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Dr. Mawhinney [holding answer 15 February 1994] : My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health is responsible for the appointment of chairmen of regional, district and family health services authorities and chairmen of national health service trusts. She is also responsible for the appointment of chairmen and non-executive members of the special health authorities for the London postgraduate teaching hospitals and the National Health Service Supplies Authority.
My right hon. Friend is also responsible for the appointment of non- executive members of regional health authorities and up to three non- executive directors of NHS trusts.
The appointments of all non-executive members of district health authorities and family health services authorities, and two of the non- executive directors of NHS trusts, are the responsibility of the appropriate regional health authority.
Chairmen and members of the Prescription Pricing Authority, the Special Hospitals Services Authority and the Health Education Authority are also appointed by my right hon. Friend, although there is provision in regulations--(SI 1987 No. 6)--that one member of the Health Education Authority be appointed by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education.
In addition, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health appoints the chairman and non-executive members of the National Blood Authority, NBA. A committee of the NBA, comprising the chairman, chief executive and non-executive members of the NBA, appoints the executive members.
The chairman and non-officer members of the United Kingdom Transplant Support Service Authority, UKTSSA, are appointed by my right hon. Friend. The officer members are appointed by the UKTSSA. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State appoints the chairman and all members covering England to the Mental Health Act Commission, MHAC. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales appoints those members of the MHAC covering the Principality.
The chairman and members of the Dental Practice Board are appointed by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State ; the vice chairman is appointed by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.
In the absence of any medical use for cannabis recognised by the Medicines Control Agency no pharmaceutical companies are licensed to hold stocks for that purpose.
3. Mr. George : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will make a statement listing the five local education authorities that spent least on providing full and part-time places for children in nursery schools, units and classes in each of the last three years.
Mr. Robin Squire : Some 26 per cent. of three and four-year-olds were in maintained nursery schools and classes in England in January 1993. Children of this age may also attend infant classes ; if these are taken into account the total proportion of three and four-year-olds in some form of maintained schooling is 51 per cent. The majority of four-year-olds attended full-time while the majority of three-year-olds attended part- time.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many children aged three to five years are currently in nursery or other educational provision ; at what annual cost ; what percentage of the age group is represented in this figure ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Robin Squire : As at January 1993 there were over 656,000 children in England aged under five in full-time and part-time education in maintained nursery schools and nursery and infant classes in maintained primary schools. This figure represents 51 per cent. of three and four-year -olds. If children in independent and special schools and playgroups are included, the proportion rises to over 90 per cent. In 1991-92, the latest year for which accurate outturn data are available, local education authorities in England spent some £1,085 million on under-fives provision.
17. Mr. Shersby : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what progress he has made in considering the difficulties faced by parents in Uxbridge and Hillingdon in sending their children to Vyners school Ickenham as a result of the upgrading of the A40 to motorway standard ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Robin Squire : I understand that Vyners school is heavily over- subscribed and would like to expand. It is for the school to make a case for capital funds to provide additional school places within the next capital bidding round.
From April I expect the Funding Agency for Schools will have responsibilities over the supply of school places in Hillingdon. I shall shortly be writing to my hon. Friend about the implications.
Column 687prohibited in law from prescribing how much time should be spent on physical education or any other national curriculum subject.
Mr. Robin Squire : We have received no recent representations. My right hon. Friend expects to receive advice from the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority in April about new statutory requirements for music in the light of Sir Ron Dearing's recent review of the national curriculum.
Mr. Forth : The improvement of the literacy skills is one of the Government's top priorities for education. The national curriculum order for English will put more emphasis on basic skills in reading and writing. Action programmes supported by the Government include : The reading recovery programmes, and other literacy programmes in inner-city areas ;
Support to the volunteer reading help organisation to help it expand its network ;
Support for the family literacy initiative, designed to help parents improve their own literacy skills and at the same time support the development of their children's literacy.
22. Mr. Ian Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what is the United Kingdom participation rate in education for 16-year-olds ; and what comparable data he has for other European Union countries.
Mr. Boswell : The latest available comparisons, which are for 1990, show that some 94 per cent. of 16-year-olds in the United Kingdom took part in some form of education and/or training. This compares well with the position in other EU countries for which data are available, where participation by 16-year-olds ranges from 99 per cent. in Germany to 71 per cent. in Spain.
23. Mr. Gunnell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what representations he has received from universities or scientific societies on his proposals for funding of educational research through a teacher training agency.
Our proposals would maintain the present links between teaching and research, safeguard the independence of research and continue to ensure that research funding takes account of quality assessments. There will of course be an opportunity to debate the proposals during the passage through Parliament of the current Education Bill.
24. Mr. Ian Bruce : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what proportion of university income comes from (a) Government grant, (b) overseas students, (c) other tuition fees, (d) Government-funded research and (e) privately funded research and consultancies.
Mr. Boswell : The latest published figures, subject to rounding, show that in 1991-92 universities in Great Britain received 35 per cent. of their recurrent income from Exchequer grant, 5 per cent. from overseas students' fees, 20 per cent. from other tuition fees, 9 per cent. from research grants and contracts from the research councils and other public bodies, 10 per cent. from other research grants and 20 per cent. from other sources. Comparable data are not available for the former polytechnics and colleges.
25. Ms Gordon : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what consultations he is having with professional organisations of speech therapists and others in order to clarify who is responsible for speech therapy provision for school-age children.
Mr. Forth : Existing guidance issued by the Department already sets out the responsibilities for the provision of speech therapy for school-age children. However, we have received many comments on this issue during the consultation on the draft code of practice on the identification and assessment of special educational needs. In the light of these, my officials will be considering with the Department of Health and other interested organisations whether it is possible to clarify further, in the final version of the code, responsibility for the provision of speech therapy.
Mrs. Gorman : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will list the new sixth forms to which he has given approval in (a) grant- maintained schools and (b) local authority schools since April 1992.
Mr. Robin Squire [pursuant to his reply, 25 February 1994, Official Report, 505 ] : Since April 1992, my right hon. Friend has approved five proposals for new sixth forms in LEA-maintained schools, rather than two, as stated in my previous answer. The schools concerned are :
Ullswater Community College, Cumbria ;
Martin Kemp-Welch School, Dorset ;
Wymondham School, Norfolk ;
St. Peter's RC Comprehensive School, Solihull ;
a new school for pupils aged 11 to 18 years in Halifax, Calderdale.
27. Mr. Thurnham : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what is the latest estimate he has for the amount of money being tied up in maintaining surplus school places ; and what steps he is taking to reduce the number of surplus places.
Mr. Forth : In 1991, when the Department carried out a detailed survey, there were 1.3 million surplus school places. The premises-related costs of maintaining this number of school places are estimated at around £300 million. The scope for realising savings in practice, however, depends on local circumstances.
We are discussing with individual authorities the scope for rationalisation in their areas. From 1 April this year the Education Act 1993 gives the Secretary of State the power to require authorities to bring forward proposals to take spare places out of use.
Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what surveys have been made by his Department as to the number of hours per month spent by school governors on school matters for which they now have responsibility ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Forth : A survey commissioned by the Department in 1992 included data on time spent by governors of LEA-maintained schools. The median time individual governors spent on their school governing responsibilities was between 10 and 20 hours per term. The median time spent by chairmen was between 30 and 40 hours per term. The Government very much welcome the commitment shown by governing bodies in carrying out their important responsibilities.
Mr. Forth : Information from the 1991 NAO report on school buildings suggests that some £2 billion, at 1990 prices, was required to deal with the outstanding capital needs of school buildings. In 1994-95, Government support for capital and repair work at maintained schools will total over £600 million, much of which will go towards improving the school stock.
Column 690This comes on top of total Government support between 1991-92 and 1993-94, including support for sixth form colleges up to 1993-94, amounting to almost £2 billion.
Mr. Matthew Banks : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what representations he has received from the teacher unions and associations to the Dearing report on the national curriculum and testing.
Mr. Robin Squire : My right hon. and noble Friend the Minister of State met representatives of the National Union of Teachers on 24 January and the National Association of Schoolmasters/Union of Women Teachers on 23 February. We stand ready to discuss the implications of the Dearing report with the four other teacher associations should they wish.
Mr. Boswell : Information on the number of students taking a legal practice course is not available centrally. Numbers taking the Law Society final examination and the Bar vocational course are shown below :
Law society final examination |Numbers ------------------------ 89 |3,545 90 |4,120 91 |5,002 92 |5,559 93 |5,677 Source-The Law Society
Bar vocational course |Numbers ------------------------ 89-90 |819 90-91 |871 91-92 |1,059 92-93 |1,016 Source-Council of Legal Education
Mr. Robin Squire : The School Curriculum and Assessment Authority is currently reviewing all 10 subjects of the national curiculum, including English, following Sir Ron Dearing's report on the national curriculum published in January. The authority is due to submit advice on a revised national curriculum to my right hon. Friend by the end of March. Proposals will be published in early May for consultation and my right hon. Friend will make final decisions, including on whether there should be reading lists in English, towards the end of the year, in the light of the consultation and of further advice from the authority.
Mr. Dalyell : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what representations he has had from the principal of King's college, London, Professor Arthur Lucas, about the role of student unions in universities.
Mr. Boswell : Professor Lucas wrote to the Department on behalf of King's college, London on 26 October 1993, in response to consultations on the proposed reform of student unions announced by my right hon. Friend to the House on 1 July, Official Report, columns 1120-21.
Mr. Spearing : To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to his answer of 23 February, Official Report , column 257 , concerning the selection board appointed to recommend a person to fill the post of Chief Inspector of Schools, England, which persons on that board have had any occupational experience in (a) a school, (b) further or (c) higher education ; and which of these have been for more than a year a member of the governing body of a maintained school or an education authority.
Mr. Robin Squire : None has had substantial occupational experience in schools, higher or further education and none has been a member of a governing body of a maintained school or an education authority. Mr. Kalms has been a governor of a city technology college for several years.
Dr. Wright : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what age limits are (a) recommended and (b) required for membership of further education corporations ; and for what reasons these age limits have been adopted.
Mr. Boswell : The instrument of government, which is set out in regulations--SIs 1992, Nos. 1957 to 1963--prescribes that, with the exception of student members, the minimum age for membership of a further education corporation is 18. This lower age limit reflects the nature of the corporation's responsibilities. A student member under the age of 18 is precluded from voting on any question concerning proposals for the expenditure of money or for entering into any contract. The instrument of government prescribes a maximum age of 70 for appointment as a member of a corporation, with the exception of any member who was an initial member of the corporation or any member who is appointed by the Secretary of State or where the corporation itself determines by an absolute majority that a person over 70 should be appointed. The upper age limit was included at the request of colleges who were keen to draw on the experience of those with current or recent involvement in business, industry and the professions.
Dr. Wright : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will give details of the public appointments he is responsible for making in addition to those identified in "Public Bodies 1993", including non- executive agency and other departmental management boards.
Body |Number of appointments --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Education associations |No appointments have yet been | made. Section 218(3) of the | Education Act 1993 provides | for the appointment of not | less than five members, one of | whom shall be the chairman The nine regional advisory |Total number of appointments- committees of the Further |102 Education Funding Council Further Education Staff college |16 appointments Fulbright Commission |Six appointments Funding Agency for Schools |13 appointments The Royal Ballet school |Two appointments governing body School Curriculum and |15 appointments Assessment Authority The Student Loans Company Ltd. |Three appointments made jointly | by the Secretaries of State for | Education and Scotland University Commissioners |Five appointments Yehudi Menuhin school |Two appointments governing body
|£ --------------------------- 1990-91 |254,511 1991-92 |230,597 1992-93 |179,314 <1>1993-94 |202,706 <1>Estimated.
Figures for 1989-90 and earlier years could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Pike : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if his Department will consider changing policy regarding parental contribution in relation to the Education (Mandatory Awards) Regulations where a student is irreconcilably estranged from the parents.
Mr. Boswell : The Education (Mandatory Awards) Regulations already allow for the parental contribution to be waived in certain circumstances, for example, where the student has been in the care of a local authority. Where a parent fails to provide information on which an assessment of a student's resources can be based, or refuses to make the assessed contribution, tuition fees will nonetheless be met as part of the student's mandatory award and his right to a student loan is unaffected. Students in financial
Column 693hardship may apply for help from their institutions' access funds. The accelerated shift in the balance of resources from grant to loan which my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced on 30 November 1993, Official Report, column 929, means that students are becoming progressively less reliant on the parental contribution for the means to support themselves.
Mr. Rowlands : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many applications to date have been made for the new industrial benefit for sufferers of emphysema ; and how many have been rejected.
Mr. Scott : As at 20 February, about 24,200 valid claims had been received for the prescribed disease D12, chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Of the claims so far decided, about 16,700 have been disallowed.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what assessment he has made of the conformity of the methods of seeking information from employers used by the Child Support Agency with the Data Protection Act 1984.
Mr. Burt : The Data Protection Act 1984 allows an employer to disclose information provided for under other legislation. Regulations 2(2)(c) and 3(1)(d), (e), (f), (h) and (j) of the Child Support (Information, Evidence and Disclosure) Regulations 1992 require employers of either an absent parent or a parent with care to give information to the agency which will allow an absent parent to be identified and traced, and to provide information for a child support maintenance assessment to be made, collected or enforced. It is, therefore, proper for the agency to write to employers to obtain this information. I am satisfied that the agency's procedure meet the requirements of the Data Protection Act.
Mr. Simpson : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people he estimates will be affected by his decision to limit the availability of means-tested income support benefit for the unemployed to only six months from April 1996 ; and how many of these will be (a) in Nottingham city and (b) in Nottinghamshire.
Mr. Burt : Job seeker's allowance will replace unemployment benefit and income support for unemployed people from April 1996. Claimants will receive means-tested JSA for as long as they satisfy the entitlement conditions.
Mr. Matthew Taylor : To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answer of 15 February, Official Report, columns 694-96, if he will place in the Library the results of market research relating to the campaigns listed ; how many calls were monitored to the winter warmth line ; how many requests were received for the year of the elderly leaflet and campaign pack ; and what was the telephone response and take-up response of leaflets in each applicable campaign.
There were 1,379,000 requests for the year of the elderly campaign packs and leaflets.
I am prepared to consider on their merits any individual requests to place digests of relevant findings from market surveys in the Library.
The Contributions Agency is willing to place the results of its customer satisfaction survey in the Library.
The telephone responses and take-up responses of leaflets in each applicable campaign are as follows :