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EDUCATION

OFSTED Training

Mr. Win Griffiths : To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) how many men and how many women aged (a) 30 to 40 years, (b) 40 to 50 years, (c) 50 to 60 years and (d) over 60 years were (i) accepted and (ii) rejected for Ofsted training as team inspectors ; and how many in each category were not successful ;

(2) how many courses have been organised by Ofsted for the purpose of training potential team inspectors ;


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(3) how many applicants for Ofsted training as team inspectors have (a) been accepted and (b) rejected ; and what criteria were used in making these decisions ;

(4) if he will publish information concerning the employment categories of those undertaking Ofsted training for potential team inspectors ; how many in each category were (a) accepted for training and (b) unsuccessful in being approved as potential team inspectors ;

(5) how many people undertaking Ofsted training courses for potential team inspectors have been (a) accepted and (b) rejected ; what criteria were used for making these decisions ; and what information has been given to unsuccessful trainees about their failure.

Mr. Robin Squire : These are matters for Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools, who heads the new independent Office for Standards in Education. I have asked Professor Sutherland to write to the hon. Member.

Special Educational Needs

Mr. Dover : To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many of his Department's booklets entitled "Special Educational Needs--A Guide for Parents", were printed ; to whom they were circulated ; and what was the overall cost.

Mr. Forth : The booklet "Special Educational Needs--A Guide for Parents" was printed and distributed as follows :

Printing

The following numbers of the Guide have been printed :


Language      |Initial print|Reprint      |Total                      

              |run                                                    

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

English       |400,000      |100,000      |500,000                    

                                                                      

Bengali       |5,000        |3,000        |8,000                      

Chinese       |5,000        |1,000        |6,000                      

Greek         |3,000        |1,000        |4,000                      

Gujerati      |5,000        |1,000        |6,000                      

Hindi         |5,000        |1,000        |6,000                      

Punjabi       |5,000        |1,000        |6,000                      

Turkish       |3,000        |1,000        |4,000                      

Urdu          |7,000        |3,000        |10,000                     

Vietnamese    |3,000        |1,000        |4,000                      

Distribution

The initial print run of English language Guides was delivered as follows :


Recipient                                |Quantity per             

                                         |recipient                

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

LEAs                                     |1,000                    

Regional and district health authorities |300                      

Family Health Service Associations       |300                      

Community Health Councils                |300                      

Social services departments              |10                       

All schools                              |5                        

NHS Trusts                               |5                        

Regional Library HQs                     |5                        

Miscellaneous (1,289 addresses)          |1                        

Cost

The overall cost of designing and printing the initial 400,000 copies of the Guide and the production of the Guide in 9 ethnic languages was £144,500.

The Guide was distributed alongside : the Code of Practice on the Identification and Assessment of Special Educational Needs ; Circular 6/94 : "The Organisation of Special Educational


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Provision" ; a response card for further orders ; and a covering letter. The total initial distribution cost for all these documents was £75,000.

Foreign Languages

Mrs. Currie : To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many candidates sat GCSE in a modern foreign language in 1993 ; and in what languages.

Mr. Robin Squire : The number of candidates in England who sat GCSE in a modern language in 1993 was 402,700. The languages, in order of popularity, were French, German, Spanish, Urdu, Italian, Bengali, Russian, Chinese, Panjabi, Gujarati, modern Greek, Arabic, Turkish, Japanese, modern Hebrew, Portuguese, Hindi, Polish and other languages not listed individually. The other languages include Irish, Esperanto and Ukranian.

Mrs. Currie : To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many candidates sat A-level in a modern foreign language in 1993 ; in what languages ; and what were the figures five years earlier.

Mr. Robin Squire : The number of candidates in England who sat GCE A -level in a modern foreign language in 1993 was 38,570 of which 26, 170 were from schools. The languages, in order of popularity, were French, German, Spanish, Urdu, Italian, Chinese, Russian, Japanese, modern Greek, Panjabi, Bengali, Portuguese, Polish, Turkish, modern Hebrew, Dutch, Hindi and Danish.

No comparable figure is available for 1988, although 19,000 school leavers in 1987-88 sat a GCE A-level in a modern foreign language in that year.

Student Loans

Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) how many students who graduated in (a) 1989, (b) 1990, (c) 1991, (d) 1992 and (e) 1993 are still in debt to the Student Loans Company ; and if he will make a statement :

(2) how many students applied for student loans in (a) 1991, (b) 1992 and (c) 1993 ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Boswell : This is a matter for the Student Loans Company. I have asked the chief executive to write to the hon. Member.

Student Grants

Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what was the average grant received by students in (a) 1991, (b) 1992 and (c) 1993 ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Boswell : The average maintenance grants, excluding any payment for fees, received by mandatory award holders in England and Wales in the academic years 1990-91, 1991-92 and 1992-93 are set out in the table. Since 1990-91 students have also had access to student loans.


Average maintenance grants to holders of mandatory awards               

England and Wales: 1990-91 to 1992-93                                   

                             Academic year                              

                            |1990-91   |1991-92   |<1>1992-93           

                            |£         |£         |£                    

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

Average maintenance grant                                               

  Local authority element   |1,478     |1,541     |1,610                

  Assessed contributions<2> |1,025     |990       |940                  

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

Total                       |2,503     |2,531     |2,550                

<1> Provisional.                                                        

<2> Assessed contributions from parents, spouses and students           

themselves assuming full payment of parental contributions including    

notional assessments in respect of students for whom only fees are      

paid.                                                                   

DUCHY OF LANCASTER

Repetitive Strain Injury

Ms Walley : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will discuss with the RSI group in north Staffordshire a research proposal to increase awareness and understanding of RSI.

Mr. Waldegrave : The main agency through which the Government support biomedical and clinical research is the Medical Research Council, which receives its funding from the Office of Science and Technology within my Department.

I understand that the MRC is not currently supporting any research specifically into repetitive strain injury, but officials from the council are always willing to discuss and consider scientifically based, sound proposals. The prospects for funding of research into RSI will therefore depend on the nature and quality of any applications received.

OVERSEAS DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATION

St. Helena

Dr. Marek : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the quality of the shipping communications to and from St. Helena.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The issue of shipping communications links with St. Helena is a matter which is regularly under review with the St. Helena Government. Transport communications are clearly very limited, but there has been difficulty in identifying a cost-efficient means of strengthening it.

Dr. Marek : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth affairs if he will make a statement on progress in the acquisition of a shuttle ship for St. Helena.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : My right hon. and noble Friend the Minister for Overseas Development has decided that the search for a shuttle ship between St. Helena and Ascension Island should be discontinued for the time being. This decision, which was reached with great reluctance, followed an exhaustive four-year search, conducted with the assistance of specialist maritime consultants, which failed to identify a suitable vessel available at a cost that was not disproportionately expensive.

Dr. Marek : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the wind electricity generation project for St. Helena.


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Mr. Lennox-Boyd : I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 24 February, at column 397 .

We have asked the project consultants to carry out a survey of the world market for smaller-rated wind turbine generators and to report on their suitability for installation in St. Helena.

East Africa

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his assessment of the droughts and famines in each of the affected countries of east Africa ; and how the Overseas Development Administration and the European Union are reacting to these needs.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The World Food Programme estimates that up to 20 million people will be at risk from droughts and famine in 1994. Over 2.8 million tonnes of food aid will be needed. Britain has responded promptly. Since January, we have committed nearly 130,000 tonnes of food, including 46,500 tonnes announced by my noble Friend Baroness Chalker, the Minister for Overseas Development, on 22 June and £15 million of non-food emergency assistance. Figures for individual countries are as follows :


Food Aid (Metric Tonnes)                          

          |Needs    |United   |EC<1>              

          |Kingdom                                

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

Eritrea   |190,000  |14,475   |-                  

Ethiopia  |955,000  |45,000   |264,000            

Kenya     |719,000  |20,000   |26,000             

Somalia   |343,000  |-        |800                

Sudan     |575,000  |40,000   |80,000             

Tanzania  |27,000   |10,100   |-                  

Uganda    |24,000   |68       |-                  

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

Totals    |2,833,000|129,643  |370,800            

<1> Excluding bilateral pledges from member       

states.                                           

Arms Sales

Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the means to ensure independence of decisions on British overseas aid from sales of arms.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : British aid funds are not linked to the sale of arms. All bilateral project proposals are subject to economic, financial, technical and environmental appraisal before they are approved, to ensure that they meet the needs and priorities of recipient countries.

Albania

Mr. Cohen : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what view Her Majesty's Government have about Greece vetoing a proposed EC loan to Albania ; whether he will ensure that Her Majesty's Government support such assistance to Albania ; if he will discuss the issue with representatives of the Greek Government ; and if he will make a statement ;

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress there has been on removing the Greek Government's blockage on European Union aid to Albania.


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Mr. Lennox-Boyd : We support the Commission proposal for macro- economic assistance to Albania in the form of a 35 mecu grant. We regret the delay in agreeing the Commission proposal and hope that the terms of this assistance will be agreed soon.

Brazil

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what environmental conditions are attached by the European Union or any of its specialist agencies in assistance given to Brazil for the development of the Greater Carajas project ; and whether those conditions have been fulfilled to date.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : EC assistance to the Greater Carajas project has been limited to a European Coal and Steel Community loan, since repaid, of 257 million ecu--£201 million--in 1982. This loan covered approxim- ately 7 per cent. of the project's cost. There were no environmental conditions attached to the ECSC loan. The Carajas region is expected to benefit from environmental monitoring and protection measures under the pilot programme to conserve the Brazilian tropical rainforest which is being supported by the EC, the United Kingdom and other donors.

The Carajas project was discussed by the EC Development Council in November 1989. These and other discussions contributed to an EC resolution on Environment and Development that was adopted in 1992. The terms of that resolution are reflected in the legal framework for all EC aid to Latin America and in the 1992 co-operation agreement with Brazil.

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what representations he is making in the World bank negotiations with Brazil that any assistance to Brazil should be conditional upon the fulfilling of promises about the demarcation of land in the Amazon rain forest for indigenous peoples ;

(2) whether the Brazilian Government have fulfilled the conditions regarding the demarcation of indigenous areas of first their World bank loan in 1982 which assisted with the development of Carajas projects.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : The United Kingdom is not a party to negotiations between the World bank and Brazil on proposed lending. Bank staff are satisfied that all the conditions of the 1982 loan have been fully met.

Rwanda

Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action has been taken by the European Union to co -ordinate the humanitarian response to the needs of Rwanda.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Since the start of the crisis European Community humanitarian assistance to the region totals about £15.2 million, in addition to substantial amounts provided bilaterally by member states. Further support is being considered. Following a decision of the European Development Council a Troika mission will assess the situation by visiting neighbouring countries in early July.


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Bangladesh

Mr. Parry : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much Her Majesty's Government have allocated to overseas development in Bangladesh ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Lennox-Boyd : Britain provided more than £65 million in aid to Bangladesh in the financial year 1992-93, the last year for which figures are available.

Our aid programme supports the development of Bangladesh's natural resources, its physical infrastructure and its human resources through health and family planning, education and training. We promote good government through our assistance with economic reform, and with projects to improve the efficiency and accountability of the civil service, parliament and the judiciary.

The establishment of a new aid management office in Dhaka in October 1992 has allowed us to focus our aid more effectively on Bangladesh's development priorities.

WALES

Housing (Disabled People)

Mr. McMaster : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has to encourage public sector landlords to provide disabled people with personal housing plans ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gwilym Jones : I expect publicly funded housing bodies dealing with disabled people fully to address their housing needs.

Birds

Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list, by estate, those occasions on which birds belonging to protected species have been found (a) shot, (b) poisoned or (c) otherwise illegally killed in each of the past five years ; and what were the number of (i) prosecutions and (ii) convictions which have resulted.

Sir Wyn Roberts : The number of birds of protected species poisoned in Wales in each of the last five years is :


Year           |Number of                    

               |birds poisoned               

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

1989           |12                           

1990           |2                            

1991           |3                            

1992           |7                            

1993           |7                            

No information on poisonings is held by estate and none of the other information sought is held centrally.

Consultants (Merit Awards)

Mr. Mullin : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the number and total cost of merit awards currently made to consultants for each health authority in Wales.

Mr. Gwilym Jones : Responsibility for funding the cost of existing and new awards was devolved to health authorities in 1991-92. Information on the number and total cost of merit awards currently made to consultants for each health authority in Wales is not held centrally.


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Rural Primary Schools

Mr. Llwyd : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many rural primary schools with a pupil attendance of 30 or less there were in Wales in (a) 1973, (b) 1983 and (c) 1993 ; and if he will make a statement.

Sir Wyn Roberts : The information requested is not available prior to 1976 and rural schools cannot be identified separately. Comparable data for the number of primary schools in Wales with up to 25 pupils on roll for 1976, 1985 and 1993 are given in the following table. Data on schools with up to 30 pupils are not readily available.


+

Number of schools                          

           |January|January|January        

           |1976   |1985   |1993           

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

Number of pupils on roll                   

Up to 25   |106    |114    |61             

26 or more |1,853  |1,682  |1,636          

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

Total      |1,959  |1,796  |1,697          

Source: Schools Census Returns.            

Ambulance Service

Mr. Gareth Wardell : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make it his policy that in cases other than a major incident, as encompassed in "Welsh Affairs Circular (93)69", no chief ambulance officer or his staff shall release information to the press following a 999 call requiring the attendance of an ambulance at a serious road accident.

Mr. Gwilym Jones : There are no central guidelines for the release of information, by chief ambulance officers, to the media in the event of a 999 call to a serious road accident. The national health service has an overriding responsibility to respect the confidential nature of the relationship with its patients and should not disclose personal information without the patient's consent, other than in the most exceptional of circumstances.

Infertility

Mr. John Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will take steps to clarify the position regarding the provision of fertility services in West Glamorgan.

Mr. Gwilym Jones : The provision of fertility services is a matter for West Glamorgan health authority, which will take into account need, competing demands and available resources.

Mr. Rogers : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what provision is made for infertility investigation in Mid-Glamorgan health authority.

(2) what is the provision for infertility treatment in Mid-Glamorgan health authority.

Mr. Gwilym Jones : The provision for infertility investigation and treatment is a matter for Mid Glamorgan health authority, which will take into account need, competing demands and available resources.

Mr. Rogers : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what advice Mid -Glamorgan health authority has sought from his Department as to the most cost-effective and cost-efficient means of providing for infertility investigation and treatment in its area.


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Mr. Gwilym Jones : None.

Mr. Jon Owen Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what advice the South Glamorgan health authority has sought from her Department as to the most cost-effective and cost-efficient means of providing for infertility investigation and treatment in its area.

Mr. Gwilym Jones : None.

Mr. John Morris : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what are the differences in duration of fertility treatment between West Glamorgan area health authority area and South Glamorgan area health authority area ;

(2) what waiting lists are maintained in each of the area health authority area in Wales for fertility treatment.

Mr. Gwilym Jones : This information is not held centrally.

Mr. Jon Owen Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what provision is made for infertility treatment by the South Glamorgan health authority ;

(2) what provision is made for infertility investigation as regards the South Glamorgan health authority.

Mr. Gwilym Jones : The provision for infertility investigation and treatment is a matter for South Glamorgan health authority which will take into account need, competing demands and available resources.

Road Schemes

Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales which road schemes have been authorised in the last 10 years which had a negative net present value ; and which road schemes in the last 10 years have been rejected at the public inquiry stage or beyond because they had a negative net present value.

Sir Wyn Roberts : I will write to the hon. Member and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

Social Services

Mr. Richards : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has for developing the inspection of social services in Wales.

Mr. Gwilym Jones : In June 1993, I published a consultation document "Inspecting Social Services in Wales". This set out proposals for applying three key principles of the citizens charter--that inspectors should be independent of the services they inspect, that lay people should be involved in inspections, and that inspection reports should be accessible to the public.

I intend that during 1994 there should be clear and demonstrable progress, both nationally and locally, towards the wider implementation of the citizens charter principles.

The social services inspectorate for Wales has already made considerable progress. For some years its inspection reports have been available to the public. A small group is being established to advise on the social services inspectorate's inspection work ; half its membership will represent service users, carers and wider lay interests, and half will be drawn from local authorities and providers of services in the independent sector. Since February 1994, inspection teams have begun to include lay assessors ; inspection reports will take full account of their views and observations.


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I propose to issue shortly, for a brief consultation, draft guidance on how the same principles should be applied to the work of "arms-length" inspection units in local authority special services departments.

The new guidance will give local authority chief executives the important role of commissioning independent annual reports on the work of inspection units. These reports will focus on whether units apply the same standards to both local authority and independent provision, and on how effectively local authorities respond when improvements are shown to be needed.

The guidance will call for a change in the composition of advisory committees for inspection units. By the end of 1994 the numbers of lay people unconnected with the authority should be increased so that they form a majority on advisory committees.

I intend, too, that during 1994 we will begin to see lay people involved in social services inspections, and their


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views reflected in inspection reports. It will not be possible to include lay people in every inspection, but there must be substantial lay involvement on a regular and continuing basis.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Further and Higher Education

Mr. Stott : To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list, by grade, the numbers of full-time academic staff funded by the further education budget for each further education college on 1 October in each year since 1989 ; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Ancram : The tables list the information requested for 1992 and 1993. The figures for years prior to this are not readily available.


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Table 1                                                                                                                     

List of staff by grade in institutions of further education at 1 October 1992                                               

College            |Principal     |Vice-principal|Head of       |Principal     |Senior        |Lecturer                     

                                                 |department    |lecturer      |lecturer                                    

                                                                                                                            

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

Belfast Institute  |1             |5             |21            |21            |134           |286                          

Omagh              |1             |1             |4             |-             |7             |54                           

Newtownabbey       |1             |1             |3             |-             |11            |73                           

Ballymoney         |1             |-             |2             |-             |3             |14                           

Antrim             |1             |-             |4             |-             |3             |23                           

Ballymena          |1             |1             |5             |-             |9             |82                           

Larne              |1             |-             |3             |-             |2             |32                           

Hotel and Catering |1             |-             |1             |-             |1             |16                           

Coleraine          |1             |1             |4             |-             |3             |44                           

Magherafelt        |1             |-             |3             |-             |2             |35                           

Armagh             |1             |1             |4             |-             |6             |54                           

Newry/Kilkeel      |1             |1             |5             |-             |10            |69                           

Lurgan             |1             |-             |3             |-             |4             |39                           

Portadown          |1             |1             |4             |1             |10            |71                           

Banbridge          |1             |-             |2             |-             |3             |22                           

East Tyrone        |1             |1             |4             |-             |3             |55                           

North Down         |1             |2             |4             |1             |17            |81                           

Lisburn            |1             |1             |3             |-             |10            |50                           

Down               |1             |1             |4             |-             |7             |43                           

Newcastle          |1             |-             |2             |-             |2             |18                           

Castlereagh        |1             |1             |4             |-             |11            |50                           

North-West         |1             |2             |8             |4             |38            |79                           

Fermanagh          |1             |1             |3             |-             |7             |52                           

Limavady           |1             |1             |4             |-             |2             |24                           


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