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Mr. Butcher : The Department is keen to encourage links between schools and the business community, and is involved with others in a range of initiatives designed to achieve this. A directory of school/industry links organisations and two booklets on "Education at Work" are published by the Department, and funding for teacher training in this area is made available to local education authorities through the LEA training grants scheme. Particular projects and organisations are also selectively funded.
Mr. Butcher : The range of measures introduced in the Education Reform Act will raise standards across the country, and their good effect will be most apparent where the problems are worst. Our new city technology colleges will raise standards significantly by example, and give parents and pupils a new choice of school.
24. Sir David Price : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether, in view of the research work carried out by Professor Martin Fleischmann of Southampton university into the achievement of nuclear fusion at room temperatures, he will invite the Advisory Board for the Research Council to reconsider the nature and scale of United Kingdom research into nuclear fusion.
This panel will be able to assess the prospects for research into "cold fusion" and make appropriate recommendations, through the Science and Engineering Research Council, to the Advisory Board for the Research Council about any change in the level of support for work in this area.
Column 74Appleton laboratory. It is a collaborative programme with the University of Birmingham, the Culham laboratory of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), and groups in Italy, the Netherlands and the United States.
The council also supports groups in British universities and in its own establishments, which are participating in attempts to replicate the recently-claimed cold fusion in electrochemical cells. Contact is also being maintained with similar work at the Harwell laboratory of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority.
26. Mr. Patnick : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received from potential sponsors regarding the setting up of a city technology college in South Yorkshire.
Mr. Butcher South Yorkshire is one of the target areas for a city technology college, but we have at the present time no proposals from sponsors.
Column 75the first time in January 1988. We also conducted a primary school staffing survey in 1987 which provides extensive information about teachers in nursery and primary schools.
Mr. Butcher : The Department's action programme on teacher shortages has, over the last three years, been aimed at securing new recruits to teaching in the shortage subjects and at providing in-service training for existing but under-qualified teachers of these subjects. Action has, in particular, been focused on those parts of the country, including Surrey, where shortages have hit hardest. We plan to build on and extend that programme as necessary to secure the teachers that we need for our schools.
Mr. Jackson : My right hon. Friend visited the open university on 4 November 1987 and discussed a wide range of issues concerning the work of the university with the vice-chancellor and other senior staff. He is advised on all matters relating to the open university by an independent visiting committee which last met the vice-chancellor on 13-14 April.
32. Mr. Wall : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on responsibility for the funding of clinical medical research under the proposed reforms of the National Health Service.
36. Mr. Mullin : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what consultations he has had with the Medical Research Council on the funding of clinical research under the proposed reforms to the National Health Service.
Mr. Jackson : The White Paper "Working for Patients" made clear that the Government are firmly committed to maintaining the quality of medical research. We recognise the complexity and special needs of this area, and my right hon. Friend is in close touch with my right hon. and learned Friend, the Secretary of State for Health, who is developing proposals to achieve the aims which the Government set out in the White Paper. These proposals will take account of the views of interested parties including the Medical Research Council.
Mr. Butcher : My right hon. Friend has received a number of representations from school governors commenting on aspects of local management of schools (LMS). The majority of local education authorities are now formally consulting the governing bodies and head teachers of their schools on their draft LMS schemes. I am impressed by the level of commitment to the development of satisfactory schemes being demonstrated by both authorities and schools.
Mr. Butcher : The database of teacher records, maintained by the Department to administer the teachers' superannuation scheme, contains a record of all teachers who have completed a course of initial teacher training in England and Wales or have ever taught there, whether or not they are currently teaching. The information held in respect of teachers not currently teaching consists of their name, sex, age, degree and teacher training qualifications and details of previous service (if any).
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science on what date his Department asked for a copy of the independent inquiry report into Beaumont college ; on what date that report was received ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Butcher : The Department was first informed of the allegations and the proposed independent inquiry by Beaumont college on 22 September 1988 and wrote to the college on 30 September 1988 asking to be informed as soon as possible of the inquiry's recommendations. The inquiry committee's investigation did not begin until 9 November 1988. It reported late February 1989. During
Column 77this period my officials wrote to and telephoned the college on several occasions requesting early sight of the final report. On 22 February 1989 the Department received the summary of the inquiry's findings. My officials continued to ask for the full report. The college's solicitors sent a copy of the full report to the Department on 11 April 1989, except for the appendices. After a further request the appendices were sent on 24 April 1989, except for appendix 2, the list of witnesses. The solicitors have informed the Department that the report has been modified in that the names of the existing members of staff whose confidence was guaranteed, have been removed. Appendix 2 has been withheld for the same reason.
Mrs. Gillian Shephard : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science how teacher salary costs are calculated in England for the local management formula for primary schools in the calculation of school budgets.
Mr. Butcher : Under local management of schools primary schools' budgets will be determined by a formula based largely on age-weighted pupil numbers. In deciding how heavily to weight each age of pupils, LEAs will need to make assumptions about average teaching costs for each age group. Circular 7/88 recognises that in the case of small schools there may be variations between the actual teaching costs and the LEA's average costs, due to teachers' position on the main scale and the incidence of salary safeguarding. LEAs may therefore adjust schools' budgets to reflect this factor.
In general, however, the degree of protection should be tapered according to the size of school, so that budget shares of schools with 10 or more teachers (excluding the head teacher and deputy head) are not adjusted to take this factor into account.
|Number --------------------------------------------- Full and part-time education |396,000 Youth Training Scheme |185,000 Evening only |46,000
This represents an overall participation rate of 82 per cent.
Mrs. Rumbold : In January 1988 the number of pupils under five on roll in maintained nursery and primary schools in England as a percentage of the estimated three and four-year-old population was as follows :
Percentage of the estimated 3 and 4 year old population |Per cent. --------------------------------------------------------------------- Pupils under 5 in maintained nursery schools and nursery classes in primary schools |24 All pupils under 5 in maintained nursery and primary schools |45
Dr. Hampson : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what was the average unit of funding for an advanced futher education student assumed to be in the 1988-89 financial year ; by what percentage this figure was increased in real terms for the average unit of funding of a higher education student in the PCFC sector in 1989-90 ; and what assumptions were made for the level of inflation in this increase.
Mr. Jackson : In the academic year 1988-89, some 288,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) students were enrolled on courses eligible for funding from the advanced further education (AFE) pools. The total provision for recurrent expenditure on the AFE pools in that year was £923 million, or £3,210 per capita.
The latest projections of 1989-90 academic year enrolments show some 287,000 FTE students on courses eligible for funding by the Polytechnics and Colleges Funding council (PCFC). The total provision for PCFC recurrent expenditure is £1,030 million, or £3,590 per capita.
These per capita figures do not give an accurate picture of the year on year increase in expenditure per student, because of the different scope of the AFE pools compared with provision for PCFC expenditure. Making the necessary adjustments, provision for PCFC recurrent expenditure in 1989-90 represents a 9 per cent. increase over comparable provision in 1988-89 in cash terms, and 3.8 per cent. in real terms on the basis of the 5 per cent. GDP deflator prevailing at the time that the public expenditure White Paper was published.
Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will list the main reasons for recorded absence from schools of (a) pupils and (b) teachers for each of the past five years for which figures are available.
Some information about the level of teacher absence from maintained schools in England is contained in the 1987 primary and 1988 secondary school staffing surveys. About 4.5 per cent. of class teachers in nursery and primary schools were estimated to be on short term absence on any one day. No breakdown of this figure between absences due to illness, in-service training or other reasons is available.
Similar information in respect of secondary schools is expected to be available shortly. This will include a breakdown by reason for absence.
Mrs. Rumbold : The school teachers' pay and conditions document 1988 provides wide flexibility to local education authorities to take account of local circumstances in setting the pay of their teachers. Those flexibilities will be further enhanced in the 1989 document following the recommendations of the IAC, and will in future be exercised by the governors of schools with delegated budgets.
Mr. David Porter : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what recent representations he has had about primary school aged children in local management schemes and formulae for funding.
Mr. Butcher : My right hon. Friend has received a number of recent representations from primary school governors and head teachers commenting on local education authorities' proposals for funding schools under schemes of local management (LMS). My right hon. Friend has made clear that the allocation of resources to schools under LMS should be based on an assessment on schools' objective needs rather than simply on historical patterns of spending. It will be for local education authorities to determine the unit of resource for pupils of different ages in the light of their assessment of the relative needs of pupils of each age after consulting the governors and head teachers of each of their schools.
Mr. Dobson : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will place in the Library details of each major publicity campaign mounted by his Department in 1985-86 and each successive year, including in each case the objectives of the campaign, the intended audience and the outcome of the monitoring of the achievement of the intended objectives, and national research conducted for him by the Central Office of Information together with a note of the intended objectives in the campaigns in 1989-90.
Mr. Bermingham : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he expects to approve the Natural Environment Research Council research proposal which includes studies into the impact of global warming on British rivers and the expansion of a programme at universities for global atmospheric modelling ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Jackson : Funding for the Natural Environment Research Council and for the science budget in general will be subject to review this autumn in the public expenditure survey. It is for the Natural Environment Research Council to decide its own research proposals within the overall funds available.
Sir John Farr : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has yet completed his analysis of the manner in which the beef special premium scheme is now being operated and the desirability of moving to an on-farm basis.
Mr. Donald Thompson : The new scheme has been running for only a month, and it is far too early yet to draw any conclusions. However, the transition from the variable premium scheme appears to have gone reasonably smoothly and the first payments under the new scheme have already been made.
Mr. Donald Thompson : The premium scheme applied in other member states until March this year included a limit of 50 head on the number of qualifying animals. We were able to get that figure up to 90 head in the recent negotiations on the new scheme. I strongly opposed the inclusion of any headage limit and voted against the scheme even with this higher limit. I shall continue to make clear my opposition to such limits in the Agriculture Council.
Sir John Farr : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will provide details of (a) the actual amount paid to beef producers in the last available 12 months of the former variable beef premium and (b) his estimate of the total amount of the new beef special premium which will be paid to producers, in the first 12 months of operation.
Mr. Donald Thompson : Our provisional estimate of the amount of beef variable premium paid to United Kingdom producers, net of drawback on intervention and clawback on exports, in the financial year 1988-89 is £103 million. Our current estimate of the likely expenditure on the beef special premium in 1989-90 is £44 million.
Sir John Farr : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what analysis he has made of the impact of the closure of Leicester market last December on (a) specialist cattle, sheep and pig producers in the east midlands and (b) on the continued viability of other major marketing centres, such as Market Harborough ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Donald Thompson : I am not aware of any problems for producers or for other markets in the area as a result of the cessation of trading of Leicester market in December. The future of Market Harborough market and other markets is a matter for their owners.
Mr. Donald Thompson : The European Commission is known to be considering a categorisation of diseases according to their seriousness, but as yet they have made no formal proposals either about such a categorisation or about Aujesky's disease. The Government will be looking for arrangements which safeguard the progress that has been made in dealing with this disease.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list by year, for the last five years within the county of South Yorkshire, how many prosecutions have been brought against those operating illegal knackeries, or trading in unfit meat ; what convictions have been obtained ; and what penalties have been imposed.
Mr. Hind : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1) if he has made any representations to the European Commission on the pricing policy of the Dutch potato processing industry with a view to European Court proceedings ; and if he will make a statement ;
(2) if he has received any representations from the British potato processing industry complaining about attempts by Dutch producers to destroy the industry ; and if he will make a statement ;
(3) what information he has on the pricing and dumping policy of the Dutch potato processing industry, including De Fritts Bootes and Kuibo ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John Marshall : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many representations have been received to date from the potato processing industry in favour of (a) the retention and (b) the abolition of the Potato Marketing Board.
Mr. Donald Thompson : Six representations from the processing industry had been received by 31 December 1988, the deadline set in the Government's consultation paper on future potato market policy. All favoured a free market.
Mr. Donald Thompson : The issue of import licences for deer has been suspended. The tuberculosis testing requirements of deer in isolation, both in exporting countries and after their arrival in Great Britain, are being reviewed.
Sir John Farr : To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will take steps to introduce a programme of free testing of deer for tuberculosis, and slaughter, with compensation for infected animals.