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The Attorney-General : So far as reform of the process of house purchase is concerned, improvements in practice are needed rather than legislation and I welcome the work of the professions and the conveyancing standing committee of the Law Commission in this area. The practice of estate agents is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. I understand that consultations are continuing with estate agents' representatives and other interested groups.

NATIONAL FINANCE

Government Stocks

Mr. Higgins : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list Government stocks which have sinking funds and are likely to be redeemed ahead of the final date for repayment ; and whether he is obliged to redeem such stocks as soon as the sinking fund is sufficient to repay them.

Mr. Lawson [holding answer 20 February 1989] : There are two United Kingdom Government securities with sinking funds : 3 per cent. conversion loan (denominated in sterling) ; and Fifteen year 8 7/8 per cent. Bonds due 1993 (denominated in $ US). In addition, guaranteed 4 per cent. Bonds and Irish Free State 4 Land Bonds, have a Government guarantee and sinking funds. Terms and conditions of these securities are set out in their prospectuses. It is not the Government's practice to comment on any discretion the prospectus may afford.

Child Benefit

Sir Ian Gilmour : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the increased revenue in 1988-89 if (a) the personal income tax allowances, (b) mortgage interest, (c) superannuation and personal pension contributions and (d) self-employed retirement annuity premiums were restricted to basic rate tax ; by how much child benefit could be increased if all the extra revenue were used for this purpose ; what would be the redistributive effects, by family type and income decile ; and how many working families with children would be lifted off entitlement to family credit.

Mr. Lawson [holding answer 31 January 1989] : Almost two- thirds of those who would pay more tax as a result of restricting personal allowances and other tax reliefs to the basic rate currently pay tax at the basic rate only : those near the top of the basic rate band would be pushed into paying tax at the higher rate. About 3 million single people and married couples would pay more income tax : of those, about 2 million currently pay tax at the basic rate only. Revised estimates of the direct revenue yield in 1988-89 if the allowances and reliefs had been restricted to the basic rate are :


J

                                                                          

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

a. Personal allowances                                                    

b. Mortgage interest relief                                               

c. Employees' superannuation and personal pension contributions           

d. Retirement annuity relief<1>                                           

<1> Including relief for retirement annuity payments made by employees.   

Note: These estimates are based on a projection of the 1986-87 survey of  

personal incomes. No account is taken of possible behavioural changes or  

the effect on receipts of capital gains tax.                              

The yield arising from making the changes (a) to (d) simultaneously is £2,100 million, somewhat more than the sum of the yields from the four changes separately, since even more basic rate taxpayers would become higher rate payers. If all this were used to increase child benefit, it could be raised by about £4.40 a week in a full year and at 1988-89 prices. This assumes that child allowances in income support would be unchanged, with child benefit, as now, fully deductible from income support payments ; and that there would be compensating reduction in the child additions for family credit. Estimates of the effect on family credit case- load are very uncertain. On the basis of the assumptions in "Impact of reformed structure of income-related benefits" (October 1987), the case- load might be reduced by about a third, (around 150,000 families). The tables show the combined effect, analysed by type of tax unit and income decile, of the net revenue yield or costs from restricting the allowances and reliefs to the basic rate and increasing child benefit.


X

|c|(a)  Net effect by type of tax unit|c|                                               

|c|gain to tax unit (+), loss to tax unit (-)|c|                                        

£ million                                                                               

                    |With children   |Without children|Total                            

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Single              |+  90           |- 210           |- 120                            

Married one earner  |+ 280           |- 230           |+  50                            

Married two earners |+ 770           |- 700           |+  70                            

                    |----            |----            |----                             

  Total             |+1,140          |-1,140          |0                                


|c|(b)  Net effect by decile  

of total income<1>|c|         

|c|gain to tax unit (+), loss 

to tax unit (-)|c|            

Decile    |£ million          

------------------------------

Lowest    |<2>                

2         |<2>                

3         |<2>                

4         |+  20              

5         |+  40              

6         |+ 120              

7         |+ 290              

8         |+ 470              

9         |+ 500              

Highest   |-1,440             

          |-------            

  Total   |0                  

<1>Deciles of income have     

been defined in terms of      

total income, including       

non-taxable benefits, but     

before the additional £4.40   

per week of child benefit.    

Income has not been adjusted  

to equivalence levels to take 

account of the need of        

different types of tax units. 

<2>Under £5 million.          

The gains in the lower deciles from the increase in child benefit are negligible since the families with children in them will generally be entitled to income support or family credit. The increase in child benefit would therefore, in most cases, be offset by a corresponding reduction in income-related benefits.


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OVERSEAS DEVELOPMENT

Lome 4

Mr. David Nicholson : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what response he is able to make to the World Development Movement's charter for Lome 4, in particular its requirement that Lome 4 should assist the poorest farmers, support environmentally suitable development, reduce child mortality and improve other key health indicators and assess the impact of all projects on women ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Eggar : I welcome the charter's emphasis on support for the poorest, on improvement in environmental monitoring and assessment, on assistance to the health sector and on ensuring that the interests of women are properly taken into account. These are issues to which we attach great importance.

Bangladesh

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what monitoring of British bilateral aid to Bangladesh is undertaken by representatives of Her Majesty's Government.

Mr. Eggar : Our aid is monitored through regular visits by Overseas Development Administration staff, from both London and our south east Asia development division in Bangkok. The aid section of the British High Commission in Dhaka is responsible for day-to-day oversight of the programme.

EDUCATION AND SCIENCE

Support Grant

Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he expects to announce the education support grant guidelines for 1989-90.

Mrs. Rumbold : My right hon. Friend announced on 15 December 1988 the allocations to individual LEAs of expenditure to be supported through ESGs in 1989-90. My right hon. Friend yesterday met representatives of the local authority associations for preliminary discussions about the content and scale of the 1990-91 programme. He will be announcing shortly a list of proposed activities for support in 1990-91 in the light of yesterday's discussions.

School Leavers

Mrs. Wise : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many children leave school before they are aged 16 years.

Mr. Butcher : It is estimated that, in England, during the academic year 1986-87, some 107,000 pupils left school before their 16th birthday.

Zidovudine

Mr. Alfred Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if he will receive copies of all reports given by the independent data and safety monitoring committee to the chairmen of the MRC/INSERM co-ordinating committee of the trial on the benefits of zidovudine for healthy people who are HIV positive ; and if he will make a statement ;


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(2) pursuant to his reply to the right hon. Member for Manchester, Wythenshawe, on 7 February, Official Report, column 608 , how many participants have been enrolled to date in the Medical Research Council trial on the benefits of zidovudine for healthy people who are HIV positive in (a) the United Kingdom and (b) France.

Mr. Jackson : My right hon. Friend does not expect to receive copies of such reports ; the conduct of the trial is a matter for the Medical Research Council and INSERM. the number of participants enrolled on the trial up to 15 February 1989 was 218 in the United Kingdom and 84 in France.

University Lecturers

Mr. Andrew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science pursuant to his answer of 9 February, Official Report, column 750, if he will express the figures contained in his answer as a percentage of total university lecturing staff for each of the years 1980 to 1987.

Mr. Jackson : The information on lecturers leaving universities in Great Britain to take up employment or study abroad as a percentage of lecturers in post in the previous year is as follows :


A

             |Non-clinical|Clinical    |All                      

-----------------------------------------------------------------

1980         |0.7         |1.8         |0.8                      

1981         |0.6         |1.4         |0.6                      

1982         |0.6         |1.4         |0.7                      

1983         |0.4         |2.1         |0.5                      

1984         |0.5         |1.0         |0.5                      

1985         |0.4         |1.1         |0.5                      

1986         |0.6         |1.2         |0.6                      

1987         |0.5         |1.0         |0.6                      

GCSE

Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement about advice available to students on choosing subjects for the GCSE examination.

Mrs. Rumbold : Schools are best placed to advise their pupils on choosing appropriate subjects at GCSE. In addition to giving pupils individual advice, many schools issue guidance booklets on their GCSE choices. DES publicity recommends that parents should make sure that their children take English, maths and science at GCSE.

Animals (Experiments)

Mr. Hinchliffe : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science which university laboratories concerned with animal experimentation use animals not bred specifically for this purpose ; and who supplies the animals concerned.

Mr. Jackson : This information is not collected centrally.

School Meals

Mr. Battle : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will publish a table showing the


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expenditure on school meals for each year between 1978-79 and the latest date available, in current and constant prices.

Mr. Butcher : The information is given in the table :


|c|Net expenditure on school meals and milk<1>-England|c|                               

                      |Cash Terms           |1986-87 Real Terms<2>                      

                      |£ million            |£ million                                  

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1978-79               |388                  |756                                        

1979-80               |422                  |704                                        

1980-81               |397                  |559                                        

1981-82               |397                  |509                                        

1982-83               |411                  |492                                        

1983-84               |427                  |489                                        

1984-85               |432                  |471                                        

1985-86               |435                  |450                                        

1986-87               |459                  |459                                        

<1> Net expenditure includes the salaries and wages of staff engaged in the preparation 

and supervision of the meal, the cost of food and overheads less the income received    

from pupils and adults who pay for their meals. It does not include any capital or      

capital financing costs. The figures include the costs of the school milk service which 

have not been collected separately since 1981-82.                                       

<2>The cash figures for the earlier years have been repriced to 1986-87 real terms      

using the gross domestic products (market prices) deflator.                             

Universities and Polytechnics

Mr. Stern : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he has any plans to increase the financial independence of universities and polytechnics.

Mr. Jackson : Under the Education Reform Act, polytechnics in England are being re-established as institutions independent of local education authorities, with funding from the Polytechnics and Colleges Funding Council. Following the Act, there is a wide-ranging debate on the funding of higher education which the Government want to see develop and mature further. However, we are actively considering the possibility of some shift in the flow of public funds from the grants to be disbursed by the higher education funding councils towards students' fees met under the mandatory awards arrangements.

Grant-maintained Schools

Mr. Straw : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what information has been given by his Department or by those acting on its behalf, directly or indirectly, to journalists or others, which has specified in respect of complaints relating to the conduct of ballots for grant-maintained schools, the names of the local education authority concerned and the nature of the complaint ; when ; by whom ; and to whom.

Mr. Kenneth Baker : When asked about concerns relating to the conduct of ballots my Department has referred to reports which have appeared in the media.

Mr. Straw : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what decisions he has made on the applications which he has received for grant-maintained status.

Mr. Kenneth Baker : I have today informed the governing bodies of Skegness grammar school, Lincolnshire and Audenshaw high school, Tameside that I have approved their proposals that their schools should become grant -maintained from September 1989.


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Teachers (Shortages)

Mr. Straw : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list in the Official Report the measures which have been taken by Her Majesty's Government since 1985 in respect of teacher shortages ; what was the total cost of each measure ; and if he will make a statement on their effect.

Mr. Kenneth Baker : The table shows the principal measures taken since the introduction of our action programme on teacher shortages in 1986, and their costs to date.


Measures                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Total cost £ million                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

(i)                                                                                                                                                                            |Bursary scheme for trainee teachers in maths,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

 physics, CDT                                                                                                                                                                  |6.381                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

(ii)                                                                                                                                                                           |Support for LEAs in-service training in shortage                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

 subjects in order to upgrade teachers' skills                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

 and conversion of teachers in other subjects to                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

 maths, physics and CDT                                                                                                                                                        |35.5                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

(iii)                                                                                                                                                                          |Support for new initiatives in higher education                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

 institutions and the Open University for new                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

 types of initial and in-service training                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

 provision, including distance learning packs                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

 and more flexible training arrangements                                                                                                                                       |6.4                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

(iv)                                                                                                                                                                           |TASC (Teaching as a Career) Unit to promote teaching as a career and improve recruitment practices among local education authorities and initial teacher training institutions|0.725                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

(v)                                                                                                                                                                            |TASC advertising and publicity campaigns                                                                                                                                      |1.179                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

(vi)                                                                                                                                                                           |Production of video teaching programmes by the                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

 BBC, Thames TV and Yorkshire TV for                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

 in-service training use                                                                                                                                                       |0.435                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

(vii)                                                                                                                                                                          |Pump priming support for local initiatives to                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

 improve supply in shortage subjects                                                                                                                                           |0.050                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

(viii)                                                                                                                                                                         |Taster courses for mature people and others to                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

 encourage entry or return to teaching                                                                                                                                         |0.040                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

(ix)                                                                                                                                                                           |Regional conferences with the Scientific                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                                                               | Technology Regional Organisation (SATRO)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                                               | on how industry can help to alleviate                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

                                                                                                                                                                               | shortages                                                                                                                                                                    |0.010                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

It is too early to make a definitive assessment of the effectiveness of the action programme. We have commissioned an independent evaluation of all our teacher shortage initiatives from the University of Bath. The first report of the findings of that study was published last June and is available in the Library. A final reort is due this autumn. I am, however, satisfied that our action programme is effective.

The bursary has been successful in reversing the decline in recruitment to initial teacher training courses in shortage subjects. Recruitment to maths, physics and CDT has increased by 27.8 per cent., 24.9 per cent. and 38.2 per cent. since 1986. The fall in vacancy figures suggests that our measures generally are having an impact on shortages.

Residential Special Schools

Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he has yet decided upon arrangements for the future administration of the Inner London Education Authority's residential special schools located outside Inner London.

Mrs. Rumbold : My right hon. Friend has received the report of the working party that he set up last year to consider the future of ILEA's residential special schools located outside Inner London. A copy has been placed in the Library.


Column 635

With the agreement of the inner London boroughs, the report recommends an allocation of the schools to the inner London boroughs, which will become responsible for their maintenance. It also recommends that the boroughs should agree on co-ordinating arrangements for planning and policy issues relating to the schools. My right hon. Friend accepts that the recommendations on the allocation of schools provide a secure basis for the future maintenance of these establishments, within the new framework of education in inner London. His final decisions on allocation will be taken in the light of boroughs development plans, which are to be published by the end of this month. He will moreover, wish to consider further the boroughs' proposals for co- ordinating arrangements for these schools. In view of the specalist nature of these schools he is concerned that there should be sound and workable arrangements for ensuring that the future planning and management of these schools will be on a rational and coherent basis. Before taking a final view on that matter the Secretary of State will wish to review the boroughs' proposed arrangements for voluntary co-ordination and is accordingly inviting the Inner London education advisory committee to inform him of the outcome of its discussions on this subject.

HOME DEPARTMENT

Race Relations

Mr. Fraser : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps are being taken by his Department to eradicate the circulation of racist literature to black prisoners.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : The Prison department's race relations policy statement, and other guidance issued to governors, makes it abundantly clear that racist language and literature will not be tolerated. Any governor who becomes aware that racist literature is being circulated in his or her establishment would be expected, with the assistance of the establishment's race relations liaison officer, to ensure that the matter is fully investigated and that, wherever possible, those responsible for its circulation are identified and dealt with appropriately.

AIDS

Mr. Vaz : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will state the Government's policy on the confidentiality of a person's HIV status in United Kingdom prisons ; if he will outline who is told when a person is diagnosed HIV antibody positive or with AIDS and for what reasons ; and what measures are taken regarding a HIV antibody positive prisoner and for what reasons.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : The importance of preserving medical confidentiality has been stressed in guidance on the management of prisoners with HIV infection which has been issued to governors, medical officers and prison service staff in England and Wales. However, the Department considers that it has a duty to ensure, on grounds of health and safety, that staff with an operational need to know are informed of the presence and identity of prisoners who are a potential risk to them and to other prisoners.

We have, therefore, established a system under which such members of staff are informed of prisoners who are


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subject to viral infectivity restrictions (VIR). Since such restrictions, which are at the discretion of the medical officer but will usually determine the prisoner's living accommodation and may limit access to certain regime activities, may be applied to prisoners with HIV or other infective conditions disclosure of VIR status does not entail disclosing a diagnosis.

Practice elsewhere in the United Kingdom is a matter for my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Scotland and for Northern Ireland.

Local Government

Mr. Alton : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much money was paid to local authorities under section 11 of the Local Government Act 1966 in each of the last 10 years.

Mr. John Patten : The amount of grant paid under section 11 of the Local Government Act 1966 to local authorities in respect of each of the last 10 years for which information is available is given in the table. Grant is paid at the rate of 75 per cent. of an authority's eligible expenditure. Figures for 1987-88 are not yet available as a number of authorities have not yet submitted audited claims.


Year          |Grant                      

------------------------------------------

1977-78       |24,656,387                 

1978-79       |28,273,873                 

1979-80       |34,481,552                 

1980-81       |45,767,083                 

1981-82       |54,754,571                 

1982-83       |65,305,918                 

1983-84       |<1>74,017,662              

1984-85       |<1>72,819,943              

1985-86       |<1>80,808,402              

1986-87       |<1>87,177,400              

<1>Provisional figure.                    

NACRO

Mr. Sheerman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many officials from his Department have acted as observers on the council of the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders and its network of advisory committees since 1979.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : The information requested is as follows :


|c|Home Office observers|c|                                                                             

                          |NACRO council            |NACRO advisory committees                          

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1979-80                   |1                        |5                                                  

1980-81                   |1                        |7                                                  

1981-82                   |1                        |8                                                  

1982-83                   |1                        |7                                                  

1983-84                   |1                        |8                                                  

1984-85                   |1                        |11                                                 

1985-86                   |1                        |10                                                 

1986-87                   |1                        |11                                                 

1987-88                   |1                        |8                                                  

Parole System

Mr. Sheerman : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has had on the Carlisle report on the parole system ; and if he will make a statement.


Column 637

Mr. John Patten : We have received a number of representations. We have asked interested individuals and organisations to send us their comments by 10 March. We shall then consider the

recommendations carefully in the light of the responses we have received.

Probation Officers

Mr. Wheeler : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Office if he will provide the age and service profile of senior probation officers and their position on the salary scale ; and what would be the cost of abolishing the first five salary incremental points.

Mr. John Patten : The 1,066 senior probation officers in post in April 1988 were distributed across the salary scale as follows :


Point on scale     |Percentage of SPOS                   

---------------------------------------------------------

1                  |4                                    

2                  |4                                    

3                  |8                                    

4                  |8                                    

5                  |9                                    

6                  |8                                    

7                  |5                                    

8                  |4                                    

9                  |3                                    

10                 |47                                   

If all officers on points one to five were moved to point six, the cost would be £380,000 in the first year--excluding any consequential increase for officers already at or above point six. Information on the age and service profile of senior probation officers is not available centrally, and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost, if available at all.

Paddy Armstrong

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what medical attention has been offered to Paddy Armstrong, currently being held in Her Majesty's Prison, Gartree ; and if he will make a statement on his medical condition.

Mr. Douglas Hogg : Specific clinical information pertaining to individual prisoners is confidential and is not normally disclosed. I have no information which suggests that Mr. Armstrong's general medical condition is other than satisfactory.

Gerard Conlon

Mr. Corbyn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what medical attention has been offered to Gerard Conlon, currently being held in Her Majesty's Prison, Long Lartin ; and if he will make a statement concerning his medical condition.


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